The Arctic & Beyond.
The Arctic Circle sits atop the planet like a frozen beanie. Shouldn't you know more about it? Join us on a cruise aboard one of several elegant small expedition ships.
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.
There are a variety of itineraries from which to choose, and many of them include the fringed north coast of Norway and the incredible Svalbard Archipelago. Some also reach Greenland. You cruise during the summer months, which means you experience the far north’s midnight sun as well as the magical Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.
We offer cruises of 8 and 10 days in duration.
8 to 15 Days.
Please note: On these journeys, R. Crusoe partners with Silversea and Ponant cruises, and Crusoe travelers share the ships with other, non-Crusoe travelers.
Below is a sampling of Far North cruises. For a full selection, contact R. Crusoe & Son at 888-490-8046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of Spitsbergen. Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen. Aboard Le Boréal or L'Austral. 8 Days.
Departs 4 & 11 June, 11 July 2020.
Embark in Longyearbyen, Lilliehook Glacier, 14th of July Glacier, Magdalenefjorden, Virgohamna, Texas Bar, Liefdefjorden, Monaco Galcier, Ny-Alesund, Kongsfjorden, Alkhornet Cliff, Pyramiden, Nordenskiold Fjord, disembark in Logyearbyen.
Unexplored Svalbard. Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen. Aboard Le Boréal or L'Austral. 8 Days.
Departs 18 & 25 July 2020; 4, 5, 11, 12, 19, 25, & 26 June, 2, 9, 23, & 30 July 2021.
Embark in Longyearbyen, Kongsfjorden, Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park, Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, Soraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, Isfjorden, Nordenskiold Glacier, Pyramiden, disembark in Longyearbyen.
The Arctic. Tromso to Longyearbyen. Aboard Silver Wind. 10 Days.
Departs 20 June 2021.
Embark in Tromso, Gjevarstappan Islands, Bear Island, Svalbard Southern Region, Svalbard Northern Region, disembark in Longyearbyen.
The Arctic. Longyearbyen to Tromso. Aboard Silver Wind. 10 Days.
Departs 30 June 2021.
Embark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard Northern Region, Svalbard Southern Region, Bear Island, Gjevarstappan Islands, disembark in Tromso.
Pricing changes based on each departure's suite availability. Call R. Crusoe & Son for up-to-the-minute fares.
For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son travel specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.
About Our Ships.
R. Crusoe & Son has chosen small, luxurious ships to visit the Far North: Silver Wind, a member of the elegant Silversea fleet; and L'Austral and Le Boréal, members of the excellent Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions fleet.
Silver Wind epitomize everything that the Silversea fleet stands for. Designed to provide the most intimate of sailing experiences, the ship carries a maximum of 296 guests. It has the luxury of space and the ability to slip into exotic ports off the beaten path.
Silver Wind is often described by returning guests as feeling like their own private yacht and their home away from home. The ship's six public decks offer plenty of space to spread out while you cruise. She has a fitness center, outdoor pool, beauty salon, full-service spa with saunas, an entertainment venue, casino, boutique, library, Internet café, four bars, and four dining rooms.
All cabins are suites, and all feature butler service, a refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your preferences, European bath amenities, down duvets, fine bed linens, premium mattresses, your choice of pillow, spa robes and slippers, personalized stationery, binoculars, umbrella, and daily news summary.
WiFi Internet access is available in all suites at additional cost.
L'Austral & Le Boréal
We love Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions’ elegant small ships—L'Austral and Le Boréal—not only because they are the newest vessels to ply the waters of Arctic, but also because they are the most eco-friendly. Both have been certified “Clean Ships” by the French society Bureau Veritas for their design and construction as well as their seagoing operations.
Why not cruise around the Top of the World with a clear conscience?
The Ponant ships are luxurious, comfortable, and safe, and each boasts a seasoned international crew of 140. Both have ice-strengthened hulls suited to the Arctic waters and the latest communications, navigational, and safety equipment that meet and excel U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
Public amenities are plentiful aboard the ships. They have outdoor heated pools, a lecture hall, library, and full-service spa with steam room. Passenger elevators service all the decks.
All suites and staterooms face outside, and the vast majority have private balconies perfect for scenery-watching. All are fitted with minibar, in-room safe, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, TV, in-house movies, iPod docking station, WiFi, and telephone. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
Each ship is outfitted with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft that take us near glaciers and icebergs, to land where no piers exist, and to observe the Antarctic wildlife up close. Naturalist guides accompany us on the Zodiacs to explain what we are seeing and its significance in this Austral world unto itself.
And as these are French ships, it’s no surprise that the cuisine served on board is notable.
L'Austral and Le Boréal have 132 staterooms (264 passengers) each.
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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