Revel in the diversity of Svalbard and sail into the kingdom of the polar bear. Explore the coastline, with no open sea crossings, against a backdrop of spectacular glacier covered peaks. This voyage offers the best chance for seeing polar bears, and features wildflower walks across sweeping tundra, trapper camps and historic sites. On foot and by Zodiac, visit abandoned whaling settlements, search for walrus, arctic fox and reindeer and observe millions of migratory birds, including little auks, guillemots and puffin.
Group transfer from Longyearbyen airport and a guided tour en route to the pier. The tour begins with a drive to Camp Barentz located in Advent Valley, where your guide will give you an introduction to Longyearbyen’s fascinating history. At Camp Barentz enjoy a presentation in the large ‘lavvo’ and meet the friendly huskies and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the Svalbard museum is included back in town before embarking the Greg Mortimer late afternoon.
Your voyage commences, cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot on one of the observation areas watching for seabirds, including graceful ivory gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots.
Svalbard offers unspoiled, raw arctic wilderness at its best. With majestic mountains of jagged peaks, iridescent sea ice, countless glaciers and superb wildlife-viewing opportunities. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Cruise along phenomenal fjords stretching towards magnificent mountain ranges, discover a polar desert with creamy coloured slabs of rock, rich in fossils, hear heroic tales of early explorers contrasted with visits to cultural remains from the time of European whaling mainly Russian and Norwegian, witness walrus colonies hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, hiking on lush tundra where brightly-coloured summer wildflowers and lichen grow, and where reindeer graze, observe the towering cliffs alive with nesting sea birds, including Svalbard’s largest little auk colony. Without a doubt, our goal is to encounter the majestic polar bear on pack ice, and the expedition team are just as keen as you to find them— they are on constant watch to spot these dazzling creatures.
If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you’ll have the option to enjoy the activity whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!
During the early morning we cruise into Longyearbyen. Farewell your expedition team and fellow expeditioners. Group transfer to Longyearbyen airport. End of arrangements.
Maximum number of passengers: 126
We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.
-Venture close to 80° north looking for polar bears on the pack ice
-Chance to discover other arctic wildlife including walrus, guillemots, puffins, seals, reindeer, arctic fox, seabirds and whales
-Zodiac past blue glaciers and through stunning fjords
-Enjoy hikes surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful scenery
14 July 2021 departure: AIPP Grand Master of Photography Peter Eastway will be on board as a photography guide.
Optional activities: The following activity packages are available on this expedition at an additional cost and may require previous experience. These must be pre-booked/pre-paid at time of booking.
Sea Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Paddling in small groups, you'll glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife.
Scuba Diving in the icy waters of the Arctic. All divers must be a trained, certified scuba divers with prior dry-suit diving experience.
Snorkelling in the icy waters of the Arctic.
Photography FREE All of our expeditions and itineraries offer fantastic photography experiences. However, on selected expeditions, a photography expert will offer lectures and presentations.
About the vessel, Greg Mortimer
This 104m ship is purpose-built for expeditions to world-class polar standards and capable of negotiating strong winds/waves. Accommodating 100 landing passengers plus kayakers and divers (in the polar regions), with an average of 120 per voyage, the ship is not only bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, but its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean.