Arctic diving & Polar Bear Watching Expedition

“Navigate north of Spitsbergen to Nordaustlandet on an Arctic expedition that's equally as rewarding for experienced drysuit divers (20 dives) as their non-diving counterparts.”

Highlights

Daily dives | Glacial cruise near Krossfjorden | Research centre and settlements | Whaling shipwreck | Raudfjord | Liefdefjorden and walk on Andøya (weather permitting) | Monaco Glacier | Volcano and hot springs on Bockfjord | Lomfjordshalvøya | Phippsøya, 81 degrees north | Prins Karls Forland | Potential wildlife: ringed seals, sea hedgehogs, walrus, Arctic foxes and Polar bears | Optional: hiking and snowshoeing

Description of Arctic diving & Polar Bear Watching Expedition

Arctic diving in Spitsbergen is a chance to experience one of the planet’s most extreme habitats in an active and unusual way. Travelling north on a liveaboard dive boat (the only one to cruise around North Spitsbergen) you will explore fjords and far-flung islands, just 500 miles from the North Pole. Our Lloyds 1a ice-strengthened expedition ship, which has been recently refurbished, means we can travel much further north than many people will ever experience.

Experienced drysuit divers can head out on zodiacs with our dive masters up to twice a day, discovering sea angels – the basis of the food chain in these icy seas, winged snails, Arctic cod, anemone-covered rocks and kelp beds. Our Arctic team has plenty of experience diving in these conditions and is on hand to offer advice on the technical aspects of Arctic diving and how to prepare for this trip – just give us a call to speak to one of our experts.

There are plenty of on shore adventures to be had, too – with frequent opportunities to disembark and trek or snowshoe across the frozen landscapes, and look out for the 3,000 polar bears that inhabit Spitsbergen. At this time of year, they can often be seen hunting seals around the edge of the ice; there are opportunities for close encounters.

You will be joined on this special departure by Rinie Van Meurs, a polar bear expert and wildlife photographer who has written many books on these subjects. Rinie will give presentations and talks on board the ship to share his knowledge and enhance your understanding of the polar bears’ behaviour.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
31 May 2017
€ 3020
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 31 May 2017 departure
Our top tip:
Make sure you
Trip type:
Small ship expedition cruise. Max 116 guests. Min dive age 18.
Activity level:
Moderate. Safety first is the key.
Accomm:
Refurbished research vessel with 53 outward facing en-suite cabins, 2 restaurants, bar/lecture room, fore and aft observation decks.
Included:
Accommodation, excursions, lectures, experienced dive leader and 200 litre dive compressor.
Meals:
All meals, snacks, hot drinks.
Solos:
Solos welcome to share a cabin or pay single room surcharge.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Arctic diving & Polar Bear Watching Expedition

We work hard to protect and conserve the destinations we visit around the world and the fragile Arctic ecosystem is no exception. In protecting the Arctic and instilling a sense of environmental stewardship in our clients, we employ a range of successful methods and initiatives.

We firmly believe that by offsetting the average CO2 emissions for each trip, we can help combat the effects of global climate change in the Arctic. As a result, we are the only travel company to offset the carbon emissions generated by your polar trip at our own expense and we also automatically offset the carbon emissions of flights booked through us for polar voyages. The funds generated from this initiative go directly into Rainforest Concern’s new Rainforest4Climate programme, helping reforest tropical rainforest habitats in South America.

Our Arctic ships are smaller, less imposing on the Arctic landscape than the bigger 'cruise' ships. Group landings by zodiacs are more easily managed and a personalised ratio of leaders to passengers provides an added value experience. Your onboard natural history experts, through guided walks and evening talks, reveal the wonders of Artic scenery and wildlife and introduce some of the local and global conservation issues which this fragile habitat faces.

Our polar trips are made under full membership of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and as such abide by their strict codes of conduct in both the Antarctic and the Arctic. Encounters with polar bears, walruses and whales are controlled by strict responsible codes of conduct.

Whilst on Svalbard, we actively help the fragile ecosystem there by participating in the ‘Clean up Svalbard’ programme. This interactive initiative has achieved a positive result in making tangible differences to the Arctic environment and its wildlife. Already, the ‘Clean up Svalbard’ programme has seen several thousand tons of rubbish being removed from the shores of the archipelago.

Whilst on these trips, your on board natural history experts, through guided walks and evening talks, reveal not only the wonders of the Arctic realm and its wildlife but also some of the conservation issues which this fragile habitat and its species face.

Reviews of Arctic diving & Polar Bear Watching Expedition

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of it! The extremes of weather, the diversity of animals, the quality of the accommodation and facilities, and something you can't plan for - new found friends!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't set your heart on seeing anything specific. Be prepared for the changes in weather. It's not as challenging as I expected - to take account of the huge spectrum of ages and abilities. But most of all HAVE FUN!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Not so much the local people, though we did buy a lot of beer! But it has to be said that everyone (staff and guests) were very conscious of where we were and every effort was made, particularly by the expedition leader, to be respectful of the ground we walked on and the closeness to the animals and birds. I think that the zodiacs are a great unobtrusive way of exploring the coastline without disturbing, too much, the nesting birds and sunbathing seals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic. Marvellous. Exhilarating.

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