Search for polar bears on a cruise to Svalbard

Svalbard Adventure: M/S Quest

Svalbard

Visit Svalbard early in the summer season, when the midnight sun reigns supreme. The bird colonies are teeming with life and the peaks of the dramatic mountain ranges are snow-covered. Expert guides take you ashore to admire the landscape and search for wildlife. Ice still keeps the islands in its grip and from the decks of the ice-strengthened M/S Quest you can admire the ever-changing ice formations while searching for walrus, polar bears and much, much more

  • Sail on board a modern expedition ship with a small number of fellow travellers
  • See the spectacular mountains of Spitsbergen
  • Sail through amazing fjords and see impressive glaciers
  • Search for wildlife such as polar bears, walrus and whales
  • Incredible birdlife including eiders, vast numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots

GUIDES

Knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides are the key to a successful expedition. On these expeditions you will meet guides with long experience of the Polar Regions and a genuine love of the Arctic. Several of them have been commuting between the Arctic and the Antarctic for many years. All guides are highly qualified guides when it comes to safety.

There are five guides on board the M/S Quest. Few passengers per guide increase the flexibility on board as well as enable a smooth Zodiac operation. The guides also entertain and educate you with interesting talks in between landings, where you learn more about the flora, fauna and history of Svalbard.

Stewart's Take

Explore Spitsbergen early in the summer when birdlife is at its height and polar bears may still be out on the pack ice.

Overview

Visit Svalbard early in the summer season, when the midnight sun reigns supreme. The bird colonies are teeming with life and the peaks of the dramatic mountain ranges are snow-covered. Expert guides take you ashore to admire the landscape and search for wildlife. Ice still keeps the islands in its grip and from the decks of the ice-strengthened M/S Quest you can admire the ever-changing ice formations while searching for walrus, polar bears and much, much more.
Day 1: Longyearbyen We arrive in Longyearbyen and transfer to our hotel. Day 2 - 8: Svalbard We start our adventure in Svalbard by exploring the High Arctic capital of Longyearbyen. In the afternoon we embark our expedition ship and sail out through the spectacular Ice Fjord. We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. Our ambition is to make landings or cruises every day with our rigid Zodiac crafts. Here are some examples of places we may visit: Prins Karls Forland This narrow strip of land is covered by a magnificent, snow-covered mountain chain. The island is home to many seabirds and harbour seals. Northwest Svalbard On the islands of Danskøya, Amsterdamøya and Ytre Norskøya there are still visible remnants from the bustling activity during the 17th century’s whaling period. Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on Danskøya. Swedish balloonist Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started out with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site. Fantastic fjords Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During our journey we will explore a few of them such as: Liefdefjorden, meaning “the fjord of love”, is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and at its base we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest in the area and if lucky we can see the rare king eider. In Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers it is also a favourite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with life. North Spitsbergen and Hinlopen North of Spitsbergen we might meet the pack ice edge. Not many ships venture here and we can marvel at the silence and grandeur of this icy landscape. Chances of meeting polar bears increase as we sail along the ice floes. If the ice allows we may enter Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet, a sheer, basaltic cliff, which is the home to an estimated 200 000 Brünnich’s guillemots. Day 9: Longyearbyen We reach Longyearbyen in the early morning and begin our journey home.
  • Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The places mentioned above are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience, but remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!
  • Photo Credits: Erik Edvardsson, Adam Rheborg, Mia Lundqvist, Vera Simonsson, Jonas Sundquist, Morten Jorgensen, Ola Skinnarmo, Lisa Ström

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Expedition Vessel: Quest

Quest expedition ship Svalbard

The expedition ship Quest (formerly M/S Sea Endurance) was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland`s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished and now has a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. Quest takes 53 passengers in 26 cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers a more relaxed and informal atmosphere and a much greater focus on the destination than is the case with larger vessels.

In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining lectures on the area's flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a well-stocked bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas and search for exciting wildlife.

The triple cabins on deck three have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you also find a desk with chair and storage space for clothes and equipment. The superior cabins on deck three and four are spacious and have a separate sitting area and TV/DVD. The Owner's cabin, next to the Captain`s cabin, on deck four has a double bed, two large picture windows, a small sitting area and TV/DVD.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • 7 nights on board the M/S Quest
  • 1 night in a hotel in Longyearbyen
  • all meals
  • an experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides
  • lectures on board and ashore
  • all excursions by Zodiac
  • illustrated post-expedition log
Excluded
  • Flight to and from Longyearbyen
  • travel and cancellation insurance
  • customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • personal expenses such as bar and shop charges.
Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 25% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A secure payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card alternatively bank transfer. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Final payment can be made by bank transfer. Balance payments by credit card are subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. For cancellation received more than 60 days prior to departure there will be a full refund of the program cost less 10%. For cancellation received between 60 days prior to departure and departure date there will be no refund whatsoever. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Polar Quest Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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