Embark on an unforgettable adventure in the Arctic Circle. Begin in Oslo, Norway’s stylish capital before making your way to Svalbard. Upon arrival in Longyearbyen, board your luxury vessel – Le Boreal – and set out in search of the polar bear. Learn about the unique landscape from your on-board expedition team as you cruise the Greenland Sea, Denmark Strait and Westfjords. Disembark at Jan Mayen, Húsavík and Ittoqqortoormiit village for a range of exciting excursions, designed to introduce you to the history, geology and biodiversity of the region. Explore this glacial wilderness in ultimate luxury on board Le Boreal.
Arrive Oslo, Norway
Your incredible Arctic adventure begins today, as you touch down in Norway’s capital. Once a prosperous Viking city, Oslo is now a modern metropolis showcasing sleek Scandinavian design. At the airport, meet your A&K representative who will assist you with the conveniently short transfer to your overnight accommodation. Radisson Blu Gardermoen hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites from a prime airport location, meaning more time to relax before your journey to Longyearbyen in the morning.
Oslo to Longyearbyen
An early-morning charter flight takes you to the capital of Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago under Norwegian sovereignty. Situated in one of the remotest locations in the world, this cluster of islands is home to stunning iridescent glaciers and the mighty polar bear. Upon arrival, explore Longyearbyen and visit the Arctic Museum to learn about Svalbard’s history and the many famous explorers who passed through on their way to the North Pole. Board your expedition cruiser this afternoon and relax in luxury accommodation as Le Boreal sets out on the open waters.
DAY 3 - 7
Wake up to the tranquil sounds of the sea before enjoying breakfast over stunning mountain vistas. The Svalbard archipelago is a place few people have the chance to explore, and even fewer get to do so in the capable hands of such an expert expedition team. Your on-board enrichment specialists will plan an exciting, bespoke itinerary designed to get the most out of your time here. Excursions may include the Ny-Ålesund polar research station, the Austfonna ice cliffs or the magnificent Monacobreen glacier, which is often frequented by polar bear.
The Greenland Sea
As Le Boreal heads south towards the Greenland Sea, your exciting on-board lecture series begins. Learn the secrets of this intriguing icy landscape and about the wildlife that lives here. The historians amongst you will enjoy hearing about the history of Svalbard – first discovered in the late 1500s. Unwind on board and make the most of the impressive guest facilities offered by Le Boreal. Indulge in a spa treatment, take a dip in the outdoor heated pool or relax over cocktails with your fellow travellers in the Panoramic Lounge.
This rugged island is located at a converging point between the Greenland and Norwegian seas. Home to a handful of inhabitants, this island is dominated by mighty Beerenberg, the planet’s northernmost active, above-water volcano. This expedition is one of just a few with special permission to disembark on the island and visit the meteorological station. Jan Mayen has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) as it supports large breeding colonies of northern fulmar, little auk and guillemot. Set off on a wildlife-watching tour to observe these astonishing birds.
DAYS 10 - 11
Today, Le Boreal arrives at the world’s largest island. Your on-board lecture series continues, focusing on Greenland’s remarkable history and geology. Spend the next two days exploring the rarely visited east coast, home to Scoresby Sound. This enormous fjord system invites you to explore. Embark on Zodiac tours to observe musk ox and Arctic fox and admire the spectacular frozen landscape. Complete your time in Greenland with a visit to a local community in Ittoqqortoormiit. It’s a chance to learn about life in one of the most isolated settlements on Earth.
The Denmark Strait
Spend today crossing the narrow stretch of water that separates Greenland from Iceland. Take in the scenery from the Panoramic Lounge or work with an expert photography coach to capture amazing wildlife shots from the observation deck. Look out for black-legged kittiwake, fulmar and great cormorant soaring above and whale breaching the waters below. This evening, relax with newfound friends in one of two restaurants on board, enjoying an elegant fine-dining experience. Recount the highlights of your expedition so far over fine wines and delicious food.
Húsavík and Grundarfjörður, Iceland
Disembark in the charming town of Húsavík and visit the fascinating Húsavík Whale Museum. Supported by A&K Philanthropy (AKP), this museum is a leading centre for research into local whale species and their habitat. Tour the exhibits and admire the eleven different whale skeletons on display. Afterwards, choose from two exciting afternoon excursions. Either head out on the open waters on an unforgettable whale-watching tour, or discover the beauty of Goðafoss Falls and nearby Mývatn, a geothermal volcanic lake. This evening, gather with your fellow travellers for a celebratory farewell reception and dinner.
Iceland’s enchanting west coast invites you to explore. Due to the remoteness of its location, this spectacular coastline remains mostly unaffected by human influence. Local settlements are small and studded among icy mountains and rugged coves. Explore this secluded landscape with an exciting range of activities, curated by your on-board enrichment team to best suit weather and ice conditions. These excursions may include a visit to Dynjandi Falls, a 100-metre-high series of waterfalls, or Red Sand Beach, a bewitching shoreline spot famous for its red-hued sand.
This morning Le Boreal arrives in bustling Reykjavík, signalling the end of your Arctic adventure. Wave goodbye to your expert on-board team and disembark from your luxury vessel with a collection of magnificent photographs and unforgettable memories in tow. From Iceland’s dynamic capital city, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Alternatively, continue your adventure with a Reykjavík post-tour extension, a thrilling journey through the city’s history, culture and culinary prowess.
Arctic Cruise Adventure: In Search of the Polar Bear
- Capacity 199
- Holiday Length 14 nights
- Price Guide from £13,815 per person
- Holiday Type Cruise
- An exclusively chartered, all-inclusive voyage led by A&K’s expedition team
- Pre- and/or post-cruise accommodation at stylish, ideally located hotels and A&K-led city tours
- Airport meet and greet with included transfers
- Enjoy all-balcony accommodation on Le Boreal and butler service with every suite
- Maximum personnel-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.3
- Culinary programme featuring French-inspired cuisine, including house drinks, afternoon tea and pastries
- 24-hour room service and breakfast in bed
- Complimentary expedition parka, backpack and water bottle, and use of waterproof trousers, boots and trekking poles
- Zodiac excursions led by expert naturalist driver-guides
- Traveller’s Valet® laundry service
- All gratuities, port charges and taxes
- Complimentary wifi on board and in hotels
- On-board service from English-speaking staff, including an accredited physician
- 24-hour A&K on-call support
- Enjoy active exploration of the Arctic’s varied landscapes, from sea kayaking through ice floes to hiking over volcanoes, all under the guidance of A&K’s award-winning expedition team
- Experience a vast breadth of Arctic wildlife habitats, including the polar bear haven of Svalbard, where A&K enjoys unrestricted access to landing sites due to our impressive maximum capacity of just 199 guests
- Cruise to the remote east coast of Greenland, where you may visit Kaiser Franz Josef Fjords, Scoresby sound and the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit
- Discover north Iceland and the whale-watching village of Húsavík, where you can experience a private, behind-the-scenes tour at the renowned Húsavík Whale Museum
- Learn about the science behind the changing polar climate with famed climate scientist, ecologist and guest lecturer Dr James McClintock, who has authored multiple research articles and books on this subject