11 days

Spitsbergen Explorer 2015

Spitsbergen Explorer 2015

The Walrus of Moffen Island

The groans of 14th of July Glacier

Polar bears

On board to a strange new world at Longyearbyen

Walk or kayak around Blubber Town: Smeerenburg

Trip rating
  • If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition, this is it. You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some outlying northern areas home to polar bears and walrus. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and watch for whales in the water. This is the perfect expedition for exploring the "wildlife capital of the Arctic".

     

    Adventure Options

    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. This activity needs to be needs to be secured upon booking.

     

    Snow Shoeing:

    A novel way to experience the beauty of the Polar landscape, and discover remote alcoves and hidden valleys. The rewards of walking atop the snow are well worth the effort, as we’ll be able to visit new places that are inaccessible on foot. This traditional means of transport across the deep snow comes from the indigenous people of North America.
    While you can appreciate a connection with the past, the snowshoes we use today are much lighter and more forgiving than the old wood-weave snowshoes used during the days of the North American fur trade.

    This activity is included in the price of the voyage.

    Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Longyearbyen - Embarkation Day

    Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll get great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside village.

    Arrival Transfers: A representative will meet all flights arriving into Longyearbyen on the day of embarkation. If you arrive before this and would like transfers, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Accommodation: No pre voyage hotel accommodation is included in the voyage price. If you arrive prior to embarkation day and need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Dinner

    Day 2-10 - Around Svalbard

    Your expedition will explore western Spitsbergen as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. We’ll cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, and your Expedition Team will be constantly searching for wildlife.

    Each expedition presents new opportunities so we have no fixed itinerary, however we do hope to visit some of our favorite destinations, including 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsoya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Straight.
    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 Phippsoya being one of their preferred hunting areas since the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide many free bird egg meals for both them and the Arctic fox.
    Torellneset and Phippsoya are great places for walrus photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget either. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

    If you’re itching to get a little closer to the action, you can book the kayaking option and take an excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen. Smeerenburg is a great place for snowshoeing (optional and complimentary outings on selected voyages), where 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 or an abandoned site from centuries ago.

    POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS

    ALKEFJELLET

    This cliff is a seabird centre, where brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs raise their young here in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests, rather they lay an egg on the bare ledge.

    KAPP LEE, EDGEØYA

    This is a well-known walrus haul out. The pink colour to a walrus’ hide as it lies in the sun is caused by blood pumped to the skin’s surface to aid cooling, similar to that of a hippopotamus in Africa!

    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 honours 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.

    PHIPPSØYA & MARTENSØYA, SEVEN ISLANDS

    This small archipelago is the northernmost land in Svalbard. Englishmen left their mark during a survey of the islands in the 1780s. The party named the islands after themselves, with the smallest and least significant island being named Nelsonøya, after the lowly midshipman.

    IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11 - Longyearbyen

    The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Accommodation: No post voyage hotel accommodation is included in the voyage price. If you need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board throughout your voyage
    • All shore landings per the daily program
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
    • A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
    • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
    • A waterproof expedition parka to keep
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    • A selection of non-alcoholic beverages
    • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    • All luggage handling aboard ship

    Not Included

    • Passport and any applicable visa expenses
    • Government arrival and departure taxes
    • Any meals ashore
    • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Laundry and other personal charges
    • Telecommunications charges
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
    • Optional sea-kayaking activities

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures, Zodiac operations, polar bear management and firearm safety (there is a good chance that we will see some of these magnificent animals during this trip, but extreme care must be taken if we ever encounter them whilst we are ashore!).

  • 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

    Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    This Polar Adventure Ship was built in 1975. Sea Adventurer (formerly know as the Clipper Adventurer) underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998. Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed, elegance. Sea Adventurer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. All cabins have outside views and facilities en suite.

    Sea Adventurer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining, and cabins with exterior views and facilities en suite.

    Departure Dates for the Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    • 26 Jun 2015 - 06 Jul 2015
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPSE15
Start City: Longyearbyen
End City: Longyearbyen

What to know

Flights should be booked into and out of Longyearbyen.

Note: Weather or other conditions may require changes to our itinerary and shore excursions.

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