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Cruising Arctic Norway: Glaciers, Ice Floes, and Polar Bears – with Smithsonian Journeys

Cruising Arctic Norway: Glaciers, Ice Floes, and Polar Bears – with Smithsonian Journeys

From AUD $15,910

Description

In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.

This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.

PONANT invites you to experience something exceptional by discovering the Far North and the immense open spaces of the polar Arctic and its ice floes that extend to the North Pole.

You will board the ship at Longyearbyen in Norway for an 8-day expedition cruise to the heart of the Svalbard archipelago.

During your expedition at sea and in the company of our specialist team, you will discover the exceptional flora and fauna that lives in these extreme conditions, where temperatures reach -30°C in winter.

Your ship will first sail in the direction of the magnificent glaciers of Kongsfjorden, and then to the superb landscapes of the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park. The deep blue waters of its fjords surrounded by snow-capped mountains are home to many species of cetaceans while its islands, beaches and wide bays shelter the remains of old whaling stations and trappers’ cabins.

You will then set sail eastbound to try to reach the coasts of the Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, and the Hinlopen Strait, a real polar desert sheltering many basaltic islets, majestic glaciers and a rich marine ecosystem: colonies of sea birds, walruses, polar bears and Arctic foxes come to feed here.

Perhaps you will also be lucky enough to be able to observe these emblematic species as you sail along the islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya (also known as Barents Island and Edge Island respectively), in the Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, which is the largest protected zone in Norway.

During this unforgettable expedition, our ship will sail to latitudes of 80° north and you will discover that unique feeling of having reached the top of the world.

Trip Name
Cruising Arctic Norway: Glaciers, Ice Floes, and Polar Bears – with Smithsonian Journeys
Days
10
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 meters Passenger Capacity: 264 (in twin cabins, 200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 A superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins, she is the fruit of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. Le Boreal remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor combined with exterior and interior lines to reflect a nautical mood, subtly revisited. On board, soothing neutral tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in the spirit of a “private yacht”. Cuisine Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberte Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner. Life On Board Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, Le Boreal has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.  Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Carita™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available forfamilies either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting ser vice.Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please. Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Carita™ brand, the Beauty Centre on Le Boreal welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy).

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 PARIS
Transfer from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, to the group hotel (hotel to be announced).Meet and greet at the hotel and hospitality desk.Lunch and dinner on your own, and time at leisure in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 - Day 2 PARIS TO LONGYEARBYEN
Breakfast at the hotel.Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport.Flight Paris/Longyearbyen selected by PONANT in economy class. Approximate flight duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes.Meet and greet at the airport in Longyearbyen, and lunch.Transfer to the pier for embarkation.Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.
Day 3 - Day 3 KONGSFJORDEN (KING BAY), SPITSBERGEN
Very close to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund, set off to discover Kings Bay. Your ship will sail in one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden (the fjord of the King), a gateway to grandiose landscapes. Here, the snow-capped mountains are reflected in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty, a delight for photographers. Seals, reindeer, barnacle geese and black guillemots frequent these places that have a unique atmosphere. Once you arrive at the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three characteristic rocky points, which take their names from three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark) and Nora (Norway).
Day 4 - Day 4 NORDVEST-SPITSBERGEN NATIONAL PARK & NORDAUST-SVALBARD NATURE RESERVE
Like the other protected areas of Svalbard, the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park was established in the early 1970s to protect this exceptional environment against the growing interest of the mining industry. Nunataks, glaciers, islands and large bays, arctic tundra scattered with moss and lichen in shades of silver and gold... This region will fascinate you with its landscapes and with the numerous vestiges that bear witness to the history of the men ─ whale hunters and those involved in the first expeditions to the North Pole ─ who found themselves on these shores from the start of the 17th century. In this pristine environment, you will be able to observe arctic sterns or seals on the rocks that emerge at low tide.The Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve has been protecting the northernmost and coldest part of the archipelago, Nordaustlandet (North East Land), since 1973. This vast polar desert covered by two ice caps is the second largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Protected by the Gulf Stream, the fjords and cliffs in the west and north are home to large colonies of birds and walruses. The landscapes in the colder east and south are dominated by imposing glaciers that calve majestic icebergs in the vast Hinlopen Strait. Large colonies of thick-billed murres have taken up residence on the sheer cliffs. You may even get the chance to see a bear or an Arctic fox roaming in the vicinity.
Day 5 - Day 5 SAILING TOWARD THE ICE FLOES
Your captain will sail right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you will be able to go out in a Zodiac® dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 metres thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.
Day 6 - Day 6 NORDAUST-SVALBARD NATURE RESERVE
The Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve has been protecting the northernmost and coldest part of the archipelago, Nordaustlandet (North East Land), since 1973. This vast polar desert covered by two ice caps is the second largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Protected by the Gulf Stream, the fjords and cliffs in the west and north are home to large colonies of birds and walruses. The landscapes in the colder east and south are dominated by imposing glaciers that calve majestic icebergs in the vast Hinlopen Strait. Large colonies of thick-billed murres have taken up residence on the sheer cliffs. You may even get the chance to see a bear or an Arctic fox roaming in the vicinity.
Day 7 - Day 7 SORAUST-SVALBARD NATURE RESERVE
The Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve is the second largest protected area in Norway. Established in 1973, this nature conservation area stretching over more than 21,000 km2 will offer you stunning panoramas including coastal landscapes, rocky islets, mountain plateaux, vast tundra plains, and ice floes. With a little luck, you will be able to observe a wide variety of seabirds, given the site is listed as an Important Bird Area, as well as cetaceans, Svalbard reindeer, or even Arctic foxes. Among other things, Edgeoya Island is renowned for providing shelter to a number of polar bears during the breeding season.
Day 8 - Day 8 ISFJORDEN
The vast Isfjorden is one of the main fjords in Svalbard. These different branches reach the heart of the island of Spitsbergen. Located deep inside the Billejforden, the Nordenskiöld Glacier with its front of ice, nearly 5 km wide, is one of the most spectacular in the Svalbard Archipelago. You will perhaps have the opportunity to discover the ghost town of Pyramiden. Constructed at the foot of a mountain in the form of a pyramid, this former mining town, founded by Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century before being sold a few years later to the Soviet Union, and abandoned in 1998, has conserved all the buildings from its glory days, when it lived off coal mining.
Day 9 - Day 9 LONGYEARBYEN, SPITSBERGEN
Disembarkation.Meet and greet at the port.Lunch, transfer to the airport, and check-in to the flight Longyearbyen/Paris selected by PONANT in economy class. Approximate flight duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes.Transfer from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to the group hotel (hotel to be announced).Meet and greet at the hotel and hospitality desk.Dinner on your own, and time at leisure in the evening.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 - Day 10 PARIS
Breakfast at the hotel.Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itinerary is subject to change according to port authorizations and government regulations. We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $15,910Superior Stateroom
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $17,210DeLuxe Stateroom
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $18,750Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $19,520Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $20,450Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $27,210Deluxe Suite
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $35,680Prestige Suite - Deck 5
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $37,370Prestige Suite - Deck 6
14-06-202223-06-2022AUD $42,460Owner’s Suite

Inclusions

    • A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, a pre-cruise hotel night and post-cruise hotel night, and an included activity in each port of call.
    • Engaging discussions onboard with Smithsonian Journeys Experts including geologist and oceanographer Katryn Wiese.
    • A cruise to discover the countless riches of Svalbard.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Hiking opportunity.
    • Sail in the Hinlopen Strait between Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet.
    • Landscapes: ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, ice caps, steep-sided valleys, sheer cliffs, huge glaciers.
    • Discover Europe's largest ice cap in Nordaustlandet.
    • Wildlife: polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, cetaceans, sea birds.

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