Spitsbergen Photography 2022

In Search of Polar Bears


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Spitsbergen - Svalbard
TPTC © The Polar Travel Company

Duration: 14 days
Starts: Oslo, Norway
Ends: Oslo, Norway
Language: English speaking voyage


Included
Optional


This unique 14-day voyage invites guests to embrace a true expeditionary spirit: rather than follow a set itinerary, together you’ll allow your search for polar bears and other wildlife to determine our route and shore landings in the pristine Norwegian Arctic. You’ll be experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime journey aboard our game-changing new expedition vessel, Ultramarine, which is equipped with 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, luxurious onboard amenities and the biggest portfolio of Adventure Options in the polar regions. Extensive outer decks, including a wrap around promenade deck and balconies in most cabins mean you’ll always have access to wildlife viewings wherever they may occur.

Cruising along the coast, ice edge and inner fjords of Spitsbergen, you’ll be immersed in the natural wonders of the land of the midnight sun as we pursue our quest to photograph arctic wildlife: the polar bear as it prowls the edges of the pack ice on its perpetual hunt for food; the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers; cliff-dwelling Arctic birds in the thousands; and small herds of reindeer loping across the colorful tundra. Not to mention the landscape—snow-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts, deep-walled fjords, and vast swaths of untouched tundra waiting to be photographed. Exploring this awe-inspiring region will capture you with its raw beauty.

Itinerary

© The Polar Travel Company
© The Polar Travel Company
© The Polar Travel Company

Day 1 | Arrive in Oslo, Norway
Your Arctic expedition begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.

Day 2 | Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 3 to 13 | Exploring Spitsbergen
Spitsbergen is graced with an unspoiled beauty that’s just waiting to be discovered. On this one-of-a-kind cruise, you’ll sail along the west coast of this magical island, exploring the coastal fjords and smaller, outlying islands. Each day will be a surprise, treating you to spectacular new sightings and experiences.

Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but it is hoped to visit a few of the favorite landing sites, which will be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no fixed itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), the main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means the ship may not move every day as it is done on regular voyages, especially if abundant wildlife is finded in one place. Like true explorers, wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule—will guide the route! The nimble expedition ship allows to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so it is expected to explore the more hard-to-reach areas frequented by the elusive polar bear.

Presentations by onboard experts in areas of photography, history and the natural sciences will prepare you for the adventures that await, and with continuous daylight during this time of year, photo ops abound. You’ll have ample time to linger and photograph any bears found hunting on the ice edge, but they’re not the only wildlife it is hoped to be encountered. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so you’ll want to keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the endemic Svalbard reindeer may also be spotted on Zodiac excursions to shore.

A haven for present-day explorers, Spitsbergen and the surrounding area offer unforgettable polar experiences that will keep you and your camera active for the duration of the expedition. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means “pointed mountains”) surprises visitors with stretches of colorful tundra that burst with wildflowers in summer, perfect for macro photography. Optional hiking activities get you up close—though never obtrusively—to the abundant wildlife. At day’s end, you’ll have plenty of prized photographs and exciting stories to share with your shipmates.

Day 14 | Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Oslo
Your adventure ends in the frontierstyle settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, you’ll be transfered to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo, included in the transfer package.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrive in Oslo, Norway
Your Arctic expedition begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.

Day 2 | Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 3 to 13 | Exploring Spitsbergen
Spitsbergen is graced with an unspoiled beauty that’s just waiting to be discovered. On this one-of-a-kind cruise, you’ll sail along the west coast of this magical island, exploring the coastal fjords and smaller, outlying islands. Each day will be a surprise, treating you to spectacular new sightings and experiences.

Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but it is hoped to visit a few of the favorite landing sites, which will be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no fixed itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), the main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means the ship may not move every day as it is done on regular voyages, especially if abundant wildlife is finded in one place. Like true explorers, wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule—will guide the route! The nimble expedition ship allows to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so it is expected to explore the more hard-to-reach areas frequented by the elusive polar bear.

Presentations by onboard experts in areas of photography, history and the natural sciences will prepare you for the adventures that await, and with continuous daylight during this time of year, photo ops abound. You’ll have ample time to linger and photograph any bears found hunting on the ice edge, but they’re not the only wildlife it is hoped to be encountered. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so you’ll want to keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the endemic Svalbard reindeer may also be spotted on Zodiac excursions to shore.

A haven for present-day explorers, Spitsbergen and the surrounding area offer unforgettable polar experiences that will keep you and your camera active for the duration of the expedition. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means “pointed mountains”) surprises visitors with stretches of colorful tundra that burst with wildflowers in summer, perfect for macro photography. Optional hiking activities get you up close—though never obtrusively—to the abundant wildlife. At day’s end, you’ll have plenty of prized photographs and exciting stories to share with your shipmates.

Day 14 | Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Oslo
Your adventure ends in the frontierstyle settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, you’ll be transfered to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo, included in the transfer package.


© The Polar Travel Company
© The Polar Travel Company
© The Polar Travel Company


INCLUSIONS

• Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
• All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
• All shore landings as per the daily program
• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
• All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
• Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
• Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
• A photographic journal documenting the expedition
• A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
• An official parka to keep
• Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
• All luggage handling aboard the ship
• Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
• Transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day

EXCLUSIONS

• Mandatory Transfer Package*
• International airfare
• Arrival and departure transfers in Oslo
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
• Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
• Excess-baggage fees on international flights
• Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
• Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
• Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
• Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Additional overnight accommodation
• Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:

• One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, with breakfast
• Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
• Arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen
• Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo
PACKAGE PRICE: $995 USD

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

​Due to local regulations in Svalbard, flightseeing and other helicopter-supported adventure options are not available on these voyages.


* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.



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