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8 Days Diving Expedition and Arctic Wildlife Safari in Svalbard
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


(No availability) 8 Days Diving Expedition and Arctic Wildlife Safari in Svalbard

Bykaia, 9171, Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Arctic Safari in Svalbard

This expedition is a live-aboard tour for small groups to explore the beauty of Svalbard over and under water. Northern Explorers recommend this tour to people who need to plan their time carefully and can not participate in a long Arctic expedition. Each time again they are amazed at how exciting these relatively short tours can be and how packed the days are with unforgettable impressions and encounters with wildlife in their natural habitat.

Key information

  • Private safari
  • Maximum group size: 8 persons
  • Children policy: Children should be supervised under the age of 18
  • Starting point and ending point: Longyearbyen
  • Danish, English, German, Norwegian, Swedish speaking guide

Meet the guides

Sven
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Highlights

  • Magnificent landscape and glaciers
  • Very good chances of spotting a polar bear and whales
  • See polar foxes, reindeer, ptarmigan, king eider, and other bird species
  • Bright days and nights thanks to the midnight sun
  • Unlimited diving dependent on the tour schedule
  • Full board for the duration of the ship journey
  • English-speaking support included
  • 7 nights accommodation

Styles


6 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
00:00
Check-out Time:
00:00

You will be accommodated on Skydancer sailing yacht. The ship has three twin cabins and one four bed cabin. Private bathrooms are not available. There are two toilets and one shower for maximum eight guests. Two saloons can be used to rest, preparing photo gear, and for eating. If the weather is nice, you might prefer to spend your time on deck enjoying the amazing Arctic nature that will be around all through the tour.

Program

You will board the sailing yacht Skydancer in Longyearbyen and only a few hours after leaving the port there already is a chance to see walruses, seals, humpbacks, minke, finn, blue, and beluga whales. Even polar bears have been observed close to town on previous trips. At night, the ship will drop anchor in sheltered bays and fjords.

You will use a dinghy to go on shore for photo tours and land excursions. Diving is possible most days, but it depends on the schedule.

Your route will take you South, along the coastline, and into the fjords. In these areas, you have a chance to spot big groups of belugas (white whales), as well as big numbers of seals and even walruses and polar bears.

Diving

Northern Explorers provide steel tanks with DIN double valves (200 bar) and a volume of 10 or 12 liters, as well as lead weights in various sizes for the dives.

Dives either start from the ship (there is a ladder to access the water) or from a dinghy. They only use dry suits for diving and they recommend the use of two separate regulators. Because safety is really important when diving in such remote areas, the depth limit is 25 meters (82 feet). Oxygen equipment in case of diving emergencies is available on board.

The water temperature roughly ranges between 4 and 7°C (39-45°F). Average visibility ranges between five and 15 meters (16-50 feet). Photographers and film makers will find a wide range of small (macro) creatures. You will also see corals, anemones, kelp, and sponges. You might get a chance to snorkel with seals and whales and see diving birds.

Day 1: Arrival in Longyearbyen

After arrival at Svalbard Airport, Longyear (LYR) you will be picked up and brought to the two-mast sailing ship SY Skydancer. Here you will meet the guide, skipper, and crew, get an introduction to the ship, safety on board, and about the latest weather conditions and wildlife observations for the upcoming trip. After, you can relax in your cabin or enjoy some tasty food.

You will be settling in and prepare for the tour (such as loading provisions and checking technical equipment). An individual city sightseeing tour is possible. You will have dinner at a restaurant.

Day 2: Isfjord and the fjord estuary

Once leaving the harbor, there is already a chance to encounter a pod of belugas (white whales) that can number up to several hundred. Sea encounters with seals and walruses are also possible. Northern fulmars and other seabirds will accompany you most of the time. Depending on the weather forecast, you will decide if you spend the night near the entrance to the fjord, or if you continue further South and anchor there.

Day 3: Bellsund

After breakfast, you lift anchor and might find small walrus colonies. At the entrance to Bellsund, strong currents prevail, which provide a large food supply. Thousands of seabirds have been observed gathering here, like gullemots, auks, and puffins to dive for krill and small fish. Also, in the area, there are some good dive sites which you may visit.

Day 4: Continue the journey into the fjords

You continue your journey into the fjords. You will be on a special lookout for beluga whales, but especially polar bear mothers with their cubs, which often avoid areas with many male bears. Male polar bears can become dangerous to the cubs as they want to mate with the female.

Therefore, in these areas of lower polar bear density but with a relatively large number of seals, there is also a good chance of observing mothers with a few weeks old cubs.

Day 5: Search for wildlife

Today you will be searching for wildlife and get amazed at the beautiful scenery. You will see glaciers, mountains, and valleys while cruising the fjords. You can visit places that witnessed human activities in the Arctic. Often you can find wooden ship wrecks and other debris washed on the beach. And despite the hundreds of years that have passed, the wood is still in quite good condition because of the Arctic climate.

You will also find various locations to dive. However, inside the fjords the visibility is often poor due to melting water.

Day 6: Sailing day

You head back to Isfjord. There are good opportunities to spot whales in the fjord's estuary. Today, you can dive at various interesting locations and will sail past colonies with tens of thousands of seabirds. You will spend the last night on the ship in the harbor of the Russian settlement of Barentsburg. You can visit the restaurant that has good food to offer and even makes its own craft-beer.

Day 7: Last day at sea

A land excursion might be possible in the morning. Afterwards, you return to the harbor of Longyearbyen where you get off the ship and move into a hotel room for the last night of this trip. In the evening, the tour will finish with a city sightseeing tour including a visit to a restaurant and the best bar in town.

Day 8: Departure

Transfer to the airport to catch your return flight home.

Guides

Sven Gust

Location

Svalbard is an archipealg in the Arctic. The islands are close to the North Pole and one of the very best places on the planet to get close to the Arctic wildlife. During this tour, you will stay on the ship. Landings will be offered on most days, as well as time to visit the town of Longyearbyen.

Food

During the tour, you will be provided with full board for the duration of the ship journey. The food will be prepared fresh in the galley. For breakfast there will be a selection of cheese, jam, eggs, and ham. Lunch and dinner will vary and can be soup, fish, meat, or vegetarian.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • All shore and land excursions
  • Unlimited diving dependent on the tour schedule
  • English-speaking support
  • Double-valve tanks and weights
  • Travel planning assistance
  • Full board for the duration of the ship journey
  • 7 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Any additional activities
  • Alcoholic beverages on board
  • Dinner and beverages at the restaurant (arrival day)
  • Dinner and beverages at the hotel
  • Getting there and flights (including possible overnight stopovers)
  • Insurance
  • Single room (available at an additional cost, factor 1.8 of the tour price)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Svalbard Airport, Longyear (LYR). Transfers from and to this airport are not included.

The arrival is made by airplane from the home airport, usually via Oslo, and from there directly to Longyearbyen. Overnight stays are rarely required. Weather-related delays and cancellation of flights are rare in summer. Flights are generally reasonably priced and transporting sporting equipment and excess baggage is easily arranged.

Northern Explorers are pleased to provide more information on current flight schedules and prices upon request.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.
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