SPECIAL GUEST: CHRISTOPH HÖBENREICH
August 16, Longyearbyen (Svalbard)
August 28, Longyearbyen (Svalbard)
M/v Sea Spirit
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight, you are free to explore this small but fascinating settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
In the afternoon, we welcome you aboard the expedition ship Sea Spirit; transfers from the hotel are included. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home-away-from-home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate our surroundings as we slip our moorings and sail into a true polar wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through Isfjorden on our first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal sightings.
Svalbard is a true High Arctic wilderness and flexibility will be the key in our ability to maximize your experiences. Our route and exploration opportunities here are heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions we encounter. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic. We anticipate exploring in the northwestern part of the island of Spitsbergen. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing. We will try to reach the entrance of the Hinlopen Strait and see the beautiful fjords.
Jagged snowy mountain peaks flank deep fjords and narrow channels. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to a wide variety of marine mammals. Polar bears can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard.
Also in this area is Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers, complete with museum, gift shop, and post office. This was also a staging area for historic attempts to discover the North Pole.
From Svalbard we head southwest across the Greenland Sea toward East Greenland. In these far northern latitudes, it is possible to encounter sea ice any time of the year. All along the way, we remain vigilant for sightings of marine mammals such as seals, and the majestic polar bear. In previous eras, a large number of different species of whales, especially bowhead whales, lived in the Greenland Sea. But due to hunting which lasted into the 20th centur, the whales were on the verge of extinction. Now, fortunately, the populations are recovering, and sometimes we can see these majestic animals passing by.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic and it brings us new opportunities to explore. We will go on a true arctic adventure and feel the real breath of the Arctic. Our itinerary and exploration opportunities in East Greenland are dependent on weather and sea ice conditions. Again, you can be sure that our experienced captain and expedition leader will take advantage of every opportunity so that you can experience excellent wildlife viewing, discover incredible scenery and go ashore wherever possible. The Franz Josef Fjord and Kong Oscar Fjord systems are part of Northeast Greenland National Park, the world’s largest and perhaps most remote. This whole area contains some of the Arctic’s most magnificent scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by ice-clad peaks up to 2000 meters high, reach far into the mountainous heart of Greenland. Tidewater glaciers create colossal icebergs that float with wind and tide throughout the fjord system. On shore, fields of multicolored tundra are home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. The landscape — vast, open, and seemingly untouched since the beginning of time—is a hiker’s paradise. Throughout this area, we also find ancient Thule archeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and modern Inuit hunters’ cabins. To provide you with the best experience possible, Days 3-5 and 8-11 might be reversed. This allows our captain and expedition team to monitor the weather and sea conditions; remember: flexibility is the key to polar expedition cruising!
Following our exploration of the Northeast Greenland coastline and fjords, we head back across the Greenland Sea toward Svalbard. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent; but that’s up to you! Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
After you enjoy one final buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. We provide transfers to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar world!
In order to get the best experience and weather conditions, the sequence of cruise destinations to visit is subject to be inversed and you could feel a true expedition spirit.
Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Dr Christoph Höbenreich is a geographer as well as a certified mountain, ski and polar guide. In so far 20 expeditions he spent all in all two years in the ice and snow of the Arctic and Antarctic. Besides spending time in Franz Josef Land, he led ski expeditions to the North and South Pole, led the US polar base Mt Vinson Base camp, conquered the highest mountains of Antarctica, crossed Greenland by dog sled to only name a few achievements.
Kayaking fee $655 - A$885 - £505 - €625
Sea Kayak Club is typically offered on voyages that include High Arctic destinations such as Greenland, Svalbard (Spitsbergen), Franz Josef Land, or a combination of these thrilling places. Experience calving glaciers in Svalbard, cathedral-like icebergs in Greenland, or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from our sturdy and stealthy sea kayaks. Join us for an unscripted kayaking adventure as we explore rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have ever paddled.
The Polar Regions are perhaps the most photogenic on earth, with countless beautiful scenes presenting themselves every day. Endless expanses of ice, beaches crowded with seals or penguins, sunsets over unbroken horizons, starlit skies, and even the majestic northern lights – they all present fantastic photographic opportunities – and in order to make sure that you come home with some spectacular images we offer you the chance to learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional.
Our expert Photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting, with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
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