May 2018…// Tauck, the world’s leading guided tour, river cruise and small ship ocean cruise company has announced details of its new-for-2019 Arctic Allure: Spitsbergen and the Midnight Sun small ship cruise itinerary, as well as plans to host nature documentary filmmakers next year on select sailings of four different expeditionary cruises.
The new 10-day journey will explore the island of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Located inside the Arctic Circle (roughly halfway between Norway and the North Pole), Spitsbergen and the archipelago’s other islands are notable for their population of some 3,000 polar bears, which exceeds the area’s human population. The archipelago is also home to Arctic fox, Arctic moose, Svalbard reindeer, and approximately 30 species of birds, while the surrounding waters are inhabited by whales, dolphins, seals and walruses. Containing six national parks, Spitsbergen is also renowned for its rugged and largely pristine landscapes including glaciers, mountains, and fjords.
Tauck will offer a single departure of the Arctic Allure journey next year (beginning on 24th June, 2019), and the itinerary kicks off with a pre-cruise overnight hotel stay in Oslo. The following morning, Tauck guests board a charter flight to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on Spitsbergen. There, guests will board the Ponant sailing yacht Le Boreal and embark on a seven-day cruise exploration of Spitsbergen. The cruise itinerary itself is highly flexible, based on sea and weather conditions and the location of local wildlife. Sites visited may include abandoned, centuries-old whaling outposts, tiny Ny-Alesund (the most northerly civilian settlement in the world), Monaco Glacier and Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier), and the ghost town of Pyramiden, an eerie, abandoned Russian coal mining village.
Spitsbergen’s austere landscapes will be juxtaposed against the casual luxury of cruising aboard Le Boreal. At just 142 metres in length and with a maximum capacity of 234 guests, Le Boreal offers an intimate onboard ambiance, tasteful décor and stylish public spaces, including a main dining room, casual restaurant and three lounges with bars.
Throughout the cruise, guests will view a number of brief vignettes produced by expert nature documentary filmmakers that will add insight and perspective to the animal life and places they are encountering during their adventure. Guests will also experience Spitsbergen and its wildlife in unique ways, through the hands-on use of cutting-edge technologies employed in the field by these filmmakers. Specific technologies are scheduled to include long-range directional microphones and thermal imaging cameras.
Tauck’s Arctic Allure cruise will feature a special appearance by filmmaker Peter Bassett. Bassett will accompany guests on shore explorations, provide onboard lectures, and be available for more informal discussions with guests throughout the cruise. During a career spanning more than 20 years and over 40 countries, Basset has lived for a month surrounded by some 250,000 king penguins and 10,000 elephant seals on an island in the South Atlantic, been closely eyeballed by a blue whale (the largest animal on the planet) off the coast of Baja California, and been bitten in the back by a cheetah in Namibia.
For reservations and more information please visit www.tauck.co.uk or call 0800 810 8020.
Prices for ‘Arctic Allure: Spitsbergen and the Midnight Sun’ 10-day itinerary start from £7,580. Prices include all accommodation on-board Le Boreal, two nights in Oslo, all meals, onboard alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, airport transfers, two on-tour charter flights, Tauck exclusives, all gratuities.