Spitsbergen, Norway

Introduction to Spitsbergen

Hiking
Take in the sights of Spitsbergen on an unforgettable Arctic trip

Duration

9 days

Prices from

€4,500

2019

Sun, Jun 23

Mon, Jul 01

€6,700

Still available

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Overview

Discover the shivery essence of the Arctic as you explore Spitsbergen and its outlying islands. Search for wildlife at every turn, and be prepared for close encounters with lumbering polar bears, noisy walruses and huge colonies of seabirds. This is the largest island in Svalbard and boasts an as...

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This tour is operated by

Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen
Your Spitsbergen adventure cruise begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll get great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement.
Day 2Exploring Spitsbergen
You’ll cruise around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, we do have some favorite destinations, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Hornsund being one of their preferred hunting areas, and the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet providing many free bird egg meals for both them and the arctic fox. Poolepynton is great for walrus viewing and photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline. If you’re itching for a more personal and intimate view of the arctic scenery, then taking an optional kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion, if conditions permit. You can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site honors the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme arctic conditions. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species, a polar bear on the hunt, or a century-old abandoned hut. POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS ALKEFJELLET This cliff is a seabird center, where Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs reside in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests; rather, they lay eggs on the bare ledge. LILLIEHÖÖK GLACIER In 1906, His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson, HSH Albert II, visited the glacier a hundred years later as part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam’s shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water’s temperature and pollutant content by studying the shell. LONGYEARBYEN Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the shore of Isfjorden. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston. MONACO GLACIER HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honors the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned. NORDAUSTLANDET ISLAND This is the second-largest island in the entire Svalbard archipelago. The largest glacier in Europe is located on the island, which is a known habitat for reindeer and walrus. PALANDERBUKTA On the western coast, this bay stretches south and east from the Wahlenberg Fjord. This is a typical polar desert, where the “ice bear” (polar bear) can sometimes be seen roaming in search of food. The following Optional Activities are available to participate in, on some or all of the departures of this itinerary. These must be booked in advance (additional costs apply) and space is limited. KAYAKING – Our kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of maximum 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Kayaking is open to all levels of experience, however kayaking in the polar waters is not suitable for novice kayakers. Beginners interested in kayaking should first take an introductory course prior to the voyage which includes how to do a wet exit. In addition regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practise prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in the icy conditions. INCLUDED OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES SNOWSHOEING - A novel way to experience the beauty of the polar landscape, and discover remote alcoves and hidden valleys. The rewards of walking atop the snow are well worth the effort, as we’ll be able to visit new places that may be inaccessible on foot. This traditional means of transport across the snow comes from the indigenous people of North America. While you can appreciate a connection with the past, the snowshoes we use today are much lighter and more forgiving than the old wood-weave snowshoes used during the days of the North American fur trade. HIKING - Hiking is a great way to appreciate the immense windswept landscapes of the Arctic. The tundra comes alive during the brief arctic summer, with bursts of colour from shrubs and plants that eke out a living in this polar environment. You’ll find each hike is different - exploring communities, shorelines or glaciated landscapes, often on the lookout for wildlife. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what levels of activity you can expect prior to each excursion.
Day 9Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

Trip title

Introduction to Spitsbergen

Trip code

BQMI

Validity

Validity: 01 Jun 2019 to 01 Jul 2019

Introduction

Discover the shivery essence of the Arctic as you explore Spitsbergen and its outlying islands. Search for wildlife at every turn, and be prepared for close encounters with lumbering polar bears, noisy walruses and huge colonies of seabirds. This is the largest island in Svalbard and boasts an aston...
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Style

Comfort

Themes

Polar,Wildlife

Transport

Ship,Zodiac

Physical Rating

1

Physical preparation

Although you don't need to be particularly fit to take part in an Arctic expedition, you do need to have a good level of mobility. You must be able to complete the on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures unaided. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your...
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Joining point

Longyearbyen

Finish point

Longyearbyen

Important information

BOOKING CONDITIONS Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount).  The balance is due 120 days before departure.  If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the de...
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Group leader

Your voyage will be led by an experienced Expedition Leader. In addition, a number of experts will be on board to add knowledge of their field to your experience. This will include a Marine Biologist, Ornithologist, Glaciologist or Geologist, Polar Historian, Kayaking guide and Naturalist guides. ...
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Safety

Safety is paramount on an Intrepid voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Quark representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be su...
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Communications

All of our ships have facilities to communicate with the outside world. Satellite phone communications are available on all ships but be aware that on some ships, this connection is only available in certain locations and may not be possible from your cabin. Satellite communications can be inter...
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Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specif...
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Why we love it

Discover the quirky city of Longyearbyen

Health

Vaccination requirements do change, but generally you do not need vaccinations for this voyage but some may be required or recommended for countries you are visiting enroute to the Arctic. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countri...
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Food and dietary requirements

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. Hours of operation will be posted and are subject to change to accommodate the expedition. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available around the clock. The tap water on board is safe to drink. We're able to meet most special dietary requests, as lo...
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Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It's always better to bring a littl...
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What to take

The Arctic usually has - relatively - mild weather conditions in high summer. Temperatures below -5ºC are not common (although wind-chill factor can significantly add to the effect.) As a result, you should not need to make many expensive specialist gear purchases, although you do need good wet weat...
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Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefu...
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Emergency contact

BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/contact-us CRISES AND EMERGENCIES In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground repres...
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Responsible travel

Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in . How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: * Choose to travel with a r...
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The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation set up to enable our travellers to support some amazing grassroots projects and partner charities in the places we travel. We support a range of initiatives – from wildlife protection and environmental conservation to supporting vocational train...
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Travel insurance

Your voyage fare includes Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person. However, it is essential that you have comprehensive personal travel insurance in addition to this to cover all other eventualities.

Your fellow travellers

On your voyage, you will be travelling with up to 137 other people (depending on which ship you are on). The ships are spacious with ample deck space and public areas so it is always possible to find a spot to yourself to enjoy the scenery and some solitude. On excursions, you will travel in a zod...
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Itinerary disclaimer

Polar travel requires an amount of flexibility as weather, ice conditions and wildlife can all affect where your ship is able to access, and where your Expedition Team think you will get the best experience possible from your trip. On board, daily updates are given to advise what the specific itiner...
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Accommodation

Cruise ship (8 nts)
Introduction to Spitsbergen