KINGDOM OF THE POLAR BEAR EXPEDITION Svalbard Polar Bear and Arctic Wildlife Expedition...From ÂŁ3,175per person sharing a triple room This Expedition can be booked either on the 12 passenger M/S Stockholm or the 53 passenger M/S Quest. Please email us for specific trip departure dates and prices (starts from ÂŁ3,175 subject to exchange rate fluctuations). Kingdom of the Polar Bear Expeditions run on the following dates 3, June, 10 June, 17 June, 24 June, 1 July, 8 July 2012 Please note itineraries are flexible and are subject to weather conditions, pack ice and wildlife movements. Day 1 Today you arrive into Longyearbyen the capital of Svalbard and transfer to your hotel where you have a chance to relax and prepare for the adventures of the next week or so. Days 2 - 8 A relaxing morning exploring the city of Longyearbyen prior to boarding your expedition ship. This afternoon you set off on this exciting expedition making your way through the Ice Fjord and out into the remote Arctic. Over the next 7 days we have a flexible itinerary as it is subject to prevailing weather conditions, pack ice and the movement of wildlife. We will at all times try and maximise our wildlife viewing opportunities. Over the course of these 6 days we will do several shore landings in our zodiac crafts and some of the highlights that you may encounter include: Barentsburg and Ny Alesund - not far from Longyearbyen is the Russian coal mining settlement of Barentsburg and also the Research Village of Ny Alesund. Ny Alesund is home to a number of scientists studying a variety of projects; luckily the wildlife seems to completely ignore the human population and you can often see wild Reindeer grazing and terms nests not far from the local post office.
The Northwest - as we make our way northwest we come across Danes Island and Amsterdam Island where you can still see evidence of what was once a bustling whaling trade located here during the 17th Century. This is also where some major attempts to reach the North Pole were staged from including the American journalist Wellman who started out in his airship and also the Swedish balloonist Andree who attempted to reach the Pole in a hydrogen balloon. This area is also popular with puffins! Fjords - this stunning frozen north offers visitors countless spectacular views and some of the fjords you will encounter are spectacular.The "Fjord of Love" or Liefdefjorden involves snow capped peaks and the lovely Monaco Glacier which is home to pink-footed geese and maybe even some King Eider. Krossfjorden is home to the remarkable 14th of July Glacier and numbers of Kittiwakes and guillemots which nest on the cliffs. Raudfjorden is stunning with beautiful glaciers, rich vegetation, a variety of birdlife and also a favourite haunt for seals. Auk Mountain and the North - this is where we begin to meet some more pack ice as we leave the warmer waters of the gulf stream behind us. This is one of the more peaceful areas as not many ships venture this far north offering us the chance to truly admire this pristine ice covered landscape. As we continue our travels chances of spotting Polar Bears increase even more as we pass the ice floes and some of their fabourite haunts. Day 9 Today we return to Longyearbyen and reminisce over the adventures of the last 10 days or so. A short transfer brings us to the airport where you connect with your international flight back home. Aside from the above, there is obviously a variety of wildlife that you will in all likelihood encounter throughout your voyage. Some of these highlights include the King of the Arctic, the mighty Polar Bear. Polar Bears can be encountered at any stage throughout your expedition however chances do increase the further north we make our way. Bears will often be seen in the areas of ice floes and can be seen crossing these or swimming between them in search of unsuspecting seals...Walruses are the blubbery toothy masses that we come to love and adore on this voyage. Walruses can often be seen close to the shore as they feed on molluscs on the ocean floor. A variety of birdlife is also a highlight of your journey as you encounter colourful puffins (a favourite!), guillemots, pinkfooted geese and kittiwakes.