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Home Antarctica & Arctic Spitsbergen, Iceland & the European Arctic Accommodations

Spitsbergen, Iceland & the European Arctic

Experience the Rugged, Icebound Beauty of the Scandinavian Far North

National Geographic Orion

Technically and aesthetically, the National Geographic Orion is among the most sophisticated vessels in its class. Constructed by one of the world's leading shipbuilders, and launched in November 2003, Orion boasts a host of advanced design.

National Geographic Orion

Technically and aesthetically, the National Geographic Orion is among the most sophisticated vessels in its class. Constructed by one of the world's leading shipbuilders, Cassens Shipyard in Emden, Germany, and launched in November 2003, Orion boasts a host of advanced design features including technology that sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices. Although custom-made for expedition cruising, Orion is the epitome of elegance. No expense has been spared when it comes to the quality of fittings and furnishings, and the range and caliber of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship. Guest capacity numbers approximately 100 guests, all cared for in intimate, 5-star comfort by a crew of 75.


2016 Itineraries, Dates & Fees

 

Norway's Fjords and Arctic Svalbard

Follow Norway’s fjord-carved coast, from the charming town of Bergen, past the North Cape to the ice and wildness of the Svalbard archipelago, for a perfect balance between the charmingly scenic and the spectacularly wild. Explore Tromso and Bear Island on the way to Svalbard in the high Arctic, where polar bears prowl and walruses haul out on rocky shores.


National Geographic Explorer

The newly renovated National Geographic Explorer is an ice-class polar expedition vessel accommodating 148 guests in 81 outside cabins, all with windows or portholes, en suite...
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National Geographic Explorer

The newly renovated National Geographic Explorer is an ice-class polar expedition vessel accommodating 148 guests in 81 outside cabins, all with windows or portholes, en suite facilities and individual climate controls. The ship is fully stabilized, enabling it to navigate polar passages in exceptional comfort. It has been freshly redesigned with the addition of the most innovative tools for polar and undersea exploration, as well as expedition cruising destinations worldwide. Such features include Zodiacs, kayaks, hydrophones, underwater HD cameras and a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). The Explorer also includes two restaurants, a lounge and bar, library, observation lounge, spa, fitness center and sauna. A mud room with lockers provides storage for guests’ expedition gear. Meals are served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. A diverse menu features a wide variety of international favorites, with local flair.

2016 Itinerary, Dates & Fees

Please click on the dates below to see the specific dates, fees, map, itinerary, inclusions, and exclusions.

Norway's Fjords & Arctic Svalbard Itinerary

Combine the glaciers and wild polar bears of Svalbard with the fjords and green summer-scape of coastal Norway. Our seasoned captain and expedition staff will bring you far north, to an expansive wilderness region of towering glaciers, deep fjords, mountains and massive ice sheets. They have been exploring this region for years, even decades, and take us to the “lesser-traveled” and back safely.


Land of the Ice Bears: An In Depth Exploration of Arctic Svalbard

A high Arctic archipelago situated beyond Norway’s fjord-fretted coast, a mere 600 miles from the North Pole, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, and massive sheets of ice––glowing under the midnight sun during our season there. It’s a magnificent polar bear habitat that provides opportunities for thrilling up-close observations of polar bears and other Arctic wildlife. It’s Arctic nature in its purest form.

 

Circumnavigation of Iceland

Iceland’s geology in all its manifestations––glaciers, geysers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty––is world-class. It alone makes a circumnavigation a very compelling idea. And when you add in the other itinerary components––Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, the island’s geography and bird-life––seeing it all in one 360º expedition is irresistible.

 

Svalbard, Iceland, & Greenland's East Coast

See the majestic setting that the lordly polar bear freely roams as we explore the Svalbard archipelago, pulling the ship’s bow up to blue-veined glaciers, alighting on islands where caribou drift like smoke across the tundra. Go from the TV series depiction of Vikings to a real sense of their heroism. We’ll follow in the wake of these, and other fearless explorers and colonists to discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland and Iceland––in particular, Iceland’s untrammeled western coast––and visit Greenland's fascinating Viking sites and settlements, each set against edenic backdrops.

 

Iceland by Land & Sea: From Reykjavik to the Wild West

This exceptional land-and-sea expedition encapsulates Iceland’s stunning nature, the beauty of the rugged landscape, and the creativity of the Icelandic people—and it’s only a short flight away. Spend two days in Reykjavik, exploring the city and the Golden Circle with its hot springs, spouting geysers, and tumbling waterfalls. The centerpiece is our three-day voyage aboard National Geographic Explorer around Iceland’s wild west coast.

 

Iceland & Greenland: Viking Legends and Wild Fjords

How heroic were the earlier transatlantic voyages by Columbus’ predecessors: the Viking explorers? We follow in the wake of these fearless explorers and colonists to discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland and Iceland––in particular, Iceland’s untrammeled western coast––and visit Greenland's fascinating Viking sites and settlements, each set against edenic backdrops.

Ocean Nova

Exhibiting clean, crisp Scandinavian design, the Ocean Nova was built in Frederikshavn, Denmark, with an ice-strengthened hull to navigate the frigid waters of the polar regions in comfort...
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Ocean Nova

Exhibiting clean, crisp Scandinavian design, the Ocean Nova was built in Frederikshavn, Denmark, with an ice-strengthened hull to navigate the frigid waters of the polar regions in comfort and style. The 73-meter-long vessel is guided by officers who have extensive experience in polar navigation. Originally constructed in 1992, the ship was upgraded in 2000 and was significantly refurbished once again in 2006 to include a glass-enclosed forward observation lounge on the top deck and a host of contemporary new amenities. This ship accommodates approximately 78 guests in 38 outside cabins, all with en suite facilities, flat screen TVs and DVD players. Public spaces include a spacious dining room offering open seating, bar staffed by a professional bartender, Polar Library with a large collections of volumes and DVDs, glass-enclosed lounge/presentation room, exercise room and a clinic with an onboard physician. Carrying a fleet of Zodiacs for intimate coastal exploration and shore landings, the Ocean Nova is a perfect expedition ship for discovering the Arctic.

2016 Dates, Fees, & Itinerary

Please click on the dates below to see the specific dates, fees, map, itinerary, inclusions and exclusions.

Introduction to Spitsbergen: Polar Bear Safari

This voyage provides the opportunity to experience everything Spitsbergen has to offer, from polar bears and walrus to spectacular scenery. Aboard the Ocean Nova, you’ll be treated to daily presentations by your Expedition Team on-board the ship and daily wildlife sightings on land. Hike, explore and enjoy the beauty of the Arctic on your visit to Spitsbergen.

 

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation: Big Island, Big Adventure

Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, which we will attempt to circumnavigate on this voyage. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife, Spitsbergen is one of the Far North's most prolific destinations. Offering an excellent opportunity to view polar bears, you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Large walrus populations are at home in Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, while you may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to land.

 

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition cruise, this is it. You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some northern outlying areas home to polar bears and Walrus. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and watch for whales in the water. Packed with options for snowshoeing and sea-kayaking, this is the perfect expedition for exploring the “wildlife capital of the Arctic.”

 

Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland & Spitsbergen

This award-winning expedition cruise takes you to Scorsbysund on the northeast coast of Greenland; Iceland; and high above the Arctic Circle to Spitsbergen, Norway. Iconic Arctic animals such as polar bear, muskox, reindeer and walrus are commonly seen. No other Arctic adventure takes in such varied destinations ranging from active volcanoes to massive glaciers. If you want to experience the full range of Arctic beauty, this three-island adventure fills the bill. 

 

Scotland to Spitsbergen: Across the Arctic Circle

This mystical expedition cruise of the northern Atlantic offers a fascinating blend of Scottish and Norse history, and provides rich culture and wildlife experiences, including rare opportunities that will delight birders. We will explore the medieval art, architecture and archaeology of Britain’s northernmost archipelagos of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and discover contemporary life and Viking history there, before continuing to picturesque Bergen. We continue north into the Norwegian Sea toward UNESCO-protected Vega Island, a veritable ornithologists’ dream.

We discover these regions on our small expedition ship, affording us the opportunity to get up close and personal with much of the landscape. There will be plenty of time to venture into the fjords on Zodiacs, getting even closer to cascading falls and shore landings in otherwise inaccessible coves.

Sea Adventurer

The Sea Adventurer has a proud reputation as a well-appointed, elegant expedition ship designed for exploration in polar regions. An exceptionally comfortable ride...
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Sea Adventurer

Location
The Arctic

The Sea Adventurer has a proud reputation as a well-appointed, elegant expedition ship designed for exploration in polar regions. Built in 1975, she underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998. An exceptionally comfortable ride is ensured by stabilizers and an ice-hardened hull that allow her to navigate easily in the most rugged natural environments. The Sea Adventurer is outfitted with state-of-the-art satellite navigation and communication equipment as well as a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. The deluxe ship accommodates 117 guests in 61 outside cabins, all with private en suite facilities in a variety of categories. Cabins feature individual temperature controls and in-room music. Comfortable public areas include a window-lined dining room, two bars and a lounge/presentation room.


2016 Itineraries, Dates, & Fees

Please click on the dates below to see the specific dates, fees, map, itinerary, inclusions, and exclusions.
 

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation: Big Island, Big Adventure

Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, which we will attempt to circumnavigate on this voyage. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations. Offering one of the world’s best opportunities to view polar bears, you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, while you may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to land.

 

 

The Untamed North: Iceland to Greenland

Discover the ethereal beauty of Iceland—element sculpted landscapes, mighty glaciers, and geothermal hotspots—while offshore, rock pinnacles serve as the seasonal home for thousands of nesting seabirds. Meet the citizens of colorful fishing villages; cruise by Zodiac beneath emerald hillsides laced with waterfalls; and walk among ruins that recall the heyday of Viking exploration. In the capital of Reykjavík explore the fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park; Gullfoss waterfall; and the Geysir Center. Your exploration of Greenland begins in Scoresbysund where, for two days, (weather permitting) search for the wildlife that lives among the glittering icebergs or on the wildflower-carpeted tundra. Sailing southward, explore coves and inlets of the pristine coast by Zodiac and visit millennia-old Norse sites and thriving local villages, including Nuuk, the world’s smallest capital. Prins Christian Sund is a photographer’s heaven with cliff-hugging frozen waterfalls and towering volcanoes. And, as you sail the length of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, witness the breathtaking spectacle of sheer vertical cliffs, massive glaciers, and elegant icebergs.


Tromsø, Bear Island & Spitsbergen

Venture from Tromsø deeper into the Arctic Circle past iconic fjords towards the usually ice-bound Svalbard Archipelago. We’ll discover the rarely-visited Bear Island, an important bird area. We’ll explore the wildlife haven of Spitsbergen, a rugged land of deep fjords, mountains and ice sheets, and we’ll spend our time here searching for walrus, seals, reindeer, arctic fox and the illusive polar bear. You’ll also marvel at the colorfully-carpeted tundra which we’ll be able to see first-hand on some of our hikes.


Arctic Archipelagos: Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land

In the far north of Russia is the icy realm of Franz Josef Land, one of the most remote and raw archipelagos in the world. Discovered less than 150 years ago, it is comprised of about 192 islands and is home to the walrus, polar bear, seal, arctic fox and beluga whale, as well as rich birdlife. Now considered a nature reserve within the Russian Arctic National Park administration, it is visited by few people, and the landscapes of the islands are still dotted with relics from famous explorers of the past.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Scandinavian built for the Russian Academy of Science, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov was designed to travel quietly, during hydro-acoustic research. She is exceptionally stable...
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Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Scandinavian built for the Russian Academy of Science, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov was designed to travel quietly, during hydro-acoustic research. She is exceptionally stable, yet maneuverable. She accommodates 92 guests in a variety of categories, with private, semi-private, and shared facilities, all with exterior views. Amenities include a sauna and plunge pool. This ship has one elevator between passenger deck levels and the Bridge level.

2016 Itineraries, Dates & Fees

Please click on the dates below to see the specific dates, fees, itinerary, map, inclusions, and exclusions.


Spitsbergen Encounter

We begin our exploration of the Svalbard archipelago in Longyearbyen, capital city of this Norwegian Territory. Following our embarkation of Akademik Sergey Vavilov, our home for the next nine nights, we sail out of Isfjorden (Ice Fjord) and begin our exploration up and around the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, the larger of the two principal islands that make up the bulk of the Svalbard archipelago. From the moment we throw the lines and start our voyage we are in the land of the polar bear, beluga, walrus and reindeer so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.

2016 Wildlife Webinars

Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month.

See the Full Schedule Here

Voted Best of Travel 2015

Our Base Camp Greenland trip is named Best Splurge by Outside magazine!

In the News

CNN recently joined Natural Habitat’s Polar Bear Photo Tour! Click here to watch.
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