photographer, mountains, arctic waters, port side of small cruise ship
white and yellow wildflowers seen on national geographic svalbard in spring small ship cruise
polar bear and two cubs on the ice seen on national geographic svalbard in spring cruise
bearded seal seen on national geographic svalbard in spring arctic cruise
two walruses touching in water on national geographic svalbard in spring arctic cruise
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears

The 11-day National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears voyage sails north just as the spring sun mounts higher in the Arctic sky. Scan the icescapes for emerging bears, walrus and other wildlife. Walk on a frozen sea. This early in the year, Svalbard is even wilder, making this small ship cruise unique and memorable for first time and veteran Svalbard sailors.

Arctic Svalbard, a remote archipelago situated just over 350 miles north of Norway’s North Cape, is a place of deep fjords, mountains and massive sheets of ice. During summer, when the sun never sets, the tundra experiences a warm revival and becomes carpeted with wildflowers, sleepy walrus, reindeer and hunting polar bear. During the spring, Svalbard is stunning with vistas of snow and ice. The changing light initiates a true awakening as this part of the world transitions from polar night to polar day. Even experienced Arctic sailors find this moment to be remarkable, so special that it deserves its own itinerary. Watch the frozen world awaken alongside expert naturalists, experienced crew and National Geographic photographers, whose goal is to spot the earliest risers of polar bears, walrus and reindeer.

Sail around Svalbard in Spring aboard the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance. With a polar ice class 5 rating, state-of-the-art educational equipment and highly qualified naturalist guides, she is the ideal ship for an Arctic cruise. After daily explorations via hiking, kayaking and Zodiac cruising, relax in the sauna, yoga room, library or bar, then watch her crush through ice from the bridge or deck and enjoy the highest technologies in ice-stable small ship cruising.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises.



Itinerary

Land of the Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration of Arctic Svalbard Itinerary

The 11-day National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears voyage begins and ends in Oslo, Norway with a flight to sail from Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

National Geographic Svalbard in Spring route map around Spitsbergen.
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Days 1 - 2
Fly to Oslo, Norway

Fly overnight to Oslo. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. In the afternoon, explore the charming city of Oslo. Stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures set in terraced Frogner Park. Visit the Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen.

Accommodations

Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a (day 1); breakfast and dinner (day 2)

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Day 3
Fly to Longyearbyen & Embark

Depart Oslo on a charter flight and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. On arrival, visit the Svalbard Museum to learn the story of Svalbard and its context in Norway and the Arctic, from 17th-century whaling to modern mining, research and tourism. Then tour the Gallery Svalbard to view the permanent art and cultural collections as well as studios of local artists. Embark National Geographic Endurance, home base for the next six days.

Accommodations

National Geographic Endurance

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 4 - 9
Exploring Svalbard

Travel in the archipelago is truly exploratory by design and the exact day-to-day movements will remain flexible, depending on local conditions. The main focus is the search for Svalbard’s amazing wildlife: polar bear, reindeer and walrus. While cruising in Svalbard’s fjords, venture to the foot of stunning tidewater glaciers, tour in Zodiacs among beautiful icebergs and even set foot on the frozen ice right off the ship. Expect to take advantage of the incredible, ever-changing light and exceptional photographic conditions.

Accommodations

National Geographic Endurance

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Disembark Longyearbyen & Fly to Oslo

Disembark in Longyearbyen, meet up with a local guide and take a short bus ride to Camp Barentz in the nearby Advent Valley for a taste of Arctic culture. Discover a unique collection of buildings including an authentic gamme, a traditional round building with an open fire in the center, and a lavvo, the traditional tent of the Sami people. Enjoy refreshments and meet some of the friendly, sled dog huskies that reside at camp. Fly back to Oslo and overnight at the SAS Radisson Blue Airport Hotel.

Accommodations

SAS Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, or similar

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 11
Depart Oslo, Norway

After breakfast, proceed to the airport for the flight home or continue on to other adventures.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Two hotel nights in Oslo; accommodations; meals indicated; alcoholic beverages (except premium brands); excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; gratuities to ship’s crew.

Exclusions

Air transportation; Roundtrip Charter Flight Oslo-Longyearbyen ($890 per person 2020, subject to change); insurance of any kind; personal items such as internet, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $1,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 or more days – $750 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
179-120 days – 100% of deposit
119-90 days – 25% of total trip cost
89-60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59-0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears cruise begins and ends in Oslo, Norway (OSL). Embarkation time may vary as it is based upon arrival of group flights from New York, New York (JFK). Disembarkation times may vary depending on local conditions on day 10. Plan departing flights after breakfast on day 11 of the itinerary. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

The round-trip charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen is not included in the cruise price, but is arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled charter flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. See Exclusions for sample airfare rates, subject to change.

There is a strict luggage limit of one checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs (23 kg), and one carry-on bag weighing up to 18 lbs (8 kg) plus a personal item that can be stowed under the seat. In Oslo, arrangements can be made to store excess luggage which can then be delivered back to you upon your return from Svalbard.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, kayaking, Zodiac excursions, photography, morning yoga and stretching, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Apr 26 - May 06, 2021
National Geographic Endurance • 11 days
From $11750USD
Per Person
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May 03 - May 13, 2021
National Geographic Endurance • 11 days
From $11750USD
Per Person
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May 10 - May 20, 2021
National Geographic Endurance • 11 days
From $11750USD
Per Person
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May 17 - May 27, 2021
National Geographic Endurance • 11 days
From $11750USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Endurance

The 126-guest National Geographic Endurance is the newest addition to the National Geographic fleet. This expedition ship is specifically designed for stability and sustainability as well as for in-depth education and an unmatched range of exploration in the polar regions.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Arctic Cruise Cancellation Available Close To Departure

Book or re-book 2021 Arctic travel aboard the National Geographic fleet with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Arielle Lightcap • January 7th, 2020
Expert Review: What to Expect on a Polar Bear Cruise

A travel expert lends her Arctic cruise insight on what you can expect aboard a small ship polar bear cruise in the Arctic Svalbard region.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears

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