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Arctic Wildlife Safari, 10 Day

10 Days FROM USD 3,971 25 % off!

Overview

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Experience the very best of the Arctic wilderness on this incredible 10 day expedition voyage. The famed Svalbard archipelago is home to a number of incredible experiences, isolated from the crowds of traditional cruises you will undertake a true expedition adventure. Search for unique wildlife including whales and the elusive polar bear all whilst zodiac cruising through isolated fjords and massive icebergs. Indulge in the unique Arctic history of the region as you visit unique trapper cabins and abandoned polar research stations. 

Optional Activities : Photography, Kayaking

Trip Code: ACPOSWS

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Spitsbergen

Ship: SEA SPIRIT

CRUISE ITINERARY

Welcome to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of our Arctic expedition! At the Longyearbyen airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the itinerary. You will then be free to explore the charming, walkable town center.

We recommend starting your discovery of this fascinating Norwegian High Arctic territory at the excellent Svalbard Museum, where you can also purchase hard-to-find polar books and maps. Afterward, you can enjoy an excellent dinner at one of Longyearbyen’s many delightful restaurants. If you are still awake at midnight, you will notice the sun has not set. In fact, the sun will not set for the entire duration of our time in Svalbard.

Arrival in Longyearbyen

Following an early breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the pier to embark a high-speed catamaran for our tour to Barentsburg, a little piece of Russian in the Svalbard Archipelago. With about 450 inhabitants, it’s the second-largest settlement on Svalbard. Along the way, guides will share their knowledge and stories about bird cliffs, abandoned settlements and other sights, with arrival expected mid-morning.

While Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard, an international treaty gives some countries the right to mine on the archipelago. This has resulted in a functional Russian community – including schools, a hospital, cultural and sports buildings – all with a Norwegian postal code and phone numbers! A walking tour with local guide will take approximately one hour, with some time for yourself and a coffee or beer at the café. Back on board the catamaran at noon, we head out of Grønfjord back to Longyearbyen. You will be transferred to the hotel, where an included lunch will be served.

This afternoon, we’ll learn why Longyearbyen was settled in 1906, the idea of an American mining industrialist, John Munro Longyear. While he sold his stake before WWI to a Norwegian company, mining remained the primary economic force here through the end of the 20th century. Just one mine remains functional, but we can visit a closed mine, Number 3. Support buildings, equipment and the mine itself – mostly intact from the final production days 25 years ago – will give you a true sense of the operation. Following a guided tour, enjoy a festive underground dinner with your fellow travelers before transferring back to the hotel.

Visit to Barentsburg and Coal Mine
There’s time for a leisurely breakfast this morning and getting luggage ready for the ship. At 11:00, local guides will accompany you on a motorcoach tour of the area followed by the excellent Svalbard Museum. Return to the hotel for an included lunch and briefing. Later this afternoon, you’ll be transferred to the pier and your home-away-from-home, the expedition vessel Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship; enjoy some coffee, tea and snacks in the lounge. After getting underway, a full schedule of activities kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many enjoyable dinners aboard, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in 24-hour daylight as we pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden.
Svalbard Museum and Welcome Aboard

The itinerary for this voyage focuses on the spectacular fjords, coasts and islands of western Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago. This area contains Svalbard’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Our exact schedule and route will be shaped by the weather and ice conditions we encounter. Polar bears and other iconic Arctic animals can be spotted at anytime, anywhere in our area of exploration.

One of the pristine natural areas on this itinerary is South Spitsbergen National Park, a vast region of varied landscapes including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. At this time of year, we are sure to encounter fast ice—that is, sea ice that is fastened to the shore. This situation offers an excellent chance of observing polar bears on the hunt for ringed seals. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay where we find the remains of historical whaling operations, including wooden boats, cabins and thousands of whale bones—a scene from the distant past, literally frozen in time. This area also offers great hiking opportunities through landscapes rich with Arctic flora and birdlife, as well as fascinating geology.

Also on our route is Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. Here we find deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain peaks and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The whole area is alive with migratory Arctic seabirds. On this voyage, we are just in time to witness the return of millions of murres, guillemots and little auks to the small islands, mountainsides and sea cliffs where they breed within the park. This is also a great area to encounter marine mammals, including various kinds of whales and Arctic seals. Set among this incredible scenery and wildlife activity, we also find evidence of Svalbard’s earliest sealers and whalers.

Our area of exploration also includes gorgeous Forlandet National Park. Here we find Prins Karls Forland, one of the best places in Svalbard to observe herds of walrus hauled out on land. Also along the route is North Isforden National Park, where we have the chance to observe endemic Svalbard reindeer grazing and Arctic fox romping in lush tundra meadows.

Human habitation along our route can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements where we find a museum, gift shop and post office.

The West Spitsbergen and Polar Ice Edge route offers a stunning variety of Arctic landscapes and animals with minimal sailing time between excursions. Every day offers something new and exciting. We will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, to witness incredible polar scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.

West Spitsbergen and Polar Ice Edge - Day 4 to 9

After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. We provide transfers to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar worlds!

Disembarkation in Longyearbyen
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing per person & dates

Arctic Wildlife Safari, 10 Day from USD 3,971
Departing Ending Duration
29 May 2022 07 Jun 2022 10
06 Jun 2022 15 Jun 2022 10
14 Jun 2022 23 Jun 2022 10

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Photography

Photography

Kayaking

Kayaking

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board vessel 
    All meals on board
    Leadership and guiding by experienced expedition staff
    All scheduled landings and excursions by zodiac
    Complimentary waterproof boots for duration of voyage
    Expedition parka (yours to keep)

    Exclusions

    International flight
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance 
    Personal expenses such telecommunications
    Any adventure options not listed as included

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • Please note this itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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