national geographic explorer luxury polar bear cruise

SVALBARD IN SPRING: Polar bears, Arctic Light & Epic Ice

  • Overview

    One of the grandest wildlife experiences the planet offers.

    Onboard National Geographic Endurance, voyage deep into and around the Svalbard Archipelago where Sven Lindblad and his team, on reconnaissance last March, were stunned by the beauty, the vistas of snow and ice, and the wonder of the changing light as the Spring sun mounts ever higher in the Arctic sky each day. Scan the icescapes for emerging bears, seals and other wildlife. Walk on a frozen sea. And capture it all with ace photographers. Been to Svalbard? Come see its even wilder season. And for Arctic ‘virgins,’ this is the purest Arctic experience possible.

    • Polar bear and walrus sightings ensured by our skilled veteran spotters
    • Arctic wildlife & natural history
    • True expedition adventure––daily flexibility and spontaneity
    • Active exploration––using kayaks, Zodiacs, hiking & walking
    • Superlative photos ops & on-board photo assistance
    • National Geographic expedition team to illuminate it all

     

    Our itinerary & experience make the most of your time & curiosity. Flexibility is a hallmark of our Svalbard tour expeditions, and often the day-by-day itinerary will change as we take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or photographers linger ashore through the golden hour of light. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.  

    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 126 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Disembarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: Unavailable
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Oslo, Norway/Thon Hotel Bristol

      Arrive in Oslo, the capital city where each year the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the presence of the King of Norway. Our introduction to Oslo begins with a stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures--hundreds of life-size human figures set in rolling parklands. Next we visit the Polar Ship Fram Museum, dedicated to Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is free to try one of the harbor restaurants or turn in early. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol, or similar.

    • Day 2 - Oslo/Longyearbyen; Embarkation Ship

      Depart Oslo on our private charter flight over beautiful vistas to Longyearbyen. Embark our ship

    • Day 3/8 - Exploring Svalbard

      Our travel in the archipelago is truly exploratory by design, and our exact day-to-day movements will remain flexible, depending on local conditions.

      Our main focus is the search for Svalbard’s amazing wildlife: polar bear, reindeer and walrus. Observe seals and arctic foxes and search for the very symbol of the Arctic—majestic polar bears. Cruising in Svalbard’s fjords, venture to the foot of stunning tidewater glaciers. We take our Zodiacs and kayaks to cruise among beautiful icebergs, and experience the geology, wildlife and wildflowers that give color and vitality to the High Arctic.

    • Day 9 - Longyearbyen/Disembark/Oslo

      Disembark the National Geographic Explorer and explore Longyearbyen before we fly to Oslo. Overnight at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.

    • Day 10 - Oslo

      After breakfast, proceed to the airport for flights home, or continue on to other adventures.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    We pioneered kayaking in polar geographies, allowing our guests to have unprecedented personal experiences in the ice.

    Now, nearly all our ships carry types of kayaks designed to get guests of all experience and fitness levels out on the water comfortably and safely. And more than just a token few, we carry a veritable fleet to ensure everyone who wants to can.

    Included

    Charter Flights

    The National Geographic Explorer operates with a mandatory charter flight package on this departure;

    Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Oslo, Norway

    AUD 910 per person

    In search of Polar Bears

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

  • Inclusions

    Free Bar & Gratuities

    The National Geographic Explorer will cover the costs of your bar tab and expedition gratuities*
    *On select items only

    Expedition Team

    Every expedition sails with a veteran expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, and a team of eight naturalists, many of them polar veterans, of a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, polar history, and more. Other members of the 15-person team include an undersea specialist, a photographer, plus a certified photo instructor, a Global Perspectives guest speaker, a video chronicler, and a wellness specialist. Together they provide you with a greater understanding and appreciation for this extraordinary and diverse geography.

    Excellent food

    Our chefs use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, including sustainably caught fish, and other local and indigenous products. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style; dinner is served. There are fish or meat choices at every meal, and our chef will happily accommodate vegan or other special diet requests.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Airfares unless stated in the itinerary
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Laundry expenses
    - Bar expenses
    - Internet and Wifi expenses
    - Gratuities
    - Massage services
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 06 28 at 1.53.34 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation.

    Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities.

     

    TOOLS FOR EXPLORATION:

    Expedition Landing Craft
    Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 8 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use is 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat.

    Remotely Operated Vehicle
    Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colourful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean.

    Kayaks
    National Geographic Endurance will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity.

    Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch.

    Underwater camera
    Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in Alaska, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colourful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrives in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.

    Video microscope
    Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures.

    Hydrophone
    This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real-time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system.

    Electronic charts
    An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge.

    Open bridge
    You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Venture’s open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers.

     

     

     

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 126
    Crew #:
    Ice Class: PC5
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2020
    Length: 124m
    Width:
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 1250
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 2 Flat
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
national geographic endurance cat 1 cabin

Category 1

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 183 square ft.
AUD 14,500pp
AUD 14,500pp
national geographic endurance cat 2 cabin

Category 2

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 205 square ft.
AUD 14,970pp
AUD 14,970pp
national geographic endurance cat 3 cabin

Category 3

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft.
AUD 17,990pp
AUD 17,990pp
national geographic endurance cat 4 cabin

Category 4

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa, 205 square ft.
AUD 19,990pp
AUD 19,990pp
national geographic endurance cat 5 cabin

Category 5

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Bridge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft.
AUD 22,490pp
AUD 22,490pp
national geographic endurance cat SA cabin

Category SA (Single)

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft.
AUD 22,820pp
AUD 22,820pp
national geographic endurance cat SB cabin

Category SB (Single)

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft.
AUD 25,320pp
AUD 25,320pp
national geographic endurance cat 6 cabin

Category 6

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Bridge Deck—Junior Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed 344 square ft.
AUD 25,880pp
AUD 25,880pp
national geographic endurance cat 7 cabin

Category 7

17 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Bridge Deck—Large Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed, bathtub, walk-in closet 430 square ft.
AUD 28,740pp
AUD 28,740pp