DAY 1: U.S./Fly Overnight to Oslo
Fly to Oslo on an overnight flight.
DAY 2: Oslo, Norway
Arrive in Oslo, the capital city where each year the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the presence of the King of Norway. Check in to the Hotel Bristol (or similar). In the afternoon, our introduction to Oslo begins with a stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures--hundreds of life-size human figures set in terraced Frogner Park. Next we visit the Fram Museum, dedicated to Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. Join your fellow travelers for a welcome cocktail reception then the evening is at leisure for dinner on your own. (L)
DAY 3: Oslo/Longyearbyen/Embark Ship
Depart Oslo on a charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. On arrival, visit the Svalbard Museum to learn the story of Svalbard and its context in Norway and the Arctic, from 17th-century whaling to modern mining, research and tourism. Then tour the Gallery Svalbard to view the permanent art and cultural collections as well as studios of local artists. Embark National Geographic Endurance, your base for the next six days. (B,L,D)
DAY 4-9: Exploring Svalbard
Our travel in the archipelago is truly exploratory by design, and our exact day-to-day movements will remain flexible, depending on local conditions.
Our main focus is the search for Svalbard’s amazing wildlife: polar bear, reindeer and walrus. Observe seals and arctic foxes and search for the very symbol of the Arctic—majestic polar bears. Cruise in Svalbard’s fjords, venture to the foot of stunning tidewater glaciers. We take our Zodiacs and kayaks among beautiful icebergs, and experience the geology, wildlife and wildflowers that give color and vitality to the High Arctic. (B,L,D)
DAY 10: Longyearbyen/Disembark/Oslo
Disembark in Longyearbyen, meet up with a local guide and take a short bus ride to Camp Barentz in the nearby Advent Valley for a taste of Arctic culture. Here, you’ll discover a unique collection of buildings including an authentic gamme, a traditional round building with an open fire in the center, and a lavvo, the traditional tent of the Sami people. Enjoy refreshments and meet some of the friendly sled dog huskies that reside at camp. Fly back to Oslo and overnight at the SAS Radisson Blu Airport Hotel. (B,L)
DAY 11: Oslo/U.S.
After breakfast, proceed to the airport for flights home. (B)