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A Norwegian Expedition in Svalbard

June 12th – June 20th, 2020

An epic arctic adventure filled with photography and fun

 

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest/Henrik Haaning Nielseny

If you are looking to go to the edge of the earth, this is the outdoor oasis for you.  Svalbard is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. So, you will have this stunning sliver (almost) all to yourself.

 

Hop on board the M/S Quest, an intimate ship with a mere 53 passengers. You can expect to cruise seamlessly in comfort throughout this Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

 

During our journey, Spring has arrived, and the Norwegian summer is just around the corner. At this time of year, the midnight sun reigns supreme, the bird colonies are teeming with life, and the peaks of the dramatic mountain ranges are still snow-covered, even in June. 

 

The ice keeps the islands in its grip. So,  we are privy to ever-changing ice formations. 

After one night in a hotel, in the charming town of Longyearbyen, we embark on a seven-night expedition exploring this Arctic pearl, which has fascinated explorers for centuries. 

Think of this as a safari schedule with an arctic angle. Each day, we will hop on zodiacs and navigate among icebergs, cruise along glaciers, and go ashore. On land and at sea, we may be privy to close encounters with walruses, seals, and polar bears, oh my! 

So, grab your best friend, your longest lens, and join us on this epic arctic adventure! Whether you go it solo or with a gaggle of gals, this is a trip of a lifetime!

*Space is incredibly limited on this intimate ship.

Norwegian Adventure

June 12th - June 20th, 2020

Starting from $5,890 USD

Group size: 12-20

Ships capacity: 53

Gallery Images Courtesy of  Polar Quest

Adventure Details

 

About the Trip

If looking to add a bit of urban adventure into your trip mix, you may opt for a few days stay or overnight in Norway’s capital city of Oslo. This chic city will sate your cultural and culinary palette before you embark on your expedition in Svalbard. 

 

After a flight from Oslo, we kick off the arctic adventure in the tiny town of Longyearbyen, which is a part of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Three hours by air from Oslo and 650 miles from the North Pole makes Longyearbyen with its 2,100 citizens, the most remote human settlement on earth. 

 

If the small-town charm is what you are after, take that and add an epic landscape in the backdrop for a place unlike any other in the world.  It sets the tone for the other-worldliness that follows. 

 

So, whether you go it alone or grab a gaggle of gals, be sure to pack your sense of adventure as this will be a trip of a lifetime.  

Trip Basics

                                                   

Dates – June 12th- June 20th, 2020

            

Days - 9 Days/8 Nights

                                                  

Size - - Minimum 12, Maximum 20

                                                            

Style - Adventure, Wildlife, Photography

                                               

Needs - $1,000 deposit to hold your spot.  

(This is a first-come basis. As this is an intimate ship, the few spots will fill up fast.)

Treats - Exceptional adventure, stunning landscape, and exceptional wildlife. (Polar bears!)

Accommodations - Shared - An intimate expedition ship with 26 spacious outside cabins with large picture windows.                                                                                                                                               

Host - Karen Loftus 

                                                          

Fees - Starting from $5,890 (shared cabin) and upward.

This is a first-come basis. As this is an intimate ship, the few spots will fill up fast.

Day to Day Itinerary

 

Day 1 | June 12th, 2020

Arrival into Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest/Niklas Nilsson 

We arrive in Longyearbyen, which is a part of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and transfer to our hotel.  Settle in, shake off your jet lag, and prep for the adventure ahead.

 

Unpredictability and flexibility are the main keywords when you travel to this part of the world as the exact route depends on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encounters.

Day 2 - 8  | June 13th – 19th, 2020

Longyearbyen

 

Rest up while you can. Once we embark on our adventure on this expedition cruise, you might be woken up in the middle of the night if a polar bear appears on the ice.

 

Tonight we count sheep. Tomorrow we start spotting and counting bears.

Images Courtesy of Polar Quest/@Adam Rheborg

Day 2 - 8  | June 13th – 19th, 2020                                        The Expedition

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest

We kick off our adventure in Svalbard by exploring the charming town of Longyearbyen. Like any great old mining town, there is a brewery, a gallery, a graveyard, and a North Pole Museum.

 

The pop of color in the old mining homes together with the snowcapped backdrop, makes it Insta-worthy instantly. So, grab those selfie sticks and have your DSLR charged up and good to go.

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest/Zet Freiburg Haus

Day 2 - 8 | June 13th – 19th, 2020

Expedition

In the afternoon, we embark on the expedition ship and sail out through Isfjorden. We are now in a part of the world where we are dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. The ambition and the history of those running the ship are to make landings or cruises every day with the Zodiacs.

 

Below are some examples of places that we may visit throughout the expedition.

Prins Karls Forland

A magnificent and snow-covered mountain chain covers this narrow strip of land. The island is also home to many seabirds and harbor seals. Keep your cameras close and charged up.

Image Courtesy of PQ/ @Mattias Henningsson

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest

Virgohamna, Danskøya

Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskøya. Swedish explorer Andrée attempted with a hydrogen balloon, and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.

Image Courtesy of PQ/Niklas Nielsson

Fantastic fjords

Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During our journey, we will explore a few of them, such as Liefdefjorden, meaning “The fjord of love” is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks, and here we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier.

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest

Sightseeing

Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest in the area, and if lucky, we could see the rare king eider. In Krossfjorden, we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of a large number of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs.

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest

Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favorite spot for seals and bird cliffs are bursting with activity. The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their notable and heroic expeditions to the North Pole.

Image Courtesy of @Polar Quest

North Spitsbergen

North of Spitsbergen, we might meet the edge of the pack ice. Not many ships venture here, and we can marvel at the steely silence and the absolute grandeur of this icy landscape. Chances of meeting polar bears increase as we sail along the ice floes.

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest

Southwest Spitsbergen

 

The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks, often reaching above the clouds. On a clear day, we can see the summit of the highest mountain Hornsundtind, measuring 1431 meters (4695 feet). Hornsund is a favorite haunt for some of Svalbard’s most famous residents. You can expect to see polar bears and bearded seals resting on the fjord ice.

Disembark

Image Courtesy of Polar Quest

In the early morning, we disembark from our expedition ship and begin our journey back home.

Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions, and wildlife. The places mentioned are examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. The ship always strives to maximize your experience.

Day 9 | June 20th, 2020

Longyearbyen

Image Courtesy of PQ/Andreas Bergstrom

Flights
We do offer group flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen with return (limited availability). Contact us for more information!

 

Until we travel together again…

Accommodations

 

 

M/S Quest’s

M/S Quest’s 26 cabins are all outside cabins with private facilities. Triple cabins have upper and lower berths, while all other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed.

The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. It is now a comfortable expedition ship due to the recent refurbishment in 2004/2005. In 2018, she underwent yet another renovation within the passenger areas.

In your cabin, you will find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV. The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area, and a TV.

 

In between landings, meals are in the dining room. Any time of day or night, guests can escape to the panorama lounge for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You will also find a spirited bar and a small library. The lounge also hosts entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna, and history.

Image Courtesy of  Polar Quest

Accommodations, Rates, Availability

·

SHARED ACCOMMODATION: From $5,890

The starting price for the trip is $5,890 • Pricing is for shared cabins

A $1,000 deposit is due asap to hold your reservation.

                                                                        Final deposit deadline is April 15th,  2020                                                                           

First-come first-serve as it is a small intimate ship

 Availability - This trip welcomes a minimum of 12 guests booked with WAT. 

Inclusions

Seven nights onboard M/S Quest

Flight to/from Longyearbyen

One night in a hotel in Longyearbyen

All meals onboard

An experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides

Guiding ashore and talks on board

All excursions and activities

Comprehensive information and material provided before the expedition

Exclusions

Travel and trip cancellation Insurance

Customary gratuity to the ship

Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges

Passport or visa charges

 

Your Host

 

Hover over the image below to see the full BIO on Your Host, Karen Loftus

Photo Credit for Gallery: Karen Loftus

Your Tour Operator

 

We are working with a local tour operator. They are based in the region and have been arranging polar tours in the area for more than 20 years. Their expertise is in small-ship expedition cruises in Svalbard and other polar regions. More importantly, sustainability is at the heart of the company as all trips are 100 % climate compensated.

Traveling on the small expedition ship allows for minimal impact on the environment. It’s a unique experience for the guests. It offers a more relaxed atmosphere, greater focus on the destination, and more time ashore, compared to traveling on board any of the larger ships in the region.

Final Notes

If you are curious about the arctic and you love adventure, the great outdoors, and chance to see more elusive wildlife (polar bears, reindeer, arctic fox, and walrus), then this is a trip for you.

 

Similar to other polar regions, this is an off the grid adventure. You won’t see anyone except those that are on board with you. You will have an opportunity to see a charming local city and or the bigger city of Oslo before setting off on this adventure, but essentially this is about stepping way off the grid.

 

When I went to Antarctica, I thought I might be cabin-crazy being on a cruise and a ship for fourteen days. It was the absolute opposite. I shuddered when we returned to shore. I loved the disconnect from the outside world and the deep connection to the serene scene all around me.

 

Similar to this and or an African safari schedule, there tends to be a rhythm and ritual to your day. You will be zipping around the sea among glaciers, icebergs, and fjords while in a zodiac. Weather permitting, there are daily landings. Therefore the days are more active than you may imagine as well. You will be onshore, hiking, exploring and shooting (photographing) wildlife, fauna, and the landscape.

 

This expedition is an extra special one as the ship is more boutique style as it is smaller. It’s an opportunity to go places where the bigger ships may not have access. Also, it makes for a more intimate experience among guests. Lasts, it’s an eco-expedition due to the size and the sustainable approach that the ship and the crew take throughout. It’s win, win, win!

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