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Pristine Spitsbergen – with National Geographic & Ponant

Pristine Spitsbergen – with National Geographic & Ponant

From AUD $16,300

Description

In collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions.

With PONANT, set off to discover the west coast of Spitsbergen during a 9-day expedition cruise into the heart of the Svalbard Archipelago. Aboard L’Austral, fall under the spell of the magical Arctic Far North, with its ice floes, polar bears and breathtaking glaciers.

Your ship will depart from Tromsø, in Norway, and head north to bring you closer to Bear Island, a refuge for many birds, in the western part of the Barents Sea.

You will then reach the southern tip of Spitsbergen and discover the Sor-Spitsbergen National Park, where you will be able to admire some of the island’s most beautiful fjords, like the Hornsund with its impressive glacier front.

Further north, in the Nordvest Sptisbergen National Park, follow in the footsteps of the former whalers who once settled there. Some sites that are home to the graves of many sailors and are still frequented by various species of cetaceans.

Before your disembarkation in Longyearbyen, you will discover the glaciers of the Kongsfjorden and you will maybe have the opportunity to discover Ny-Alesund. This international scientific station is a former mining town, which was the departure point for many expeditions towards the North Pole.

Trip Name
Pristine Spitsbergen - with National Geographic & Ponant
Days
9
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral has a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create 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 Liberté 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, L'Austral 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 Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. 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 Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 TROMSO
In the north of the Arctic circle you’ll discover Tromsø, a secluded town located in the county of Troms. Norwegians call it the “Paris of the north”. You’ll soon see why when you discover its extensive neoclassical architectural heritage. A stunning example is the Arctic cathedral, a major monument whose stylistic purity echoes the outline of the mountains surrounding the town.
Day 2 - Day 2 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 3 - Day 3 SAILING BY BJORNOYA (BEAR ISLAND)
Halfway between Norway and Spitsbergen, you will sail not far from the coastlines of Bjørnøya, the southernmost island of Svalbard. From your ship, observe this isolated piece of land discovered in 1596 by the Dutch navigator Willem Barents, then looking for the Northwest Passage. Following a tough fight between a polar bear and the members of the expedition, he dubbed the place Bear Island. Regularly covered by a thick layer of fog, Bjørnøya shelters a meteorological station built in 1923, which is still in operation. Declared a nature reserve in 2002, the island is above all home to an enormous colony of sea birds: skuas, guillemots, puffins, Tridactyl gulls, petrels, gulls and little auks all coexist here.
Day 4 - Days 4 - 5 SOR-SPITSBERGEN NATIONAL PARK
The Sor-Spitsbergen National Park, established in 1973, is the largest national park in Norway and Europe with an area of up to 13,300 km2. Two-thirds of its area is made up of ice and its sublime landscapes are divided between vast plains along the coast, alpine relief and impressive glaciers. You will discover Hornsund, the southernmost fjord and one of the most beautiful fjords in Spitsbergen with a length of 28 km. Its 8 large glaciers extend down to the sea and form an immense 25 km long ice front and important iceberg calvings, making up one of the most spectacular panoramas in Spitsbergen. You will have the opportunity to observe numerous colonies of birds and polar bears living in this nature sanctuary.
Day 5 - Day 6 NORDVEST-SPITSBERGEN NATIONAL PARK
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.
Day 6 - Day 7 SAILING ICE FLOES
Enjoy the absolutely unique experience of sailing to the heart of the ice floe, this vast expanse of virgin, immaculate ice. The landscapes are constantly changing, shifting from a smooth, flat wilderness to a chaos of ice, then to channels of open water. Your ship will sail along these naturally open channels and through the areas where the frozen layer is thinnest, offering you the chance to experience magic maritime moments in the midst of drifting sea ice. It will also often be an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe.
Day 7 - Day 8 NORDVEST-SPITSBERGEN NATIONAL PARK & KONGSFJORDEN (KING BAY), SPITSBERGEN
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.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 8 - Day 9 LONGYEARBYEN, SPITSBERGEN
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 9 - Please Note:
We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. The itinerary, 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
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $16,300Superior Stateroom
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $17,570Deluxe Stateroom
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $19,380Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $20,290Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $21,370Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $29,350Deluxe Suite
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $39,320Prestige Suite Deck 5
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $41,310Prestige Suite Deck 6
26-05-202203-06-2022AUD $47,290Owner's Suite

Inclusions

    • A cruise in collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with your naturalist guides.
    • Hiking opportunity.
    • Sail in Spitsbergen’s fjords and towards the ice floe.
    • Landscapes: ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, ice caps, steep-sided valleys, sheer cliffs, huge glaciers.
    • Wildlife: polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic terns, walruses, whales, puffins.

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