The Spitsbergen Encounter

    enquire now 13 Days From NZD $12,295 pp twinshare
    Small group
    Terms & Conditions apply

    Discover Travel welcomes your expressions of interest in
    The Spitsbergen Encounter 13-day Escorted Expedition Cruise
    06 June – 17 June 2020

    Indicative* tour cost, from:

    • $13,995.00 per person twin-share semi-private cabin~
    • $15,795.00 per person twin-share private cabin

    *Our indicative tour cost is based on current pricing and subject to change. Confirmed cost and itinerary to be advised once tour is confirmed to proceed, based on expressions of interest.  

    ~ Semi-private cabins: Facilities are semi-private — meaning you share the washroom with the adjacent cabin.

    This 10-day expedition takes you deep inside the Arctic Circle, within 600 nautical miles of the North Pole.

    Your expedition host, Ian Collier, has an undeniable passion for “The Ice” and his experience in this region includes several visits to both the Arctic and Antarctica. You’ll join Ian in Norway’s capital, Oslo, and spend the evening getting to know your fellow travellers over dinner, while adjusting to almost 24 hours of daylight!

    The following day you’ll take a 3-hour flight to Longyearbyen, the principal town on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago. The dazzling landscape makes for a stunning backdrop to your Arctic expedition cruise, which begins the following day. Your epic adventure ends when you return to Oslo. Why not extend your adventure and join Discover Travel’s “Back to the USSR” escorted tour, highlighting the Baltic state capitals and Russia’s iconic cities of St Petersburg and Moscow.

    Your voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice, an area with the highest concentration of wildlife and places of historic and scenic interest in the archipelago. Not only does this polar region offer tremendous wildlife and birdlife experiences, but fascinating lessons in glaciology as well. The islands are the northernmost inhabited places on the planet and would be permanently locked in ice were it not for the moderating influence of the Atlantic Gulf Stream current. First used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, the islands are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear.

    Expedition Highlights:

    • Wildlife Identification – work through the wildlife list identifying markers and checking off even the most elusive species. The best place in the Arctic to see polar bears in their natural habitat.
    • Photographer in Residence – provides presentations, critiques, informal instruction and a photographer zodiac to assist you in your photographic goals.
    • Education – all disciplines covered – ornithology, marine biology, geology and history. Educators are part of our expedition team travelling alongside you from the zodiac to the dinner table.
    • Fitness & Yoga – a full suite of active movement programmes are offered for you to either stay fit or start a new regime.
    • Polar Bear Watching – watch the icon of the north wandering through it’s natural environment from our ice strengthened vessel or when discovering the Arctic via zodiac.
    • Trekking/Hiking – where possible, tailored options are available for all levels of fitness and abilities.
    • Whale Watching – the ultimate wildlife show from your front row seat while cruising the shallow waters of coastal areas.
    • Zodiac Cruising – heavy duty mark V zodiac inflatables paired with yamaha 60HP four stroke engines and a trained guide/driver provide a brilliant platform for small group cruising.

    The Vessel

    Akademik Sergey Vavilov is modern, comfortable, safe and ice strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, the public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need.

    A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge.  The sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team are enjoyed in the dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating, will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage.  Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, Jacuzzi, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.


    • 3-4 star overnight hotels in Oslo
    • Transfers from/to Oslo hotel – Oslo airport and Longyearbyen airport – hotel – vessel – hotel/airport
    • Breakfast in Oslo and Longyearbyen pre-cruise
    • Cruise: All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea, 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
    • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package
    • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping.
    • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologist, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
    • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat as per itinerary
    • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
    • Gratuities/tipping
    • Tour escort

    Images courtesy of Wild Earth Travel, One Ocean Expeditions, Antarctica Cruise Guide

    2020 is now open for Expressions of Interest.  Please call us freephone 0800 747 737 or phone 03 364 3400