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TRAVELLING TO Spitsbergen

Deep inside the Arctic Circle lies the remote and rugged Svalbard archipelago, the final strip of land separating Norway from the North Pole. With its stark but beautiful landscape of glaciers, fjords, jagged snow-capped mountains and frozen tundra, this is the land of the polar bear and the midnight sun. Remote and untouched, the ‘wildlife capital of the Arctic’ is home to Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, colonies of walruses, whales, seals, thousands of migratory seabirds nesting on coastal cliffs and in excess of 3,000 polar bears. If the scenery and wildlife are not draw cards enough, Svalbard also offers a fascinating history, the staging post for many expeditions to the North Pole in the 16th century due to its close proximity.

 

Spitsbergen, the largest island of the archipelago offers spectacular scenery on an epic scale, a place where polar bears outnumber humans. One of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, Spitsbergen, meaning ‘pointed mountains’ in Dutch, houses the frontier-like settlement of Longyearbyen. Remote and surrounded by polar bears, the town was founded at the turn of the 20th century as a mining town. Colourful wooden houses line the streets and reindeer wander through the town.

 

Discover the pristine wilderness and incredible wildlife of this spectacular region aboard one of our expedition cruises that will take you to remarkable corners of the Svalbard archipelago, where the next stop is the North Pole!

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Deep inside the Arctic Circle lies the remote and rugged Svalbard archipelago, the final strip of land separating Norway from the North Pole. With its stark but beautiful landscape of glaciers, fjords, jagged snow-capped mountains and frozen tundra, this is the land of the polar bear and the midnight sun. Remote and untouched, the ‘wildlife capital of the Arctic’ is home to Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, colonies of walruses, whales, seals, thousands of migratory seabirds nesting on coastal cliffs and in excess of 3,000 polar bears. If the scenery and wildlife are not draw cards enough, Svalbard also offers a fascinating history, the staging post for many expeditions to the North Pole in the 16th century due to its close proximity.

 

Spitsbergen, the largest island of the archipelago offers spectacular scenery on an epic scale, a place where polar bears outnumber humans. One of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, Spitsbergen, meaning ‘pointed mountains’ in Dutch, houses the frontier-like settlement of Longyearbyen. Remote and surrounded by polar bears, the town was founded at the turn of the 20th century as a mining town. Colourful wooden houses line the streets and reindeer wander through the town.

 

Discover the pristine wilderness and incredible wildlife of this spectacular region aboard one of our expedition cruises that will take you to remarkable corners of the Svalbard archipelago, where the next stop is the North Pole!

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WHY TRAVEL WITH CHIMU ADVENTURES

  • We are true Polar specialists. Almost every Chimu team member has travelled to either Antarctica or the Arctic and collectively we have experienced over 50 expeditions.

  • You can choose from over 130 cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic,including itineraries aboard our own charter vessels.

  • We have inspected and continue to thoroughly research each individual vessel we work with, selecting only those with environmental, safety and value credentials.

  • We know all things Polar by heart and will work with you to determine which ship and itinerary is best suited to your needs.

  • Travellers visit the Polar regions for different reasons so whether your interests are wildlife or photography, or Antarctic activities such as snowshoeing and kayaking, we can work around you for the perfect trip.

  • From your initial enquiry until your trip ends, you will be assigned a personal Destination Specialist who will offer a full service for your travel needs: we can book flights, insurance and any ancillary travel required to complete your journey.

BLOGS ON Spitsbergen

Whether you are looking for advice on when to travel to Antarctica or the Arctic, which ship to travel on or which itinerary will suit you best, Chimu blogs are likely to have it covered. The range of topics is vast, with new and fascinating blogs being added regularly. There is ship information, guides about the activities you can do in the Polar regions, what to pack and what not to pack, and even blogs on various Polar explorers!

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The unit of currency in Spitsbergen is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). 

Please check websites such as www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates prior to your departure.

On all Arctic cruises meals are included but drinks and souvenirs need to be purchased separately. Most cruise ships accept Euros € and US $. Major credit cards, in particular Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted on board.

The official language of Svalbard and Spitsbergen is Norwegian. Russian is used in the Russian settlements.

A high level of fitness is not necessary for Arctic cruises to Spitsbergen, but you need to be in good health as although there is generally a doctor on board the ships, you may be a long way from any other medical assistance. The majority of activities are focused around shore excursions and zodiac cruising and so you need to be agile and able-bodied enough to climb into and out of the inflatable zodiacs from both the ship and the shore. On shore landings you may need to negotiate uneven and slippery ground. Shore excursions generally involve some walking.

All of our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you’re doing so in a controlled and safe environment with trained experts. We consistently monitor weather conditions and will always provide you with the best possible adventure without risk of injury to you or the vessel. While some activities may need to be rescheduled or cancelled due to weather, every effort is made to have a contingency plan should such conditions become a reality during your expedition. We use our vast experience and knowledge when picking the vessels we sell to provide you with an adventure that’s unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Spitsbergen is a visa-free area. If you are flying into or out of Longyearbyen via mainland Norway, a pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Norway for citizens of the following countries:

-        Australia

-        United Kingdom

-        The United States

-        Ireland

-        Canada

-        New Zealand

-        European Union

For other nationalities, please visit the website of the relevant consulate.

Most Arctic cruises that include Spitsbergen combined with other Arctic destinations such as Greenland or the Russian Arctic, typically spend 2 to 4 days exploring Spitsbergen. Those cruises that feature Spitsbergen travel only generally spend between 8 and 13 days in the region.