by Michael Fox
Not a complete loss, but for a trip sold as a "polar bear special", we left feeling like we'd just been hoodwinked. A single bear at great distance is hardly special. Similarly, a single blue whale, visible for maybe 2 minutes. Walrus - a dozen, rather than 80 reported on other trips. No beluga. No bowhead. No fin whale. No arctic fox. Hundreds of seabirds rather than thousands. Reindeer - the only species we got a decent look at. No doubt we were unlucky. Wildlife sightings on our trip were significantly less than on other trips, as reported in the various trip logs (up to 26 bears in one case!). But I would expect the crew to know where to find the animals, and to move the ship to where the wildlife is. Yes, wildlife is unpredictable, but others manage to find them. Furthermore - the food on the ship was also well below advertised standard. Edible, certainly, and plentiful, but much closer to "good canteen", and most certainly NOT "fine dining". Finally - many of the guides were uncooperative. The tour leader (in particular) when asked a question would avoid answering, just tell me what a good time I'm having. Will NOT be back.
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Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya
HDS11-19. This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.
10 Aug - 21 Aug, 2019
9350 USD 7550 USD 1800 USD discount
RVR17-19. At the end of a long Arctic winter, spring is starting to awaken. The climate, however, still clings to the cold: snow-covered mountains, snow-swept shores, temperatures around –4° C (25°F). It’s a good time to experience the last of winter scenery, and with a little luck, also see some polar bears,...
s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn
1 May - 8 May, 2019
Climb snow covered alpine mountains and ski downhill
RVR18-19. This program is designed for experienced ski mountaineers who have mastered ski techniques both for ascent and descent in challenging snow-covered alpine terrain. A typical day involves ski climbs on mountaintops averaging heights of 700—850 meters (2,300—2,800 feet) and downhill skiing from those p...
s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn
8 May - 15 May, 2019