Spitsbergen Arctic Cruise

“Join a 12 or 10 day Spitsbergen expedition in the company of Arctic experts. Your first polar bear sighting will be a treat to treasure for all time. ”

Highlights

Longyearbyen | Northwest Spitsbergen National Park | Kongsfjorden fjords | Svalbard reindeer, polar bears and Brunnich's guillemots | Abandoned mining and whaling settlements | Eastern Svalbard | South Spitsbergen | Rossøya | Edgeøya | Kvitøya | Southwest Spitsbergen fjords | Onboard lectures and presentations from Arctic experts | Zodiac landings, hiking excursions and sea kayaking |

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
30 Jun 2020
£5264
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 30 Jun 2020 departure
10 Jul 2020
£5765
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Jul 2020 departure
28 Jul 2020
£5558
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Jul 2020 departure
07 Aug 2020
£5558
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Aug 2020 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Spitsbergen Arctic Cruise

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

As part of our commitment to protecting both the wildlife and pristine landscapes of the areas our tours visit, we only work with partners who are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), meaning that they adhere to stringent guidelines designed to ensure the Polar Regions remain pristine for generations to come. In fact the operators of this tour were one of the most active participants in establishing the AECO, and are the largest financial contributor to this very important organisation that puts sustainable travel in the Arctic at the very forefront of everything it does.

We have a commitment to ensure that all aspects of the operations on this tour go above and beyond the responsible travel obligations of Arctic tour providers. As part of this commitment the tour organisers are involved in numerous research projects and are very active participants in the “Clean up Svalbard” initiative which helps keep the natural environment of Svalbard as clean as possible. In recent years, marine pollution has been recognised as a major problem for the world’s oceans and your tour operators help to provide the necessary support to help to ensure that this problem is reduced, if not eradicated, as swiftly as possible. As guests on this tour you may also be invited to help the ongoing efforts by participating in beach clean-ups.

Another element of our operator’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of their operations is their responsible vessel practices, with reducing fuel consumption being one of their most important environmental tasks. All of the operator’s ships use low sulphur SDM (Special Distillate Marine), and the ships used on your tour use an even more eco-friendly fuel, Marine Gas Oil. As well as this they are currently in the process of changing all of their ships to using energy-efficient propellers which has a huge impact both on propulsion and fuel consumption.

Your tour operators are leaders in the field of responsible travel and currently have in place almost 30 different energy saving measures, with many more in the pipeline waiting to be implemented. These measures include first-class recycling schemes for all waste on board, optimised route planning to achieve the most efficient operations, ballast water treatment plants and abandoning the use of Heavy Fuel Oil, whilst actively working towards influencing other operators to follow suit. These are just a few of the many measures in place and whilst we all acknowledge that the modern desire for travel will unfortunately leave some element of a footprint, acknowledging this and working towards eliminating or at least significantly reducing it is imperative to the ongoing survival of the intriguing landscapes we will visit.

Throughout your tour you will receive advice on how to travel in an environmentally responsible way, including appropriate recycling and waste disposal. The ultimate necessity is to leave the Arctic as untouched as it was before you set foot on it and your guides will ensure that this is the case. As a company we firmly believe that environmental responsibility starts at home. We encourage recycling of waste as a company and as individuals. Where possible for business use we use public transport. We are also heavily involved with a project to recycle used or damaged binoculars, which are then sent to conservation projects across the world.

As well as the stunning landscapes you will witness, one of the main highlights of any trip to Spitsbergen will without doubt be the fascinating wildlife encounters that you can expect. From polar bears to a myriad of seabirds, Spitsbergen is a wildlife paradise, and we place the utmost importance on ensuring that your trip only has a positive impact on the lives of these remarkable animals. We only work with operators who have strict policies in place for ensuring that their tours not only cause zero impact, but actually commit to helping to ensure the ongoing survival of the wildlife of the area. Along with collaborating with many scientific research projects across the world which aim to reduce the environmental impacts on the wildlife of some of the planet’s most remote wildlife areas, the operators of your tour are active participants in the Norwegian Polar Institute’s project to register marine mammals in the Arctic. Gathering this data improves insight of habitat use and seasonal migration patterns and is also used in The Environmental Monitoring of Svalbard.

Throughout your tour your expert crew will provide lectures and presentations to raise awareness of the plights facing some of the Arctic wildlife you will see. You will be given strict guidelines on how to interact with any wildlife you encounter, ensuring that no actions taken will affect negatively on them, and we often find that many of our guests return from their tours with a new-found passion for conservation. As a company we are members of the AECO and we support many wildlife organisations worldwide including Birdfair, Save the Albatross, Wader Quest and the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, and in an effort to further enhance the positive effects of our tours on the wildlife of the Arctic we actively encourage our customers upon return to donate to charities concerned with the Arctic.

Community

As a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers.

Likewise, our partners for this tour place a huge emphasis on protecting and supporting the communities that their tours visit, with an aim to creating only positive impacts on their lives and livelihoods. This commitment culminated in the establishment of the operator’s own foundation to help support local communities and initiatives. Twice a year the company grants funds to NGOs in charitable initiatives in the areas in which they operate. The company states, “The foundation was established to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges in the areas where we sail, and to financially support locally-initiated projects and to encourage volunteering in worthwhile causes. We want to make sure our footprints are as gentle as possible, and our presence positive for both the places we visit and its residents. We already support several local initiatives such as 'Clean up Svalbard', Association of Greenlandic Children, conservation projects of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica.” Throughout your tour you will be offered an insight into the excellent work that is in place and donations to the foundation are more than welcome.

The operators of your tour have extensive practices in place for adding value to the communities they visit. By trading locally and buying services, like excursions, from local suppliers, the operator contributes to the livelihood and welfare of small coastal communities. They focus intently on locally produced ingredients and short travelled food runs, as well as providing rescue services and help to local safety initiatives.

The utmost respect is given to all local cultures and the valuable cultural sites that you may visit on your trip. Strict guidelines will be in place when visiting any cultural sites and your expert tour guides will offer information along the way. For a vast portion of your tour the only interaction with anyone other than your shipmates will be during your stopover in Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s most populated town. You will be staying in locally-owned accommodation and consequently the proceeds of your stay will be filtered straight through to the local community. With first-hand experience of the areas we visit we have up to date local information and can therefore provide the most relevant information in our pre-departure literature. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in, cultural etiquette and advice on how to engage with and help the local communities. We can suggest local areas and communities to visit gaining cultural insights along the way, along with advice on where to buy souvenirs (to ensure the proceeds are going directly to the vendors) & locally owned restaurants & bars.

2 Reviews of Spitsbergen Arctic Cruise

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing polar bears and wildlife up close and personal!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Get the best binoculars and camera that you can get a hold of!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It certainly made me aware of the effects of global warming and global human excess...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


excellent!

Reviewed on 01 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The only close encounter with one polar bear.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Have a very clear understanding of what exactly the trip actually entails.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Unfortunately what I understood I would be experiencing was not what I experience at all. The Expedition Leader was more concerned about activities than actually searching for more polar bears. The trip says in search of Polar Bear and Pack Ice but we spent more time hiking and I certainly did not sign up for this at all. The trip was exceptionally expensive and had I understood that we were going to hike and would not have gone on this trip.

Read the operator's response here:


Dear Mish,

We’re really sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your trip Mish. We do our best to align our customers with a wildlife expedition that is ideally suited to their aspirations and expectations. Sadly, it seems in your case we didn’t get that quite right.
Thank you for taking the time to discuss the trip in detail with us during follow up communication. Your insight will help us fine-tune our information to ensure our customers are better informed in the future.
We were also really glad to hear that aside from the disappointment you describe, the trip did have numerous highlights and that there were many aspects of your voyage you did enjoy, including a memorable polar bear encounter.

Kind regards,

Simon


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