Voyage through the otherworldly Arctic Circle on this unique 11-day itinerary featuring an extraordinary seven-night cruise on the Five-Star, eco-friendly L’Austral, exclusively chartered for your expedition. Visit during the region’s most enchanting season, when shimmering ice basks in the midnight sun’s ceaseless glow. Sail the shores of secluded Spitsbergen, the jewel of Norway’s rarely visited Svalbard archipelago; see glaciers crease and calve in luminous blues; and look for the enigmatic polar bear, who reigns as king. Survey an ethereal topography of red sandstone mountain ranges, lush green tundra and awe-inspiring ice formations and enjoy Zodiac excursions led by a team of expert naturalists in diverse, serene terrains, where remarkable wildlife—including whales, walruses, seals, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, northern fulmars and Arctic terns—roam freely. Complimentary Wi-Fi and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise. The program’s flight to Longyearbyen originates in Paris; spend one night in a downtown Paris hotel before the flight and one night in the deluxe Hilton Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport Hotel upon return from the Arctic. Paris Pre-Program Option also offered.
- Depart from the U.S. or Canada
- Paris, France
- Paris/Fly to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Norway/Embark L’Austral
- Hornsund for Burgerbukta and Samarin Glacier
- Bellsund for Calypsobyen and Camp Millar
- Cruise the Arctic Ice Pack/Polar Bear Search
- Woodfjorden for Makeoyane/Manaco Glacier
- Ny-Alesund/Kongsfjorden for King’s Glacier
- Longyearbyen/Disembark ship/Fly to Paris, France
- Paris/Return to the U.S. or Canada
*** Itinerary and pricing subject to change until brochure publication ***
Professor Virginia is the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, Professor of Environmental Science and the Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies within the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. Growing up in snowy Syracuse, New York, Dr. Virginia read fervently about the race to the South pole. Today, he studies human influences on biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial systems and has participated in analysis of critical issues facing the Arctic and its inhabitants as a result of climate change. His current research focuses on carbon and nutrient cycling in the tundra ecosystems of western Greenland and the polar deserts of Antarctica. In his role as Co-Director of the University of the Arctic Institute of Arctic Policy, and in conjunction with Dartmouth College, Professor Virginia has established an exchange program for Greenlandic students and secured grants to design a program of collaboration between scientists and engineers around polar environmental change while incorporating fieldwork and policy studies in Greenland. In Antarctica, a portion of the McMurdo Dry Valleys has been renamed “Virginia Valley,” honoring his lifelong efforts in conducting long-term ecological research. In October 2014, Professor Virginia was selected by the U.S. State Department as one of two distinguished lead scholars of the newly established Fulbright Arctic Initiative.