A high Arctic archipelago situated between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, massive sheets of ice, and magnificent polar bears. Travel under the midnight sun aboard the National Geographic Explorer and experience nature in its purest form on a voyage that was recently featured in National Geographic Channel's Land of the Ice Bears.
Depart on an overnight flight to Oslo. Upon arrival, check in to the SAS Radisson Blu Airport Hotel. On an afternoon tour of this charming city, stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures set in terraced parklands. Visit the Fram Museum, showcasing the polar ship Fram and dedicated to one of the explorers and wooden vessels that navigated the Arctic Sea in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.
Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (Day 2: L, D)
Depart Oslo on a private charter flight, and enjoy views of the southern fjords en route to Longyearbyen. On arrival, visit the Svalbard Museum to learn the history of Svalbard and its context in Norway and the Arctic from 17th-century whaling to modern mining, research and tourism. Then tour the Gallery Svalbard to view the permanent art and cultural collections as well as studios of local artists. Embark the National Geographic Explorer, your base for the next six days.
This voyage is undertaken in the spirit of discovery, and our travel in the archipelago is exploratory by design. In a region ruled not by humans but by polar bears, we let nature guide our course. Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer midnight sun never sets. With our fully stabilized ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe the ice in search of wildlife; our exact day-to-day itinerary remains flexible, depending on local ice and weather conditions. Zodiacs and kayaks take us closer to experience the region's geologic features and wildlife and wildflowers that flourish during the summer months.
With our National Geographic photographer and a seasoned naturalist staff, venture to the foot of stunning tidewater glaciers, kayak among sparkling icebergs, and explore fjords that split the rugged coastlines. Hike through miniature gardens blooming on the tundra; and search the edge of the pack ice for polar bears, walruses, seals, reindeer, and arctic foxes. Svalbard is one of the best places on the planet to observe majestic polar bears in their natural environment.
Disembark in Longyearbyen take a short bus ride to Camp Barentz in the nearby Advent Valley for a taste of Arctic culture. Here, you’ll discover a unique collection of buildings including an authentic gamme, a traditional round building with an open fire in the center, and a lavvo, the traditional tent of the Sami people. Enjoy refreshments and meet some of the friendly, sled dog huskies that reside at camp. Fly back to Oslo and overnight at the SAS Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.
Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (B, L)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight home.
Book any departure and we will cover your bar tab on board and all tips for the crew.
Book the Category A Solo or Category B Solo cabins on the May 16, 2018 departure and receive the standard double rates for Category 2 and Category 3, respectively.
Offers are for new bookings only and are subject to availability. Please call for details.
A diverse team of experts, including naturalists, historians, and a National Geographic photographer, will accompany each expedition aboard the National Geographic Explorer. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
Ian Stirling is a Research Scientist Emeritus with Environment Canada and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton. He has done research on polar bears and polar seals (Arctic and Antarctic) for 50 years. His research interests include ecology, animal behavior, evolution, relationships between polar bears and seals, the biological importance of polynyas (stretches of ocean water surrounded by ice), and the conservation and management of polar marine mammals and ecosystems. His work has earned him the Canadian Northern Science Award and the National Conservation Award in the Special Achievement Category of the U.S. National Wildlife Federation. He was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Canada by the Governor General, and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the primary scientific body of the country. In 2013 he was awarded the Norris Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for Marine Mammalogy and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the Universities of Alberta and British Columbia. Ian participates in a number of national and international committees on polar bears and marine mammals and has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific articles and written 5 books on bears and their ecology. Ian will travel as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker.
Ian will join the following departure:
May 30 - Jun 09, 2018
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
If departing from outside the U.S., plan to arrive on the morning of Day 2.
Add a five-day pre-trip extension to the breathtaking fjords of Norway or a four-day post-trip extension to Iceland that includes Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, Akureyri, and Lake Mývatn. Please call for details.
|Category A Solo||$13,950|
|Category B Solo||$14,540|
|Category A Solo||$14,350|
|Category B Solo||$14,970|
Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.
International airfare to/from Oslo and airfare within Norway is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight between Oslo and Longyearbyen is $760 in 2018 and $800 in 2019 per person (subject to change).
Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.