Spitsbergen Polar Bear Special - Hondius
Spitsbergen, the land of the Polar Bear is an Arctic archipelago only 1000 kilometres south of the North Pole. It is by far the largest wilderness area of Europe. Visitors can witness enormous colonies of seabirds thronging the cliffs and shores, and enjoy the thrilling antics of whales at sea, and seals and walruses hauled out on ice-floes. The proximity of the pack-ice offers spectacular ice cruising. You may even encounter the very symbol of the Arctic - the Polar Bear! Its rugged mountains and rolling tundra offer plenty of opportunities for hikers, climbers and skiers
- Look out for Arctic wildlife such as whales, seals, walrus and polar bears
- Reach 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole
- Myriad of birdlife and spectacular seabird cliff colonies
- Sailing with m/v Hondius, a new, state-of-the-art expedition vessel
- Admire the glaciers and mountains of Svalbard
1) embark and disembark time - takes a lot of time, even though there is capacity to do it faster.
2) sometimes during the zodiac cruises there is a driver instead of the guide, who does not say a word about what we see, meanwhile zodiacs with the guides enjoy guide's comments.
3) dinner time - takes 2h and you cannot expedite it even if you want, it feels like a waste of time, as meanwhile you can enjoy the scenery, read, sleep, have more quality time (not saying for those who enjoy long meal time).
Perfect first-time cruise to the Arctic on a state-of-the-art new vessel.
OverviewSpitsbergen, the land of the Polar Bear is an Arctic archipelago only 1000 kilometres south of the North Pole. It is by far the largest wilderness area of Europe. Visitors can witness enormous colonies of seabirds thronging the cliffs and shores, and enjoy the thrilling antics of whales at sea, and seals and walruses hauled out on ice-floes. The proximity of the pack-ice offers spectacular ice cruising. You may even encounter the very symbol of the Arctic - the Polar Bear! Its rugged mountains and rolling tundra offer plenty of opportunities for hikers, climbers and skiers.
- It is easy to use snowshoes, everyone can do it
- Easy walking in deep snow
- Snowshoes will be provided to everyone on board
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New Expedition Vessel: M/V Hondius
The Hondius is a new-built vessel in 2019 is ice-strengthened and
specially crafted for expedition voyages. Hondius will be the first
vessel to be built to class “LR PC6”, meeting the latest and highest
demands of Lloyd’s Register for “Polar Class 6” vessels, the highest
Polar Class notation for ice-strengthened vessels. The vessel will
also fully comply with the mandatory requirements of the Polar code,
for safe ship operation and the protection of the Polar environment.
Hondius offers deluxe accommodations for in total 176 passengers. One
deck has been entirely reserved for (multi-language) lectures and
presentations in one large observation lounge and in addition one
separate lecture room. The vessel offers a deluxe standard and at the
same time a distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere.
The philosophy is to keep sea legs short and to focus on fast and
effective access to shore and near shore activities for all nature and
wildlife minded passengers. A powerful fleet of zodiacs will guarantee
quality outings and swift landing operation for all passengers at the
same time. Our main focus remains discovery, taking advantage of
wildlife opportunities and the related shore activities, a product
that has been very much appreciated by our current travelers for many
years. A speedy zodiac embarkation is guaranteed with two separate
gangways and in addition a zodiac embarkation indoor-platform which
can also be used for special outdoor activities such as kayaking.
While cruising, 72 crew and staff members (including expedition and
hotel staff) will be at the passengers’ service. Hondius is equipped
with 2 main engines and can reach a maximum speed of 15 knots.
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
- Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes on Plancius and Ortelius
- Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
- AECO fees and governmental taxes.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
- Pre- and post land arrangements.
- Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Meals ashore.
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
- Possible fuel surcharges; It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent, 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night for bookings outside Europe and EURO 18 per passenger per night for bookings within Europe, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.
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