Northern Svalbard Explorer 11 days aboard Polar Pioneer
This excellent itinerary offers the rare opportunity to explore the seldom visited northern isles of Svalbard. Setting sail in the Arctic autumn means that the pack ice will have opened up, allowing us to attempt landings in some of the farthest reaches of the archipelago. Explore the outer islands of Nordaustlandet, Storøya and Kvitøya, stepping ashore to discover the orange-coloured tundra and venture even deeper into the Arctic. Sail past spectacular ice caps and dramatic calving glaciers keeping a watchful eye for polar bears hunting on the pack ice, walrus haul-outs and an abundance of Arctic birdlife. Your exact itinerary will be dependent on ice and weather conditions, with each day bringing a new adventure on your journey at the top of the world.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn 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 >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy 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 >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA 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 >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn 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 >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive 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 >
Special Guest Photography GuideChris was 32 when he finally realised he really did want to be a photo-journalist and walked out on his career in IT sales to become a wildlife photographer Read more >
- Attempt to reach Svalbard’s most easterly islands of Kvitøya and Storøya
- Follow in the footsteps of Arctic explorers like Amundsen and Nobile
- Spot polar bears, walruses, ringed seals, whales, large colonies of auklets, guillemots, puffins and more
- Zodiac around impressive glaciers and ice caps
- Photograph delicate Arctic tundra flowers
- Kayaking option
- Photo workshop
- Accommodation onboard Polar Pioneer with all meals, snacks, tea and coffee included
- Group transfer to and from ship
- Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen upon arrival (pre-voyage)
- All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from an expert team
- Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket
- Loan of gumboots during the voyage
- Daily cabin service
- Professionally-produced hard back voyage log
- Port taxes and charges & entry fees to historic landings sites
ITINERARY10 Nights 11 Days
Your Arctic adventure begins in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard. Arrive independently and join the included group sightseeing tour of this unique Arctic town, before heading to the port to board your ship. Embarkation will begin in the late afternoon and you can take the time to settle into your new surroundings as the ship sails out of Isfjorden.
As you awake along the coast of the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park the sight that will greet you will be the dramatic landscapes of alpine peaks and glacier valleys. Exploring the area by Zodiac you will cruise past spectacular sea-cliffs on a constant look out for reindeer, walrus, Arctic fox and a plethora of seabirds. You will have time to explore some of the region’s calving glaciers such as Smeerenburg on Amsterdam Island and discover the remains of ancient whaling stations at Ytre Norskøya.
Nordaustlandet North Coast
The next stop on your northern Svalbard adventure will be northern coast of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard’s second largest island. Nordaustlandet is a rarely visited polar desert which is rich in geological wonders and is home to many roaming polar bears and large colonies of walruses. Exploring by Zodiac we hope to enjoy landings at Sjuøyane (The Seven Isles), the most northerly point of Norway, and the magnificent 40 kilometre fjord at Rijpfjord. As well as exploring by Zodiac you can enjoy relaxing walks across the tundra in search of wildlife like reindeer and even more walruses.
East Nordauslandet, Kvitøya & Storøya
These days will be spent exploring the eastern coast of Nordauslandet and attempting to reach Kvitøya and Storøya, Svalbard’s most easterly islands, with an exciting Zodiac cruise around Karl XII Island on the way. Your time here will be mostly dictated by weather conditions and ice and your captain will choose the best route each day to make the most of all opportunities. The thickening pack-ice as we sail north will often bring sightings of polar bears and walrus as they hunt and haul-out on the ice, and we will keep an eye out for the elusive ivory gulls which are known to frequent the area.
Rounding down the east and south sides of Nordaustlandet your ship will complete its circumnavigation of the island by cruising north through the Hinlopen Strait. As we spend more time exploring around this area you can enjoy a Zodiac cruise under Alkfjellet, where thousands of nesting birds fill the sheer cliffs, and Austfonna, an impressively large ice cap with one of the longest glacier fronts in the northern hemisphere. There will also be time to make landings at Isisøya and Murchisonfjorden, impressively scenic lands steeped in a rich Arctic history.
North & West Spitsbergen
Returning back along the stunning north-western Spitsbergen coast, we keep an eye on ice and weather conditions and make as many landings as possible. All landings will be dictated by weather conditions but we can expect the opportunity to visit areas such as Woodfjord, Liefdefjord, Krossfjord and Kongsfjord.
A midnight cruise of beautiful Isfjorden returns us to Longyearbyen, and signals the end of our spectacular voyage. After disembarkation a transfer to the airport for your onward flight will be provided. Or should you wish to spend more time in this unique Arctic town there are many opportunities for extra excursions and adventures.
A view from Above
What Our Customers
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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