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Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

13 days with Quark Expeditions   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Save 15% to 20% off certain cabin categories of this sailing. Expires February 28. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
Your arctic adventure starts in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement and one of the northernmost communities on the planet. Have your camera handy as you embark on your journey—picturesque peaks surround this town in the bay of Svalbard’s second-longest fjord.
 
Day 2 to 12 — Exploring Spitsbergen
Spitsbergen has an unspoiled beauty that’s just begging 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 we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, to be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), our main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means we may not move the ship every day as we do in regular voyages, if we find abundant wildlife in one place. Like true explorers, we’ll let the wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule—guide our route! Viewing the ice bears is almost guaranteed in a region where they outnumber the people. Our small expedition ship allows us to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so we expect to explore the more hard-to- reach areas the bears may favor.
 
Presentations by on-board experts 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 we find hunting on the ice edge, but they’re not the only wildlife we hope to encounter. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so you’ll want to keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the indigenous 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 all expedition long. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means “pointed mountains”) surprises with stretches of colorful tundra, bursting with wildflowers in summer. Optional hiking activities get you up close and personal with the abundant wildlife. At day’s end, you’ll have plenty of prized photographs and exciting stories to share with your shipmates.
 
Day 13 — Depart Longyearbyen
Returning to where your adventure began, Longyearbyen, you’ll have time to bid a fond farewell to your newfound friends before disembarking. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Map
All This Included
This unique 13-day voyage is a first for Quark Expeditions! Like true arctic adventurers, we’re tossing out our itinerary, choosing instead to let our search for polar bears and other wildlife determine our route and shore landings. Your foray into modern-day exploration will bring you to the Arctic of your dreams, immersed as you’ll be in all the natural wonders of the land of the midnight sun. Cruising along the coast, ice edge and inner fiords of Spitsbergen, one of most prolific destinations for viewing arctic wildlife, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to photograph the iconic polar bear in its natural habitat. Glacier-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts and deep-walled fjords soar majestically out of the icy sea, providing breathtaking backdrops for vast swaths of untouched tundra. Talk about picture perfect! Exploring this awe- inspiring area of the Svalbard archipelago never ceases to impress with its raw beauty, and you’ll experience it firsthand on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks 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.)
  • All shore landings per the daily program.
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
  • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled.
  • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
  • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep.
  • Coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock.
  • A complimentary selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • All luggage handling aboard ship.
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
Highlights
  • View iconic arctic wildlife, like polar bears, walrus and arctic fox
  • Enjoy continuous daylight, perfect for photography buffs
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
  • Hike the colorful arctic tundra
  • Take advantage of photographic expertise on board for tips on technique
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Ocean Adventurer (formerly Sea Adventurer
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Trible cabins are available.
  • Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice, and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this cruise – please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
  • Please ask your Vacations to Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Quark Expeditions terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.