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Explore the northernmost region of Earth, the realm of the polar bear and the midnight sun, with AE Expeditions and New Scientist, onboard the state-of-the-art polar expedition vessel, Greg Mortimer. Witness polar bears on substantial ice flows (June is one of the best months to spot them) as well as a plethora of other wildlife species on land, sea and in the air. June is when Minke, humpback and fin whales arrive back to the Arctic having spent the winter in warmer tropical waters. During this time, the tundra and hillsides are in bloom as the ice melts away and endemic flowers begin to blossom. The towering cliffs and dramatic mountain ranges are teeming with millions of sea birds laying their eggs. 

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.

Onboard Expert

On this unique expedition cruise, you'll be joined by Richard Dawkins, one of the world's best-known evolutionary biologists and prominent atheists. 

He was the first Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, a position that was created by Charles Simonyi, the software billionaire, especially for him. He is famous for his combative attacks on religious belief and, academically, for arguing that natural selection operates at the level of the gene. Richard gained a zoology degree from the University of Oxford.

He has been described as 'the most influential science writer in the world' and has the unusual distinction of being a Fellow both of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature.

Life on board

Your Arctic Expedition is carefully curated with a mixture of incredible landings, Zodiac cruises, and insightful talks on board. Richard together with the New Scientist experts and expedition crew 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:

  • Arctic atmospheric phenomena.
  • Climate change and how to refreeze the Arctic.
  • Geology of Svalbard – ancient history, fossils and coal.
  • Physics and folktales of the Northern Lights.
  • Extremophiles – organisms that survive extreme conditions.
  • The largest land predator on Earth – the polar bear.
  • Polar whales and Arctic ecosystem engineering.
  • Arctic black smokers and the origin of life.
  • How to navigate in the polar environment.
  • Reading the weather patterns, the ice and the currents.
  • Underwater landslides and tsunamis.


  • Venture close to 80° north, searching for polar bears on pack ice.
  • Fascinating talks from evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins plus New Scientist contributors and expedition crew.
  • Discover the thrill of seeing species such as walrus, seals, whales, reindeer, arctic fox, guillemots and puffins.
  • Cruise along blue glacier fronts and through stunning fjords on a purpose-built intimate polar expedition ship.
  • Enjoy tundra hikes amid stunningly beautiful scenery.
  • Daily Zodiac boat safaris exploring fjords and glaciers.

Price Includes

  • 10 nights aboard the polar expedition vessel, the Greg Mortimer.
  • Full board throughout the cruise including snacks, tea and coffee. Plus beer, house wine and soft drinks at dinner.
  • 1 night at a hotel in Oslo with breakfast.
  • Return flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
  • Captains Welcome and Farewell receptions onboard.
  • Talks from Richard Dawkins and New Scientist guest speakers.
  • Talks and guided activities from the onboard expedition team.
  • All zodiac cruising and landing activities led by the expedition team.
  • Transfers between airports, hotels and your ship
  • Free limited wi-fi onboard.
  • 3-in-1 AE Expeditions polar jacket.
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage.
  • Photo log of the expedition by the onboard photographer.
  • Daily cabin service.
  • Half-day exploring Longyearbyen.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
  • 24-hour support.

Secure your space today by calling one of our Travel Specialists on 0203 196 1000 or enquire here


Day 1 : Arrive in to Oslo

After touching down at Oslo airport, you will be met and take a short transfer to a nearby hotel. The New Scientist Discovery Tours team and AE Expeditions will be on hand to welcome you and discuss pre-embarkation procedures. We will make sure the next day's flight to Svalbard and embarcation go as smoothly as possible.

If you have time, we recommend taking the short journey into the thriving capital city of Oslo. With innovative architecture, captivating landmarks and an inspired food scene. This very green city is covered with parks and forests, but it’s the fjord piercing into the city centre that sets this capital apart. Explore the Botanical Gardens, go island hopping or visit the new Munch Museum, dedicated to the life and works of artist Edvard Munch.

Day 2 : Fly to Svalbard, Explore Longyearbyen & Embarkation
Days 3 to 11 : Svalbard Archipelago
Day 12 : Disembarkation & Return to Oslo

Departures and Prices

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Enquire About Richard Dawkins Arctic Expedition with New Scientist

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We'll compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators to find your perfect cruise.

Our prices are amongst the best you'll find, plus look out for Polar Routes exclusive offers!

As supporters of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, booking with us helps support the work of the trust within Antarctica.

All our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind.


Why book with Polar Routes?

  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators.
  • From former Russian research vessels to larger and luxurious ships - there is an expedition cruise to suit you. 
  • Our Polar Specialists will help you choose the perfect expedition cruise for your requirements.
  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know all the polar destinations inside out.
  • Our expert team of Polar Specialists have extensive knowledge of all the expedition ships & operators.
  • All of our Polar Specialists have first-hand experience of expedition cruising to the polar regions.
  • Our prices are amongst the best you'll find, plus look out for Polar Routes exclusive offers!
  • All our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind.
  • As supporters of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, booking with us helps support the work of the trust within Antarctica.