The Introduction to Spitsbergen 10 day Svalbard itinerary gives you a taste of everything Spitsbergen has to offer. Geared toward optimum wildlife viewing, this expedition provides plenty of opportunities to witness polar bears, walrus and reindeer, and the occasions to capture some amazing photographs in the continuous daylight are as bountiful as the landscape itself. While exploring the remarkable scenery and colorful tundra, you’ll also learn about the history and geology of Spitsbergen.
Day Place Highlights 1 Oslo, Norway Begin your Arctic adventure in Oslo, where there are many museums to explore and wander around 2 Oslo to Longyearbyen Fly from Oslo to Longyearbyen to board the Ultramarine 3 - 13 Exploring Spitsbergen Explore glaciers, look out for wildlife and work on your photography skills in this incredible place 14 Longyearbyen to Oslo Complete your Arctic adventure as you fly from Longyearbyen back to Oslo
The newest ship in the Quark fleet, Ultramarine is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and immerse you in the best the region has to offer. Ultramarine accommodates 199 guests and is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters to offer the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. With two dining areas, four bars, a panoramic lounge, theatre, library, spa and fitness centre, Polar boutique and an ocean view sauna your days at sea can be as busy or relaxing as you decide.
Begin your arctic voyage in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, you may wish to visit one of the many museums, restaurants and green spaces before retiring at your included airport hotel.
This morning, the group will transfer you to the airport and board the private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, 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.
Spitsbergen is graced with an unspoiled beauty that’s just waiting to be discovered. On this one-of-a-kind cruise, you’ll sail along the west coast of this magical island, exploring the coastal fjords and smaller, outlying islands. Each day will be a surprise, treating you to spectacular new sightings and experiences.
Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but the hope is to visit a few of the favorite landing sites, which will be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), the main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means the ship may not move every day as you do on regular voyages, especially if you find abundant wildlife in one place. Like true explorers, the wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule will guide your route! The small expedition ship allows you to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so expect to explore the more hard-to-reach areas frequented by the elusive polar bear.
Presentations by on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that await, and with continuous daylight during this time of year, photo ops abound. You’ll have ample time to linger and photograph any bears we find hunting on the ice edge, but they’re not the only wildlife you can hope to encounter. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so you’ll want to keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the indigenous Svalbard reindeer may also be spotted on Zodiac excursions to shore.
A haven for present-day explorers, Spitsbergen and the surrounding area offer unforgettable polar experiences that will keep you and your camera active for the duration of the expedition. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means “pointed mountains”) surprises visitors with stretches of colorful tundra that burst with wildflowers in summer. Optional hiking activities get you up close—though never obtrusively—to the abundant wildlife. At day’s end, you’ll have plenty of prized photographs and exciting stories to share with your shipmates.
The time to say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark in the historic frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, you will transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.