12 days

Tromso, Bear Island and Spitsbergen 2015

Tromso, Bear Island and Spitsbergen 2015

Iceland’s only native land mammal, the Arctic Fox

Splash out in Reykjavik’s pools

Walk Reykjavik’s Laugavegur day or night

Musk Ox

Arctic Exploration

Fjords, icebergs and Inuit, East Coast of Greenland

Greenland Sea

Trip rating
  • Venture from Tromsø deeper into the Arctic Circle past iconic fjords towards the usually ice-bound Svalbard Archipelago. We’ll discover the rarely-visited Bear Island, an important bird area. We’ll explore the wildlife haven of Spitsbergen, a rugged land of deep fjords, mountains and ice sheets. And we’ll spend our time here searching for walrus, seals, reindeer, arctic fox and the illusive polar bear. You’ll also marvel at the colorfully-carpeted tundra which we’ll be able to see first-hand on some of our hikes.

     

    Sea Kayaking

    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers! Our sea-kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea.

    Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, sea-kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. We require you to have some prior sea-kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.

    More information about your Kayaking, including physical requirements and cost of each option is available by contacting Peregrine.

     

    Possible Landings and Wildlife Sightings

    HAMMERFEST
    Hammerfest is known as the center of Sami culture, the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. It is also the oldest town in Norway, though it was almost completely destroyed in WWII.

    PORSANGERFJORDEN
    Porsangerfjorden is Norway’s fourth-longest fjord at 76mi (123km), and an amazing example of the legendary Norwegian fjords.

    BEAR ISLAND
    Bear Island, the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago, is poorly named. Bears are rarely seen here, but hundreds of thousands of sea birds call it home.

    LILLIEHÖÖK GLACIER
    In 1906, His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson visited the glacier 100 years later. He, too, was part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the Arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam’s shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water’s temperature and pollutant content by studying the shell.

    LONGYEARBYEN
    Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the shore of Isfjorden. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.

     

    MONACO GLACIER
    HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honors the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned.

    NORDAUSTLANDET ISLAND
    This is the second-largest island in the entire Svalbard Archipelago. The largest glacier in Europe is located on the island, which is a known habitat for reindeer and walrus.

    PALANDERBUKTA
    On the western coast, this bay stretches south and east from the Wahlenberg Fjord. This is a typical Polar desert scene where the ‘ice bear’ can sometimes be seen roaming in search of food.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Tromsø, Norway

    You may plan to arrive early to see all that Tromsø has to offer before boarding the Ocean Nova in the afternoon.

    Dinner

    Day 2 - Hammerfest

    Hammerfest is known as the center of Sami culture, the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. It’s also the oldest town in Norway, though it was almost completely destroyed in WWII. You’ll also be invited here to join the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, which is neither royal nor ancient  (founded in 1963) but membership does include a hat and a pin.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - Porsangerfjorden and Nordkapp

    Porsangerfjorden is Norway’s fourth longest fjord at 76mi (123km), and an amazing example of the legendary Norwegian fjords. We’ll visit one of the small settlements for a taste of smalltown Norway. As we head out to sea, we’ll pass by Nordkapp, with its 1,000ft (307m) high cliff face.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Bear Island

    Today we will have a full lecture schedule in advance of our landing at Bear Island, the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago. It is poorly named as we rarely find polar bears here, but we will encounter hundreds of thousands of sea birds. It has been identified as an ‘Important Bird Area’
    by Bird Life International on account of the great numbers of northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, little auks and thick-billed guillemots. We will also find the remnants of a whaling station in Walrus Bay and a coal mining station in the north. Due to the cold and dry climate, you’ll find the ruins to  be remarkably-well preserved.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5-11 - Exploring Spitsbergen

    We’ll sail around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary, however we do have some favorite destinations, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Monaco Glacier and Gashamna. The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Hornsund being one of their preferred hunting areas.
    Poolepynton is great for walrus viewing and photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.
    If you’re itching for a more personal and intimate view of the Arctic scenery, consider booking the optional kayaking excursions which will give you several occasions to paddle during your voyage to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen. Smeerenburg is a great place for a snowshoeing excursion, if conditions permit. You can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site remembers the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions.
    There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species, a polar bear on the hunt, or a century-old abandoned hut.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14 - Disembarkation in Longyearbyen

    Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you directly to the airport for your flight home.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount. Onboard you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and zodiac operations.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Ocean Nova

    Ocean Nova

    Built in Denmark in 1992, the Ocean Nova delivers clean, crisp Scandinavian styling and has a reputation as an excellent ship for expeditions to Antarctica. Originally built to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland, Ocean Nova’s ice-strengthened hull has enabled the ship to park in the ice of the Weddell Sea! With a glass-enclosed observation lounge, a presentation room on the top deck, and all ensuite cabins, this expedition vessel is a comfortable option for discovering the polar regions. With a maximum of just 83 guests, the Ocean Nova offers a more intimate, small group, expedition experience with all the benefits that affords.

    Departure Dates for the Ocean Nova

  • From our Blog

    Capture the Arctic: tips from photographer Steve Davey

     
    Polar bear cubs | Photography by Steve Davey

    With his very own Arctic photography trip on the Peregrine roster, experienced Arctic photographer Steve Davey is perhaps one of the most qualified lensmen in the world to offer advice on how best to capture the...

    Read on...

    Tips for photographing the Arctic

    In so many ways The Arctic is overwhelming.  It is simply huge in scale, and in many cases travellers into the region can be made feel like they are little ants in a world of snow, ice, and water. It is also such a foreign place to most, as very few people live in a world anything close to...

    Read on...

    Put yourself in this picture

    We posted this image on Facebook recently, and invited our fans to play our new game, Picture Yourself With Peregrine. We also asked if they could picture themselves in the Arctic.

    Here's a few of the responses from those who have been, and those who are still dreaming of their...

    Read on...

    See the Arctic through a leader's eyes

    Read Peregrine expedition leader David "Woody" Wood's fascinating account of his recent Svalbard, East Greenland and Iceland voyage:

    Sailing across to East Greenland we had calm seas and light winds - an auspicious start to the second stanza of our voyage.

    A calm sea...

    Read on...

    Dress for success: Tips for packing the right clothes

    Packing the right clothing for certain destinations is important. It can mean the difference between entering a temple and missing out because your shoulders are exposed. Or having fingers that are too cold to work the camera and missing out on a breathtaking photo.

    So here's a quick guide...

    Read on...
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPTB15
Start City: Tromsø
End City: Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen

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