Travel Tips & Advice on “accommodation”

Arctic sea ice

Sea Spirit Expedition Cruise Day 2: Ice, Ice and Still More Ice

Smeerenburg was on the proposed schedule for today. Located on Amsterdam Island in northwest Svalbard and originally the center of whaling operations in the North by Dutch and Danish whalers, it was an excursion to look forward to. (Smeerenburg in Dutch means “blubber town.”). Concretized remnants of whale oil still can be seen around large […]

Sea Spirit shore landing on Ny-London, Spitsbergen

Sea Spirit Expedition Cruise Day 1: Shore Landing at Ny London, Spitsbergen

It was going to be an eventful day on the Sea Spirit. Filled with mandatory lectures on landings, Polar Bears, (Video – Information About Landings, Flora, Fauna and Ice), the first shore landing on Ny-London (Ny London) and the Captain’s Welcome Party. The day began, as it did almost every day going forward, with Annie’s […]

glaciers and ice in the Arctic

Quarks “Spitsbergen Explorer” Cruise – Svalbard Expedition Information

This particular cruise is perfect for those who prefer short sea voyages with frequent shore landings and Zodiac cruises. We didn’t know exactly what would be seen or done since it is an expedition and something new happens on every voyage. Flexibility is key to a Polar cruise since the itinerary is constantly being altered […]

all-suite cabin on Sea Spirit ship

Welcome Aboard Quark Expeditions Sea Spirit Arctic Cruise

The Spitsbergen adventure cruise begins when guests board the ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement with great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement. The Sea Spirit is an all-suite ship operated by Quark Expeditions and all cabins have outside views. Cabin Steward Leland showed us to […]

Zodiac boarding the Sea Spirit in Longyeabyen, Spitsbergen

An Lively Cruise Embarkation on The Sea Spirit

Such confusion! With only a few hours sleep in the Land of the Midnight Sun, an early breakfast and adventurous dog sled ride, we were a bundle of nerves. Especially when we returned to the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel and discovered suitcases hadn’t been picked up and transferred to the ship! Quark Expeditions had told […]

What? Hotels charge guests for Tap Water with Meals?

I am in shock! Marine Steve and I have been traveling around Europe for over 30 years and remember the days when only bottled water was served in restaurants but… This is 2014. Tap water in most of Europe is 100% clean enough to drink and we’ve seen restaurants that automatically put a carafe of […]

one of Longyearbyen's shopping centers, Spitsbergen

What to See and Do in Remote Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen – Above the Arctic Circle

Longyearbyen is the largest populated area in Svalbard (2,000 people) in the high Norwegian Arctic. It is the most easily accessed frontier, and  Arctic Expedition Cruises usually leave from here. Tourism is gaining as larger ships begin to include Longyearbyen as a port of call. The town has an airport, school, shopping center, tour operators […]

our room at Radisson Blu Polar Hotel in Longyearbyen

Radisson Blu Polar Hotel in Spitsbergen

Hotel choices in Longyearbyen are limited and range from expensive to very expensive which is not unexpected in a town of 2,000 people and port for Arctic Expedition Cruises. I finally opted for the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel. The hotel rate for one night including buffet breakfast was a whopping 1,650 Krone ($264 US), and completely sold […]

Information About The Sea Spirit Arctic Cruise

The 11 day/10 night Sea Spirit “Spitsbergen Explorer” Cruise sails along western Spitsbergen as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the North between June-July when ice conditions permit. The all-suite ship has a staff and crew of 67, carries 114 guests and stabilizers for smooth sailing. That being said, rough seas are always […]

Information About Planning an Arctic Trip to Spitsbergen

Air?  United Airlines is our carrier of choice and flies non-stop from Newark to Oslo.You’ll have no trouble finding a carrier to Oslo, a major destination. Inter air between Oslo-Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen (LYR) is a different kettle of fish. No airline flies non-stop internationally to Longyearbyen, gateway for most Arctic cruises. SAS and Norwegian Air fly […]