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Discover the secrets of magical Svalbard, with Aurora Expeditions and New Scientist, deeply exploring magnificent fjords abundant with wildlife. Zodiac cruise past enormous glaciers, spot beluga whales surfacing in the crystalline waters and witness thousands of guillemots nesting in dramatic cliff faces. Enter the pack ice to spot seals and the iconic polar bear. Walk through the tundra’s beautiful microflora, keeping watch for reindeer and arctic fox, and discover long-lost exploration camps and old trapper huts.
Your onboard expedition team will help you experience a range of activities including Zodiac boat safaris (investigating coves, glaciers and wildlife), guided hikes (exploring pristine beaches and stunning wilderness) and photography (helping you to improve your skills with a camera). They will aim to deliver two shore excursions every day.
On this unique expedition cruise, you'll be joined by marine biologist, writer and broadcaster, Dr Helen Scales. Helen is the author of several books including the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time, New Scientist book of the year Eye of the Shoal, and the children’s book, The Great Barrier Reef. She writes for National Geographic Magazine, the Guardian, and New Scientist, among others. On the radio, she has presented several documentaries for the BBC.
She teaches at Cambridge University and is a science advisor for the marine conservation charity Sea Changers. Her research focus is on marine conservation and the inter-relations between people and oceans, particularly in the context of habitat protection and the international wildlife trade. She has previously worked for several conservation organisations including the World Wide Fund for Nature, TRAFFIC International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and Natural England.
Your Arctic Expedition is carefully curated with a mixture of incredible landings, Zodiac cruises, and insightful talks on board. Helen will accompany you on the activities and will give a series of private talks, as well as fireside chats covering a broad range of polar science such as:
Days 1: Oslo
Day 2: Longyearbyen
Days 3-11: Svalbard archipelago
Day 12: Longyearbyen
Fly from London to Oslo where you will overnight at the Radisson Blu Oslo Airport hotel. Enjoy a reception service at the hotel.
You will arrive in the Northernmost city in the world and have some time to explore the city before boarding your ship, Greg Mortimer.
Enjoy a unique experience exploring the stunning Svalbard archipelago, accompanied by New Scientist experts and an incredible team of expedition leaders.
Svalbard offers Arctic wilderness at its best. Aurora's experienced expedition team, have made countless journeys to this area and will use their expertise to choose the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea-ice conditions and wildlife encounters.
Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus on pack ice or on beaches. On land, stretch you'll stretch your legs on walks across the tundra, filled with brightly-coloured wildflowers. Visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are your encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your expedition team is just as keen as you to find them— they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures.
If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you’ll have the option to enjoy the activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you’ll hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating plunge, a memory you’ll savour for years to come. There will also be the opportunity to scuba diving, depending on conditions.
Your ship will arrive back in the capital of Spitsbergen, where you will disembark for your return flight to Oslo and onward journey home. You may also have the option to spend a final night in Oslo before you depart.
The Greg Mortimer is named after the Australian polar explorer, mountaineer and Aurora founder, Greg Mortimer. Its the first ship in a series of landmark, purpose-built Polar Expedition ships for Aurora and features a state-of-the-art 'x-bow design', which has a piercing effect on smaller waves, making for a much smoother voyage.
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We'll compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators to find your perfect cruise.
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