Introduction to Spitsbergen - Polar Bear Safari

Quark Expeditions
4.0 . Great
74%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
9 days
From: $ 5,195 $ 577 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Encounter unique arctic wildlife: polar bears, walrus, reindeer
  • Take advantage of continuous daylight
  • Hike the tundra
  • Cruise in a Zodiac
  • Enjoy optional kayak adventure opportunities

Short Description

This voyage provides the opportunity to get a taste of everything the Arctic has to offer, from polar bears and walrus to spectacular scenery. You’ll be treated to daily presentations by your Expedition Team on board the ship, and daily wildlife sightings on land. Hike, explore and enjoy the beauty of the Arctic on your visit to Spitsbergen.

Style Small ship cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Longyearbyen
End City Longyearbyen

Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway

Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside village.

Days 2 to 8: Exploring Spitsbergen

You’ll cruise around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, we do have some favorite destinations, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Hornsund being one of their preferred hunting areas, and the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet providing many free bird egg meals for both them and the arctic fox.

Poolepynton is great for walrus viewing and photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching for a more personal and intimate view of the arctic scenery, then taking an optional kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion, if conditions permit. You can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site honors the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme arctic conditions.

There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species, a polar bear on the hunt, or a century-old abandoned hut.

Day 9: Depart Longyearbyen

The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,195
Price Per Day: $ 577 per day
Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 1,000

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Quark Expeditions.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

77 Quark Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

74%
4.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 56
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 18
Value
4.0
Guide
4.0
Activities
4.0
Lodging
4.0
Transportation
4.0
Meals
4.0

Introduction to Spitsbergen - Polar Bear Safari

No reviews yet for this trip. Be the first one to write a review

Company Reviews

Company is a scam

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This company cancelled our trip 3 times due to COVID. The most recent cancellation was less than 10 days notice. When we tried to re-book this time for a later date (our fourth reservation with them), they charged us over $10,000 more for the EXACT same itinerary even after their 100% guarantee says they have a voyage-for-voyage exchange on cancelled trips and we would be able to exchange the trip for the same itinerary. Now they've changed their rules to say they only have 1 date available that's approved for "exchanges." So our original booking, which was the week of Christmas, now has to be some random week when conditions are not as good and we won't even see Antarctica in the season we wanted. For the EXACT same itinerary as we already booked and paid for (and they kept the money for over 2 years for, while continuing to cancel our trips) they want 10k+ more to book. This is a scam and these people have kept our money for going on 3 years now with absolutely no intent to honor their "guarantee." This company has been a nightmare from the beginning and I highly recommend you book with someone else.
Read more

Terrible company.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Terrible company. It has taken me 10 months to finally get the refund from the trip me and my wife had booked (Aberdeen to svalbard). Quark refused to refund for the first 7 months saying they didn't cancel the trip (even though it didn’t run and the boat was at anchor in a different country) i was told that the trip has been re scheduled and not cancelled so legally they do not have to refund me. I hope Andrew white the ceo is proud of his decision to steal hard earned money from customers and make them fight for months to get back what is rightfully there's. After 7 months of me constantly badgering the travel agent i booked through and quark directly they agreed to refund my money but it will take them 90 days to process this refund. Its amazing quark can accept payments automatically but needs 90 days to return payments. If you are booking with quark now on there new refund terms be careful of the wording. It says IF THEY CANCEL THE TRIP which quark will not do, they will re schedule it for another date 12 months or more away, ie next years trip which you will then have to pay the price increases to them as well. Avoid at all costs.
Read more

So much excitement yet letdown after letdown

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
My wife and I recently planned and booked a trip to Antarctica with Quark. We were thrilled about the opportunity and had done the research to ensure we could make it happen. We chose Quark because of there great marketing and reviews and leadership with the expeditions in the area.

Everything was great until we actually went to go book. It started off by experiencing an abnormal 3 week delay in response to our request to book a tour. Then once we did and responded with specifics about what to book and where to send the deposit, another long delay. Eventually Quark made the decision to cancel all of its upcoming trips until March 2021. They presented options on how to reconcile any prepayments. We responded with how we would like to move forward. THREE MONTHS LATER, we get a response that they had a technical error preventing them from being able to provide refunds without having to send over specific bank details. Poor customer service in general. Maybe we will have forgotten by the time we go to book this again in the future, but other travelers should know.

TLDR: Great marketing, terrible service.
Read more

Warning

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Warning
I booked a trip to the Arctic Circle 2021 on 08/28 and paid a deposit.
On 09/10 Quark canceled the trip and informed me today that the repayment will take up to 90 days due to the high workload!
I assume that Quark knew about the cancellation at the End of August and managed to collect my money in 2 days despite the workload.
I would like the money back that fast!
With the cancellation, Quark made a promise that it would be very easy to rebook in 2022, fo the same voyage, the same ship and the same price (or two options for money back).
Well, nothing was easy, because the promise could not be kept, since 2 trips in 2021 will only become one trip in 2022.
First they had a single cabin for me, then suddenly they didn't.
Instead of offering me another shared cabin at the price of the booking period - there was an early bird discount - they offered a single cabin for 34,000.00 and told me that the prices in 2022 were now higher.
Where was the promise?
And now they keep my money up to 90 days. This is really bad style Quark Expeditions!
Read more

Do NOT book with Quark

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Do NOT book with Quark. Please please please take your hard earned money elsewhere. Due to Covid, our voyage was cancelled for January 2021 which is totally acceptable. Times are tough and businesses need to make the right decisions for their employees, their investors and their future. However, by not taking care of customers, they have failed miserably. Quark wanted to book us on a future voyage instead (great!) but then proceeds to tell us that all of the options that we have paid for are not available - so a lesser product. Additionally, before the voyage was cancelled, we had friends that we travel with frequently shop for the same trip. The price was lower each time (again, typical business practice and understood by me as someone that works in both marketing and in the travel space), but the issue is that Quark refuses to do a price adjustment (we have screenshots sent from friends of what that price was). Noted here, per Quark's cancellation policy, we could have cancelled and rebooked on that same trip at the lower rate ($3k per person lower rate). However, when we contacted Quark at that time, we received no response as they were clearly deciding how to solve the challenge they created by having a cancellation policy that was in conflict with their pricing strategy. So instead of just making it right for the customer, Quark has lost a customer. Simple price adjustment, date change to the same excursion we booked and decent customer service would have built some loyal customers that can easily influence others to give their product a try. Quark has failed us, do not let them fail you. There are plenty of other options available.
Read more

Check the Quark terms and conditions

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Check the Quark terms and conditions carefully and my guess is you will decide against booking or choose an alternative provider.

Details

Ship Name

Ocean Nova

Ship Stats

Staff and Crew: 38

Guests: 78

Lifeboats: 4

Length: 73m

Breadth: 11M

Draft: 3.7M

Propulsion: 2,000 horsepower

Ice Class: 1B (Casco 1A)

Cruising Speed: 12n

Registration: Nassau, Bahamas

Ship Description

Your expedition ship Ocean Nova: Designed to carry travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world, Ocean Nova is a modern and comfortable vessel carrying just 78 passengers on our Arctic Voyages. Quark is also pleased to offer certified CarbonNeutral® voyages on the Ocean Nova.

Built in Denmark in 1992 to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland, she delivers clean, crisp Scandinavian styling, and with an ice-strengthened hull she is ideally suited for expedition travel in the Polar Regions. The Ocean Nova features comfortable outside cabins, all with private facilities, including dedicated twin and triple cabins. In addition to a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room, there is a spacious dining room, a bar, a library and an infirmary. In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals, and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a drink with a breathtaking view of the surrounding polar landscape. This is where our on-board specialists entertain and conduct lectures on flora, fauna and history.

Ocean Nova's triple cabins and some of the twin cabins on upper deck have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths. In your cabin you also find a desk with a chair and ample storage space for clothes and equipment.

There is a friendly and informal atmosphere on board. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for from the spacious observation decks. Traveling with this small expedition ship offers an entirely different experience and perspective than you can get on a larger and more conventional cruise ship. We welcome you on board.

Deck & Cabin Plans

All Deck & Cabin Plans (affiliate link) Trip Photos (affiliate link)

Optional Activities

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Arctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. We also offer kayaking on most of our voyages; a great way to experience the beauty of the Arctic in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Kayaking - $595 per person

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

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.

Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for more information.

Extend Your Stay

Getting to the Arctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Arctic adventure.

Iceland

Iceland Experience Package

From the charming city of Reykjavik, to the therapeutic waters of the Blue lagoon, and the bubbling hot springs of Thingveller National Park, you will be mesmerized by the unique beauty and striking geography of this Nordic island. Iceland offers adventures for every activity and skill level – ask about the other options available to enjoy the fresh air and explore the dramatic landscape

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

All requests for cancellation must be received in writing. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less an administrative fee of minimum US$1250, AU$1000, £650, €800 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. To protect the traveler’s investment, we recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.

Cancellations cannot be made online.

Additional Information

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Trip ID#:

IntSplQua

×
Great Choice!

You can access members-only savings of up to $700 on over 6,000 Travelstride Select trips.

Sign in to see trip eligibility

or
or
Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

×

You could save $ 600 per person on this trip!

TripSaver
Flexible travel vouchers redeemable on thousands of trips like this one!
×
×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Travelstride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits

By signing in, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 32 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

"Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."
Ibn Battuta
x
x
Download your brochure

Enter your email to get the "" brochure.

x
Brochure successfully sent!

We've sent the "" brochure to "". Check your inbox!