Prices are based on the use of outward facing cabins on the lower deck; they are triple share with a shared shower and toilet, and porthole. The MV Polar Pioneer has a number of different cabin categories. We can also offer single occupancy, subject to availability. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.
Polar ship M/V Polar Pioneer, plus Zodiacs for shore excursions.
Approx 0 -
Ship crew plus specialist expedition staff.
Realm Of The Polar Bear - M/v Polar Pioneer
Details may vary depending on departure date. Please choose
Arctic Wilderness This Spitsbergen odyssey reveals the diversity of this island archipelago and takes us into the kingdom of the polar bear. You'll explore the coastline, with no open sea crossings, against a backdrop of spectacular glacier-covered peaks and discover deep fjords in the west, mysterious, fossil-rich desert plains in the east and best of all, seals and whales in the Arctic pack ice. This voyage offers the best chance for seeing reindeer and polar bears, and features wildflower walks across sweeping tundra, trapper camps and historical remains of whaling stations.
See the King of the Arctic, the mighty polar bear
Visit the bird cliffs of Alkfejellet, where thousands of Brunnich's guillemots swirl around
See walruses lounging around and seals on ice floes - great for photographs
Take excursions in Zodiacs, to get off the boat and on shore in the Arctic
Travel in the company of like-minded passengers on-board a friendly expedition ship
Early morning reveals the spectacular aqua-blue ice cliffs of the 14th July Glacier or perhaps the Waggonway Glacier in Magdalenefjorden. Our itinerary depends on weather, snow and ice conditions, and the presence of wildlife. Thanks to the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream, temperatures on the rugged west coast are relatively mild, ideal for the many Atlantic puffins and thick-billed murres that fill the cliffs. We look for bearded seals, with their precious curling whiskers. Up Kingsfjorden we may visit Ny Ålesund, a mining town turned polar research centre and at Amsterdamoya, we hike the tundra, alert for reindeer and Arctic fox. We explore remains of a 350-year-old Dutch whaling settlement and learn of an ill-fated ballooning attempt over the North Pole.
Beluga whales, pack ice and maybe even polar bears feature as we round Spitsbergen’s northwest coast into the Arctic Ocean and turn south into Woodfjorden. We search for ringed, bearded and harp seals and ashore, trappers’s huts, reindeer and Arctic fox. In Leifdefjorden, breeding eider ducks, terns, skuas, glaucous gulls and black-legged kittiwakes, attract polar bears with cubs. Offshore, walrus feed on clams or haul out on beaches, especially on Moffen Island, a walrus sanctuary. With 24-hour daylight, there’s plenty of time to admire many of the tundra’s 164 species of flowering plants, including purple saxifrage, exquisite yellow spider plants and Svalbard poppies. If ice conditions allow, we attempt to cross latitude 80° North – a cause for celebration!
Welcome to the wild side! Frigid Arctic currents sweep around Spitsbergen’s northeast corner, lowering air and sea temperatures, and creating a landscape eroded by severe frost. Even in summer, pack ice could bar our way. We attempt to pass through narrow Hinlopen Strait, between Spitsbergen and austere, ice-capped Nordaustlandet, Our Russian crew and expedition staff use their considerable expertise to reach the region’s highlights. We Zodiac cruise beneath Alkefjellt, sheer basalt cliffs rising more than 250 metres, literally buzzing with some 200,000 nests of Brunnich’s guillemots, possibly with Arctic fox scavenging below. On Torrellneset, we could well approach dozens of sleeping walrus. A true polar desert, the east coast offers walks among stunted glaciers, exposed fossil fields, and tundra, where we watch for Arctic fox, eider ducks and the elusive Svalbard ptarmigan. Sailing between Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross polar bear migration routes and may visit Sundeneset, a fertile plain covered in green mosses and delicate flowers, including the yellow marsh saxifrage.
This is true expedition cruising, where plans are dictated by ice conditions and our desire to explore. If pack ice allows, we round South Cape, returning to the world of open water and rugged coastal mountains, and sail north toward Hornsund and Bellsund, deep fjords with remarkable glaciers and wildlife. If ice stops us on the east side, we adjust our itinerary, backtrack and delve deeper into the wonders of Spitsbergen’s north and west coasts, including a visit to colonies where hundreds of thousands of little auks nest, darkening the sky as they commute to their fishing grounds.
A midnight cruise of Isfjorden returns us to Longyearbyen, the end of our spectacular voyage and a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Included meals: Breakfast
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.
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