ultramarine spitsbergen polar bear cruise

Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

  • Overview

    EARLY BIRD OFFER: Save 15-20% OFF + 10% When paid in full by 15 JUN 2020.


    This unique 13-day voyage invites guests to embrace a true expeditionary spirit: rather than follow a set itinerary, together we’ll allow our search for polar bears and other wildlife to determine our route and shore landings in the pristine Norwegian Arctic. You’ll be experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime journey aboard our game-changing new expedition vessel, Ultramarine, which is equipped with 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, luxurious onboard amenities and the biggest portfolio of adventure options in the Polar Regions.

    Cruising along the coast, ice edge and inner fjords of Spitsbergen, you’ll be immersed in the natural wonders of the land of the midnight sun as we pursue our quest to photograph arctic wildlife: the polar bear as it prowls the edges of the pack ice on its perpetual hunt for food; the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers; cliff-dwelling Arctic birds in the thousands; and small herds of reindeer loping across the colorful tundra. Plus, there will be snow-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts, deep-walled fjords, and vast swaths of untouched tundra waiting to be photographed. Exploring this awe-inspiring region never ceases to impress visitors with its raw beauty.

    IMPORTANT VOYAGE INFORMATION: This voyage has a mandatory charter flight component with an additional cost of AU$1,800 per person.

    Duration: 14 days
    Passengers: 199 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Svalbard & Jan Mayen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Svalbard & Jan Mayen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Arrive in Helsinki, Finland

      Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

    • Day 2 - Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark

      This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from frigid waters.

    • Day 3/13 - Exploring Spitsbergen

      Spitsbergen is graced with an unspoiled beauty that’s just waiting to be discovered. On this one-of-a-kind cruise, you’ll sail along the west coast of this magical island, exploring the coastal fjords and smaller, outlying islands. Each day will be a surprise, treating you to spectacular new sightings and experiences. Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, which will be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no fixed itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), our main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means we may not move the ship every day as we do on regular voyages, especially if we find abundant wildlife in one place. Like true explorers, we’ll let the wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule—guide our route! Our nimble expedition ship allows us to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so we expect to explore the more hard-toreach areas frequented by the elusive polar bear. Presentations by onboard experts in areas of photography, history and the natural sciences will prepare you for the adventures that await, and with continuous daylight during this time of year, photo opportunities abound. You’ll have ample time to linger and photograph any bears we find hunting on the ice edge, but they’re not the only wildlife we hope to encounter. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so you’ll want to keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the endemic Svalbard reindeer may also be spotted on Zodiac excursions to shore. A haven for present-day explorers, Spitsbergen and the surrounding area offer unforgettable polar experiences that will keep you and your camera active for the duration of the expedition. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means “pointed mountains”) surprises visitors with stretches of colorful tundra that burst with wildflowers in summer, perfect for macro photography. Optional hiking activities get you up close—though never obtrusively—to the abundant wildlife. At day’s end, you’ll have plenty of prized photographs and exciting stories to share with your shipmates.

    • Day 14 - Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki

      Your adventure ends in the frontier style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.

    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

    Hiking

    There are options on most excursions for shorter walks, often to take advantage of excellent lookouts, that don’t require hiking boots and other equipment. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what you can expect prior to each excursion.

    Included

    Kayaking

    Kayaking is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the Polar regions.

    Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

    USD$ 630 per person

    Mandatory Transfer Package: Spitsbergen

    MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES: Spitsbergen
    - One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, with breakfast
    - Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
    - Arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen
    - Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo

    USD$ 792 per person

    Paddling Excursion

    If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in depth than Sea Kayaking, you can still enjoy the benefits of adding an on-water experience to your expedition with a Paddling Excursion. Sign up for a onetime paddle on our sit-on-top kayaks, which are stable and unencumbered— perfect for anyone with little to no kayak experience. Expert guides take rotating groups of passengers on calm days to connect with the sea.

    USD$ 184 per person

    Endless Arctic nights

    Svalbard is the Arctic North as you always dreamed it existed. This wondrous archipelago is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast icefields and forbidding icebergs, an elemental place where the seemingly endless Arctic night and the perpetual sunlight of summer carry a deeper kind of magic. One of Europe's last great wildernesses, this is also the domain of more polar bears than people, a terrain rich in epic legends of polar exploration.

    The Polar Bear

    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
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
    - All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
    - All shore landings as per the daily program
    - Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    - All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
    - Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    - Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
    - A photographic journal documenting the expedition
    - A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
    - An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
    - Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
    - All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    - All luggage handling aboard the ship
    - Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
    - Transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day
    - One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Helsinki airport hotel, with breakfast
    - Charter flight from Helsinki to Longyearbyen
    - Arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen
    - Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Helsinki

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International airfare
    - Arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki
    - Passport and visa expenses
    - Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
    - Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
    - Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
    - Excess-baggage fees on international flights
    - Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
    - Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
    - Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
    - Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
    - Additional overnight accommodation
    - Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    One of the newest ships in the polar fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.

    Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.

    With all this and more, Ultramarine is set to deliver the ultimate polar expedition experience.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 199
    Crew #: 140
    Ice Class: PC6
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2021
    Length: 128m
    Width: 22
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 13500
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets:
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
ultramarine antarctica explorer triple cabin

Explorer Triple

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Located on Deck 3, and approximately 285 sq. ft. (26.5 m2). This suite is perfect for guests traveling solo who want to share their experience with other like-minded travelers of the same gender, or for groups of three traveling together. Featuring three separate single beds, and amenities for each of the three guests. Features: three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors
USD$ 12,144pp
USD$ 11,587pp

Explorer Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
View window, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities
USD$ 16,038pp
USD$ 12,427pp
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Balcony Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Twin or double bed, private facilities, window and private balcony
USD$ 17,490pp
USD$ 13,530pp
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Deluxe Balcony Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Twin or double Suite with separate sitting area, private facilities and a private balcony
USD$ 20,394pp
USD$ 14,816pp
ultramarine antarctica terrace suite cabin

Terrace Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. (32.5 m2) of indoor living space, and a 100 sq. ft. (9.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests wanting generous interiors with a wide layout and the largest balconies on the ship. Centrally located on Deck 6, guests will enjoy minimal movement and motion from the comfort of these suites. Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
USD$ 20,922pp
USD$ 15,192pp

Penthouse Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Suites with private balcony and sitting area
USD$ 21,846pp
USD$ 15,850pp
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ultramarine antarctica solo panoroma cabin

Solo Panorama

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Located on Deck 6, and approximately 132 sq. ft. (12.3 m2). This suite is perfect for solo guests who appreciate privacy and want to wake up to sweeping views from the comfort of their bed. These are the only solo suites with floor-to-ceiling windows available onboard any ship in its class. Features: single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors
USD$ 21,846pp
USD$ 20,804pp
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polar pioneer captains suite

Owner's Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
USD$ 28,182pp
USD$ 20,365pp
ultramarine antarctica ultra suite cabin

Ultra Suite

18 May 2023 - 31 May 2023
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. (52.3m2) of interior living space, and a 46 sq. ft. (4.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests who want to travel without compromise. Our largest and most luxurious suite features the most sleeping, entertainment and storage space onboard the ship. It is perfect for families or travelers who want all the comforts of home onboard the ship. Features: one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.
USD$ 31,086pp
USD$ 22,434pp