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Discover some of the most incredible sights in the Arctic, exploring the incredible national parks of the Svalbard archipelago, a magnificent wilderness where polar bears outnumber people. Marvel at the giant mountain peaks rising from the ocean in spectacular fjords, hike through arctic tundra keeping watch for reindeer and arctic fox, spot lazy walrus relaxing in hidden bays and Zodiac cruise around colossal ice-calving glaciers.
Day 1: Oslo / Longyearbyen
Day 2: Longyearbyen
Days 3 & 4: North West Spitsbergen National Park
Days 5 - 7: Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park
Day 8: National Park Beauty
Day 9: The Isfjord
Day 10: Longyearbyen
Day 1 – Oslo / Longyearbyen
Enjoy a day exploring Oslo, named the European Green Capital 2019. It’s an exciting city with a vibrant café & bar scene, numerous parks, a bustling harbour and many cultural landmarks including the Arstrup-Fearnley Museum of Arts, Barcode and the Opera House. In the evening you will then board your flight to Longyearbyen.
Stepping off the plane in Longyearbyen, you will feel like you have been transported to another planet… Welcome to the Arctic! You will be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 2 – Longyearbyen
Today you will enjoy a fascinating tour of Longyearbyen. With keen adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts and scientists from across the globe having re-located to Longyearbyen, despite it being located half way between the North Pole and mainland Norway, the small town has a vibrant international feel. Discover its charming brightly coloured buildings, charming cafes, interesting mining history and lively cosmopolitan atmosphere, before boarding your expedition ship ready for your exciting voyage.
Days 3 - 4 North West Spitsbergen National Park
The Captain and expedition team monitor weather and sea conditions to create a unique itinerary over the coming days, taking you to the depths of the stunning Svalbard wilderness. You may visit Kongsfjorden, a 26km long inlet home to incomprehensibly huge ice-blue glaciers. Keep watch for seals, walrus, whales and numerous migratory seabirds. Perhaps discover Ny-Ålesund, once a mining town but now transformed into an international hub for scientific research. In the north west region of Spitsbergen, you will learn of the region’s historic whaling history, and even spotting artefacts such as ancient blubber ovens from the early 17th century.
The captain may lead the expedition to the Magdalenafjorden and Gravneset areas, providing opportunity for kayaking and hiking. Discover the impressive Monacabreen glacier aboard Zodiacs, where you could see gigantic chunks of ice (some as big as container ships) falling from the glacier into the sea, creating a thunderous crack which echoes for miles around.
Days 5 - 7 Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park
Venturing to the north east of Svalbard, you enter the realm of the polar bear! This region is known for having the highest population in Svalbard, and all eyes will be keeping watch in anticipation of spotting the Arctic’s supreme predator. Ice and weather conditions permitting, the expedition will head to Isflakbukta on Phippsøya, one of the Seven Islands. The area is resident to tens of thousands of seabirds including little auk, puffins and guillemots, as well as rich marine life including many walruses who lounge in the shallow bay. The crew aim to lead you towards the historic 17th century battle ground of Sorgfjorden, potentially depending on ice conditions, guiding you on Zodiacs around the Hinlopen Strait spotting wildlife or perhaps providing opportunity to hike amongst the arctic tundra. Other possible landing destinations include Torellneset, providing further opportunity to spot curious walrus.
The expedition advances on towards the island of Edgeøya, one of the largest in the Svalbard archipelago. The west is predominantly un-glaciated, with plateau shaped mountains and wide-open valleys. The rich tundra provides an ideal habitat for reindeer, and the coastal cliffs are home to vast colonies of Kittiwakes. Artic fox, walrus and polar bear sightings are also a possibility. Kapp Lee, located on the northwest of the island is a fascinating place to discover more about the trapper and research history of Svalbard throughout the last three centuries.
The Captain will navigate the ship around the southern tip of Spitsbergen, to the stunning Hornsund, known to be one of the most beautiful fjords. Ocean currents draw lots of ice into the fjord, making the region an important migratory region for polar bears. With towering mountains rising from the sea, shimmering glaciers & drifting ice-floes, the scenery is spectacular and picture-postcard Arctic heaven.
Day 8 National Park Beauty
The ship will set sail to the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund hosts a wonderfully varied landscape and geology. Ice pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the floes, so with a bit of luck, you may spot some of these magnificent predators.
Day 9 The Isfjord
Today you will enjoy exploring Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard. Cruising through this glaciated region, there is potential to spot a wide variety of marine wildlife including adorable ringed and bearded seals, often seen around the glacier fronts. There maybe potential to enjoy a BBQ out on deck, enjoying the fantastic scenery of this untouched Arctic world.
Day 10 Longyearbyen
Following breakfast, you bid farewell to your new friends and expedition family. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Oslo, leaving the Arctic with incredible memories.
The MS Fram is a purpose built 11,600- ton vessel that incorporates all the best of both practical and traditional design. Her 127 cabins carry passengers to the most remote locations on Earth in comfort and style. Because the ship is slightly larger than other expedition ships, it offers more in the way of on-board facilities and comfort.
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