Spitsbergen Arctic cruise with Mark Carwardine

“An exclusive Arctic small ship wildlife watching cruise in the company of two of the wildlife world's most celebrated expedition leaders, including broadcaster Mark Carwardine. Experience Svalbard in 24hr daylight.”

Highlights

Wildlife cruise of Svalbard archipelago | Spitsbergen | Arctic wildlife encounters with polar bears, walrus, seals, whales, Arctic foxes | Huge bird colonies | Photography support from Mark Carwardine | Longyearbyen | Living aboard an expedition vessel | 24 hour daylight

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Our top tip:
It's not often you get to travel in such expert company - ask as many questions as you can and make the trip into your own photography and zoology masterclass.
Trip type:
Small ship cruise, approx. 100 passengers.
Activity level:
Passengers should be fairly fit to make the most of excursions.
Accomm:
Based on twin-share cabin with either shared or en suite facilities.
Solos:
Surcharge for single cabins.
Included:
Accomm., expedition leader, rubber boots, daily activites, onboard lectures.
Meals:
All meals included on board, 3-4 course lunches and dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted
“The sorts of people who will value this trip are those who want to take stunning photographs, not just record shots.”

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Spitsbergen Arctic cruise with Mark Carwardine

Environment

Activity:
This tour is nature based and extremely conscious of our presence in the Arctic environment and minimising our effects on it. Often just seeing whales, seals and polar bears in their natural environments can be a very moving experience and clients either donate to related charities or develop a lifelong interest in their conservation. We maintain a ‘leave no trace’ policy when camping and walking. Other activities include guided photography – which also has a minimal impact on the environment. There is not much contact with local communities on this remote voyage, although we do encourage clients to explore Longyearbyen before and after we set off. There are some small businesses here which benefit greatly from tourism commerce and plenty of locals to engage with.

Reducing Emissions and Waste:
Our eco-conscious approach means we travel to remote and pristine destinations differently than others in the industry. Our vessel burns Marine Gas Oil (MGO) – a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor- and despite being far more expensive, it is the only fuel we consider using. We also reduce consumption and emissions by tailoring our itinerary to operate at a more leisurely pace, rather than going full steam ahead at all times. Our smaller Zodiac landing crafts are more lightweight and nimble and they are powered by low-emission engines as well. We offer a carbon offsetting option for clients and make a collective effort to minimise excess waste on board, disposing of everything on land.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Local Sourcing:
We plan to take advantage of local products as a means of boosting communities local to us and reducing our carbon footprint on the whole. This is evident in the meals provided, which are created with sustainability in mind. Seafood, for example, will always be fresh and purchased based on the responsible management of the fishery for each particular species and will observe guidelines similar to the MSC and Audubon Society. Our gift shop only sells items which have been thoroughly researched as to where an item has come from, whether it has been produced fairly, what it is made of and distance it has had to travel.

Staff and Client Preparation:
We have developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our staff is fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our staff should be experts and able to pass vital information on clients in briefings. This trip will be accompanied by award winning photographer Paul Goldstein and zoologist and award winning writer Mark Carwardine. We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the International Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (IAATO) and our own material. We emphasise that the protection of this pristine yet fragile environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do.

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