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 focus on Iceland, and other 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 from 8 to 15 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 email@example.com.
The Arctic & Beyond. Tromso to Longyearbyen. Aboard Silver Cloud. 10 Days.
Departs Tuesday, 2 July 2019.
Embark in Tromso, Gjesvarstappan Islands, Skarsvag, Bear Island, Svalbard Archipelago, disembark in Logyearbyen.
The Arctic & Beyond. Longyearbyen to Tromso. Aboard Silver Cloud. 10 Days.
Departs Friday 12 July 2019.
Embark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, Bear Islkand, Gjesvarstappan Islands, Skarsvag, disembark in Tromso.
Adventures in Greenland. Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq. Aboard Le Boréal. 11 Days.
Departs Monday, 5 August 2019.
Embark in Reykjavik, Nansen Harbor, Qingminguartalik, Skjoldungen, Prins Christian Sund, Narsaq, Nuuk, Ilullisat, Evighedsfjorden, disembark in Kangerlussuaq.
Baffin Bay Secrets. Kangerlussuaq to Kangerlussuaq. Aboard L'Austral or Le Boréal. 14 Days.
Departs Sunday, 11 August 2019 & Thursday 15 August 2019.
Embark in Kangerlussuaq, Ilullisat, Paul-Emile Victor Base Camp, Eqi Glacier, Tugtutoq, Kullorsuaq, Savissivik, Qaanaaq, Pond Inlet, Sam Ford Fjord, Nunavut, Isabella Bay, Ninginganiq Wildlife Area, Sisimut, disembark in Kangerlussuaq.
The Best of Spitsbergen. Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen. Aboard L'Austral. 8 Days.
Departs Sunday, 9 June 2019.
Embark in Longyearbyen, Lillihook Glacier, Spitsbergen, Texas Bar, Liefdefjorden, Monaco Glacier, Ny-Alesund, Kongsfjorden, Alkhornet, Pyramiden, Nordenskold Glacier, disembark in Longyearbyen.
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 Cloud, a member of the elegant Silversea fleet; and L'Austral and Le Boréal, members of the Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions fleet.
In November 2017, after an extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud completes her transition from elegant cruise ship to the most luxurious ice-class ship to ply the Antarctic waters. She has been fitted with more dining room options, and her service (1 crewmember: 1 guest) and space ratios (84 sq. ft per guest) will be the highest in expedition cruising.
Sea Cloud has been redesigned to capture magnificent scenery with panoramic views in public rooms, broad decks, and verandas. Breaching whales and swooping seabirds are never far from view.
Purpose-built with a 1-C ice-class hull, Silver Cloud can carry up to 260 passengers, but in Antarctica, she is limited to a maximum of 200 as a means of protecting Antarctica’s fragile environment.With her 18 state-of-the-art Zodiac boats, passengers have plenty of opportunity to explore the wonders ashore.
Eighty percent of the ship’s suites have private verandas, and all suites have an ocean view. Other amnenities include five dining options, a two-story theater, fitness center, cigar bar, boutique, spa, beauty salon, card room, casino, and heated pool (when weather allows). Nineteen expert guides travel with the ship through Antarctica.
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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