group of adventure travelers in yellow jackets line up below a jagged mountain while on a day tour of the spitsbergen explorer small ship cruise trip
lone arctic reindeer grazing on the tundra with snowy mountains behind it
adventure travelers on the spitsbergen in depth small ship cruise trip in a zodiac skiff on icy water with an iceberg in the distance
group of travelers with yellow jackets led by two guides in red on a shore excursion of the spitsbergen explorer arctic small ship cruise trip
people in yellow jackets sit in inflatable rafts to view a group of walruses laying on sea ice beyond them on a cloudy day in the arctic
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

The 12-day Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic expedition offers so many chances to connect with unique Arctic wildlife. The archipelago is home to the iconic polar bear, as well as whales, walrus, Svalbard reindeer and tens of thousands of seabirds.

Begin and end in Oslo, Norway’s capital city, where museums, restaurants and shops begin the subtle introduction to northern living. The bulk of this expedition-style voyage is spent exploring, observing and taking in the beauty of the High Arctic. With no set agenda other than to see wildlife and glacial beauty, nine whole days are dedicated to exploring south, west and north Spitsbergen, with no rush and no agenda. Expert guides and naturalist leaders are enthusiastic about spotting polar bears on the hunt, walruses hauling out, reindeer foraging and incredible bird species nesting, which means they are constantly searching for Arctic wildlife.

Only the most interesting stops might interrupt the wildlife search, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait. With or without animal sightings, exploring the tundra is a breathtaking experience—the natural beauty of the landscape is exhilarating, surprisingly colorful and striking. See the best that Spitsbergen has to offer via the western edge of the island, plus a few outlying northern regions. The Arctic has been inspiring explorers for centuries, and now you can discover why.

The Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic expedition begins and ends in Oslo, Norway with round-trip charter flights to and from Longyearbyen, Svalbard and is aboard the 128-guest Ocean Adventurer, an ice-stable ship equipped for personal and intimate Arctic exploration.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises.



Itinerary

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic Itinerary

This 12-day Arctic expedition around Spitsbergen begins and ends in Oslo, Norway with round-trip charter flights to and from Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic route map.
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Day 1
Arrive Oslo, Norway

This Arctic voyage begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. Guests who arrive early may enjoy the many museums, restaurants and green spaces on their own before retiring at the included airport hotel.

Accommodations

Hotel TBA

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard & Embark

This morning, transfer to the airport and board the private group charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, with some time to explore before embarkation. As the ship sets sail, enjoy the first views of Svalbard’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 11
Exploring Spitsbergen

Explore western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape is just as varied as the wildlife. While cruising around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, the expedition team constantly searches for wildlife. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, some of the possible visitor sites include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait.

Each destination is selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Spotting polar bears is more likely here than almost anywhere else, as the Svalbard archipelago is one of their preferred hunting areas. The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Coming across a walrus haul-out is an unforgettable moment, as these giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

For those itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, book the sea kayaking or paddling additional excursion adventure options. In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, see something interesting, whether it is unique Arctic wildlife a polar bear resting between hunts, or abandoned sites from centuries ago.

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Longyearbyen & Fly to Oslo, Norway

This Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, transfer to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals and snacks on board; soft drinks and juices on board; beer and house wine during dinner; all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced expedition leader; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by the expedition team and special guests as scheduled; photographic journal documenting the expedition; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; complimentary reusable water bottle (2020); hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader (2020); all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard the ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US $500,000 per person; transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day.

Exclusions

Mandatory Transfer Package (approximate package price is $895 in 2020 and $995 for 2021 and includes one night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen, and charter flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo); international airfare; arrival and departure transfers in Oslo; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended), or insurance of any kind; excess baggage fees on international flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, and any gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of voyage for shipboard staff and crew; additional overnight accommodation; any adventure options or excursions.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost 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 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:
Up to 120 days with 100% payment received – 100% of total trip cost retained, applied as a Future Travel Refund Credit for 120% of total trip cost
Up to 120 days with partial payment received – 100% of deposit + any additional partial payment retained, applied as a Future Travel Refund Credit
119 to 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 Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic cruise begins and ends in Oslo, Norway (OSL). Plan to arrive any time on day 1 of the itinerary. Check in time for the included group hotel is 3:00pm on day 1. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. An included group flight (with airport transfer) to Longyearbyen is on day 2 of the itinerary. The scheduled flight time will be communicated in your final documents.

On day 12 of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 7:00am and 8:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer downtown or to your hotel. Plan flights to depart Oslo no earlier than three hours following arrival of your group charter flight from Longyearbyen on day 12. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Group charter flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen are required on this trip’s itinerary; see the Mandatory Transfer Package information listed above under Exclusions. The flight to Longyearbyen is expected to depart early on day 2 of the itinerary. There is a luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage on the flights to and from Oslo. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Oslo; there is no option to pay for additional luggage. On day 12 of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 7:00 and 8:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Oslo.

Activities

Various optional activities may be available on your Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic cruise at the following per person costs: sea kayaking for $695 (2020 & 2021) and one-time paddling excursion for $195 (2020 & 2021). Hiking, Zodiac cruising, daily presentations, photography guides and the polar plunge are optional and included. Sea kayaking is arranged in small groups of 10 people, multiple times per voyage, and only conducted during calm weather conditions. You must have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit. Each departure’s first paddling excursion may be pre-booked and all subsequent outings are booked on the ship. Contact AdventureSmith for more details and to reserve your spot on these adventure activities.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Single cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth goes unsold, you will be guaranteed the double rate. Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x (2x for Premium cabins) the per-person listed rate in select cabins based upon availability. Premium Cabins are as follows:
Ocean Adventurer: Superior, Deluxe, Suite & Owner’s Suite

Families & Children

At date of embarkation, a minimum age restriction of 8 years and minimum height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48 in. or 1.2 m. tall) must be met. Children under 16 years of age must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times, and may not participate in adventure options.

Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of up to $500,000 USD per paying traveler provides coverage between the first and last day of ship-based travel and is included in the cost of this trip. For ship- and land-based trips, additional days of travel pre- and post-expedition are not covered. Travelers are responsible for having adequate international medical coverage prior to embarkation, with a minimum benefit of $50,000 USD. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers also protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex 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

May 23 - Jun 03, 2021
Ocean Adventurer • 12 days
From $8495USD
Per Person
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Jun 20 - Jul 01, 2021
Ocean Adventurer • 12 days
From $8495USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Ocean Adventurer

A handsome and newly refurbished expedition ship, the Ocean Adventurer combines travel to the polar regions with superior onboard comfort for her 128 passengers.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires November 30th, 2020
Flexible Cancellation Policy On Select 2021 & 2022 Arctic Expeditions

Book your 2021 or 2022 Arctic expedition with confidence using this risk-free, flexible cancellation policy.

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Offer expires November 30th, 2020
10% Early Booking Full Payment Bonus on Select 2021 & 2022 Arctic Expeditions

Book your select 2021 or 2022 Arctic expedition and make the full payment now to save an additional 10% on the voyage fare.

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Offer expires November 30th, 2020
Save 15-25% On Select 2022 Arctic Expeditions

Book your select 2022 Arctic cruise by November 30, 2020 to save 15-25% in this special early-booking deal.

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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Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

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