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Spitsbergen and Greenland - Expedition

Arctic, Greenland, Norway, Spitsbergen - Trip code ACG Polar
Days 13
Deposit From £232
Price from £2324
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Sail into a part of the world that few have ventured and experience the unspoilt wilderness of Greenland and Spitsbergen. Explore Northeast Greenland National Park by Zodiac and on foot and visit one of the remotest settlements on earth at Ittoqqortoormiit. Enjoy incredible glacial scenery, arctic wildlife and learn about life in this frozen corner of the world.

  • See an intoxicating mix of wildlife - walrus, Arctic fox, seal and sea birds
  • Discover deep fjords - enjoy ice blue glaciers & sculpted icebergs
  • Discover the dramatic beauty of Scoresbysund Fjord - the largest fjord system in the world
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 12

    Lunch: 11

    Dinner: 12

  • Trip staff

    Expedition Crew

    Naturalist(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Expedition

    Zodiac

  • i

    Accommodation

    12 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 - Join trip in Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on the Svalbard archipelago. The town has a population of 2,060 people and about as many snowmobiles! Longyearbyen is located at 78°13N 15°33E and has an arctic tundra climate. Due to its location far north of the polar circle, it experiences polar night from mid-October to mid-February and polar day from mid-April to mid-August.

Arrive before 2pm on the first day of the tour. An arrival transfer is included if arriving in on day one of the itinerary. Upon arrival into Longyearbyen airport (LYR) please collect your luggage and look for a representative in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. If you have booked your flights independently, please make sure that you have advised us of your arrival flight details, so that a transfer is booked for you. Be sure to keep all of your important documents - i.e. passport and travel insurance, and also your medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the ship.

There are no activities planned today so you will have time to visit the town before embarkation commences at 4pm. Perhaps you might choose to explore the town and the few shops that are located in its small centre. If you have extra time in Longyearbyen, we would recommend a visit to the Svalbard Museum, or take a tour of the Svalbard Brewery or Coal Mine Number Three. For longer stays, it's worth pre-booking the Northern Lights dinner at nearby Camp Barentz.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Dinner

Day 2 - At Sea

The day will be sepnt crossing the Greenland Sea. Enjoy informative talks throughout the day, delivered by the experienced expedition crew; learn about local wildlife and the history and exploration of the region.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3 - At Sea / Northeast Greenland National Park

S pend several days exploring the massive fjord system of Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world. Northeast Greenland National Park is nearly impossible to reach except by way of an expedition ship. Sheer mountains provide a canvas for spectacular geological features and will greet you at every vantage point.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 - Northeast Greenland National Park

These intricate fjord systems are everything from wide and unimaginable to narrow and steeply spectacular with some of the best mountain scenery in the world. Walking over lush stands of colourful autumn tundra may lead to opportunities to see musk oxen grazing nearby.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 - Northeast Greenland National Park

Take to Scorsbysund, the tree-like fjord system marked by winding branches of iceberg-dotted fjords. Sail through and land on some of the most spectacular fjord country in the world while exploring rarely visited glaciers, bays, and inlets. Here, in the vast, untouched wilderness of the park, you will be overwhelmed by the changing light of a polar sunrise or sunset draping the mountains in lavish colours.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 - Northeast Greenland National Park

Dark nights allow for star-gazing and the possibility of spotting the Aurora Borealis when in calm waters. Occasionally, orca, humpback, or minke whales may be spotted, so keep a keen lookout - bring your binoculars and dress for the polar chill. Be immersed in the full experience as educational lectures continue on board by the expedition staff.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 - Northeast Greenland National Park

Frigid waters drain from the Arctic Ocean in a southwest current along the coast of Northeast Greenland. Often, drifting pack ice is pushed along the coast. We will attempt to approach and follow the pack ice edge to explore the polar seascape. Keep a lookout for sea mammals like seal and whale and also sea birds such as kittiwakes and fulmars.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 - Greenland Sea/Ittoqqortoomiit

After several days traversing the far reaches of Greenland's awe-inspiring wilderness, visit the community of Ittoqortoormiit. Although small and far from other inhabited towns, the vibrance of life here is evident in the brightly coloured buildings, the eager Greenlandic husky puppies and the warmth of the people who call Ittoqortoormiit home.

This small settlement is home to only 450 individuals and one grocery store. The people of Ittiqqortoormiit rely heavily on hunting and fishing and have honed these skillsets for many generations. They enjoy spending warmer spring weather on dog sleds, snowmobile trips, or camping excursions. With the closest inhabited settlement hundreds of miles away across some of the most unforgivable terrain in the world, the warmth and sense of community fostered by the people of Ittiqqortoormiit act as a beacon in the Arctic.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9 - Crossing the Greenland Sea

We cross the Greenland sea, plotting a route towards Spitsbergen. Enjoy more informative on-board lectures while at sea.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10 - Crossing the Greenland Sea/ Spitsbergen

Take advantage of local ice and weather conditions to explore the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, one of those rare places on Earth blessed with both an awe-inspiring landscape and compelling history. The Svalbard archipelago sits halfway between Norway and the North Pole, at the intersection of the Arctic Ocean, the Norwegian Sea, and the Greenland Sea. Fascinating flora and fauna populate the dramatic mountains and valleys of this island chain known by many early explorers as the last outpost en route to the North Pole.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11 - Around Spitsbergen

Spend these days in search of the elusive polar bear as they hunt seals on ice. Look out for Svalbard's unique subspecies of reindeer - although much smaller than their southern relatives, they still carry impressive antlers. Keep a sharp lookout for Arctic foxes and enjoy the noisy frenzy of the prolific birdlife who inhabit these parts.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12 - Around Spitsbergen

By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer. The final itinerary and landing sites are largely based on ice conditions and the roaming wildlife - no two voyages are the same which further adds to this unique experience.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 13 - Trip ends in Longyearbyen

The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship at approximately 8am.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time and you will receive a complimentary transfer at the end of your trip. For those on morning flights, a transfer will take you directly to Longyearbyen Airport (LYR). For those on later flights, you will be transferred to the luggage storage point at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel and given time to explore the town, before being transferred to the airport later in the day to meet onward flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board the ship, prior to disembarkation. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel will be available until the time of departure.

Due to restrictive airline schedules of flights departing Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for any passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2.30am (depending on airline schedules).

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Country information

Arctic

Greenland

Climate

Greenland has an Arctic climate with average temperatures in the North that do not exceed 10° C in the warmest summer months. In the southern part of the country and the innermost parts of the long fjords, the temperature can, however, rise to more than 20° C (68° F) in June, July and August.

Time difference to GMT

UTC±00:00 to UTC-04:00

Religion

Church of Denmark

Language

Greenlandic however, Danish and English are recognised languages.

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


Parkas
These will be provided by the ship operator. Please register your size with us before travel and we will arrange for your parka to be available in your cabin on arrival.

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

Complimentary, used waterproof boots will be supplied onboard. However, guests might want to bring their own if they are the following sizes due to the limited quantities onboard:
- men's UK size 12 & 13 1/2
- women's UK size below three & seven and above
Guests must bring their own if they are:
- men's UK size six 1/2 or smaller
- men's UK size 13 1/2 or larger
- women's UK size two or smaller
- women's UK size nine 1/2 or larger
These are rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees with a strong, ridged non-skid sole.
You usually have to step from the Zodiac into icy water up to 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk or boots with metal cleats as they cannot be used for landings. For maximum warmth, wear loose-fitting boots and two pairs of socks. Try out your boots before the voyage.

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
Personal First Aid

Tipping

Local crew
Tipping is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction. The suggested amount is USD $10 - 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed among the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.

Arctic

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.


Foreign Exchange

Greenland

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.


Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Danish krone (DKK)

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

Bus, Expedition, Zodiac

Ship description

At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space. Yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smoother ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage enroute to the Antarctic, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your surroundings.

Cabins

The lead-in prices on our website are based on outward facing, category one cabins on the lower deck. Category one cabins are triple or quad share. They are comfortable with a private toilet and shower, and porthole. The Expedition has a number of different cabin categories, ranging from quads, twins and suites - all are outside facing, with two beds (apart from the suites which have queen size beds). Some cabins have larger windows, depending on your cabin grade. We can also offer single occupancy at a supplement which will be subject to availability at the time of booking. A full layout of the deck plan can be found under the Polar Ships section on our website. Your confirmed cabin type will appear on your Booking Confirmation which will be sent on receipt of your deposit payment.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety 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

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.
For Norway and Scotland entry visas are not required for UK, AUS, NZ, CAN, USA citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply 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 complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

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.

Arctic

Greenland

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
At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space. Yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smoother ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage enroute to the Antarctic, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your surroundings.

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Wed 19 Aug 2020 - Mon 31 Aug 2020
ACG_2020
£2324
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
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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. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule are customers who are booked on a trip where the joining and/or ending point is the airport or station. In this particular case there will be a specific time provided for when the trip starts and ends. On these particular trips, only one arrival and departure transfer will generally be provided for the whole group. 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
Longyearbyen
Time and place
11:00 at Radison Blu Hotel
Ending Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time
08:00
Information The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship at approximately 8am.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time and you will receive a complimentary transfer at the end of your trip. For those on morning flights, a transfer will take you directly to Longyearbyen Airport (LYR). For those on later flights, you will be transferred to the luggage storage point at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel and given time to explore the town, before being transferred to the airport later in the day to meet onward flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board the ship, prior to disembarkation. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel will be available until the time of departure.

Due to restrictive airline schedules for flights departing from Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for those passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2:30am, dependent on airline schedules.
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.

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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