Travel to Svalbard on an expedition cruise in 2018
For the last few years, Pullmantur has offered cruises to some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. From the charming towns of the Mediterranean to the powder-white sands of the Caribbean, Pullmantur Cruises has offered its unique all-inclusive cruising concept around the world on board a range of contemporary vessels.
2018 marks a year of change for Pullmantur Cruises. The line will still operate itineraries to these popular destinations, while also adding a couple of new and exciting itinerary options. One of these will be the Middle East, providing opportunities to visit the opulent cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as the Omani capital of Muscat.
The other will be an expedition into the Arctic Circle, taking passengers beyond the Norwegian fjords to a range of towns and cities in northern Scandinavia and Russia before heading towards the remote islands of Svalbard. This is the first time Pullmantur has opted to offer itineraries within this region and, this week, we take a closer look at some of the reasons why Svalbard should be on your bucket list of destinations to visit in 2018.
Beautiful Polar Landscapes
Being located deep within the Arctic Circle presents a number of unique and fascinating Polar landscapes. Snow-capped mountains and glaciers are in abundance here, while Arctic flowers will often bloom during the warmer seasons. During your time in the Svalbard capital of Longyearbyen, you will have an opportunity to visit the Esmarkbreen glacier, which is known for its distinctive blue colour. Journeys outside of the capital provide opportunities to visit glistening lakes, where you are sure to also find groups of native animals. Taking your camera is a necessary requirement!
Abundance of Arctic Wildlife
As outlined above, you will definitely be wanting to bring your camera with you when you arrive in Svalbard. An array of Arctic species have made their home in and around the area and a guided tour will enable you to enjoy close – but safe – interactions with a number of them. You will be able to admire playful polar bears from a safe distance, as well as caribou, short-legged reindeer, polar foxes, seals, walruses and much more. Meanwhile, the waters that surround the islands of Svalbard are also teeming with marine life, presenting opportunities to admire humpback whales, beluga whales, orcas and narwhals.
Svalbard is certainly one of the more intriguing islands you will ever visit. The remote location and harsh climate may leave you wondering how anyone could survive here, but the truth is that people have been settled on the islands since approximately the 12th century. In Longyearbyen, you can find out more about the human and natural history of the Svalbard archipelago at the Svalbard Museum, which features a number of interesting exhibits. There is also the Spitsbergen Airship Museum, where you can learn more about the three airships that embarked on journeys out of Svalbard towards the North Pole.
Pullmantur’s first venture into the Arctic Circle will depart on the 7th July 2018, with Zenith embarking on the 14-night Polar Circle Expedition Cruise out of Trondheim. The warm comfort of Zenith offers a perfect sanctuary from the bitter cold temperatures you can expect to experience on your journey and you will also be able to enjoy a selection of drinks, meals and onboard entertainment at no extra cost.
After sailing out of the Norwegian city of Trondheim, passengers will spend a full day at sea before docking in destinations including the Lofoten Islands, Murmansk, Honningsvag and Lakselv before arriving at Svalbard. On the return journey, there will also be opportunities to visit Alta, Tromso and Narvik before arriving back in Trondheim.