Polar Explorer

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Polar Explorer

Let us take you from the lush Western fjords of Norway all the way to the rugged coast of Spitsbergen just 600 miles from the North Pole on this fascinating holiday.

The Polar Explorer combines the Coastal Voyage from Bergen to Tromsø with an adventure cruise along the coast of Spitsbergen. You’ll be able to experience some of the magnificent landscape of Norway’s west coast as well as the starkly beautiful Spitsbergen archipelago.

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the west coast, some 400 kilometres long, is surprisingly rich in wildlife and in places you’ll see some quite luxuriant vegetation, with tiny beautiful flowers growing amongst the rocks. Historical monuments are found all along the coast and give testimony to a heroic polar history.

The Dutch explorer, Willem Barents, first saw this coastline in 1596, and the impressive peaks inspired the name Spitsbergen. During the voyage we’ll usually go ashore once a day, perhaps to take a closer look at a glacier or the unique flora. We also visit remains of camps where trappers and hunters stayed in times gone by.

The cruise price includes
Flights from the UK to Bergen and return from Oslo & domestic flights as mentioned in the itinerary incl. applicable taxes and service charges;
voyage Bergen to Tromsø incl. full board;
Spitsbergen voyage incl. full board and excursions as described in the itinerary;
one night in Tromsø incl. breakfast, transfers as appropriate.
Not included: Travel insurance, luggage handling.
M/S Nordstjernen

The M/S Nordstjernen is small enough to reach areas where larger vessels cannot go, yet is big enough to offer the comforts that many passengers want when travelling by sea in the Arctic regions.

Built in 1956 the ship served on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage until 1993. The ship was refitted and modernised in the early 1980’s and again in spring 2000. The cabins are compact, a few have two lower berths but most cabins have upper and lower berths. About half the cabins have private shower & wc, the remainder have a wash basin. During the voyage, our guides will host some informal lectures that will complement our shore visits, most of which will be by Zodiacs

 

Departure dates from UK for 2016
The Polar Explorer is available every Friday 11 June to 13 August from London Heathrow, Newcastle and Aberdeen.

Flights from Manchester and Birmingham are also available. However, because of flight schedules a night in Oslo is recommended. The cost of this will be added to your invoice.

 

Itinerary
DAY 1 Fly to Bergen and embark on the Coastal Voyage. We set sail in the evening.
DAY 2 After a brief docking at the island harbour of Florø during the night, we sail through open seas as we cross Stadt and round the West Cape. There are early morning calls at Måløy and Torvik before we continue to Ålesund. The highlight of the day is the sailing into the magnificent Geirangerfjord, surrounded by steep mountains and with numerous waterfalls with evocative names such as the “Seven Sisters” and the “Bridal Veil”.

After a short stop at Molde, the “City of Roses”, we begin our crossing of Hustadvika. During the night we will stop at Kristiansund.

DAY 3 We arrive in Trondheim and spend about 4 hours here. The former capital of Norway is home to the famous Nidaros Cathedral, the biggest medieval building in Scandinavia. Ahead of us lies the longest stretch of the voyage, as our route passes by some 6,000 small islands and skerries before arriving for a brief stop at Rørvik in the evening.
DAY 4 We cross the Arctic Circle early in the morning and our first port of call in the Land of the Midnight Sun is Ørnes. After a couple of hours at Bodø we head across to the Lofoten Wall, rising up like a huge troll from the sea. We will stop at Stamsund and Svolvær in the early evening.
DAY 5 Early in the morning we put into Harstad on the Island of Hinnøy and early in the afternoon we arrive in Tromsø, the capital of Arctic Norway where we disembark and transfer to your centrally located 4-star hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 6 You’ll fly from Tromsø to Longyearbyen and stay at Spitsbergen Hotel. In the evening there is an information meeting.
DAY 7 You have the morning free for shopping, or you can join a walk up to the top of the Plateau Mountain. After lunch at the hotel there’s a sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, before boarding M/S Nordstjernen.

We leave Longyearbyen in the early evening and on our way out through the Isfjord, we visit the Russian settlement of Barentsburg.

DAY 8 Today we pass the Kongsfjord, and sail past ‘The Seven Icebergs’ before reaching the north-west corner of Spitsbergen Island.
Day 9 Our itinerary and route today is dependent on both weather and ice conditions. Our aim is to cross the 80° parallel if conditions permit. During the afternoon we’ll commence our return voyage to Longyearbyen.
Day 10 Today we plan to visit Ny-Ålesund and Blomstrandhamna. Our route south takes us past Prince Karl’s Forland, and we arrive in Longyearbyen after midnight.
Day 11 Transfer to the airport for an early flight to Oslo. Breakfast will be served during the flight. From Oslo return to the UK.
The itinerary and excursions for the Spitsbergen cruise are preliminary and subject to change depending on ice and weather conditions. The cabin grade & number for your Spitsbergen cruise will be confirmed at the time of booking, the cabin grade for the Coastal Voyage from Bergen to Tromsø will be similar to that on your Spitbergen voyage, the cabin grade will be confirmed to you at the time of booking, cabin number will be given on embarkation.