Svalbard is a remarkable and wondrous Norwegian archipelago situated between mainland Norway and the North Pole, and one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, located further north than the most northerly settlement in Greenland. There are 9 main islands: Spitsbergen is the largest and the only populated one), and a number of smaller outlying islands.
Svalbard is known for its rugged, remote terrain made up of mountains, glaciers and frozen tundra sheltering polar bears, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes. Large areas of the land are covered in ice year round. Ausfonna is Svalbard’s largest ice cap which covers part of the island of Nordaustlandet. It is a highly preserved area with more than 60% of the land being protected, home to seven national parks, fifteen bird sanctuaries and six nature reserves, making it an ideal place to view wildlife in its natural home, suitable for Arctic explorations. Svalbard is also a perfect place to witness glaciers. During the summer months it is quite possible to watch huge chunks of ice calve off the glacier faces into the sea.
An ideal way to see Svalbard is from the water, on board a small expedition vessel, such as the recently launched, 200-guest all-inclusive and upscale World Voyager:
Wonders of the Arctic
9-night Longyearbyen Roundtrip
June 28th, 2024
Longyearbyen, the starting point of your sea voyage, is located on the island of Spitsbergen, in a valley on the shores of the idyllic Adventfjord, and surrounded by steep mountains and several glaciers. Nybyen (New Town) consists of charming miners’ barracks constructed after the war, as well as guest houses, a restaurant and gallery, and beautiful views of the landmark mountain, Hiorthfjellet. Be sure to visit the seed vault (nicknamed the Doomsday Vault), located on the edge of town, and opened in 2008. It holds copies of all the worlds seeds to ensure against loss in the event of a global crisis. Enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities like dogsledding or cruising to the abandoned town of Pyramiden, a former Soviet mining town that was abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Once home to over 1,000 people, only a handful of people live there today to run the hotel and act as guides.
During your cruise, you will follow in the wake of great explorers like Francis Drake, Captain James Cook and Henry Hudson who attempted to cross the 80th parallel in search of a passageway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Just north of 80° you will come to Moffen, a small, low island north of the mouth of Wijdefjorden, on the northern coast of Spitsbergen (Pointy Mountain in Dutch) named by a Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz in 1596.
On your voyage, Captain’s Choice ports of call add to the sense of adventure and an element of surprise. Your yacht’s captain will sail around changing weather conditions as needed and take you to the best areas for wildlife viewing and the expedition leaders, along with the captain and onboard pilot, will determine possible landings each day for all-out explorations. Wildlife abounds throughout the archipelago of Svalbard, such as puffins, reindeer, Arctic terns, walruses, polar bears, seals and foxes. An expert photographer will help you look out for the perfect photo opportunity of these animals, but especially for the elusive polar bear. As Zodiac cruises may bring you closer to glaciers, keep your eyes on the water for whale fins.
9-night Longyearbyen Roundtrip
July 7th, 2024
Explore Ny-Ålesund, the northernmost settlement located on the island of Spitsbergen, with a population of about 100 people (during the summer months), most of whom are part of an international scientific research station, and carrying out research in atmospheric physics, biology, geology, glaciology and oceanography to name a few. This settlement was also the starting point of Roald Amundsen’s attempt to fly to the North Pole in 1925 by seaplane and then successfully by airship “Norge” in 1926. The historic expedition was a success and as planned, the airship flew over North Pole and landed in Teller, Alaska. The mooring tower from which the airship departed, one of the many cultural heritage remains, can still be visited at Ny-Ålesund.
Close to the village is a breeding ground for rare geese and the red beaked Arctic terns, which can fly up to 25,000 miles (over 40,000 kilometres) in a year, from the Arctic to Antarctica and back every year. Not far from here you can cruise your way toward the Ossian Sars Nature Reserve, created to preserve the picturesque Ossian Sarsfjellet mountain and the surrounding vegetation.
Polar bears, walruses, five seal species and twelve different types of whale call the water around Svalbard their home, making the area an excellent place for wildlife photographers and nature lovers. Svalbard is also home to an estimated 10,000 reindeer, the smallest type of reindeer on earth, with shorter legs than other reindeer. They have been residents of Svalbard for over 5,000 years. Walruses (Odobenus Rosmarus, Latin for tooth-walking sea-horse) were once hunted to near extension. In 1952, they became protected in Svalbard and today, the population has grown to an estimated 3,000. The blue whale, the largest of the earth’s animals, is a frequent visitor to the waters around the archipelago. Weighing up to 200 tonnes and up to 28 metres in length, they make an impressive sight and are one of the many natural wonders that attract wildlife watchers to the area.
11-night Longyearbyen Roundtrip
July 16th, 2024
At the height of polar summer, day and night become one as the Midnight Sun remains in the sky around the clock. Svalbard comes to life with unexpected flora and incredible fauna. Humpback whales, ringed seals and Atlantic walrus swim through the Arctic waters. Arctic tern, Brunnich’s guillemot and black-legged kittiwake, among other seabirds, fly overhead. Vibrant yellow and purple marsh saxifrage break through the ice-covered fjords and brown landscapes of tundra.
Every Polar Expedition includes a FREE Cultural Immersion that takes you beyond the usual, allowing you to explore the rich cultures, history and landscapes of destinations you are visiting, with immersions that bring delightful local experiences. Atlas’ expedition leaders, guest lecturers, researches and other experts in their fields guide and educate you throughout your expedition, immersing you in the remote destinations visited, bringing you closer to extraordinary wildlife and landscapes. They will also guide you on paddling, kayaking and standup paddle-boarding excursions.
After a day of roaming, venturing and exploring, indulge in the comfort of a balcony stateroom or modern suite, including accommodation options designed exclusively for solo travellers. Every room features a spacious bathroom with L’OCCITANE amenities, plush bedding designed for dreaming, flat-screen TVs with state-of-the-art infotainment systems for downtime and sitting or living areas to unwind. Gaze at the horizon from the comfort of your own balcony or panoramic window as you replay the adventures of the day. Awaken fully refreshed and begin your day by pouring yourself a cup of Nespresso Coffee or Kusmi Tea.
World Voyager’s onboard dining options bring you extraordinary culinary adventures with globally inspired gourmet cuisine crafted to awaken your senses one delectable morsel at a time. Relaxed and unhurried, each meal becomes another memorable experience to savour with your travel companions and new found friends. Enjoy the Atlas lounge, the Dome Observation lounge with its great views, a small spa and a theatre for daily expedition briefing.
• FREE dining venues with ever-changing menus
• FREE unlimited beverages, including Champagne, fine wines, spirits and craft beers
• FREE open bars and lounges, including 24-hour bar service with specialty canapés
• FREE in-room minibar with your preferences
• FREE specialty coffees, teas and fresh-pressed juices
• FREE afternoon and high tea
• FREE 24-hour room service, including spirits, wine and beer
• FREE pre-paid gratuities
• FREE use of walking sticks and binoculars
Exclusively on Polar Expeditions:
- Private charter jet service
- Enrichment lectures and destination briefings
- Shore landings led by expert field guides
- Escorted sightseeing safaris by Zodiac
- Thrilling Polar plunge
- Atlas Ocean Voyages parka and vest
- Use of knee boots
- Private group transfers between airport and yacht
World Voyager is among the most advanced and safest expedition yachts like her Atlas fleet mates. The Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified vessel features two Rolls Royce 9,000 kw hybrid diesel/electric engines and incorporates 3D forward-looking sonar technology to detect underwater hazards, obstacles, and shallows. The state-of-the-art system enables the ship to navigate ice fields, harbours, and rivers for convenient access.
Discover your next adventure with Atlas' Fall Savings Event where second guest sails free and you save up to an additional $4,000 per stateroom if you book by December 31, 2023. All expedition fares go up on January 2, 2024!
For additional information please contact your Travel Professional or visit here.