Responsible Travel Guide: Antarctica
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With selected voyages during July’s polar summer, depart from the port of Longyearbyenon the remote island of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard. This collection of nine main islands is north of mainland Europe in the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean.
In one of the leading and most advanced ice strengthened ships to grace polar climes, you will explore both the islands and the many inlets, fjords and pack ice around this fascinating region.
Keep a look out for breaching whales, teeming seabird colonies, curious arctic foxes and of course the king of the region- the polar bear. An expert team will accompany you and a series of lectures will educate on the region along with a specialist photographic guide to assist everyone, from very beginners to seasoned professionals.
Upon arrival into this remote town you will be met by a member of the local team and enjoy a tour of Longyearbyen. Visit Camp Barentz in the stunning Advent Valley and meet some local huskies, who play such an important role in this environment. Before embarking your ship, the Greg Mortimer, visit Longyearbyen museum and then settle into your cabin ahead of compulsory briefings this evening and a chance to meet your expedition team.
In the evening the ship departs the port and the journey commences, it is certainly worth finding a spot on the observation deck to glimpse fulmars, ivory gulls, kittiwakes and the occasional puffins escorting you from the harbour.
The exact itinerary and routing of the ship will depend on the local weather and ice conditions as well as the wildlife sightings that you encounter enroute and this will be communicated to you by the experienced expedition team during your trip.
The aim is to explore as much of the archipelago as possible from the majestic mountain ranges and windswept tundra to the impressive glaciers and sparkling fjords. As it is during the polar summer there is 24 hours daylight and the crew are always on watch for wildlife sightings, of course everyone wants to see a polar bear, but you also might encounter walruses, seals, whales, reindeer and many specialist seabirds who survive in this region.
As well as the standard activities included in the trip such as walking on the islands, zodiac trips, wildlife watching from deck, photography, educational lectures and for those brave enough the polar plunge, it is also possible to book a place as a kayaker, diver or snorkeller.
The ship will cruise back into Longyearbyen arriving in the early morning and it is not recommended to book a flight home before 12:00 in case of any delays. A transfer is included from the cruise to the airport. For those with a later flight there is an option half day bus tour to take in the sights of Longyearbyen before heading to the airport.