See the majestic setting that the lordly polar bear freely roams as we explore the Arctic Svalbard archipelago of Norway, pulling the ship’s bow up to blue-veined glaciers, alighting on islands where caribou drift like smoke across the tundra. Go from the TV series depiction of Vikings to a real sense of their heroism. From Svalbard, we’ll follow in the wake of these, and other fearless explorers and colonists to discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland and Iceland.
• See polar bears in their natural habitat, the sea ice, in the gorgeous, uninhabited wilds of Svalbard far from any human settlements — accompanied by expert spotters to increase your sightings;
• Follow in the wake of the 10th-century Viking explorers along the ice shelf;
• Discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland; explore the seldom-seen east coast fjords & icebergs; spot white-tailed eagles, among the 60 species of birds that breed in Greenland;
• Actively explore Iceland’s Westfjord region; walk on lava fields and ice sheets, feel the spray of gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls; cruise among magnificent icebergs;
• Meet the intriguing people able to thrive in their Arctic homelands;
• Enjoy superlative photos ops & on-board photo assistance
• Travel confidently in the company of Arctic experts, committed and able to provide you with an extraordinary experience
Fly to Oslo. On arrival, check into Oslo’s Thon Bristol Hotel (or similar) and explore this charming city. Stroll amid Oslo’s famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures set in parkland. Visit the Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian polar explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is at leisure.
Depart Oslo on a charter flight (additional cost) and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. Embark National Geographic Explorer. (B,L,D)
Our day-by-day itinerary, in keeping with the nature of an expedition, will be a thoughtfully considered framework based on our long experience in this dynamic arctic region. We’ll take full advantage of our ‘human resources’—our experienced Captain, expedition leader and naturalists—as well as our technological resources. Armed with the latest satellite imagery, we’ll chart where the ice is impenetrable, and where there are leads guiding us to exciting discoveries. We have an ice-strengthened hull and forward-searching sonar, plus agile Zodiacs and kayaks, allowing us to make forays among the icebergs. The Undersea Specialist will deploy the ROV, bringing back imagery few, if any, have ever seen. And with unforgettable days in the ice and two photographers on board, you’ll have assistance to get your best photos ever.
We begin in Svalbard, Norway—a place of deep fjords, snowcapped mountains, and massive ice sheets. Nowhere can the polar bear be seen more reliably in its natural environment than here. Venture to the foot of vast tidewater glaciers, kayak among sparkling icebergs, hike the tundra, and explore fjords that split the coastline.
Svalbard’s wonders are a prelude to days ahead of discoveries on unknown shores, following the ice’s edge. Our quest is to discover the Arctic’s grand wilderness. Be on deck as our captain navigates between icebergs that drift from the calving glaciers. And if the ice yields, we’ll aim for Scoresbysund, on the east coast of Greenland, still awakening from winter’s long icy grip. If the ice is unrelenting, we’ll head to Iceland.
The finale of our journey is the west coast of Iceland: Isafjördur, a picture postcard of Icelandic life; the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, home to a huge population of razorbills; and Flatey Island, a former trading post. (B,L,D)
Our grand adventure takes us to Iceland’s lively capital city, Reykjavik. Have a guided overview of the old town, and visit the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, prior to our flight home. (B,L)
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
Main Deck with one or two Portholes #301-308
Main Deck with Window #317-320, 335-336
Main Deck with Window #313-316, 321-328, 337-340, 342, 344, 346, 348, 350 Triples: Main Deck with WIndow #341, 343
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window #103-104, 107-108, 201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228
Solo A Main Deck with Window #309-312, 329-334
Upper Deck with Balcony #209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224
Solo B Upper and Veranda Decks with Window #105-106, 203, 208
Veranda Deck–Suite #101-102; Upper Deck-Suite with Balcony #213 Triples: #101-102
Upper Deck–Suite with Balcony #215, 219, 230 All cabins are available as triples.
Oslo to Longyearbyen Charter Flight : 455 AUD pp
National Geographic Explorer
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 108 meters
Passenger Capacity: 148 (single & twin cabins)
Built / Refurbished: 1982 / 2008
National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world.
Public areas: Bistro Bar; Chart Room; Restaurant; Global Gallery; Library, Lounge with full service bar and state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; Mud Room with lockers for expedition gear, and Observation Lounge. Our “Open Bridge” provides guests an opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.
Meals: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.
Cabins: All cabins face outside with windows or portholes, private facilities and climate controls.
Expedition Equipment: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, SplashCam, underwater video camera, Crow’s Nest remote controlled camera, video microscope, snorkeling gear.
Special Features: A full-time doctor, Undersea Specialist, LEX Photo Specialist and Video Chronicler, Internet Cafe and laundry.
Wellness: The vessel is staffed by two Wellness Specialists and features a glass enclosed Fitness Center, outdoor stretching area, two LEXspa treatment rooms and Sauna.
Free Bar and Crew Tips Included on Voyages aboard National Geographic Explorer
Expeditions aboard National Geographic Explorer - Arctic, Antarctica, South America West Coast, British and Irish Isles and Canada.
Select Voyages 2017 - 2018.
Voyage Rates: AU$6 240 - AU$62 050
Special Offer: FREE BAR AND CREW TIPS INCLUDED
Beginning in April 2017, we will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew on all National Geographic Explorer voyages. Promotion subject to availability, contact us for further details.