Wildlife Capital of the Arctic
15% off all 2013 Sea Spirit
Ends 30 Sept 2012
Aboard Sea Spirit
- Sea Spirit - 11 Days Jun - Jul 2013#
- #15% Discount on all 2013 Spitsbergen Explorer Departures aboard Sea Spirit - all cabins except triple share - Ends 30 Sept 2012
If Polar Bears top your list of must-see Arctic wildlife, choose an expedition to Spitsbergen. This remarkable island hosts an astonishing array of Arctic wildlife, protected within six national parks. The island itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our Spitsbergen Explorer tour is perfect if you prefer short sea voyages with frequent shore landings and Zodiac cruises. Here you'll find enough Polar Bears, Reindeer, Walrus and Whales to keep your camera constantly clicking. A bounty of seabirds, including Arctic Terns, Skua, Barnacle Geese and Snow Buntings are found here as well.
Longyearbyen - Embarkation Day
Your Spitsbergen adventure 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.
We sail around this magical island, on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as some 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.
Each expedition presents new opportunities, so we have no fixed itinerary, however we do have some favorite destinations, including 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsoya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Straight.
The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar Bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Phippsoya 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.
Torellneset and Phippsoya are great places for Walrus photography. Coming across a Walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget either. 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 to get a little closer to the action, then taking a sea-kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion (on selected voyages), as you can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site remembers 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 or an abandoned hut from centuries ago.
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.
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.