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West Spitsbergen is one of the iconic wildlife destinations of the polar regions alongside spectacular mountain and iceberg landscapes.
On this itinerary you’ll have the opportunity to explore the north-polar ice cap in search of polar bears and whilst cruising along with the Spitsbergen coast spot species such as walrus, Arctic fox, whales, and seabirds.
Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by a representative and driven by a shared vehicle to your hotel for the evening which is included in the cruise package.
After settling into your surroundings, the rest of your day will be spent at leisure. We recommend visiting the excellent Svalbard Museum, doing some shopping, or enjoying the last meal before your expedition begins tomorrow.
Your Lightfoot Travel Designer can advise on further activities prior to departure.
After breakfast you’ll have the morning at leisure before being privately escorted to your luxury expedition ship, M/V Sea Spirit.
You’ll have time to explore the ship and listen to a safety briefing before the ship slips its moorings and sails into true wilderness.
The scenery of Isfjorden on your first evening is spectacular and offers the possibility of spotting walrus, Arctic fox, reindeer, a variety of whales and seals, and of course, polar bears.
Throughout your time on M/V Sea Spirit, your route and exploration opportunities will be heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions.
Your experienced captain and expedition leader will decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. Look out for polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard.
Continue your journey through incredible fjords, coasts, and islands in the north-western part of Svalbard. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities.
When you’re not busying yourself with activities, relax in the two large lounges, enjoy a soak in your private hot tub, unwind in the library, or hit the gym for a workout.
In the evening, enjoy a sumptuous meal followed by a lecture by one of the onboard experts, such as British Polar Explorer Felicity Aston.
Spend today sailing through fjords and narrow channels flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Here, immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters, and on ice floes and fast ice several species of seals watch vigilantly for polar bears.
Throughout your Arctic experience you’ll also have the chance to disembark and explore places rich with history. As you go you’ll witness historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and even an abandoned polar research station.
Human habitation can be found only at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements, complete with museum, gift shop, and post office.
The Arctic’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains, and waterways, and an incredibly wide variety of wildlife.
Every day you sail you’ll be keeping a watchful eye out for polar bears after all this wild corner of Svalbard is one of the best places in the world to observe them. The ship will get as close as safely possible to the jumbled and broken edge of the polar ice caps, where polar bears stalk the frozen sea in search of seals. This is your time to enlist the help of the ship’s resident photographer who can assist you with capturing great images while on deck and onshore.
Continue to sail next to fields of flowering tundra, which are home to grazing reindeer and Arctic fox, and explore offshore waters where walrus and a wide variety of whales reside.
The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including numerous rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight.
After disembarkation you’ll bid farewell in Longyearbyen where you started. After saying your goodbyes, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward journey.
Get in touch with our Lightfoot Travel experts and they will create a bespoke itinerary designed to your exact needs and budget.
We won't take you to the usual tourist traps, instead we'll introduce you to people that show you the true side of a country. With our contacts in each destination, we can arrange for you to meet locals away from the crowds and ensure an authentic experience.
You can rely on our extensive first-hand knowledge and years of experience in the country you’re visiting. We use only the best expert guides, and provide insider tips on the local customs, and everything from vibrant festivals to hidden Himalayan monasteries
Your vacation will be as unique as you are. By getting to know you and what makes you tick, we fuse our wealth of expertise and a deep understanding of our destinations to create unique day by day itineraries that are built around you.