AdventureSmith Explorations to Showcase Polar Bears and Northern Lights On Arctic 2018 Itineraries by Land and Sea
Polar bears and Northern Lights are two of many reasons travelers dream of exploring the Arctic. There’s also the fascination of skyscraper-high glaciers, cavorting whales and following in the footsteps of intrepid explorers.
The Arctic that begins on many bucket lists becomes reality with AdventureSmith Explorations’ new and expanded 2018 menu of small-ship voyages and overland journeys into the frozen north.
Polar Bears: First up are ways by both land and sea to witness polar bears in their natural habitat.
Tundra Lodge Adventure is a 6- or 7-day all-land itinerary based out of Churchill, Canada, the polar bear capital of the world. Men’s Journal hailed this trip as one of the best safaris to support sustainable tourism. Guests sleep in the Tundra Lodge, a custom-designed rolling hotel that offers unparalleled seclusion and proximity to polar bears. Day excursions in all-terrain Polar Rovers allow for even more intimate encounters in the wild. Departures in 2018 are from mid October to mid November when Hudson Bay polar bears migrate. A 6-day program is from $8,295 per person double inclusive of round-trip flights to and from Winnipeg and Churchill; accommodations; all meals; beverages; dog sledding excursion; use of cold-weather gear; services of professional expedition leaders and assistants; some gratuities; all activities/entrance fees; evening wildlife and cultural presentations; all taxes and service charges.
Arctic for Explorers aboard the 114-guest Sea Spirit is a 15-day journey into Franz Joseph Land, the world’s northernmost high Arctic archipelago. Just 600 miles from the North Pole, concentrations of polar bears roam the ice in the Russian Arctic National Park where flowering tundra and tidewater glaciers abound, fostering colonies of nesting seabirds. With 24-hour daylight captain and crew maximize every opportunity for viewing polar bears, walruses and endangered bowhead whales in this unique polar ecosystem. The gateway is Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard. Five 2018 departures offer this classic route, as well as shorter variations—notably a 9-day Searching for Polar Bears itinerary, mid-June through mid-September. The per person double rate is from $9,495.
Northern Lights: To focus on Northern Lights, AdventureSmith Explorations has increased the number of itineraries and September departures in Scoresby Sund.
The 10-day Arctic Express: Greenland’s Northern Lights aboard the 78-guest Ocean Nova (ice strengthened) promises tundra hikes, Arctic wildlife including herds of musk ox and visiting an Inuit settlement. The gateway is Reykjavik, Iceland. There are four September 2018 departures. The per person double rate is from $6,395 (book by Jan. 31, 2018, and save up to $1,500 per person).
On the main 12-day Home of Vikings & Icebergs journey aboard the 114-passenger Sea Spirit guests embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, and disembark in Reykjavik after exploring sea and landscapes of Disko Bay and West Greenland. The islands and fjords of the High Arctic closely guard some of the world’s most unique and magical sea kayaking opportunities – available at an extra cost. Photographic instructions, lectures and opportunities from expert photographers and guides are included on all four departures, ranging from 8 to 12 days in length: May 22, May 30, June 6 and Sept. 13, 2018. The per person double rate is from $4,195 for the shortest 8-day route option. On the June departure guests receive free airfare from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuag to meet the ship – or a one-day complimentary tour of to the Greenland Ice Cap. Also on this tour they can save up to 10 percent on all cabin categories.
The 8-day Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis cruise is aboard the 114-guest Plancius (custom-built for polar cruises). Guests transfer from Reykjavik by bus through North Iceland before sailing north to cross the Arctic Circle in the wake of the Vikings. Stops include introductions to sled dogs and the Thule culture. On the water glaciers vie for attention with sea birds, as does the aurora borealis. There is one Sept. 18-25, 2018, departure. The gateway city is Reykjavik. The per person double rate is from $3,900.