If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition, this is it. Explore the western edge of Spitsbergen and some outlying northern areas home to polar bears and walrus. Come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and look for whales in the water.
Joining you on this exclusive departure will be photographer Steve Davey. Steve is an experienced Arctic photographer, and brings a unique blend of tailored tuition, encouragement and boundless enthusiasm to every tour he accompanies. He has led a number of travel photography tours to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations. He'll be on hand to give you detailed instruction about taking the best landscape and wildlife images on this expedition. Meet Steve on the first night in Longyearbyen for a three course welcome dinner and drinks. This is also a great chance to find out what to expect on your Arctic adventure.
Steve will provide practical photography tuition to ensure you bring home spectacular images. Although the primary focus of this photography trip will be to help you to take better pictures the Arctic, Steve will use the time on board to help improve your general travel photography skills. Join him for a range of illustrated talks, group practical sessions, photographic tasks and group and personal review sessions. He will cover exposure, shooting in RAW, composition and also the post processing of your images. He will share advice and insights about why the Arctic conditions are so unique and provide simple yet comprehensive solutions to dramatically improve your Arctic photography. Come home with a perfectly finished set of pictures to amaze your family and friends.
Based in London, Steve’s love of travel has taken him to some 87 countries. He has also written a number of international best-selling BBC books: Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (BBC Books, 2004) and Unforgettable Islands to See Before You Die (BBC Books 2007). His recent book, Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books, 2008) is one of the leading titles on travel and location photography and covers all aspects of travelling with a camera.
Private group Zodiac convoys will give you the chance to get to know Steve, and utilise his photographic experience in this region. This departure follows the standard Spitsbergen Explorer itinerary but an additional nights' accommodation in Longyearbyen has been included before embarkation.
Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.
Meals included: 1 dinner
Arrive at the small town of Longyearbyen before 5pm and settle into your hotel. This evening, join host Steve Davey for a three course welcome dinner, where you'll get to meet him and hear more about what to expect on your Arctic adventure. Spend the next 10 days benefitting from his photography knowledge and expertise.
Arrival Transfers: A representative will meet all flights arriving into Longyearbyen after 12 midday. If you arrive before this and would like transfers, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
Meals included: 1 dinner
Your Spitsbergen adventure voyage 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 settlement.
Meals included: 9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
These days are spent exploring the coast, moving generally in a clockwise direction. There will be ample time for shore excursions, where we can simply sit on the beach and take it all in or enjoy energetic hiking, wildlife spotting or stunning Zodiac cruises. Since our itinerary is difficult to predict due to ever-changing ice conditions, we’ve provided some samples of possible excursions we may undertake from Day 3 through to Day 11. We may not have time to visit all these spots, but no matter where we end up, it is guaranteed that our explorations will involve many memorable moments. We may also visit other locations should their beauty or interest warrant it.
You will also enjoy daily presentations from Steve Davey ensuring you take home the best possible pictures of this unforgettable Arctic journey.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
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.
Flights should be booked into and out of Longyearbyen.
Note: Weather or other conditions may require changes to our itinerary and shore excursions.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.Insurance
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Arctic pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking. A second information manual dealing with Arctic history, geology, geography, marine and bird life will also be provided with final documents.
Please note that due to the exploratory nature of this expedition, weather, ice, wildlife or other conditions may require changes be made to the itinerary and/or cancellation of certain shore excursions. Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints. We shall fit in as many stops as is practical along the way allowing you to experience as much as possible of this wonderful area. The locations mentioned in this itinerary are just some of the highlights of our fascinating expedition of discovery and exploration and we shall attempt further landings wherever and whenever time and local conditions permit.
In addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is possible to purchase souvenirs in some locations such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, caps and some really good knitwear on many of the shore excursions, which include visits to towns or villages. In addition some museums and sites charge entry fees and in some locations you may wish to buy some food and drink (although the meals on the ship are very good and plentiful!). Visa and MasterCard are accepted on board our ship, but elsewhere they are of limited use. Please remember that all on-board services are charged in US dollars and your on board account (bar, gift shop, medical, gratuities) can be paid for by either US dollars cash, US dollars travellers cheques and the following credit cards - Visa and MasterCard. Norwegian kroners are accepted in Svalbard.
Please read our Arctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Longyearbyen, to protect yourself against the inclement weather. A Zodiac transfer from the pier to the ship is likely to take place on Day 1, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing.
4. Motion sickness:
Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.
We suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.
6. Sea kayaking:
There are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required.
Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrolment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size form. These forms must be completed
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
15 December 2013