Spitsbergen Encounter

  • days: 10
  • from US$6,395

Save $1,000!

International Flights Not Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Norway

Description

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Land of the midnight Sun & Polar Bears

The Norwegian territory of Svalbard and the islands that make up the archipelago offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. The islands were first used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries and are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear. Our expedition ship is perfectly suited for remote polar exploration. With her high ice classification, we are able to push further to the north along the edge of the ice pack. You'll also have plenty of time to soak up the stunning wildlife and sights as our northern latitude offers extended daylight hours.

Sublime Arctic scenery

Throughout our journey we enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations by polar experts, providing an excellent background to the expedition. Days are busy with shore excursions to places of historic interest, visits to wildlife colonies, viewing the exquisite native flora and soaking up the stunning landscapes. Short or long hikes on shore are another feature along with regular cruising in the zodiacs. Sea kayaking is another popular option. Our voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice. This area has the highest concentration of wildlife and places of historic and scenic interest in the archipelago.

Everything included!

One-Ocean-Included-Kit-200-px

We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Itinerary

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1. Longyearbyen, Svbalbard - Embark Cruise

Today we embark our expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in Longyearbyen and as we throw the lines, we sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. With almost 24 hours of daylight at this time of the year, we enjoy the views from the outer decks of the ship as we depart. We meet our fellow passengers and the expedition team during an introductory briefing before enjoying a welcome dinner as we set sail. [D]

DAY 2. Bourbonhamna

Beluga whales are frequently seen as they transit the narrow sound near Bourbonhamna. It is estimated there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. Like some of the other whale species that live in the high Arctic, the beluga has no dorsal fin. This is perhaps an adaptation to living in waters that are frequently covered by ice, though it is not known for sure. On our shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artefacts are points of interest during our scenic hike to Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the massive piles of beluga whalebones that catch everyone’s attention. The bones and other artefacts are protected by the Svalbard Government. While wandering on shore we hope to catch a glimpse of dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area. [B,L,D]

DAY 3. Lilliehook Glacier & Krossfjorden

Lilliehook Glacier, at the head of the northwestern arm of Krossfjorden, is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches almost seven kilometres and has a height of around 80-meters. Viewed from the ship or on a zodiac cruise, you come to appreciate the enormous scale of our surroundings. The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. We anchor off one small harbour and cruise in the zodiacs along the bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. As we cruise the dark waters we are always on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord. [B,L,D]

DAY 4. Liefdefjorden & Monacobreen

No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier). A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears that come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on bird's eggs. [B,L,D]

DAY 5. Pjippsoya - Northernmost Point

At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. The high ice classification of our ship (Class 1A) allows us to approach the edge of the pack ice in safety and comfort. Because of its proximity to the permanent Arctic ice pack, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewings. In recent seasons we have enjoyed excellent encounters with polar bears in this vicinity. Be sure to get up to the ship’s bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint as we are so close to the North Pole! [B,L,D]

DAY 6. Hinlopen Strait & Nordaustlandet

From the ice edge we enter the main channel separating Svalbard’s two main islands. In Hinlopen Strait the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich’s guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. It is a spectacular site and a challenging one for our zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait. Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or zodiac cruise between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here, affording us breathtaking views. [B,L,D]

DAY 7. Hinlopen Strait & Nordaustlandet

We continue to explore these rich waters. [B,L,D]

DAY 8. Fuglesangen & Smeerenburg

As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of birds nesting on this island. Home to a large dovekie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony. Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the old whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as ‘Blubber Town’. As we hike the shoreline of the old station we learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens stand as a reminder to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment. [B,L,D]

DAY 9. Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland 

The sight and sound of a walrus haul-out spells Arctic like nothing else can. We visit the walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd-looking animals ashore. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus are ashore - the smell of a walrus haul out is quite … unique! Tonight, we celebrate our journey with a special farewell dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. It's a great time to reflect on a wonderful voyage in this wild and remote place. [B,L,D]

DAY 10. Disembark Longyearbyen, Svalbard 

Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, we disembark after breakfast and say farewell to our expedition team and fellow passengers. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few days. If you are departing today, we have a few hours this morning to explore the town, before transferring to the airport for your onward journey. [B]

Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship. Please ask us if you have any questions about this program.

Inclusions

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

One-Ocean-Included-Kit-390

We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Travel

  • All cruising on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Accommodation & Meals

  • 10 nights on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov
  • Cost based on twin-semi private cabin (one bathroom shared between 2 cabins)
  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners

Inclusions

  • Transfer to ship on embarkation day and from ship to hotel or airport on disembarkation included
  • Cabin accommodation in your selected category
  • Experienced Expedition leader and expedition team
  • Arctic gear hire package including waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated comfortable rubber boots, binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack for use on shore
  • Daily shore excursions by Zodiac boat
  • Guided hikes and walks ashore
  • Visits to historic sites and wildlife colonies
  • Educational presentations and talks aboard and on shore by polar experts

 Not Included

  • Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $12-$15pp US per day

Dates & Prices

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Dates & Prices

PHOTOGRAPHY SYMPOSIUM, JUNE 19 2019

An  additional  highlight  of  this  departure  will  be  the  shipboard  photography  symposium  open  to  all  guests.  This  program  runs  alongside  our  regular  series  of  presentations  on  history,  ornithology,  geology  and  the  natural  world.  The  members  of  the  photographic  team  each  have  a  special  area  of  expertise  including  wildlife  photography,  landscape  and  composition,  along  with  technical  elements  including  gear  and  equipment  and  computer  based  processing,  file  management  and  storage.  We  make  regular  use  of  our  ship-board  multi-media  studio  for  breakout  sessions  and  to  review  and  critique  our  images  throughout  the  voyage.  Our  photographic  goals  on  this  departure  will  be  formed  and  led  by  the  light  available  both  onshore  and  on  the  water.  With  a  varied  and  diverse  itinerary  and  flexible  plans,we  aim  to  make  the  most  out  of  the  beautiful  light,  even  if  outside  conventional  shore  landing  times.  For  the  photography  buffs,  this  trip  is  not  to  be  missed!

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
19/06/19 28/06/19 $1,000 US$6,395 On Request  
28/06/19 07/07/19 $1,000 US$6,395 On Request  
Valid From: This tour does not include flights from Australia. Please contact our office for the latest special fares to match your independent tour.
Other departure cities:
Tips: Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $12-$15pp US per day
Taxes:
Single supplement:

Single Travellers Please Note:

  • No single supplement is required if you are happy to share. You would be matched up with a fellow expeditioner of the same gender. If there is no-one suitable to share the cabin you will have sole use of the cabin at no extra cost.
  • If you prefer exclusive use of the cabin a single supplement would apply  which is 1.5 x the cabin price or 2 x cabin price for suites
  • Triple share cabins are also available for single travellers on a limited basis.

Please Note: Cabin upgrades and itinerary length variations may be available, please contact Bunnik Tours for more details.

Optional Tours

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

ON BOARD CRUISE SHIP

Sea kayaking - $695.00pp US

Sea kayaking allows you to experience another side of the Arctic and highly professional guides will introduce you to a slower paced, quieter polar experience. Kayak excursions are offered whenever weather conditions permit and you can expect to get out around six or seven times over the course of your voyage, for periods up to three or four hours. The programme is directed at any passenger with an adventurous spirit and a some previous paddling experience.

Please note: This option MUST be reserved at the time of booking and attracts an additional charge of $US695 per participant. You will need to complete a special questionnaire outlining your previous paddling experience. Ask us for a copy of this document if you are interested in the sea kayaking programme.

Fitness to Travel

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Accommodation

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

One Ocean Voyager (Akademik Sergey Vavilov)

Designed for polar research, the One Ocean Voyager (Akademik Sergey Vavilov) is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, we have public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. A bar and observation lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team in our dining room. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool.

One Ocean: Ship overview | Cabin types available

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Special Experiences

  • Enjoy time Polar bear spotting
  • Explore magnificent Glaciers
  • Visit historic locations of early industry and exploration
  • View pristine Arctic scenery with endless photographic opportunities
  • Navigate along the polar pack ice edge searching for wildlife including seals, birdlife, beluga whales and more.
  • Experience the land of the midnight sun

Trip Info

Group Size

Transportation

Polar Expedition ship

Tips

Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $12-$15pp US per day

Tour Highlights

Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The ship's Captain and Expedition Leader will adjust the itinerary to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife

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