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4th April 2018
There are many places that make you feel like you're on top of the world, but there are only a few places where you literally are 'on top of the world'! Svalbard is a remote archipelago located half-way between Norway and the North Pole and is particularly well known for its unique wildlife of polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes and puffins. The largest island of the Svalbard archipelago is Spitsbergen which is also the only permanently populated island on Svalbard. There are five main settlements in Svalbard with Longyearbyen appointed as the only town and therefore the Northernmost town in the world. In total, Svalbard has just over 2500 people with the majority of these people living in Longyearbyen.
Exploring the unique landscape and culture of Spitsbergen along with Tromsø is your gateway to seeing some of the Arctic’s most unique wildlife and a landscape that is filled with mountains, fjords and glaciers.
Day 1 - Arrive Tromsø
Fly from the UK to Tromsø via Oslo. Transfer from Tromsø Airport to your hotel in the city centre (included).
3 nights - TROMSØ – Scandic Ishavshotell (4 star)
Day 4 - Tromsø to Spitsbergen
Transfer to Tromsø Airport for your midday flight to Longyearbyen and Spitsbergen. We recommend you take a taxi for the short transfer to your hotel (fare not included).
4 nights LONGYEARBYEN – Spitsbergen Hotel (3 star)
Day 5 - Boat trip to Barentsburg and Esmark Glacier
Transfer from your hotel to the quay. The sailing takes us towards the Esmark Glacier and Oscar II Land before the Russian mining settlement of Barentsburg looms into view on the side of the mountain above Grønfjorden. We make a short stop at Barentsburg before passing Colesbukta with its nearby thriving bird cliffs. An included meal will be served on board and is usually a deck BBQ! There is a small kiosk on board where tea/coffee and waffles can be purchased throughout the trip. During the boat trip your on board guide will provide information about the nature, history, hunters and wildlife and will share their arctic stories with you. Total duration of day trip 9-10 hours.
Day 6 - Exploring Longyearbyen
Day free in Longyearbyen with the opportunity to leisurely explore this fascinating town with its brightly coloured houses and duty-free shopping (fantastic winter clothing!!), or take an optional dog sledding on wheels excursion to Adventdalen (see Excursions).
Day 7 - Boat Trip to Pyramiden and the Nordenskiold Glacier
Again, transfer from your hotel to the quay. Today we sail slowly towards the Nordenskiold Glacier – a breathtaking experience! Our destination is Pyramiden, a Russian mining community that was abandoned in 1998. Everything is intact – deserted but magical. A guided tour is included. During the cruise your on board guide will provide lots of information and answer any questions you may have plus you will again have a lovely deck BBQ on board.
Day 8 - Homeward Bound
Morning free in Longyearbyen before transferring to Longyearbyen Airport for your early afternoon return flight, via Oslo, to the UK.
Departure Day: Daily from UK London Heathrow Airport
Departure Dates: May - Oct
Duration: 7 nights
Price: Please call 01274 875199 for a quote
SCANDIC ISHAVSHOTELL (4 star) - Tromsø
This hotel is something of a landmark, located directly in the harbour, with a view across the sound. This is the very heart of Tromsø and is situated amongst the city's shops, restaurants, bars and within close proximity to the airport bus stop and the Tourist Information Office. The hotel has a lovely modern restaurant, Roast Restaurant, serving delicacies from the sea and local meat. There is also cosy bar and lounge area on the first floor. All rooms are equipped with high quality beds, TV, telephone, mini-bar, trouser-press and hairdryer and all our clients receive a superior sea-view room as standard. All rooms have free WiFi. Lift to all floors. A truly fabulous buffet breakfast is served with a made-to-order omelette station, cold cuts of meat to raw fish, a cooked breakfast and fruit and muesli.
SPITSBERGEN HOTEL (3 star) - Longyearbyen
Spitsbergen Hotel offers modern comfort in historic surroundings with a unique Svalbard style. Situated on the "Hill" it has great views of Longyearbyen, the Lars glacier and the Longyear glacier. The hotel was constructed in 1947, but has been extensively refurbished over the years both internally and externally. In the cosy lounge you will find freshly baked waffles every afternoon condusive to sitting in front of the open fire with a book from the hotel's library. You can also relax in the spa department which has a sauna and massage chair. FunktionÃ¦rmessen Restaurant has a fantastic view of the town, the Longyear Glacier and Hiorthfjellet on the far side of the Adventfjord. The restaurant takes its inspiration from the French kitchen, and you will discover a carefully planned selection of wines and dishes that tempt you with both taste and appearance. The hotel was originally built as an accommodation/dining area for employees at Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani. It was also the company's official representational building, and its interior and architecture made it Longyearbyen's grandest construction. Great effort has been placed in preserving its special history and it is well worth a cultural stroll along the hotel corridors and public areas where youâ€™ll find historic photographs, old maps and newspaper clippings. The hotel has 88 rooms, all of a high standard, with several being decorated in the original style. All rooms are non-smoking.
Arctic Wonders: Tromsø and Spitsbergen
This is a fantastic chance to drive a dog sled even though it isn't winter! You will be collected from your hotel and taken to Camp Barentz, 10km from Longyearbyen. Here you will be equipped with an exposure suit, boots and mittens and given a good introduction to how the dogs and sleds should be worked. You then harness the dogs and head out on your adventure. The guide will drive the first sled, with space for one guest in his sled. The other participants follow in small wagons for 2-3 people.
You will make good speed as you follow the road towards the old Northern Lights research station. Underway there is a good chance you will see reindeer, foxes and teeming birdlife. You will make several stops along the way to give the dogs a drink. The tour takes you along the track into Endalen, past the cableway turning station and towards the old Gruve 5 mine. The clear colours of the vegetation in contrast to the mountains and sky and in combination with the clean Arctic air are refreshing for both body and soul! This is a tour where you quickly get close to nature and happy polar dogs!
Price: £90 per person
Duration: Approx. 3.5 hours