Land of the ice bears: an in-depth exploration of Arctic Svalbard
Visit the land of polar bears on an expedition cruise of Arctic Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
Published #67, Spring 2016
Upon arrival in Oslo, check into the Thon Hotel Bristol (or similar). Explore this charming city, stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures set in terraced parkland. Visit the Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen.
Day 2 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Depart Oslo on a charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. Embark National Geographic Explorer, your base for the next six days.
Day 3-8 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This voyage is undertaken in the spirit of discovery, and our travel in the archipelago is exploratory by design. In a region ruled not by humans but by polar bears, we let nature guide our course. Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer midnight sun never sets. With our fully stabilised ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe the ice in search of wildlife; our exact day-to-day itinerary remains flexible, depending on local ice and weather conditions. Zodiacs and kayaks take us closer to experience the region’s geologic features and the wildlife that flourishes during the summer months. With our National Geographic photographer and a seasoned naturalist staff, venture to the foot of vast tidewater glaciers, kayak among sparkling icebergs, and explore fjords that split the coastline. Hike through miniature gardens blooming on the tundra; and search the edge of the pack ice for polar bears, walruses, seals, reindeer, and arctic foxes. Nowhere can the polar bear be seen more reliably in its natural environment than here.
Day 9 (Breakfast, Lunch)
In Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Svalbard, disembark and enjoy time to explore. Founded by an American coal executive in 1906, this is one of the northernmost human settlements on Earth. Fly back to Oslo and overnight at the SAS Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.
Day 10 (Breakfast)
The expedition concludes after breakfast.
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