West Spitsbergen & Bear Island in Luxury - 11 Days – With National GeographicAboard: Le Boreal
In collaboration with National Geographic (select departures), this fantastic Arctic cruise will see you discover the enchanting western coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard’s largest island. Departing from Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, you will sail aboard a luxurious expedition vessel straight to the wonders of Spitsbergen where spectacular scenery and iconic wildlife such as Polar bears, Arctic fox, reindeers, whales and walruses await. After an in-depth discovery of this magical area, you will set sail into the Barents Sea towards the rarely-visited birding paradise of Bear Island and then on to Tromsø in Norway. Travelling in the company of an experienced and knowledgeable expedition team, as well as special guest photographers and experts from National Geographic (select departures), you will enjoy thrilling Zodiac cruises and shore visits throughout.
Various departures available. Some departures are in conjunction with National Geographic. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departure dates. Please enquire for full rates and dates.
- Explore around the western shores of stunning Spitsbergen
- Sail by the remote nature reserve of Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
- Expedition sailing towards the ice floes of the far north
- Search for incredible Arctic wildlife including Polar bears, reindeer, walruses, whales and a myriad of birds
- Spectacular scenery at every turn with icebergs, ice caps, jagged mountains, sheer cliffs & huge glaciers
- Travel in ultimate comfort aboard a luxurious expedition ship
- Enjoy thrilling Zodiac cruises and shore visits
- Special National Geographic expedition – enrichment programme with a National Geographic photographer and experts onboard (select departures)
- Full board accommodation on board, including bar/beverage service
- Flight from Paris to Longyearbyen pre-voyage
- Flight from Tromso to Paris post-voyage
- Transfers between airport and ship
- Zodiac cruises and shore excursions
- Entertainment and expert lecture programme
- Loan of rubber boots
- Expedition parka
So much to experience
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Paris to Longyearbyen - Embark
Join your included flight from Paris to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, where you will transfer to the port to board your luxury expedition vessel. You can settle into your supremely comfortable cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship as we sail out of Longyearbyen surrounded by wonderful scenery and head into the Isfjord as your Arctic adventure begins.
We will spend the day today exploring around the vast Isfjorden, one of the main fjords in Svalbard. Enjoying Zodiac cruises and shore visits, places you may visit include the beautiful Nordenskiöld Glacier, one of the most spectacular glaciers in all of Svalbard. You may also visit the ghost town of Pyramiden for an interesting walk around this abandoned former mining town.
Ny-Ålesund / Kongsfjorden
Your next day of adventure will begin with a visit to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund. Now a scientific base, this small town is home to a museum and what is considered to be the most northernly post office in the world. As you enjoy a walk around, your guides will tell you all about how this area was the departure point for many historical Arctic expeditions, including those of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen.
In nearby Kings Bay in Kongsfjorden, one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard, we will spend some time soaking up the sights of awe-inspiring snow-capped mountains reflecting in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty. Photo opportunities abound here and we will also be on the lookout for the rich wildlife that is often found here including reindeer, seals, barnacle geese and black guillemots. A visit to the stunning Kongsbreen glacier will be the perfect way to round off your day.
Sailing Towards the Ice Floes
An exciting day of expedition cruising will see your captain sail to the edge of the ice floes that extend towards the North Pole. A Zodiac cruise through these huge floating slabs of ice should make for a memorable experience. With a bit of luck you may spot some Polar bears and seals today as we cruise in style through the Far North.
Continuing our exploration of Spitsbergen’s stunning west coast, we will now spend some time exploring around the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park where the Nunataks, glaciers, islands, large bays, and arctic tundra scattered with moss and lichen in shades of silver and gold provide a spectacular backdrop to Arctic adventures. Enjoying Zodiac cruises and shore visits, you will discover areas of historical importance and discover remnants of historical expeditions and trades of days gone by. We will also be on the lookout for sightings of wildlife including Arctic terns and seals.
Having sailed south along the coast of Spitsbergen, we will now spend three days exploring around the South Spitsbergen National Park area, the largest national park in Europe. During your time here we plan to visit Hornsund, considered “the crown of Arctic Norway”. This stunning area with its impressive glaciers and abundant icebergs will be the perfect introduction to this magical archipelago. You will sail around the fjord between imposing glaciers and carved mountains and may get to enjoy your first Zodiac cruise in the iceberg-strewn waters.
We will also be on the lookout for the Polar bears that are known to frequent this area!
Leaving spectacular Spitsbergen behind, today will be spent at sea sailing south through the western side of the Barents Sea towards Bear Island. This will be the perfect time to relax and enjoy the luxurious facilities on board including the spa, wellness centre, fitness centre, swimming pool and panoramic lounge. You might also choose to spend some time on deck looking for seabirds and whales following the ship.
Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Today you will enjoy a sail-by of the remote and scenic Bjørnøya (Bear Island), the most southernly island in the Svalbard archipelago. Located around halfway between Norway and Spitsbergen, Svalbard’s largest island, this isolated spot was declared a Nature Reserve in 2002. As we sail as close to the shore as possible you may be able to see why, as huge numbers of seabirds including guillemots, puffins, guls, auks and skuas are likely to be spotted here.
Tromsø to Paris - Disembark
Arrival into Tromsø in Norway, a remote and very picturesque town that is known as the “Gateway to the Arctic”, will signal the end of your Arctic cruise. After breakfast it will be time to disembark and join your included flight back to Paris.
A view from Above
Le Boreal is a purpose built, luxury expedition vessel which combines a private yacht style ambiance with gastronomic French cuisine and high standards of service. All suites are and staterooms are twin or double and have private balconies and bathrooms along with minibar, satellite TV, DVD, Ipod docks, wifi and direct dial satellite telephone. Public areas and amenities include passenger lifts fore and aft, restaurant, lounge with dance floor and bar, reception desk, shop, leisure area with Wii ans slot machines, clinic, theatre, hairdresser, fitness room, spa with massage, hamman and balneo treatments, grill and buffet restaurant, outdoor pool, panorama lounge and terrace with bar, library and internet room and plenty of deck space. The ship has a 1C ice classification for cruising in polar waters.
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Amy’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.