Spitsbergen 2019

13 day escorted tour from £5,400pp

An Arctic Extravaganza for June 2019.

We aim to cross 80° North, where few expedition ships venture, and hope to complete a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago. We'll sail aboard our favourite polar expedition ship, MV FRAM. An experienced expedition team will accompany us and our experienced Norwegian crew will navigate our ship skilfully.

Located on the southern fringe of the ever frozen Arctic Ocean, where the warmer currents of the Gulf Stream meet the colder air and water from the north, Spitsbergen and the other islands of the Svalbard Archipelago are a biological hot spot. In the summer, thousands of migratory birds return to breed, and there is intense bird activity at sea, in the bird cliffs and on the islands. Common sightings include the Arctic Tern, Northern Fulmar, Ivory Gull, Little Auk, Atlantic Puffin, Snow Bunting, Arctic Skua and the Svalbard Rock Ptarmigan (the only species that over-winters in the archipelago). Svalbard Reindeer and Arctic Fox are year-round locals, and so too are Narwhals, Beluga and Bowhead whales, walruses, and a selection of seal species, including ringed, harbour and bearded varieties. Ruling over this fragile and often frozen kingdom is, of course, the region’s top predator, the magnificent Polar Bear.

During the voyage you’ll hear about the region’s early whaling era and have the opportunity to visit fascinating communities like Barentsburg, Longyearbyen and Ny Ålesund. Each one very different in character, but with one thing in common - a pioneer feeling. Thankfully we now travel in somewhat more comfort than the early explorers, but that certainly doesn’t make this expedition any less exciting. It’s an opportunity to see what few have seen. If you’re inclined to explore, this tour is for you.

Pre-voyage, there's an optional 3-night city break in Oslo. Here you'll enjoy a privately escorted city tour including a visit to the 80-acre Frogner Park which is home to over 200 bronze and granite sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, and we also plan a special visit to the Fram Museum, to see and explore the original FRAM exploration ship, used by Fridtjof Nansen on a drift over the Arctic Ocean 1893-96, and by Amundsen on his successful expedition to the South Pole 1910-12.

Everything you need is included in the tour package ... International and domestic flights, the expedition voyage, hotels, meals, transfers, sightseeing, excursions, entrance fees and all tips. And everything is 100% financially protected by our package tour ATOL, number 3710.

We are ready to answer any questions you may have. Perhaps you'll wish to know which are the best cabins on board ship, how the landings and visits in Spitsbergen will operate, or whether the style of the trip is right for you? Richard and Dawn have travelled on board FRAM many times and will be happy to pass on their first-hand knowledge. Don’t hesitate to telephone or email.

NB: This expedition has booked well beyond our initial expectations, and there are only a few cabins now remaining. Please contact us promptly to avoid disappointment.