Arctic wonder springs to mind when looking at Hurtigruten's nine-day "Kingdom of the Polar Bear." Touring the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen aboard the MV Polar Star, get a glimpse of what only a select few have seen, including polar bears and Svalbard reindeer, Moffen Island's walrus colony and the cliffs and glaciers of Hornsund Fjord.
From June 9 to August 18, 11 voyages range from $6,419 to $10,080 per person, double occupancy, including all meals, a selection of drinks for those in suites and a pre-cruise night in Longyearbyen with breakfast and sightseeing, in addition to roundtrip economy class flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen and a wind and water proof jacket. Take the MV Polar Star from Longyearbyen to the farthest reaches of Spitsbergen and explore the Arctic landscape, fjords, national parks and surrounding islands. We like the folk lore show in Barentsburg and the tour of Sjuøyane (“Seven Islands”), the northernmost point in the Svalbard Archipelago.
Following a day of guided sightseeing in Longyearbyen, including the Svalbard Museum and Svalbard Gallery, you will call on Bartensburg before Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited Arctic Research Station. Once past the "Seven Icebergs," you'll head into North West Spitsbergen National Park, you'll get a chance to explore the whaling history of Magdalenefjorden. Our favorite is the walrus colonies of Moffen Island before crossing the 80th parallel toward the North Pole.
Afterward, take in Sorgfjorden as you pass through the Hinlopen Strait toward Bråsvell Glacier, a branch of the Nordaustlandet Nature Reserve, on the way to Hornsund, a fjord distinguished by its steep cliffs and colossal glaciers. Aboard 14 ships, accommodating 100 to 646 passengers, Hurtigruten sails Antarctica and Greenland throughout the season, as well as year-round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring.
For more information, visit www.hurtigruten.us, call (877) 301-3117 or fax (888) 524-2145, or call (800) 582-0835 for brochures.