If you are fascinated by polar bears and dream of seeing them in the wild, this is the trip for you! Watch them swim in drifting pack ice, stalk prey along a gleaming glacier or play with cubs in a tundra meadow. Plus whales, seals, reindeer, thousands of seabirds--all in the Arctic's most stunning polar scenery!
Day 1: Lonyearben, Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago)
Board ship this afternoon and set out for Kross Fjord. With more than 2,500 polar bears, Spitsbergen is the world's premier destination for seeing these fascinating animals in the wild. (D).
Day 2: Kross Fjord-14th of July Glacier
With rugged peaks, sweeping tundra, sparkling icebergs and glaciers, Spitsbergen is a classic high arctic archipelago with the largest concentration of seabirds in the North Atlantic plus whales, walruses, seals, arctic fox, reindeer and polar bears. Zodiacs provide an exhilarating cruise along the sculpted ice-front of 14th of July Glacier. Sail to Ny Ålesund, the world's most northern settlement. (B/L/D).
Day 3: Amsterdam and Moffen Islands
Visit the remains of a 17th century Dutch whaling station on Amsterdam Island and the Little Auk colony of Fuglesangen (bird's song). Sail past the 80th parallel to Moffen Island, a favorite walrus haul-out. (B/L/D).
Day 4: Liefde Fjord-Monaco Glacier-Andøya Island
Cruising to the mouth of Liefde Fjord, go ashore on the island of Andøya. Near the 3-mile face of stunning Monaco Glacier, the waters are a favorite feeding ground for kittiwakes and polar bears often prowl here. (B/L/D).
Day 5: Hinlopen Strait-Nordaustlandet Island
Today offers a good chance to spot seals, polar bears and the rare ivory gull. A Zodiac cruise through ice floes to the cliffs of Alkefjellet shows off thousands of guillemots nesting in a breathtaking setting. Basalt pillars rise hundreds of feet and an overhanging ice cap and spectacular waterfall make this an awesome sight. (B/L/D).
Day 6: Raud Fjord-Ytre Norskoya Island
Beautiful Raud Fjord is dominated by spectacular glaciers and favored by seals. On the island of Ytre Norskøya visit another 17th century Dutch whaling site whose large graveyard is a poignant reminder of the hardships in this remote outpost. (B/L/D).
Days 7-8: Fjord-Alkhornet-Lonyearben
Seabirds nest on the cliffs and arctic foxes search for fallen eggs and chicks while reindeer graze the rich tundra. In the afternoon cruise through beautiful Borebukta Bay and return to Lonyearbyen the following morning for our airport transfer.
Ship Highlights: The M/V Molchanov/ Multanovskiy and MV Mikheev, respectively, are 236/210 feet long, 42/42 feet wide and have a draft of 15/12 feet. There are large bridges and open deck viewing areas, a dining room/lecture hall, lounge, bar, library and sauna. The ships have a crew of 20/19, staff of six, a doctor and capacity for 52/46 passengers. (B/L/D). (Day 8 – only breakfast).
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