Day 1: Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on archipelago of Svalbard with a population of about 2,060 people and about as many snowmobiles. Most of the inhabitants are Norwegians, and some are Russians. Located in the Advent Fjord at the entrance of the Advent Valley, this community has an infrastructure fit for a much larger city. Within the islands, there are four inhabited settlements and some scientific stations. Barentsburg, a Russian coal mining settlement, has approximately 850 inhabitants. Sveagruva, the functional Norwegian mine has around 100 inhabitants and Ny Ålesund, a scientific settlement has between 30 and 150 inhabitants, depending on the season. All settlements are found on the west coast, the part of Spitsbergen with the mildest climate due to the warm Gulf Current.
Longyearbyen is located at 78°13′N 15°33′E. The Governor of Svalbard resides there. Due to its location far north of the polar circle, it is polar night from mid-October to mid-February and polar day from mid-April to mid-August. Longyearbyen has an arctic tundra climate. The settlement was founded in 1906 by John Munroe Longyear, main owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston. "Byen" is Norwegian for "the town". It was destroyed by the Germans in 1943 and rebuilt after World War II, with the old foundations still visible in some places. Until the early 1990's the coal mining industry was the major employer in Longyearbyen. The daily life revolved only around the mining business. Today, the community offers a wide range of activities and facilities. There is a bank, post office, hospital, public library, cafes/restaurants, tourist information, a swimming hall, a climbing wall, a big sports hall, a grocery store, three pubs, three hotels, one church, several tourists shops, there are various forms of lodging, from hostels to modern full-service hotels, a cinema (Sundays) and one night club. During summer, most of the people you meet here will be tourists or young people working to accommodate the visitors. A very friendly and international atmosphere reigns. And, of course, Longyearbyen has its own international airport.
Days 2-10: Exploring the Svalbard Archipelago
Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. Distances are relatively short in the Archipelago and as there are no ocean crossings, the seas are normally calm. Svalbard is one of the few places on the planet that offers such a wealth and diversity of natural and cultural history sites. During these days we will visit ice covered seas, fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery and glaciers flowing into the sea around us. We will spend time steaming through the ice in search of polar bears hunting seals. Ivory gulls will be a highlight for the birders, while we keep a constant lookout for walrus hauled out on ice floes or on sandy beaches.
We will visit, ice permitting, spectacular bird cliffs filled with thousands of murres (guillemots), as well as kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. A little auk colony will also be on our agenda. Our shore stops will be highlighted with flowers nearing, or at the peak of, their bloom. We will have the opportunity to observe and discuss some of their adaptations to what we consider a harsh environment. At one or more of our stops, we hope to see Svalbard’s unique subspecies of reindeer. They are much smaller than their southern relatives, but still carry impressive antlers. We also have the possibility of seeing Arctic foxes. This is also a land of history: from whaling to reaching for the pole, to trapping, coal mining and war. We will visit some of these historic sites.
We may cruise in Zodiacs along the ice edge viewing seals or walrus, in fjords with glaciers spilling down to the sea or in front of spectacular seabird cliffs. We will have opportunities to walk on shore, observe and photograph the Arctic flora and fauna. As we are in the land of the polar bear, your expedition staff carry rifles and flare guns on shore for your protection. Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Hinlopen Strait, Northeast Land, Edgeoya, Hornsund and Bellsund are just a few of the places that we may visit. By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer. The evening of our last full day of adventure will find the expedition ship anchored off Longyearbyen.
Day 11: Longyearbyen
ITINERARY DISCLAIMER: While it is our intention to adhere to the route described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Dates, Costs & Booking
Choose Number of Berths & Category
Date Selected: 28th Jun 2017
Adult (1) US$5899
Sub total US$5899
|Kayaking Arctic MS Expedition
Share Bookings and Single Travellers
If you are travelling alone and wish to share a cabin you will be matched with another person of the same gender and pay only the share room rate. If you wish to have a sole use cabin, the single supplement is 1.6 X the respective room rate (excluding Category 1).
Reservations require a non-refundable deposit of US$750 / EUR 500 / GBP 500 / AUD 1000 per person at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 90 days of departure require full payment.
Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Balances can be paid by bank transfer - or by credit card subject to a 2% surcharge.
All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellation 90 days or more before departure: Lifetime Deposit* held by the Shipping Company. Cancellation 89-60 days before departure: 50% of the cost of services booked, Lifetime Deposit* held by the Shipping Company. Cancellation less than 60 days before departure: 100% of cost of services booked, Lifetime Deposit* held by the Shipping Company. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.
Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by G Adventures Limited of Canada and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as those of the transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
Should you cancel, the specified deposit amount will be held as a ‘Lifetime Deposit’ with the Shipping Company for the MS Expedition, G Adventures, subject to the full extent of their terms and conditions. This Lifetime Deposit has no expiry and may be used as a deposit on one future tour with MS Expedition. Any specific permit costs above the deposit amount are subject to different terms and conditions as applied by the Company. The Lifetime Deposit has no cash value. Only one Lifetime Deposit may be applied per tour. All Lifetime Deposits must be applied to a new tour that is of equal or greater value than the cancelled tour. A booking may not be cancelled, and have the Lifetime Deposit applied to the same or similar dates of travel or a tour at a price lower than the cancelled tour. The Lifetime Deposit may be transferred or gifted to another Client.
- 10 nights aboard the M/S Expedition
- All meals on board
- Zodiac excursions with our expert expedition team
- Lecture and educational programs
- Longyearbyen airport transfers depending on your flight details (read the TRIP DETAILS for more information)
- Waterproof boots supplied for men's USA sized 8-14 & women's USA sized 3-9
- Arctic destination guide book
- All meals included on board the ship. (Drinks and tips while on the expedition ship are not included.)
- Quad, triple, twin-share cabins, or suites (all with en suite bathrooms and porthole or window) (7 nts). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-sized berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have one queen size bed.
- M/S Expedition, Zodiac, and local buses.
- 10:1 = Guest/Expedition staff ratio.
Your local flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen are not included in this tour. We recommend arriving at least 1 day prior to the sailing of the ship to guarantee your arrival. While flight delays are not common sometimes they do happen.