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Luxury Spitsbergen, Bear Island Explore

Spitsbergen, Bear Island & North Cape in Luxury 10 days aboard MS Hanseatic

Prices From £4,500pp
9 nights
Sunday 7 AUG, 2016
Tuesday 16 AUG, 2016

Spitsbergen, Bear Island & North Cape in Luxury 10 days aboard MS Hanseatic

Where glistening icebergs and deep fjords shape the pioneering spirit into unusual forms, Ursus maritimus rules the wilderness and glaciers keep watch over the tracks of legendary pioneers – wonderful experiences that emerge from the ice. Few ships brave the circumnavigation of spectacular Spitsbergen. But the HANSEATIC, with the highest ice class for passenger ships and experienced experts on board, forges its way through this wonderland. Nature determines the flexible itinerary.

Toni Hart

Namibia Birding and Photography Guide

An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >

Andy Pollard

Wildlife Guide & Photographer

Andy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >

Chris Coe

Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awards

A fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >

Jenny Luxton

Falklands Expert & Guide

Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >

Doug Allan

Special Guest Lecturer

Exclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >

Vessel Details:

Hanseatic is a purpose built luxury expedition ship with ice-strengthened hull. All 92 cabins have outside views, separate lounge areas, TVs and VCRs and are a mixture of double and twin. Suites have butler service and in-cabin dining facilities. There is a lounge, two restaurant areas, Viennese-style afternoon tea, gym and spa, lecture theatre, library, passenger lifts and outdoor swimming pool. Rubber boots and parkas are provided and there is a boot washing and storage area. Gratuities are included in the cost of expeditions on this ship.

Details

  • Hotel stay pre expedition: 0 nights
  • Hotel stay post expedition: 0 nights
  • Tour start: 7th August 2016
  • Embarkation Date: 7th August 2016
Zoe Savage-Morton
Zoe Savage-Morton
Arctic Specialist

Speak to someone who’s been to Arctic. Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our friendly destination specialists on 0800 195 3385 or 44 1625 581143 for outside the UK.

ITINERARY

9 Nights   10 Days

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 | Longyearbyen
  • Days 2-6 | Around Spitsbergen
  • Day 7 | Relaxation at sea
  • Day 8 | Relaxation at sea, passing Bear Island
  • Day 9 | Honningsvag, cruising off North Cape
  • Day 10 | Tromso
Longyearbyen
1Day

Longyearbyen

Embarkation

Around Spitsbergen
2-6Days

Around Spitsbergen

Highlights and circumnavigation depending on the circumstances (including Ny-Alesund, Moellerhafen, Magdalenefjord, Raudfjord, Liefdefjord, Mushamna, Moffen, cruising through the Hinlopen Strait, Alkefjellet, Palanderbukta, cruising through Freeman Sound, Cape Lee, Hornsund)Legendary, ice-covered discoveries  The compass needle is pointing towards adventure. Creaking, the ice tells of great pioneering acts. An audience with the kings of the Arctic, the polar bears, awaits you. Welcome to Spitsbergen – wild, raw island beauty and home to a fascinating animal world. The archipelago was discovered by Willem Barents in 1596 as he was searching for a north-east passage to Asia. He was so impressed by the peaked mountains, climbing up to 1,700 m from the waters of the North Atlantic, that he named the archipelago after them. Over 400 years later, the HANSEATIC is setting aside lots of time on four expeditions to explore Spitsbergen with one clear objective: circumnavigation! On board is a small group of explorers wanting to fulfil this lifelong dream. Every route is determined by nature, weather and ice. And every day is packed with experiences which bring together the pioneering spirit of the past and present. For example, when you set foot on historic soil and the present territory of researchers in Ny-Alesund, one of the northernmost settlements in the world. In 1926, it was the starting point for the airship Norge, in which the polar researcher Roald Amundsen and airship pioneer Umberto Nobile became the first people to reach the North Pole. Today, researchers live in this small “academic settlement” and study climate change and its effects on the flora and fauna. Likewise, the town of Longyearbyen is of significance to the future of our planet. Here, scientists from around the world do research in the “laboratory of the Arctic”. In Moellerhafen, you can visit the small “Lloyd’s Hotel”, a former refuge for explorers surrounded by a grand landscape, with an experienced polar bear lookout. These are just some of the many historical aspects and island perspectives waiting to be discovered. Front-row seats for monumental natural spectacles  It is no wonder that glaciologists are drawn to Spitsbergen. The glacial masses in the Svalbard archipelago actively freeze and melt, with cycles often taking just a few years. The same happens in Hornsund, where powerful glaciers shape the panorama. Samarinbreen will forge lasting memories framed by imposing mountains on an impressive Zodiac ride with a view of the glacial cliff. In Liefdefjord, the calving of the majestic blue Monaco Glacier might ring in your ears. It is an unforgettable experience to travel past drifting ice floes close to the cliff, up to 40 m in height, with the sound of tumbling ice crashing in your ears. The colour play of Raudfjord will also trigger a wave of enthusiasm with its red-tinged mountain slopes. In this overwhelming panorama, you will feel the power and sensitivity of a raw natural beauty that also shapes the Magdalenefjord. Its glacier backdrop invites you to explore the historic graves of whalers. Cruising here, the HANSEATIC will open up fantastic perspectives. Too beautiful to be true? Far from it: every day you can seize the fascination of nature around the archipelago on many Zodiac rides and landings.A truly special, thrilling habitat There is a good chance of spotting polar bears throughout your Spitsbergen expedition. Ursus maritimus prefers to hunt in protected fjords and ice floes. The sudden call of “Polar bear spotted!” will fill the deck or Zodiac with whispers. The experienced crew is able to react spontaneously and bring the ship about to ensure some unforgettable animal sightings. Spitsbergen provides food and protection to a variety of colourful species. This is underlined in an impressive way in Mushamna, where Arctic terns and eider ducks breed and where Arctic foxes can be seen. The highly protected island of Moffen, for example, is known for impressive walruses which gather on the even coasts in great herds. The HANSEATIC is always on the lookout for impressive settings. Thick-billed murres, kittiwakes and glaucous gulls inhabit the cliffs of Alkefjellet, the “bird mountain”, in their thousands. With a little luck, you can enjoy particularly weighty observations from the Zodiac off Cape Lee, the original territory of the walrus. Male walruses can weigh over 1,000 kg and grow to 3.5 m in length. These impressions can only be outdone by the whales which happily follow ships in the waters of protected biotopes from time to time.In their element in the ice: ship and crew  Small, flexible and with the highest ice class for passenger ships: this is the only way the HANSEATIC can circumnavigate Spitsbergen. Every day is an adventure in these nautically demanding waters. Between drifting ice floes, the crew members can bring their years of polar experience to bear to give you the best possible experience. Such as when you join the small group of explorers who have pressed on to Nordaustlandet. This uninhabited island, the second largest in the Spitsbergen archipelago, boasts an atmospheric landscape featuring glaciers, ice caps and vast expanses of flatness. Depending on the ice conditions, you can land in Palanderbukta with the Zodiacs and, with a little luck, spot reindeer and Arctic foxes on a walk through the sparse tundra. In the Hinlopen Strait, the steel-reinforced hull of the HANSEATIC will come into its own as the ship forges its path through the pack ice with certainty. Your reward: spectacular views of the Hinlopenbreen, the largest outlet glacier in Spitsbergen. Weather and ice permitting, cruise through the narrow Freeman Sound accompanied by the fascinating play of colour and light on the landscape – it makes for a crowning conclusion to your expedition. Here you can reflect on an experience granted to but a few people: the circumnavigation of Spitsbergen. No matter when you experience this great adventure – each of the four expeditions on the HANSEATIC brings together the wonders of Spitsbergen in its own fascinating way. Spectacular all round!

Relaxation at sea
7Day

Relaxation at sea

Relaxation at sea, passing Bear Island
8Day

Relaxation at sea, passing Bear Island

Honningsvag, cruising off North Cape
9Day

Honningsvag, cruising off North Cape

Tromso
10Day

Tromso

arrival 5.00 hrs

What Our Customers
Say...

Ann Macleod, Scotland Sarah & David, Portsmouth James and Pamela Chapman, Halifax Geoff & Magda, Adelaide, Australia Ann & Paul, East Grinstead, Sussex Chris Janner, Manchester Gavin Burnett Stirling, United Kingdom Chris Pye, North Wales Chris Pye, North Wales Chris Conlan, Manchester, UK Boyan Todorov, Holland Karen Worton, Suffolk,UK Malcolm Green , UK Malcolm Green , UK Frances Hadfield, East Sussex, UK Mike Unwin, Brighton, UK Christine Matthews, London, UK Jan Broderick, Northumberland
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot

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Talk to someone who knows. Our specialist consultants are here to help you every step of the way – here’s how..

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WILDFOOT Wildlife & Adventure Specialist

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zoe

Zoe Savage-Morton
Senior Travel Expert

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Zoe Savage-Morton
Zoe Savage-Morton
Arctic Specialist

Speak to someone who’s been to Arctic. Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our friendly destination specialists on 0800 195 3385 or 44 1625 581143 for outside the UK.