Jewels of the Arctic, Sylvia Earle
Visit Svalbard and East Greenland on board the Sylvia Earle Arctic and Antarctic Cruises
Jewels of the Arctic
Witness iconic Arctic wildlife
Search for polar bears and ringed seals
Push through pack ice
Quietly approach musk oxen and reindeer on tundra walks
The Polartours experience
Zodiac-cruise along vast glacial fronts
Visit Remote Inuit settlement
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
Learn from Polar experts
Explore Svalbard, a world of near-endless daylight, where polar bear sightings quicken your pulse, walrus haul out on sea ice and guillemot cries echo from towering cliffs. In East Greenland, sail deep into the world’s largest fjord, Scoresbysund, visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the world’s remotest Inuit settlements, cruise among iridescent icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes, and walk across tundra blooming in brightly coloured flowers, while tasting delicious wild berries.
We compensate all 4.63 tons of CO2 that this trip will cause.
Your ship: Sylvia Earle
Welcome aboard the Sylvia Earle, a brand-new cruise ship named after the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National and Atmospheric Administration. Sylvia Earle was also named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. Set to sail in November 2022, this powerful new ship honors Sylvia’s long-standing marine conservation efforts. Built for intense weather conditions, the Sylvia Earle is a pioneer in nautical technology. Sail the Arctic or the Antarctic like never before aboard one of the most modern and elegant cruise ships.
The Sylvia Earle was created for the most rugg … Read more about Sylvia Earle
Citizen Science Laboratory
Food & Drinks
Arguably the most important part of any trip- The food! A Sylvia Earle polar cruise offers hearty delicious cuisine with a variety of options and courses for each meal. Mealtimes are a great way to get to know your fellow travelers in the open seating dining room. Tea, coffee, and various snacks are available 24 hours a day. Enjoy a wide range of house wine, beers, and soft drinks included with dinner, perfect after a long day of exploration.
Every passenger is also invited to join the cruise ship captain and expedition team for Welcome and Farewell drinks, which include complimentary cocktails and appetizers. The bars and lounges aboard the Sylvia Earle are a tasteful, yet inviting place to gather with new friends. Enjoy the sunset through the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views. The friendly bartenders aboard the ship will quench your thirst and entertain you with tales of previous adventures.
Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.
Adventure options during the cruise
Arrive to Longyearbyen, the World's Northernmost Town
Your journey begins in Longyearbyen, the world's northernmost settlement. Having made your way to Longyearbyen, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your group hotel. Enjoy free time, and in the evening, dine at your leisure (dinner not included).
Embark your new home
Discover in the morning and embark your new home in the afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.
This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and our friendly Expedition Team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.
NOTE: Sometimes our ship is unable to dock in Longyearbyen port due to space and capacity. In these instances, we reach the ship by Zodiac. Please ensure that you keep your wet-weather gear in your hand luggage to use in the Zodiacs, if the situation arises. Please ensure your cabin luggage tag is completed clearly showing your cabin number and name. Our crew will deliver your luggage directly to your cabin.
Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges, and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, you stretch your legs on walks across tundra carpeted in brightly coloured wildflowers. You visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your Expedition Team is just as keen as you are to find them and they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures.
If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you will have an opportunity to enjoy that activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you will hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating dip – a memory you will savour for years to come.
As you sail towards the coast of East Greenland, you may encounter whales feeding in the rich waters of the north. As the ship approaches East Greenland, be prepared to encounter more pack ice and perhaps spot seals and a variety of seabirds, including the northern fulmar and Brünnich’s guillemot.
The strong, icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that only vanishes in presence of the midday sun. Expedition experts will inform and entertain you with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice and heroic tales of exploration.
Explore East Greenland
In the coming days, a host of choices are available to the expedition, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. The experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor the itinerary on a day-to-day basis. This allows the expedition to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and encounters with wildlife. The expedition generally attempts up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day, including cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface.
Explore East Greenland
Be prepared to experience ice – and lots of it! East Greenland contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks soaring up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet), and glaciers birthing gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system, combine to create breathtaking scenes.
Explore East Greenland
The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hare and reindeer. Throughout the area there are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and the cabins of present-day Inuit hunters. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and provides the opportunity to meet the friendly locals.
Explore East Greenland
Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord and a favorite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers flow into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of majestic Greenland icebergs. It is a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund lie Kong Oskar and Kaiser Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and the surrounding mountains offering protection from strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk ox and arctic foxes to mountain hares, and even reindeer, near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds, including the glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.
Explore East Greenland
The expedition will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration, located within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions.
Explore East Greenland
Hike across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. Spot musk ox, arctic hare and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. See ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice.
Crossing the Denmark Strait
Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present arctic winds.
Your unforgettable Arctic cruise comes to an end in Reykjavik
During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your Expedition Team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, Transfer to your downtown hotel or to Keflavik airport.
NOTE: We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage.
Dates & Prices
- 2000 USD Off
2000 USD Off
Preferred date unavailable? Contact us
Single Cabin Supplement
When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.
Transfer from airport to hotel on arrival Day 1.
One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Longyearbyen on Day 1.
Sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, prior to embarkation, on Day 2.
Transfer from pier to hotel or airport in Reykjavik on Day 15.
Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
Free Wi-Fi on board
All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
Comprehensive pre-departure information.
Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
Gratuities for ship’s crew.
What's not included
International or domestic flights not mentioned in the itinerary, unless specified in the itinerary.
Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
Airport arrival or departure taxes.
Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
Hotel accommodation and meals unless specified in the itinerary.
Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
All items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, phone charges.
What is the booking process for a Polartours Cruise?
We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!
Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.
Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.
Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.
Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.
Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.
*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.
When is the best time to book?
An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.
Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.
Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.
How to choose the right ship?
Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:
- Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
- Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
- Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
- Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
- Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
- Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.
In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.
What can i do to avoid seasickness?
If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.
Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.
Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.
Why is insurance mandatory on all Polar cruises?
There is no doubt the Arctic and Antarctic are some of the world's most remote destinations. In order to visit with complete piece of mind, your safety MUST be taken into consideration.
A Polar expedition is one of the most singular travel experiences you could ever have. Its isolated location comes with a unique set of health-and-safety-related requirements. It is mandatory to be reasonably fit and in possession of a comprehensive travel insurance policy that’ll cover medical and evacuation expenses. We know Polar expedition cruises can be quite expensive, which is why we also strongly recommend Trip Cancellation Coverage in addition to your medical policy.
All Polar tour operators insist you purchase Travel Insurance covering emergency Medical evacuation and repatriation. This is mandatory for all Polar trips! An emergency evacuation from an Antarctic cruise expedition can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without this coverage, tour operators will refuse your boarding. While the chances of you using this are very slim to none, it is better be safe than sorry.
What should you look for when choosing travel insurance for Arctic/Antarctica expeditions?
A good, reliable insurance company should offer comprehensive Antarctica-specific insurance with a minimum 1 million USD evacuation coverage and medical fees.
Most tour operators in the Arctic require cover of $200,000 for evacuation or repatriation.
If you are an EU resident, please inquire about insurance packages from our partner by clicking here.
What is a fuel surcharge?
Global oil prices are extremely unpredictable. With that in mind, ship operators who operate in the polar regions are at liberty to implement a fuel surcharge as they see fit. In addition to the fuel pricing changes, all vessels visiting Antarctica are required to use much higher-grade and expensive fuel under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty.
While the charge itself will depend on the ship and duration of the cruise, it is possible that a surchage will be added to your final invoice. If this is the case, you will receive a formal e-mail from your travel specialist with an explanation and your new cruise total added to your final invoice.
We appreciate your understanding and are grateful for your trust and business.
Jewels of the Arctic
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