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Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears 2021

13 days with Quark Expeditions   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 — Arrive in Oslo, Norway
Your Arctic voyage 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 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
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 we do hope to visit a few of our 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 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 on regular voyages, especially 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! Our small expedition ship allows us to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so we expect to explore the more hard-to-reach areas frequented by the elusive polar bear.
 
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 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. 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 & fly to Oslo
Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.
Map
All This Included

This unique 13-day voyage invites guests to embrace a true expeditionary spirit: rather than follow a set itinerary, together we’ll allow our 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.

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. Plus, there will be snow-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts, deep-walled fjords, and vast swaths of untouched tundra waiting to be photographed. Exploring this awe-inspiring region never ceases to impress visitors with its raw beauty.

  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks on board throughout your voyage.
  • 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 for closer views of glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
  • Hike the colorful arctic tundra
  • Learn techniques and tips from onboard photographers
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Ultramarine
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Triple 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.