Arctic Allure: Spitsbergen and the Midnight Sun 2020
10 days with Tauck Rating:
Day 1 Arrive Oslo
Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Grand Hotel Oslo or Hotel Bristol. A transfer is included upon arrival at Oslo Airport to Grand Hotel Oslo or Hotel Bristol. Meet your expedition companions at our welcome reception and dinner at Grand Hotel Oslo. (Dinner)
Day 2 Fly to Longyearbyen & embark ship
Take Tauck’s charter flight to Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost city, on the island of Spitsbergen, the largest in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. This is a tight-knit community unlike any other, where polar bears outnumber the 2,000 locals and you might spot docile Arctic reindeer at any time. Look for rows of colorful houses, but you won’t see trees; it’s too far north for them to grow. Embark your ship and enjoy dinner onboard this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Cruising in the Arctic Ocean begins
For the next six days, you'll be able to join an expedition team leader for Zodiac excursions to a number of the Svalbard islands. Depending entirely on the weather and where the wildlife can be spotted, your itinerary will be flexible. Each new day aboard this Arctic cruise brings a new adventure. Land on rocky beaches and icy or snowy terrain, with an incline, for walking and hiking from 30 minutes to two hours at a time. All the while, keep your eyes peeled for walruses along the shore; you might hear their nasal, hornlike snoring even before you spot them. Look for Arctic terns flying in the air and whales in the water. At night, swap stories during cocktail hour and enjoy the company of your fellow explorers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 An abundance of wildlife
This dramatic glacier-carved landscape is home to the largest concentration of polar bears in the world – some 3,000. Keep your eyes peeled for them, along with bearded seals, minke whales, Arctic foxes, and Arctic moose as you explore this land of black mountains and fjords, where traces of centuries-old whaling outposts and mining camps remain – from Norwegian to American and Russian. Your expedition leader and naturalist guide will share insights with you. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Sailing in the ice floe
Weather permitting, you’ll have an opportunity to sail through the Arctic ice floe – frozen masses of flat, free-moving saltwater ice floating on the surface of the sea, a restless jigsaw puzzle of pieces constantly colliding and fracturing from the force of wind and ocean currents. Look for birds, seals, and polar bears who make their home in this wide-open landscape of immense beauty. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Royal glaciers and fjords
By your fourth day cruising the Svalbard archipelago, you may have reached the spectacular fjords of Northern Spitsbergen and the huge, blue-tinted Monaco Glacier, named for oceanographer and explorer Prince Albert I of Monaco. Be on the lookout for calving chunks of ice sculpture, the arched back of the minke whale, and bearded seals, sunbathing on ice floes close to the glacier front. Monaco is the last glacier before reaching a latitude of 80° North. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 International stations & polar expeditions
Conditions permitting, you may reach Ny-Ålesund, the northernmost community of international polar research stations and a starting point for many historic North Pole expeditions, including that of Roald Amundsen. You might see barnacle and pink-footed geese, common eiders, Arctic terns, and several species of wader. The local reindeer are smaller in this area than their relatives on the mainland. You may have a chance to cruise to the majestic Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier) with its three nunataks or rocky “glacial islands” – they’re named Nora, Dana and Svea after Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Seabirds, Arctic reindeer & Arctic foxes
With luck, by this time you’ll have cruised to Alkhornet, large seabird cliffs on Spitsbergen where thousands of birds nest and breed. Below the cliff you might spot the Arctic foxes who den there, and look for reindeer grazing on the rich summer vegetation. You may also see Pyramiden, a former Russian coal mining settlement, now abandoned, a ghost town. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Disembark & fly to Oslo
Disembark your ship today in Longyearbyen for your flight back to Oslo. Enjoy exploring Oslo this evening as you please. Your hotel is located in the city center near a wide variety of restaurants; your Tauck Director will have suggestions for you. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 10 Journey home
Tour ends: Oslo. Fly home anytime. A transfer to Oslo Airport from Grand Hotel Oslo or Hotel Bristol is included. You should allow three hours for flight check-in. (Breakfast)
All This Included
Discover the wildlife capital of the Arctic.... islands of glaciers, fjords, and ice sculptures revered for their silent majesty.... voyage in the land of the Midnight Sun, with BBC filmmakers in tow, as you discover a region unlike any other and where daylight never ends.
This 10-day trip – including a 7-night expedition cruise north of Norway in the wildlife capital of the Arctic – explores a remote archipelago of glaciers, fjords, and ice floes, revered for its silent majesty by nature lovers in the know. From Oslo, fly to Spitsbergen's main settlement, Longyearbyen, and embark on a 7-night Arctic Ocean cruise aboard Le Boréal. Go where the weather and movement of wildlife tell you to go, seeking out tiny Svalbard reindeer, polar bears, walrus colonies, whales, Arctic foxes, puffins, and more. A wildlife filmmaker from BBC Earth and expedition naturalists accompany you onboard ship and ashore throughout your voyage in the land of the Midnight Sun, where daylight never ends. Come ashore by Zodiac with your naturalist guides and expedition leaders for rocky treks through this altogether otherworldly landscape of jagged mountains, steep-sided valleys, sheer cliffs, and crackling, calving glaciers. You’ll be far above the Arctic Circle – the closest you can get to the North Pole! Onboard ship at night, enjoy talks, informal conversations with your expedition guides, exclusive BBC Earth films, and the camaraderie that only Arctic explorers can share. Book early – one trip only in 2020!
Oslo: Grand Hotel Oslo or Hotel Bristol Oslo
Cruising: Cabin aboard Le Boréal
Terms and Conditions
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* 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.