Arrive in Helsinki, FinlandDay 1
Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and EmbarkDay 2
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, a true frontier town, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from frigid waters.
Exploring SpitsbergenDays 3 to 11
Explore western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. As you cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, your Expedition Team will constantly be searching for animals. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so we have no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we mayvisit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since Svalbard’s legendary wildlife habitat is well-protected and almost entirely uninhabited, it’s one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears in their natural landscapes of ice, Arctic deserts and mountain scenery. The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline. If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can prebook the sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventure options. In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever-changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago.
Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to HelsinkiDay 12
The time to say goodbye has come. Your Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.
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