Tour ID:
009283B-10
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7 Days / 6 Nights

Group size: [Group size]

2015 Departures:
March 17-23

2015 Pricing:
Double: US$6,030
Triple: US$5,930
Single: US$7,830

NOTE: All rates are based on tariffs, costs and United States dollar exchange rates that were in effect at the time of publication. Consequently, prices herein are subject to change. Due to fluctuations in global oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee. You will be advised of details and costs prior to departure.
Room Sharing Program available

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Itinerary

On the frozen barrens of a remote Norwegian archipelago, you discover what for many adventurous travelers is the final dimension of the Earth’s beauty.

After journeying across a pristine landscape of ice and snow, scanning the jagged peaks on the far horizon, your appreciation for the planet’s extremes – from parched deserts to lush rainforests to vast oceans – is somehow complete. There’s only one added element that could elevate the experience further: witnessing a total solar eclipse in the flawless Arctic sky.

Journey to the top of the Earth for an eclipse adventure unlike any we’ve undertaken before. On March 20, 2015, join an exclusive group of international travelers at 79° N and experience 2 minutes and 24 seconds of totality from an ideal viewing site alongside a dramatic fjord.

Home base for the Svalbard Arctic Eclipse adventure is Longyearbyen, a tiny village (pop. 2,800) on the island of Spitsbergen, less than 1,100 km (700 mi) from the North Pole. Here, during your 4-night stay, you can try your hand at dog sledding, explore a spectacular glacial cave and journey by snowmobile over pristine white landscapes.
Each night, you can venture outside the village in quest of the incredible aurora borealis, whose shifting, multi-hued “dancing curtains” of light must be seen to be believed – and captured by your camera, of course, to share with friends. Then, on March 20, experience the total solar eclipse from a spot near your hotel – an opportunity of a lifetime.

Day 1 – Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Arrival Oslo, Norway
Upon arrival in Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, and after you pass through immigration it’s an easy three-minute covered walk from the arrivals terminal to our hotel for the night. After your welcome meeting, the rest of the day you’re free to relax in the hotel or discover Oslo, just 20 minutes away by train – or choose among the many other transport options for exploring this fascinating northern capital.Overnight: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel
Meals on your own

Day 2 – Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Depart Oslo for Longyearbyen, Svalbard
After your morning checkout, it’s once again a quick walk to the departures terminal for our flight to Svalbard. We arrive in mid-afternoon at Longyearbyen Airport, where your group leader coordinates the seamless coach transfer to our hotel. En route, a local expert shares important tips on Arctic travel and explains some interetsting customs of the locals we will meet. After checking in, join us for a special Wilderness Evening at Camp Barentz, located in the nearby Advent Valley. The camp is an oasis in the wilderness, its open fireplaces adding to the warm, welcoming atmosphere in a unique collection of buildings. Among them are an authentic gamme, a type of house built by native people in northern Norway, as well as a lavvo, the traditional tent of the Sami. The camp also features a replica of the cabin that Willem Barentsz and his crew made from their ship’s timbers when it became stuck in the ice off Novaya Zemlya following their discovery of Spitsbergen.

Our Camp Barentz hosts greet you with a traditional meal followed by coffee and cake. After an expert presentation on the King of the Arctic – the polar bear – you can meet the camp’s friendly huskies and listen as the hosts share their tales of Arctic adventure, along with some incredible photographs. Then it’s time to join your trip astronomer for an evening viewing of the stars and quite possibly the amazing aurora borealis – with plenty of hot drinks, plus a standing invitation to come inside whenever you feel like warming up a little.
Overnight: Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen Hotel or similar (4 nights)
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 3 – Thursday, March 19, 2015
Longyearbyen
After breakfast at the hotel, a local expert introduces you to Longyearbyen, explaining the area’s history and culture, along with its unique geology, flora and fauna. Your tour includes a visit to the award-winning Svalbard Museum and the renowned Galleri Svalbard. Following lunch in the hotel restaurant, you’re free this afternoon to relax or enjoy one of many optional activities you can book on your own (see box). At day’s end, rejoin the group as we travel to the Longyearbyen Kulturhuset for our pre-eclipse briefing, followed by dinner back at the hotel.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4 – Friday, March 20, 2015
Total Solar Eclipse – Longyearbyen
In the morning, well before the eclipse begins, we drive you to an exclusive, specially selected eclipse viewing site, which offers hot drinks, shelter from the elements and nearby toilet facilities.

After the eclipse we return to our hotel for lunch. The rest of the day you’re at your leisure to enjoy another optional activity or just explore on your own around town. In the evening, join your fellow travelers for a celebratory eclipse dinner followed by another night of optional aurora viewing at Camp Barentz.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 5 – Saturday, March 21, 2015
Longyearbyen
Today is yours to enjoy Svalbard as you wish. Relax at your lodge with a good book or choose from an array of optional activities (see the box above) that includes everything from ice caving to snowmobile excursions among the fjords and glaciers – or perhaps to an abandoned Russian mining town.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 6 – Sunday, March 22, 2015
Depart Svalbard for Oslo, Norway
After breakfast, check out of your room and join our group transfer to Svalbard Airport for the return flight to Oslo – where once again it’s a quick indoor walk to your hotel for the night. The rest of your day you are free to enjoy Oslo or prepare for your onward journey. Dinner this evening is on your own.
Overnight: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel
Breakfast / Lunch

Day 7 – Monday, March 23, 2015
Oslo – Onward
After breakfast and checkout, take the walkway back to the departures terminal according to your flight time.
Breakfast

Included

  • Roundtrip, group flight: based on March 2013 rates of $1300USD/pp – Oslo/Svalbard/Oslo; subject to change; flight details to be provided at a later date
  • Services of a Trip Leader and Eclipse Astronomer
  • Wilderness Evening with Aurora Viewing
  • Special March 20 eclipse day activities
  • Original commemorative Eclipse t-shirt
  • Eclipse viewing safety glasses
  • Eclipse sourcebook
  • Travel Insurance including Emergency Accident Expenses, Emergency Medical Evacuation, baggage delay, and missed connection coverage. Full policy terms will be provided at time of booking.
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers from the Svalbard Airport
  • All accommodations based on best available hotels and lodges
  • All ground transportation (Svalbard only)
  • All meals as specified in itinerary, including coffee, tea and water
  • All sightseeing tours and admissions as noted in itinerary
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Airport/Hotel baggage handling (Svalbard only)

Not Included

  • Air transportation to and from Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers from Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport
  • Meals and activities not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Airport/Hotel baggage handling (Oslo only)
  • Passports & visa fees, along with any required immunizations
  • Items of a personal nature, including Internet access, spa, and laundry services, etc.

Tour Notes

The published itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of expedition staff, depending on weather and other local conditions.

Oslo Pre-Nights Option
If you’d like to arrive in Oslo a night or two ahead of the Svalbard departure, there are a limited number of standard rooms at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.
Cost: $220 USD per person, per night double occupancy. $345 USD per person, single occupancy and $260 USD per person triple occupancy. Rates include breakfast and tax.
Rates include breakfast.

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Some extra diversions you may want to enjoy during your time in Svalbard:
Nightly Aurora Borealis Viewing
One night of aurora viewing and photography – well away from the lights of town at Camp Barentz – is included in your four-night Svalbard stay. Conditions permitting, you’re welcome to book additional aurora-viewing excursions on any of the other three nights. As you scan the northern skies up until 1:00 a.m., you can warm yourself with hot drinks and occasionally retreat to a comfortable nearby hut – then catch a shuttle bus back to the hotel whenever you wish.
Snowmobile Safari to Elveneset and Mt. Tempelet
This overland excursion takes you through narrow mountain valleys and across a sweeping Arctic plain as you explore the wilds with a seasoned guide. Passing through Helveticadalen, you arrive at Elveneset overlooking the waters of Sassenfjorden, with superb views of Tempelet’s nearby peak.
Dogsledding through Spectacular Arctic Wilderness
From our hotel it’s a quick drive to the edge of town and Longyearbyen’s dog yard, where the experts will outfit you with more rugged Arctic gear before your introduction to dogsledding. Then, after helping to harness the dogs, you’re off to explore the wilderness in authentic style. With only two people per sled, you have plenty of chances to drive – or just sit back and enjoy the passing scenery. It’s an incredible experience befitting the equally incredible Arctic landscape.
Ice Caving: Explore the Heart of a Glacier
Journey by snow cat up onto Longyear Glacier, then join your expert guides on foot, venturing into the melt-water channels deep within the ice. As the lamp on your helmet illuminates fascinating formations of ice and stone, the otherworldly experience will take your breath away.
Champagne Tasting in an Arctic Cellar
The world’s northernmost wine cellar is located beneath the Spitsbergen Hotel in the Nordpolet spirits store, which offers a wide selection of quality Champagnes and noteworthy vintage wines in an unusual setting.
Advent Valley Snowmobile Safari
As you explore the beautiful Advent Valley, your guide will shed light on the fascinating history of Svalbard and the many interesting spots along your route. And on the way back to Longyearbyen, enjoy a hearty lunch at Camp Barentz.
Barentsburg Snowmobile Safari: Experience Russian Svalbard
Heading west through Colesdalen, make your way down the coast past Kapp Laila and Kapp Heer to the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, where you can enjoy a guided tour before lunching at the historic Barentsburg Hotel.
Tempelfjorden Snowmobile Safari: Toward the Glacier
This wilderness journey takes you out to the vast glacial face – more than a mile and a half (3 km) across – that towers over the ice at Tempelfjord. En route, you cross the Sassen Valley and pass Villa Fredheim – built by the renowned hunter Hilmar Nøis, who spent 38 winters on Svalbard.

Please note: Final details of optional activities, including booking arrangements and pricing, will be announced closer to the trip departure date.

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