The Arctic Aboard the Silver Explorer.
The Arctic Circle sits atop the planet like a frozen beanie. Shouldn't you know more about it? Join us on a cruise aboard an elegant small expedition ship, Silver Explorer.
Unlike Antarctica, the Arctic claims no actual land; instead, it is a vast field of floating ice surrounded by treeless permafrost. And reaching into the Arctic Circle are the fringes along Norway’s northern coast. It is this region we aim for on our journey to the Top of the World. What’s here? Incredible wildlife (think whales, polar bears, walruses, and the like). Eerie tundra, dramatic fjords and glaciers. Whales and their marine brethren. Seabirds galore. The remains of traders and polar explorers. And the persistent midnight sun.
Explore the extraordinary Svalbard Archipelago, Bear Island, and the city of Tromso. Fly to Oslo by charter air and home by commercial flights. Please note: This cruise is offered in both directions.
We also offer both an 11-day cruise and a shorter (eight-day) adventure.
8 & 11 Days.
Please note: On these journeys, R. Crusoe partners with Silversea Cruises, and Crusoe travelers share the Silver Explorer with other, non-Crusoe travelers.
The Arctic. Longyearbyen to Tromso. Aboard Silver Explorer.
Departs Wednesday, 19 July 2017.
Arrive Oslo, embark ship in Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, Bear Island, disembark in Tromso.
The Arctic. Tromso to Longyearbyen. Aboard Silver Explorer.
Departs Saturday, 29 July 2017.
Embark in Tromso, Bear Island, Svalbard Archipelago, disembark in Longyearbyen, continue to Oslo.
The Arctic. Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen. Aboard Silver Explorer.
Departs Wednesday, 12 July 2017.
Arrive Oslo, embark ship in Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, disembark in Longyearbyen.
Per person sharing cabin from $7,750 for the 11-day itinerary.
Per person sharing cabin from $6,435 for the eight-day itinerary.
Some departures require an internal air charter in addition to the cruise pricing.
Please note that pricing changes based on each departure's suite availability. Call R. Crusoe for up-to-the-minute pricing.
For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son travel specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.
About Our Ship.
A purpose-built expedition ship unlike any other, the Silver Explorer, a member of the Silversea Expeditions fleet, was designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations. The 6,072-ton vessel boasts a strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger ships. With her eight Zodiac boats, the passengers can access even the most off-the-beaten-path destinations.
The ship, refurbished from stern to bow in 2008, carries 132 guests in 66 ocean-view cabins. Many of the staterooms feature private verandas, and all have flat-screen televisions and en-suite bathrooms. Accommodations range from 180 to 675 square feet, among the largest cabins of any expedition ship.
A convivial, cosmopolitan ambience is the rule aboard the Silver Explorer. The ship boasts amenities often found only on larger ships, including a spacious library with an Internet café, boutique shopping, a full-service spa, a beauty salon, a fitness center with sauna, and two top-deck whirlpools.
The Svalbard Archipelago: Reaching Toward the North Pole.
The Svalbard Islands, part of Norway, stand in the Arctic Ocean 650 miles from the North Pole. Here, untouched arctic wilderness and unique wildlife creates a setting that is both rugged and fragile. Welcome to the northernmost year-round settlement on Earth.
Svalbard has long fascinated travelers. Unique wildlife, starkly beautiful natural scenery, and old mining towns are all part of the islands’ appeal. In addition to a few thousand polar bears, the islands are home to nearly 3,000 people, more than 2,000 of which live in Longyearbyen, the administrative center and largest settlement on the islands.
“Svalbard,” meaning Cold Coasts, was first mentioned in 12th-century Icelandic texts. Regardless of the moniker, the archipelago has a relatively mild climate compared to other areas at the same latitude. In Longyearbyen, the average temperature ranges from 7° F in winter to 43 in summer.
In the past, islanders practiced both whaling and trapping, but today sustainability is the guiding principle of life here. Nearly two-thirds of Svalbard’s land is protected as nature reserves, national parks, and bird sanctuaries.
As of today, Svalbard’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage site is tentative. Here’s that the organization has to say about the islands:
“Svalbard has bedrock from almost every geological period, as well as rich occurrences of fossils. The sparse vegetation means that the history of the evolution of the Earth and geological processes are unusually distinct. Svalbard is a natural archive for geology and natural history that is of great scientific value.
“Svalbard has a varied high-Arctic environment where large areas are little affected by modern human activity. It has mountains and valleys with glaciers, permanent snowfields, nunataks, plateaus with virtually no vegetation, canyons, large valleys with rich tundra vegetation, long fjords and fjord glaciers, as well as low-lying wetland plains, beach ridges, islands, lagoons and bird cliffs on the coasts.
“Large populations of Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, and marine mammals like polar bears, various species of seals (including walrus), and whales (11) are found. Svalbard char live in lakes and rivers in many parts of the archipelago. Svalbard has numerous seabird colonies and many important breeding sites for geese and eider ducks. A total of 203 bird species have been recorded. The waters around Svalbard house rich marine resources on which many species of animals and birds depend.
“Svalbard is in a special situation in being located close to the North Pole and at the same time being easily accessible thanks to open waters as a result of warm ocean currents. People from many parts of the world have visited and periodically lived and worked in the archipelago, mostly on a seasonal basis, since its discovery by Willem Barentsz in 1596… In the past 100 years or so, these activities have provided a basis for year-round settlement… At the same time, large areas are virtual wilderness and are subject to strict protection regulations.
“The archipelago has been an important area for journeys to the North Pole, exploration and research since the 19th century, with participants from many nations.”
If you would like to see some exceptional photographs of the Svalbard Archipelago, click here.
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(M-F 9-5 CST)