The Arctic » Win a place on an Arctic Polar Bear Cruise

Win a place on an Arctic Polar Bear Cruise

 

Donate €20 to the Haven Partnership Build It Week November 2012 and be in with a chance to win an Arctic Polar Bear Cruise*

*terms and conditions apply.



Check out the highlights of the Cruise

• Arctic Landscape - Glaciers - Icebergs - Pack-Ice - Fjords • Expeditions Ashore on Zodiac Landing Craft • Polar Bears - Arctic Foxes - Walrus - Bearded Seals - Harbour Seals • Greenland Whales - Beluga Whales - Spitsbergen Reindeer • Kittiwakes - Brunnich Guillemots - Baracle Geese - Arctic Terns • Puffins - Little Auks - King Eider - Ivory Gulls

The winner will fly from Dublin to Oslo and then on to Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen where you will begin your 8 day Polar Bear Expeditions cruise.

The prize includes:

Return flights - Dublin, Oslo, Longyearbyen
2 nights hotel accommodation
7 night/8 day Polar Bear Expedition Cruise

The Cruise At A Glance

Visiting

Longyearbyen - Ny Ålesund - Raudfjord - Liefdefjorden - Bockfjord - Phippsøya - Lomfjordshalvøya - Alkefjellet - Nordaustlandet - Palanderbukta - Prins Karls Forland - Longyearbyen.

 

Highlights

  • The wildlife of Svalbard & Spitsbergen.
  • Dramatic fjords and ice.
  • July 14th & Monaco Glaciers.
  • Visit historic sites and the research centre at Ny Ålesund.


Wildlife

  • Birds: Arctic tern, geese, Guillemot, Little Auk, Puffin, gulls (Kittiwake, Ivory, Sabine's & Ross's), skua, raptors (Sea Eagle, Gyrfalcon & Peregrine).
  • Terrestrial mammals: Arctic Fox, Reindeer.
  • Marine mammals: Polar bear.
  • Whales: Humpback, Fin, Minke, Orca, Blue, Pilot, Narwhal, Beluga, Bowhead.
  • Seals: Walrus, Hooded, Harp, Bearded, Ringed.

 

Duration

  • 7 nights/8 days

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting, while in the surrounds of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plant have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.

 

Day 2

We visit Sallyhamna in Holmiabukta where in the last two years a Fin Whale carcass has attracted Polar Bears. Later we sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seals.

 

The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots.

 

Day 3

Depending on the weather we may now sail to the mouth of Liefdefjorden and go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya.

 

Many Common Eiders and Pink-footed Geese nest here, and the rarer King Eider may also be seen. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier.

 

The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and on previous voyages Polar Bears have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

 

Day 4

Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears, and ivory gulls. We'll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich's guillemots.

 

On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we'll attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese, breeding ivory gulls, and walruses.

 

Day 5

In the morning we will try to land at Laagoya, a haul-out place for Walrusses. Later we will reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet.

 

Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bears inhabit this region, along with Ivory Gulls. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before we turn west again.

 

Day 6

Retracing our route westwards, we sail all the time through and along the pack-ice, on the watch for Polar Bears and the elusive Greenland Whale.

 

Day 7

We land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken, where Barentsz probably set foot on Spitsbergen for the first time.

 

Seabirds nest on the cliffs and along the coast we see Harbour Seals, the only population found in Spitsbergen. Further we also will observe the remains of the Polar Bear hunting era, with demolished set guns and bear traps.

 

At the opposite site of Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for Walruses. Alternatively we sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic Foxes search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen Reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation.

 

At night time we arrive in Longyearbyen.

 

Day 8

We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for the flights south to Oslo and onward home.

 









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