Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hurtigruten Launches Amazing Excursion Programme

Fancy exploring ice caves inside the Longyear Glacier? Or riding a ‘Dog Cart’, a dog sled on wheels? Or perhaps snowmobiling in the Arctic Desert? All this and much more is now possible with Hurtigruten’s new short-break land programme to Spitsbergen. Developed in conjunction with its subsidiary company, Spitsbergen Travel, two, three and four-night trips are available every day in March, May, October and December.

Three excursions are included in each short break and all are centred around Longyearbyen, the closest place to the North Pole. Each month brings different experiences, from the return of the sun in March to the Midnight Sun in May, the emerging Arctic winter in October and the full darkness and Northern Lights of December.

ICE CAVING, EXPLORE INSIDE A GLACIER - Adventure lovers can now wander through the heart of a glacier, using headlamps to make their way into the meltwater channels under the glacier. Fascinating formations of ice and stone create an experience that will take everyone’s breath away (available in March).

RIDE A DOG CART – Travel like a local in Longyearbyen! It is possible to drive a ‘Dog Cart’ with six huskies up front. As the snow has gone, the huskies take to pulling a sled on wheels to show off the local scenery (available in October).

Sample Short Break packages include:

RETURN OF THE SUN, ICE CAVING AND MORE – March 2013, from £811pp: March is high season in Spitsbergen and the sun returns to the far north after a long winter. Experience the characteristic blue light during dawn and dusk and the Northern Lights during the hours of darkness. This break includes a 45km snowmobile safari in the Arctic Desert and through narrow valleys, ice caving in the heart of the Longyear Glacier and a wilderness evening at a local camp to share experiences from the area with the hosts. Priced from £811pp, including two nights B&B accommodation and all three excursions. Three nights from £927pp and four from £1030pp. Flights are extra.
 
ENDLESS ARCTIC SUMMER NIGHTS – May 2013, from £696pp:
Come May, the days last for 24 hours so the Midnight Sun can be experienced. However, the country is still covered in snow so it’s possible to enjoy the best of both seasons. This break includes a 45km snowmobile safari in the Arctic Desert and through narrow valleys, a dog sledding trip with the opportunity to drive it and a wilderness evening at a local camp to share experiences from the area with the hosts. Priced from £696pp, including two nights B&B accommodation and all three excursions. Three nights from £721pp and four from £810pp. Flights are extra.
 
CRYSTAL CLEAR AND COLOURFUL – October 2013, from £696pp:
In October, the darkness slowly returns and the light changes to blue again with the chance to see the Northern Lights. During October, the northernmost Blues Festival takes place in Longyearbyen and this can be enjoyed whilst staying in the town. This break includes a boat trip powering out over the Isfjord on a 26ft open Polarcirkle boat to get to all the right places for the best views, a ‘Dog Cart’ ride with the opportunity to drive it and a wilderness evening at a local camp to share experiences from the area with the hosts. Priced from £484pp, including two nights B&B accommodation and all three excursions. Three nights from £533pp and four from £576pp. Flights extra.
 
MAGICAL DARKNESS & NORTHERN LIGHTS – Dec 2013 (inc Christmas), from £696pp:
During December, the polar night transforms Spitsbergen into a magical corner of the world – the only light sources are the soft lights of the settlements, the twinkling stars, the dancing Northern Lights and the moonlight, which makes the ice and snow sparkle. This break includes a 45km snowmobile safari in the Arctic Desert and through narrow valleys, a dog sledding trip with the opportunity to drive it and a wilderness evening at a local camp to share experiences from the area with the hosts. Priced from £602pp, including two nights B&B accommodation and all three excursions. Three nights from £648pp and four from £695pp. Flights extra.
 
For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's adventure cruising specialists.