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Iceland, Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen
Iceland, Norway, Spitsbergen - Trip code SPIS Polar
Days 12
Deposit From £414
Price from £4138
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

This voyage takes you to a rich variety of Atlantic islands. Iceland is the perfect destination for explorers searching for the unexpected, while volcanic Jan Mayen rises from the mid-Atlantic ridge - snow-capped and surrounded by oceans full of life and Svalbard, is home to the King of the Arctic; the mighty polar bear. Enjoy all aspects of these fascinating arctic islands. See the great eastern nature reserves and some of the most spectacular scenery on Earth. Join us to experience powerful nature, adventure and history aboard a modern and comfortable expedition ship, the MS Spitsbergen.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 11

      Lunch: 10

      Dinner: 10

    • Trip staff

      Expedition Crew

      Naturalist(s)

    • Transport

      M/S Spitsbergen

      Zodiac

    • i

      Accommodation

      11 nights premium boat

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Relaxed

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Arrive Reykjavik

    Many visitors find landing at Keflavik airport enchanting. The hub seems carved out of an arctic desert, with lava stones covered in moss and haunting mountains nearby, but just 45 minutes away, you will find the charming and vibrant modern city of Reykjavik, offering excellent restaurants, interesting museums and quaint narrow streets.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: None

    Day 2 - Stykkisholmur and Flatey

    West Iceland is often referred to as the Sagaland. Experience Stykkisholmur's storybook landscape of lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity and hot and cold springs. Explore the town on your own or join optional excursions to explore more of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which is said to be a miniature version of Iceland. In addition to the Snæfellsjökull glacier, there are black sandy beaches, bird cliffs, spectacular mountains and volcanic craters. On the charming island of Flatey, time appears to stand still. Take a stroll around the scenic lanes of this tiny village.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 3 - Bildudalur

    One of Iceland's best-kept secrets is the magical area of Westfjords. In the morning hours we sail around the tip of the Látrabjarg peninsula. If conditions are right, you can see the Bjargtangar lighthouse, Europe's westernmost point, from the deck.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 4 - Isafjordur

    Flanked by towering mountains on all sides, Isafjordur is a nearly perfect natural harbour. Take a walk to see the local architecture, browse for local handicrafts and come across the oldest houses in Iceland, including the structure that houses the Maritime Museum.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 5 - Hornbjarg cliff and Reykjafjordur

    The Hornbjarg cliff is one of the greatest sea bird habitats in Iceland. From deck, you will be able to enjoy the spectacular views of the wildlife. Reykjafjordur can only be reached on foot or by boat, and we plan to take a closer look at this stunning area as well.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6 - At sea

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with on board lectures while we set course towards Jan Mayen. Our Expedition team will hold talks and workshops to share their knowledge and experience, further enhancing the next days of our journey.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 7 - Jan Mayen Island

    The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen is one of the most isolated places in the World. Located where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, the island is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on earth. Dutch whalers operated from Jan Mayen in the 16th century, but today only a Norwegian weather station accommodates a few brave individuals throughout the year. Visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, especially from tourists. As one of the few vessels operating in this area, MS Spitsbergen and her crew will attempt to make a landing on this most exotic Arctic island.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 8 - At sea

    Another day at sea as we set sail for Spitsbergen. Take an invigorating stroll on deck or enjoy the company of your fellow adventurers.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 9 - North West Spitsbergen National Park

    The North West Corner of Spitsbergen is scattered with islands, fjords and beaches. The ocean here is full of drifting ice and the frozen landscape changes constantly. Due to strong winds and currents, the Captain monitors conditions closely, before deciding where we can land or sail. This is why all itineraries need to be flexible; we work with the elements, not against them, and safety is our first priority.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 10 - North West Spitsbergen National Park

    Landings in the area offer an excellent insight into Svalbard's history. You will have the chance to see the remnants of antique blubber ovens used to render whale oil. We might visit Kongsfjord, considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea. All of which is nicely framed by stunning mountain formations. On the shore of Kongfjord is the former mining settlement of Ny-Alesund, now an international centre for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings. We hope to visit Liefdefjord, the location of the enormous Monaco Glacier. There is a chance for small boat cruising here, or possibly a landing and a hike, if conditions allow.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 11 - North West Spitsbergen National Park

    In Magdalenafjorden, a gently sloping sandy beach may give us the chance to go swimming and earn an Arctic swimming certificate!

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 12 - Longyearbyen to Oslo

    We call at Longyearbyen after midnight, where our voyage comes to an end. You will be transferred to the airport in the early morning for your onward flight to Oslo.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Iceland

    Climate

    Iceland has a cool and temperate climate and, despite its location just south of the Arctic Circle, its northerly latitude is counteracted by the warm waters of the North Atlantic Drift which encircles the island. Temperatures in winter can fluctuate between about 10°C and -10°C and precipitation in the form of rain, sleet or snow is to be expected at any time. Days will be short, with daylight often only guaranteed between about 11 am and 4 pm in December. The best time for seeing the Aurora Borealis is October to March. Summer is generally cool with average temperatures for June and July around 12 - 15 degree centigrade in Reykjavik, although is known to be warmer in other parts of the country. In June and July you can enjoy continuous daylight and see the Midnight Sun, whilst late spring and early autumn offer long twilights.

    Time difference to GMT

    0

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    National Church of iceland

    Language

    Icelandic

    Norway

    Climate

    Seasonal Climate Despite the northern latitudes the climate in Norway is not extreme, due to the affects of the North Atlantic Drift. Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching the high teens and rain a regular feature year round along the coast. North of the Arctic Circle the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

    Time difference to GMT

    +1

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Lutheranism

    Language

    Norwegian

    Spitsbergen

    Climate

    Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching a maximum of 5 degrees centigrade. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

    Time difference to GMT

    +1

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Budgeting and packing

    Clothing


    Pack comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Wind and waterproof outer layers are essential, and a jacket is provided in the cost of the cruise. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton.
    Parkas
    A wind and waterproof jacket is provided as part of the cost of your holiday.
    Gloves
    Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost).
    Hat/Cap
    Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava.
    Trousers
    Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good.
    Socks
    Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet.
    Outer Clothing
    Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship.
    Underclothing
    Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.

    Footwear

    Waterproof boots are available on-board, free of charge. Ensure that you take good walking boots with you and comfortable trainers or grip-type shoes, for relaxing on the ship and for when out on deck.

    Luggage

    20kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
    don't overload yourself.

    Equipment

    Sunglasses and sun cream
    Personal toiletries
    A refilllable water bottle
    Books/reading material
    Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements)
    Seasickness remedy
    Walking poles

    Tipping

    Local crew
    Tipping is collected at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion, but as a generally guideline, we suggest US$12 per person per day.

    Iceland

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £12.00-16.00
    Dinner price
    £18.00 - 24.00
    Beer price
    £4.00 - 6.00
    Water price
    £2
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Icelandic Krona (ISK).
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at banks and post offices.
    Where To Exchange
    Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at banks and post offices
    ATM Availability
    Cash can be drawn on credit cards from ATM's in Reykjavik and at the airport.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Most shops and restaurants take credit cards.
    Travellers Cheques
    Can be exchanged at banks and post offices.

    Norway

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £18.00 - 25.00
    Dinner price
    £35.00 - 40.00
    Beer price
    £6.00 - 8.00
    Water price
    £2.00 - 3.00
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Norwegian Krona
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Take Norwegian Krona with you
    Where To Exchange
    Recommend you buy some Norwegian Krona before departing the UK (or whist in transit in Oslo).
    ATM Availability
    ATMs are available in Myre and at Oslo and Evenes Airports.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Credit cards are generally accepted at many hotels and optional excursions may be paid for by credit card.
    Travellers Cheques
    Not recommended.

    Spitsbergen

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Dinner price
    £35.00-40.00
    Beer price
    £6.00-8.00
    Water price
    £2.00-3.00
    Foreign Exchange
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    M/S Spitsbergen, Zodiac

    Ship description

    Named after the Arctic crown of Norway - the archipelago of Spitsbergen - the MS Spitsbergen was built in 2009 and has recently undergone a complete reconstruction in 2015-16. The ship features high standards throughout and public areas and cabins are comfortable and spacious - offering a peaceful haven at the end of a busy day exploring the Arctic wilderness. There is ample outdoor deck space to view the passing scenery, or you can keep a watchful eye from the bright and airy lounge area with its large picture windows. Cabins are well equipped, all en-suite, and there are a variety of cabin types to choose from. The ship also offers some extra amenities such as a Jacuzzi and fitness room. The Scandinavian design is fresh and modern and the ship's manoeuvrability and optimal size, allows for easy navigation in polar waters.

    Cabins

    Lead-in prices are based on the use of inside category cabins. Category one cabins are based on twin share, with one upper and one lower bed. They are comfortable with a private toilet, shower and TV. The MS Spitsbergen has a number of different cabin categories, many of which are outside facing, with two beds (apart from superior cabins and suites, which have double beds). Some cabins have portholes and others, larger windows and sitting areas. All cabins are twin share, but we can also offer single occupancy at a supplement, if you are travelling alone. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.

    Ship dining

    On-board the ship all meals are included in the price of your expedition; a buffet breakfast and lunch, and set menu dinner; it's free seating for breakfast and lunch, and assigned for dinner. Vegetarians and some special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee and tea are provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be purchased in the bar.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Entry visas NOT required by UK, AUS, NZ, USA, CAN Citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.
    All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Iceland

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory; tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Norway

    Vaccinations

    Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Spitsbergen

    Polar information
    Ship information
    Named after the Arctic crown of Norway - the archipelago of Spitsbergen - the MS Spitsbergen was built in 2009 and has recently undergone a complete reconstruction in 2015-16. The ship features high standards throughout and public areas and cabins are comfortable and spacious - offering a peaceful haven at the end of a busy day exploring the Arctic wilderness. There is ample outdoor deck space to view the passing scenery, or you can keep a watchful eye from the bright and airy lounge area with its large picture windows. Cabins are well equipped, all en-suite, and there are a variety of cabin types to choose from. The ship also offers some extra amenities such as a Jacuzzi and fitness room. The Scandinavian design is fresh and modern and the ship's manoeuvrability and optimal size, allows for easy navigation in polar waters.
    Additional Information

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Mon 1 Jul 2019 - Fri 12 Jul 2019
    SPIS_2019
    Price from £4138
    Save was
    Single room option Call us
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Reykjavik
    Time and place
    00:00 at
    Ending Point
    Town
    Oslo
    Time
    00:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
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