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, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy great vistas of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this historic frontier town.
Exploring SpitsbergenDays 3 to 6
You’ll sail around the shores of this magical island, constantly searching for polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen, your expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna. Sailing north into Krossfjorden, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best glacier calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehöök Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny-London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the endemic Svalbard reindeer, might be possible here. After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producing glacier. To make this even more thrilling, help your Expedition Team to scan the shorelines and ice edge for marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and Alicehamna. If ice conditions permit reaching 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching from the ship as large groups of these lumbering giants jockey for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars. At Smeerenburg you can see the remains of an abandoned settlement that was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at what was once one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenefjorden rewards you with panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal-clear waters. During your last full day of your Arctic adventure, you may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of Russia’s northernmost brewery. We hope to round out the day in Alkhornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Encounters with reindeer are possible here too. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s farewell dinner.
Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to HelsinkiDay 7
The time to say goodbye has come. Your 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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