Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears
• View iconic arctic wildlife including polar bears, walrus and arctic fox • Enjoy continuous daylight, perfect for photography buffs • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more • Hike the colorful arctic tundra • Take advantage of photographic expertise on board for tips on technique
This unique 13-day voyage is a first for Quark Expeditions! Like true arctic adventurers, we're tossing out our itinerary, choosing instead to let our search for polar bears and other wildlife determine our route and shore landings. Your foray into modern-day exploration will bring you to the Arctic of your dreams, immersed as you'll be in all the natural wonders of the land of the midnight sun. Cruising along the coast, ice edge and inner fjords of Spitsbergen, one of the most prolific destinations for viewing arctic wildlife, you'll be rewarded with the opportunity to photograph the iconic polar bear in its natural habitat. Glacier-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts and deep-walled fjords soar majestically out of the icy sea, providing breathtaking backdrops for vast swaths of untouched tundra. Talk about picture perfect! Exploring this awe-inspiring area of the Svalbard archipelago never ceases to impress with its raw beauty, and you'll experience it firsthand on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Ocean Adventurer The Ocean Adventurer is a comfortable vessel with spacious cabins, which all have private bathroom facilities and exterior views. Designed to carry travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world, Ocean Adventurer was built in 1976, and will undergo extensive upgrades in 2017. This multi-million dollar investment includes renovations to the interior of the ship, significant technical upgrades, and the addition of a new cabin category, the Owner's Suites. The refurbishment will give the ship new bathrooms in every cabin, and upgrades to the Lounge, Dining Room, gym, and suites. Technical enhancements - including two new engines, generators, gear boxes, drive systems, and re-bladed propellers - will result in increased fuel efficiency, and a minimized carbon footprint.
Day 1: Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway Your arctic adventure starts in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen's largest settlement and one of the northernmost communities on the planet. Have your camera handy as you embark on your journey - picturesque peaks surround this town in the bay of Svalbard's second-longest fjord.
Days 2 to 12: Exploring Spitsbergen Spitsbergen has an unspoiled beauty that's just begging to be discovered. On this one-of-a-kind cruise, you'll sail along the west coast of this magical island, exploring the coastal fjords and smaller, outlying islands. Each day will be a surprise, treating you to spectacular new sightings and experiences.
Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, to be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), our main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means we may not move the ship every day as we do in regular voyages, if we find abundant wildlife in one place. Like true explorers, we'll let the wildlife and pack ice - not a set schedule - guide our route! Viewing the ice bears is almost guaranteed in a region where they outnumber the people. Our small expedition ship allows us to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so we expect to explore the more hard-to-reach areas the bears may favor.
Presentations by on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that await, and with continuous daylight during this time of year, photo ops abound. You'll have ample time to linger and photograph any bears we find hunting on the ice edge, but they're not the only wildlife we hope to encounter. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so you'll want to keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the indigenous Svalbard reindeer may also be spotted on Zodiac excursions to shore.
A haven for present-day explorers, Spitsbergen and the surrounding area offer unforgettable polar experiences that will keep you and your camera active all expedition long. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means "pointed mountains") surprises with stretches of colorful tundra, bursting with wildflowers in summer. Optional hiking activities get you up close and personal with the abundant wildlife. At day's end, you'll have plenty of prized photographs and exciting stories to share with your shipmates.
Day 13: Depart Longyearbyen Returning to where your adventure began, Longyearbyen, you'll have time to bid a fond farewell to your newfound friends before disembarking. From here, we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy - and excitement - of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board • All shore landings per the daily programme • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily programme • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled • Photographic journal documenting the expedition • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • Official Quark Expeditions parka to keep • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard the ship • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person • Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation • Transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship on embarkation day • Group transfer from the ship to Longyearbyen airport or a designated drop-off location downtown on disembarkation day
Pricing (per person) $USD
2018 June 2
Booking conditions • Other categories of cabin available on request
• Single cabin prices available on request. Please note that if you are a solo traveller taking advantage of the 'Request Share' program, not all cabins apply.
• Please contact World Journeys for the updated USD exchange rate.
• Other categories of cabin available on request • Single cabin prices available on request. Please note that if you are a solo traveller taking advantage of the 'Request Share' program, not all cabins apply. • Please contact World Journeys for the updated USD exchange rate.
Not included • International airfare
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
• Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance - strongly recommended
• Excess-baggage fees on international flights
• Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
• Phone and Internet charges
• Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Additional overnight accommodation
• International airfare • Passport and visa expenses • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance - strongly recommended • Excess-baggage fees on international flights • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified • Phone and Internet charges • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew • Additional overnight accommodation
Gratuity • Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise. We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board.
• Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise. We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board.