With flying times from the UK to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard less than six hours away, and no long sea journeys involved, it is possible to experience the true majesty of the Arctic, just 500 miles from the North Pole, without having to travel to Canada, Alaska, Greenland or Russia.
Boasting stunning glaciers, spectacular fjords and scenic mountains, combined with a plethora of wildlife – including the mighty polar bear – the Norwegian Arctic has all the ingredients for a truly memorable adventure.
Leading polar cruise ship operator, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), is known for the large number of wildlife sightings on its voyages around Svalbard, as well as their ability to get up close to the likes of polar bears, seals, beluga whales, puffins and walrus, all of which are featured on three OOE voyages with availability in June 2017.
It’s a perfect time to travel during the midnight sun, with the extended hours of daylight enabling guests to participate in a range of varied activities each day.
Focusing on the western and northern coasts of Spitsbergen, which boast the highest concentration of wildlife, as well as places of historic and scenic interest, OOE’s itineraries include hikes and zodiac cruises; visits to wildlife colonies and even the opportunity to sea kayak these infamous waters.
Managing Director of OOE, Andrew Prossin, says there is an extremely high chance of being able to get up close to polar bears: “Our ship benefits from the highest possible ice classification, allowing it to push further to the north of the archipelago than other operators and into the ice pack where polar bears live.
"As a result, we have a high success rate in spotting these Kings of the Arctic and we’re able to manoeuvre the ship into prime position for the best viewing opportunities.”
OOE is also proud to have the highest staff to passenger ratio (1:4) in the expedition cruise industry. This makes all the difference to the comfort of guests during the voyage, and enhances the experience for those wishing to learn about the wildlife, history and environment.
OOE is offering a US $1500 travel credit for guests on their soft adventure cruises in the Norwegian Arctic. This special offer, which is available for all new bookings confirmed by 28 February 2017 on Spitsbergen voyages departing in June 2017, is designed to help offset the cost of travel to Longyearbyen (via Oslo) from where the ship departs, and also to mark OOE’s 9th birthday.
Prices for the nine-night Spitsbergen Encounter, departing on 8 and 17 June 2017, start from US$3995pp triple share and from US$5395 based on twin share (including the US$1500 travel credit). The latter departure also includes a Photography Symposium designed for passengers wishing to improve their photographic techniques, which is led by award-winning polar photographer, Daisy Gilardini.
One Ocean Expeditions is a proudly Canadian world leader in polar exploration. Committed to environmental and social responsibility, One Ocean Expeditions offers passengers personalised polar marine experiences in the most beautiful places on earth.
With a range of innovative expedition cruise itineraries in Antarctica, Canada’s Arctic and East Coast, Greenland, and Norway, One Ocean Expeditions has earned a reputation for exceptional quality, customer service, industry-leading safety standards, and unparalleled value.
One Ocean Expeditions is a unique partner to our Polar Regions, committed to supporting environmental awareness and education, world-class scientific research into sensitive ecosystems, historical preservation, and the sustainment of local communities.
One Ocean Expeditions maintains ongoing affiliations with an array of scientific and educational institutions, and is proud to serve as the exclusive education, environmental science, and expedition partner of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
The 11-night Spitsbergen Explorer, departing 26 June 2017, starts from US$5395pp based on triple share and from US$5995 based on a twin cabin (including the US$1500pp travel credit).
All prices include accommodation, all meals, 24-hour tea and coffee, use of expedition gear (which saves clients approximately US$1,000 worth of purchases and 8kg/16lbs worth of luggage!), airport transfers, shore excursions, landings, educational presentations and guided walks.