Arctic Cruise Norway: Polar Bears & the Midnight Sun (2014)
Adventure Cruising: Expert-led expeditions to exotic locales, with shore excursions
- Day 1: Arrive Oslo, Norway
Arrive independently in Oslo, where you are met and assisted with baggage then transferred to your hotel located in the heart of Oslo’s city center. This afternoon, enjoy a leisurely guided walking tour of historic and also contemporary Oslo. This evening, meet some of your A&K expedition team members and fellow explorers for a welcome cocktail reception.Grand Hotel Oslo
- Day 2: Tromsø | Gateway to the Arctic
This morning, transfer to the airport for your charter flight to the northern coastal city of Tromsø, the largest and arguably liveliest in Norway. Tromsø was developed in the late 18th century when its harbor, noted for being ice-free year round due to the Gulf Stream (which also explains the city’s pleasantly moderate climate), was a major center for fishing and trade. Located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the town is situated on an island linked to the mainland by the striking Tromsø Bridge. Take a city tour that includes the Domkirke cathedral, the statue of polar explorer Roald Amundsen and the Tromsø Museum, with its fascinating displays of both ancient and modern Norwegian life. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the concrete Arctic Cathedral, likened in appearance to the Sydney Opera House and nicknamed Ishavskatedralen — The Cathedral of the Arctic Sea. This afternoon, board ‘Le Boreal.’ ‘'Le Boreal' | Meals: B L D
- Day 3: Bjørnøya | Bear Island
Today ‘Le Boreal’ heads north through the Barents Sea. This morning, spend time on deck with your expedition naturalists as you keep an eye out for the whales and many seabirds common in these waters. By afternoon, arrive at Bjørnøya (Bear Island), the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago also known as a birdwatcher’s paradise. Board a Zodiac to cruise along the southern tip of the island and its massive bird cliffs, home to kittiwakes, guillemots and the occasional puffin. Later, land at the island’s northern tip to view puffin colonies and visit the meteorological station.'Le Boreal' | Meals: B L D
- Days 4-10: Svalbard Islands | Wondrous Archipelago
Le Boreal’ serves as your maritime passport to adventure in this remote Arctic archipelago that very few people in the world ever have the opportunity to visit. Enjoy seven full days of expedition cruising around Spitsbergen Island. The captain and expedition team are on the lookout for the day’s best expeditions, choosing from an extraordinary assortment of fjords, islands and more:
Hornsund is a stunning fjord on the southwest corner of Spitsbergen, with rugged rock walls surmounting blue-hued glaciers and birds perching in the high cliffs. The “glacier coast” to the south provides magnificent views of slow-moving glaciers that travel toward the sea. Beluga whales as well as ringed seals are often seen feeding before the glaciers.
Halvmåneøya (Half Moon Island) was used as a hunting ground for over-wintering Russians and Norwegians in the late 17th century. Polar bears and arctic foxes were hunted for their meat and fur, and walruses for their blubber. Today, the island is a haven for birds, including eider ducks, arctic terns, snow buntings and grey phalaropes. Also visit Bjorneborg (Bear Castle), an old hut used by hunters and trappers.
The islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya off Spitsbergen’s southern tip provide excellent opportunities for tundra hikes amid the scenic beauty of Svalbard. The colors of the tundra are alive with blooming flowers, various birds and grazing reindeer.
Torrelnesset is located on the far southwestern coast of the island of Nordaustlandet, which is the highest arctic landmass in the Svalbard archipelago and predominantly ice-covered. Disembark and head ashore to view the walrus colonies that congregate on the barren coast.
Nordaustlandet, the northernmost land of Svalbard, is known for its high populations of polar bears and walruses.
Hinlopen Strait exists in the passageway between the main island of Spitsbergen and the island of Nordaustlandet. ‘Le Boreal’ navigates the strait to deliver you to the alkefejellet or “auk cliffs,” sheer and stunning cliffs that drop directly into the sea and provide a home to colonies of auks.
Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden are known for their unique and intriguing geological features. Jagged peaks and dormant volcanoes surround red sandstone hills and bubbling geothermal springs, creating an ideal habitat for birds and other wildlife, including polar bears, foxes and reindeer.
Magdalenefjorden, surrounded by turquoise blue waters on Spitsbergen’s northwest corner, is one of the most scenic and iconic fjords in all of Svalbard.
Historic Ny Alesund was once the site of a Norwegian coal mine. Today, it stands as a polar research station where scientists study meteorology, seismology, atmospheric sciences and marine biology. Conditions permitting, visit the small community, including a museum, art gallery and the northernmost post office in the world.
Throughout our Spitsbergen cruise, we remain keenly on the lookout for polar bear sightings among the ice floes and on land. We also take every precaution to land under the close supervision of our bear guardians, who have the best knowledge about where to find the white giants, while always keeping safety top of mind.'Le Boreal' | Meals: B L D
- Day 11: Longyearbyen | Svalbard’s One and Only Town
This morning, bid farewell to your expedition team and crew of ‘Le Boreal’ as you disembark in Longyearbyen. Enjoy a driving tour of the tiny town of Longyearbyen before transferring to the airport to board your return charter flight to Oslo. Upon arrival in Oslo, transfer to your hotel, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.Hotel SAS Radisson Blu Oslo | Meals: B L D
- Day 12: Depart Oslo
This morning, depart for the airport where you board your international flight home.Meals: B
- Oslo Pre-Tour Extension
3 days, priced from $1,395
Available on the Jul 29 departure.
Day 1: Arrive in Oslo, Norway, and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure to explore. Grand Hotel
Day 2: Today, explore Oslo’s cultural gems, including the Munch Museum featuring works from Edvard Munch, Vigeland Sculpture Park with its 200 copper sculptures and the Viking Ship Museum on the Bygdøy Peninsula. Learn about the history of skiing at Holmenkollen Ski Museum and, if you wish, climb or ride to the top of Jump Tower for a sweeping view over the city. Grand Hotel | Meals: B
Day 3: Join your fellow guests for your main program. Meals: B