Wildlife Capital of the Arctic
The largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen is known as the “wildlife capital of the Arctic,” and on this unforgettable 12-day voyage, you will discover why. Building on our Spitsbergen Highlights and Intro to Spitsbergen itineraries, this longer journey has been designed to maximize time on the west and northern/southern tips of the island, providing you optimal chances to witness the remarkable array of creatures who call this spectacular yet forbidding environment home—including whales, walruses, Svalbard reindeer, seabirds by the thousands, and that most iconic of Arctic residents, the polar bear.
In addition to giving you opportunities to observe this unique parade of wildlife, the longer itinerary also allows you more time to explore the vast tundra, appreciate the natural beauty of the surprisingly colorful Arctic wilderness, and benefit from our range of on-board lectures and educational programs. Come aboard with the most knowledgeable, experienced and passionate team in the industry for an extraordinary High Arctic adventure.
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.
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, a true frontier town, 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.
Explore western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. As you cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, your Expedition Team will constantly be searching for animals.
Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so we have no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait.
The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.
The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since Svalbard’s legendary wildlife habitat is well-protected and almost entirely uninhabited, it’s one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears in their natural landscapes of ice, Arctic deserts and mountain scenery.
The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.
If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can prebook the sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventure options.
In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever-changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago.
The time to say goodbye has come. Your Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo, included in the transfer package.
MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:
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.
• May 21 – June 1, 2022
• May 31 – Jun 11, 2022
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Maple Explorer was established in Vancouver in 2015 with a focus on providing comprehensive travel experiences in the polar regions. We are dedicated to facilitating greater access to the wonders of the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the Tibetan Plateau, allowing people to discover the stunning beauty and cultural richness of these extraordinary places on our planet.
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