These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.
Annamaria Cozza review 12 Oct 2008
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
I think that everyday on the Noorderlicht has been a memorable one! We saw such wonderful landscapes and animals. In particular I remember our 2 landings in the Recherchefjord. The night before it snowed and the scenery was just breathtaking. We walked for about 20 minutes to reach the glacier that was lying in front of us and behind some low hills we suddenly discovered a huge lagoon that was collecting some incredible pieces of ice from the glacier. And then our 4th (yes 4th) polar bear appeared. She lazily walked along the shore, looked at us and then elegantly went into the water to swim towards the glacier.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Be flexible and do not expect much of what written in the 'final itinerary' to happen. Decisions are made everyday depending on the weather.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Not really! Actually I was very surprised to find our that aluminium, paper and other recyclable materials were thrown in the rubbish together with all the other waste.. that really shocked me and I think it's not acceptable!
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
An experience to recommend and to re-experience.
Read the operator's response here:
Spitsbergen is a remote area but despite this, our operations in the high-arctic are pleased to go further in separating and recycling waste than many European countries where recycling facilities are more accessible. I can confirm that onboard the following waste is separated for recycling: paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium. Further to this, hazardous waste such as batteries are also separated from other waste. This waste and the above recyclable materials are transferred from Longyearbyen to the Norwegian mainland where they are processed. Please know that all of us are very passionate about the environment and will seek to go above and beyond our duty of care to keep our environmental impact to a minimum.