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wildlife & nature • 11 days, 10 nights

Svalbard by Sea: Glaciers & Ghost Towns

Norway
wildlife & nature • 11 days, 10 nights

Svalbard by Sea: Glaciers & Ghost Towns

Norway
See Dates
  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
    Moderate
  • Travel Style
    On the Water
from $8,870 USD per person
See Dates

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Trip Overview
Overview

Svalbard, an archipelago dotting the frigid waters of the High Arctic, is home to the northernmost town on Earth—along with the world’s most northerly domestic airport, gourmet restaurant, and brewery. Join us as we explore the wonders of these far-flung northern islands by land and by sea, descending into an abandoned coal mine, wandering eerily well-preserved ghost towns, visiting the remains of a 17th-century whaling outpost, and tracing the edge of a sweeping expanse of sea ice. Aboard the Togo, the small expedition vessel we'll have all to ourselves, we’ll find ourselves surrounded by Svalbard’s gleaming natural beauty. We’ll encounter pristine glaciers and spot polar bears on the prowl and colonies of grunting walruses—learning intimately about the spectacular history and modern-day life that exists in this extraordinary Arctic corner of the world.

Highlights
  • Glaciers, sea ice, and Arctic wilderness up close
  • Ghost towns and abandoned settlements
  • Polar bears, walruses, and otherworldly wildlife
  • Life in the world's northernmost city
  • Stay aboard an expedition vessel private to our small group

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Norway

Trip Leader

Andreas Umbreit
Andreas is a passionate explorer, naturalist, and expedition leader who first caught the Arctic bug over 35 years ago. He led his first expedition in Svalbard in 1986, and remembers Longyearbyen well before it had any tourism infrastructure. His background in hiking through unknown Arctic terrain—for several thousands of kilometers in the wilderness of Spitsbergen—has equipped him to lead new landings in places rarely visited by tourists. Andreas’s favorite topics are polar history, politics, and geomorphology, and he’ll be happy to discuss them with you in German, English, or Norwegian!

Additional Info

Pricing & Cabin Types

The total cost of your trip depends on the type of cabin you select. You have four cabin types to choose from based upon availability:

Category A: Two nights in a double room in a hotel in Longyearbyen and eight nights in a double ensuite cabin aboard the Togo ($10,880 per person, based on double occupancy).

Category B: Two nights in a twin room in a hotel in Longyearbyen and eight nights in a twin ensuite cabin aboard the Togo ($10,880 per person, based on double occupancy).

Category C (SOLD OUT): Two nights in a twin room in a hotel in Longyearbyen and eight nights in a twin cabin with shared facilities aboard the Togo ($9,975 per person, based on double occupancy).

Category D: Two nights in a single bedded room in a hotel in Longyearbyen and eight nights in a single cabin with shared facilities aboard the Togo ($8,870 per person). Please note that shared facilities for single cabins are located up a flight of stairs. 

Onboard Accommodations

The Togo is a 102-foot, ice-strengthened motor yacht, custom-built in 1965 by Dunston Shipyard, and last refitted in 2018. We'll have the entire vessel—the well-appointed galley and mess room, elegant mahogany-paneled salon with a bar and kitchenette, and spacious, semi-enclosed deck areas—to ourselves. She’s a sturdy vessel with elegant, sheer sails from the bygone era of tramp steamers.

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins in Longyearbyen, where we’ll meet you at the airport and help you transfer to our hotel. We’ll meet up with our guide around 7 p.m. for a short walk and welcome dinner. We recommend you arrive in Longyearbyen by 3 p.m. that day so that you’ll have some time to settle at the hotel before meeting up with the group. Our trip concludes in the morning on Day 11. If leaving Svalbard directly after our trip, we recommend departing any time that afternoon or evening. If you'd like to extend your trip, we’d be more than happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in the city on your own.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking up to four miles over the course of a day, spending time in nature, remaining on their feet for long periods of time, and walking on uneven, rocky, and snowy terrain. Since this is a maritime trip, you should also be comfortable on and around water. Travelers should be comfortable being in confined spaces, as we’ll be walking through a mine in Longyearbyen on Day 2. For those who are up for the challenge, there will be an optional hike between two fjords on Day 9 that will be several miles long and moderately strenuous.

Included
  • Accommodation throughout the trip at a comfortable hotel and aboard an expedition vessel.
  • All meals described in the itinerary.
  • Transportation throughout the trip, including a transfer to the hotel and boat. Travel around Svalbard will be by expedition vessel, landing craft, and on foot.
  • Admission to all proposed activities and locations.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers, excited to explore all that Svalbard has to offer!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance through Global Rescue.
  • Special access to unique places, hidden sites, and extraordinary experiences.
Excluded
  • Transportation to and from Longyearbyen.
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  • Airport transfer on departure (recommendations for travel between the airport and our accommodations will be provided).
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for a Norwegian visa, if applicable.
  • Additional warm clothing. (A packing list will be provided.)
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Trip FAQ

In June, temperatures in Svalbard are typically above freezing, and tend to average around 39°F (4°C). We’ll likely have a mix of sunny and cloudy days with very little wind, due to the high pressure system over the Arctic.

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Upcoming Departures

  • Jun 13–Jun 23, 2021
    from $8,870
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