Discover the secrets of magical Svalbard, with AE 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 Rowan Hooper, podcast editor of New Scientist and previously features editor, where he spent more than 10 years writing about all aspects of science. He has a PhD in evolutionary biology and worked as a biologist in Japan for five years, before joining The Japan Times in Tokyo as science editor. Two collections of his long-running column for the paper have been published in Japan, and his work has also appeared in The Economist, The Guardian, Wired and The Washington Post.
His first book, Superhuman: Life at the extremes of mental and physical ability, was named in 2018 as a Sunday Times Book Of The Year. He has recently published his second book How to Spend a Trillion Dollars.
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:
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 the thrill of departure as the crew ‘throw the lines’ and set sail through the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot in one of the observation areas to watch seabirds, including graceful ivory gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots.
In the evening, you will get to know your fellow guests and the friendly Expedition Team at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
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.
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