A flexible itinerary allows the cruise to take advantage of favourable ice and weather conditions. Search for walruses, seals, reindeer, Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears. Shore walks and Zodiac landings will bring you up close to the mystical settings and passing icebergs. Each day the expedition leader and Captain will determine the best course, depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife encountered, with the possibility of enjoying:
Ice Cruising - With the strengthened hull of Silver Explorer, you have the perfect platform to search for walrus and Polar Bears as at least one day is devoted to exploring the pack ice north of Spitsbergen. Conditions permitting, your expedition leader may choose to take you out in the Zodiacs for an even closer look.
Bellsund - Pushing about 50 miles into Spitsbergen is the more than 12-mile wide Bellsund. At the entrance of the fjord you are likely to encounter some Common Eiders, Arctic Terns, and Arctic Skuas. Snow Bunting and Purple Sandpipers are also common in the area. The plan is to explore the seldom-visited Van Keulenfjord, where you'll witness awe-inspiring landscapes as you trek along the tundra.
Prins Karls Forland — Off the west coast of Spitsbergen, you'll encounter the island of Prins Karl Forland with cragged mountains, massive glaciers and remarkable wildlife. The entire island and the surrounding seas make up Forlandet National Park and members of the expedition team will take you ashore at Poolepynten, a well-known walrus hang out, where the marine biologist explains the habits and habitat of these amazing creatures.
Edgeøya - Enter the realm of the Polar Bear on the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Conditions permitting, you'll go ashore at the hard-to-get-to Diskobukta, where you'll discover interesting fauna and flora and take a walk amongst thousands of kittiwakes and a few Arctic Foxes. The coastal waters often provide fantastic opportunities to see walrus and Polar Bear on ice floes too.
Barentsøya - Just north of Edgeøya lies the fourth-largest island in Svalbard. Here you'll be immersed in a wide tundra landscape, perfect for long hikes and short walks, and you may also encounter Polar Bears and discover the ruins of 15th-century Russian Pomors.
Hornsund - The southernmost fjord on the rugged west coast of Spitsbergen Island. Jagged mountain peaks tower above glacier-filled bays. Listen for the crash of white thunder as huge chunks of ice fall into the fjord. Amidst floating iceberg jewels, watch for Bearded Seals, the rare Beluga Whale and the king of the Arctic — the Polar Bear. Sightings are fairly common as the Polar Bear’s favourite food, the Ringed Seal, breeds here in the fjord. The surrounding bird cliffs are home to thousands of pairs of nesting Little Auks, and you may also visit the Polish research station or the remains of whaling stations and trappers’ huts.
Day 12 / Longyearbyen to Oslo, Norway
Following breakfast, you will disembark Silver Explorer and transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Oslo. Upon arrival into Oslo you will be transferred to your overnight accommodation (Radisson Blue or similar).
Day 13 / Depart
You will be transferred back to Oslo airport for your onward departure.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Colin, your expedition leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for photography and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity.