A high Arctic archipelago situated between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, massive sheets of ice, and magnificent polar bears. From Oslo, head to the land of the midnight sun to explore these glittering islands aboard the National Geographic Explorer. Get up close to polar wildlife and spectacular landscapes in kayaks, Zodiacs, and on foot, and experience nature in its purest form.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart on an overnight flight to Oslo and check in to our hotel upon arrival. On an afternoon tour of this charming city, visit the Fram Museum to learn about early Norwegian polar expeditions and stroll Vigeland Sculpture Park, home to more than two hundred life-size human figures by native sculptor Gustav Vigeland. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.
Depart Oslo on a private charter flight, and enjoy views of the southern fjords en route to Longyearbyen. On arrival in Longyearbyen, meet up with a local guide to visit the Svalbard Museum and an art gallery in the area. Embark the National Geographic Explorer, our floating base camp for the next six days.
This voyage is undertaken in the spirit of discovery, and our travel in the archipelago is exploratory by design. In a region ruled not by humans but by polar bears, we let nature guide our course. Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer sun never sets. With our fully stabilized ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe the ice in search of wildlife; and our exact day-to-day itinerary remains flexible, depending on local ice and weather conditions. Zodiacs and kayaks take us closer to the region's fascinating geologic features and the wildlife and wildflowers that flourish during the summer months.
With our National Geographic photographer and staff of seasoned naturalists, venture to the foot of stunning tidewater glaciers, kayak among sparkling icebergs, and explore fjords that split the rugged coastlines. Hike through miniature gardens blooming on the tundra, and scan the edges of the pack ice for walruses, seals, reindeer, and polar bears—the iconic emblem of the arctic. Svalbard is one of the best places on the planet to observe these majestic creatures in their natural environment, and we're likely to spot several throughout the course of our trip.
Disembark in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Svalbard. Get a taste of Arctic culture during a visit to a nearby wilderness camp, where we will enjoy local refreshments and meet some of the friendly sled dogs that reside here. Fly back to Oslo this afternoon.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight home.