Think Arctic cruises are off limits for families? Itineraries aboard Poseidon Expeditions’ Sea Spirit are specifically designed to introduce children to the marvels of the polar ice cap, and, better yet, families who book by Oct. 31 can take advantage of rate incentives to sweeten the deal.
The 114-guest Sea Spirit will conduct five Arctic Wildlife Safaris in 2020 into the Polar Cap region, which lies between Norway and the North Pole along the Svalbard Archipelago, a High Arctic wilderness teeming with polar bear, reindeer and walrus.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for parents or grandparents wishing to expose their youngsters to an amazing environment of diverse wildlife, glaciers and legends from the heroic era of Arctic exploration,” said Steve Wellmeier, managing director, Poseidon’s North America office. “What better way for a child to spend part of their summer break than experiencing firsthand the archipelago’s whales, migrating birds, polar bears, walruses and so much more, while exploring with family aboard a safe and comfortable expedition ship?”
Children under the age of 12 travel at half of the regular per person price in a double-occupancy cabin with an adult. Meanwhile adult early booking discounts range 10–15 percent depending on the accommodation, and an extra savings of $800 per adult will also be applied.
For example, a family can book a Main Deck Suite on the May 31–June 8, 2020 sailing, when the rate per child is half of the $8,095 regular fare, while the adult pays the discounted rate of $6,486. Similar savings are in effect for Svalbard departures on May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21 and June 30.
The rate includes one pre-voyage hotel night; a group transfer from the airport to the hotel on a day prior to departure and to the ship on the day of embarkation; all meals on board throughout the voyage; tea and coffee station 24 hours daily; all scheduled landings/excursions; the services of the expedition leader and expedition team; a branded Poseidon Expeditions parka; loaner rubber boots for shore landings for the length of the cruise; welcome and farewell cocktails; all port fees; group transfer to the airport or central location upon disembarkation; pre-departure materials; and a digital voyage log.
Because of the nature of the destination, shore excursions are subject to weather and ice conditions.
Families can take advantage of the fact Poseidon Expeditions is a specialist in active adventure cruises in high latitudes. In fact, West Spitsbergen and the Polar Ice Edge itinerary, which ranges from nine to 12 days, is one of the company’s most popular Arctic cruises.
The Svalbard Archipelago is known not only for its scenic beauty, but for its reputation as a stronghold of endangered Arctic wildlife. This Sea Spirit expedition departs from the far northern settlement of Longyearbyen on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen and explores the island’s northwestern coast, home to dramatic mountain scenery, tidewater glaciers and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities.
The itinerary then travels along the edge of the north polar ice cap in search of polar bears in their preferred habitat — the ship comes as close as is safely possible to the broken edge of the polar ice cap where the bears stalk the frozen sea in search of seals — and through fjords and narrow channels that cut between jagged snowy mountain peaks. Passengers also might see reindeer and Arctic fox grazing on the flowering tundra, harbor walrus and a wide variety of whales in the inshore and offshore waters, as well as migratory birds. And because this is summer, the area boasts 24 hours of daylight.
Human habitation in this area can be found only at Ny Alesund, a former mining town now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements and boasts a museum, gift shop and post office.
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