4 independent reviews for Arctic icebreaker cruise, Spitsbergen

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.


review 19 Sep 2016

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

An amazing trip! The scenery -glaciers, icebergs and sea ice - were stunning, the northern lights fantastic, and the wildlife wonderful. It is impossible to highlight one part, as it was two memorable weeks!

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

We treated ourselves to the suite, we had our own space to escape to, more room to relax, more storage space, and a much better bathroom. It was worth the extra expense!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Care is taken not to disturb the wildlife, and the holiday provider supports conservation charities which helps develop local businesses.

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

5 stars, it was one of our best holidays!

review 2 Jul 2016

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

Seeing polar bears, walruses and whales. Especially seeing a rare Bowhead whale whilst moving through the pack ice.

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

Take a good pair of binoculars.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Probably not.

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

Excellent.

Read the operator's response here:

We are extremely happy that Peter and his partner had an excellent experience with us in Spitsbergen and that they saw polar bears, blue whales, walruses and the rare bowhead whale. In terms of how the trip may have benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation: Since its inception we have 'grown' a Rainforest4Climate Fund which we use to help offset the carbon emissions of client polar voyages and flights. This covers travel to Spitsbergen, Greenland, Canada, Antarctica, South Georgia, the Russian Arctic and the Falklands. We also add to this fund for each journey we operate to lowland Amazon and cloud forests in Ecuador and Peru. We calculate the average CO2 emissions of its Arctic and Antarctic voyages and automatically offsets our clients share of emissions via this Rainforest4Climate programme. At the time of booking we also invite each of our clients to match our carbon off set contribution, which many choose to do. In 2015, donations were focused on Western Ecuador via Rainforest Concern, where we have been helping to extend a reserve where the newly discovered Olinguito is known to exist. Via our partners, the Rainforest Trust, we funded the creation of a 10,000 acre protected rainforest reserve within a new 5.9 million acres of national park, national reserve and 57 community owned territories in Amazonian Peru. We also funded the protection of more than 1,000 acres of new rainforest reserve in Madagascar. Spitsbergen itself has no indigenous population, but the main industry in the area is tourism, which we support. Tourism certainly helps people living in Spitsbergen financially and strengthens the need for conservation of the area, a void which could otherwise be at risk of other more impactful activities such as oil and mineral extraction industries.

review 4 Aug 2013

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

Arriving at the pack ice on a beautiful sunny evening and then seeing our first polar bear.

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

Only go if you are truly interested in all sorts of wildlife and nature. Don't expect a great variety of plants and animals - but what there is, is spectacular. Take a very good SLR camera with high magnification.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Supported local economy in Longbearyen. No harm to the environment.

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

Very good. But sufficiently interesting for one teenager who required shopping opportunities and some culture. This holiday is not for someone who likes the idea of seeing polar bears but is not particularly interested in wildlife.

review 18 Oct 2011

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

The astonishing landscapes in general, the walks on the mountains.

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

Make sure you are prepared for the cold - and for not necessarily seeing a lot of wildlife or Northern Lights.

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

I believe so.

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

A unique experience that reminded us of life's basics, of what real beauty is.

Holiday Reviews

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

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
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