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Experience the midnight sun on Svalbard

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Experience the Northern Lights in Åre, Jämtland

Wonders of the Sun

An exclusive 12 day, escorted, full board holiday to Svalbard, the Norwegian Fjords and the Swedish mountains under the midnight sun and northern lights.

Overview

An exclusive 12 day full board adventure ticking off so many items on your bucket list - we can guarantee a few, but others are in the hands of Mother Nature. Guaranteed is a visit to Svalbard, experiencing the midnight sun and cruising the Norwegian fjords. Mother Nature will tell us if we are to see the northern lights, polar bears or whales.  

The main aim of this holiday is to see the midnight sun and northern lights in one memorable trip, but we have also filled it with local culture, ancient and recent history, scenic activities, interesting excursions and plenty of opportunities to see the northern lights. The conditions are perfect; the northern lights are still at their cyclical activity peak and the new moon on 1st September means any northern lights activity will be visible in the night sky. This is an unrepeatable adventure for years to come.

Svalbard
Way up north between the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea is an incredible archipelago where the midnight sun shines from 19th April to 24th August. We will land on Svalbard under the midnight sun on 22nd August. Local legislation does not allow for 'polar bear' based activities, but there is a chance of seeing polar bears on any of the activities. We have packed Svalbard with activities as venturing outside the settlement and experiencing all Svalbard has to offer is not possible without a professional guide.

Tromsø
Tromsø is the capital of Northern Norway and an island city. Our hotel in Tromsø is on the quay side and our local activities include a cultural tour with the indigenous Sami where we will learn about reindeer herding and life the history of the Sami. We will listen to their stories about the degradation by the Norwegian and Swedish governments as we enjoy a wilderness meal around an open fire. You will also have time at leisure to explore this arctic city at your own pace.

Hurtigruten Coastal Cruise
Relax on board as we cruise gently across the Arctic Circle between Tromsø and Trondheim. This will be our first opportunity to see the northern lights from the stern of the ship. We will weave between the dramatic Vesterålen and Lofoten Archipelagos before crossing to the main land with options for shore excursions along the way.  

The Swedish Mountains (Åre & Jämtland)
Take a cultural journey to central Sweden crossing the Scandes mountain range from Norway to Sweden. We have given careful consideration to Åre as the best place to see the northern lights at this time of year. We first saw the northern lights in Åre on 15th August 2015; light pollution is easily avoided; it will be sufficiently dark in the night sky to see the northern lights; there are plenty of authentic local activities and excursions to keep us occupied and teach us about Scandinavian life.

This once in a lifetime holiday draws to an end at Tännforsen, Sweden’s largest waterfall, where we will enjoy a 3 course mouth-watering meal in the cosy restaurant with an open log fire crackling away in the corner. Tännforsen is also a spectacular location from which to see the northern lights (see the gallery).

 

Itinerary

Monday 22 August
Fly from Heathrow to Svalbard (via Oslo).
1730-2040 Heathrow - Oslo.
2135-0030 Oslo to Svalbard.
Land under the midnight sun.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel (10mins).
Check in and sleep well!

Tuesday 23 August
0730 Breakfast.
0830 Boat trip to Pyramiden.
Lunch is served on board.
1930 Return to Longyearbyen.
2000 Evening meal at your hotel.

Wednesday 24 August
0830 Breakfast.
0930 Life of a miner.
1300 Lunch.
1430 Guided tour of Svalbard Museum.
1900 Wilderness meal served at Camp Barentz.
2200 Midnight sun hike.
0100 Return to the hotel.

Thursday 25 August
0800 Breakfast.
0900 Isford RIB tour (optional excursion).
1230 Lunch.
1330 Transfer to the airport (10mins).
1445 Take off for Tromsø.
1620 Land in Tromsø.
Transfer to your hotel in Tromsø.
Evening buffet at the hotel. 
Evening at leisure.

Friday 26 August
0800 Breakfast.
1000 Guided tour of the Polar Museum in Tromsø.
1230 Lunch.
1800 Wilderness evening with the indigenous Sami.
Wilderness evening meal provided.
2345 Board the Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer - M/S Finnmarken.
Check in to your unspecified outside cabin on board.
Our first chance to see the northern lights - northern lights alarm.

Saturday 27 August
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal all served on board.
Relax as you glide through the Vesterålen and Lofoten Archipelagos.
A Taste of Vesterålen (optional excursion).
Sea Eagle Safari (optional excursion).
Chances to see the northern lights from the stern of the ship - northern lights alarm.

Sunday 28 August
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal all served on board.
UNESCO world heritage Vega Islands (optional excursion).
Chances to see the northern lights from the stern of the ship - northern lights alarm. 

Monday 29 August
0600 Arrival in Trondheim.
Stay on board and in your cabin.
0730 Relaxing breakfast.
0900 Transfer to Åre (2hr45).
1200 Check-in to your hotel.
1230 Lunch.
Afternoon visit to Åre Brewery - the local brewery.
1800 Evening BBQ by the lake in Åre. 
Floating sauna also available.
Northern lights alarm.

Tuesday 30 August
0800 Breakfast.
1000 Guided history walk through Åre (1hr30).
1230 Lunch.
Afternoon at leisure.
1800 Evening meal.
2200 Northern lights chase.

Wednesday 31 August
0900 Breakfast.
1000 Visit Åre Chocolate Factory
Lunch.
Evening meal in the wilderness with bush craft skills.
Northern lights possible from this wilderness location.

Thursday 1 September 
0900 Breakfast.
1030 5-6km (3-4 miles) hike in the mountains around Åre.
Includes a wilderness lunch with locally produced products.
Afternoon at leisure.
1800 Farewell evening meal at Tännforsen - Sweden's largest waterfall.
See the gallery - hopefully northern lights.
Late evening return to Åre.

Friday 2 September
0800 Relaxing breakfast.
1000 Transfer to Östersund Airport (approx. 1hr30).
1245 Flight to London (via Stockholm)
1700 Land at Heathrow.

 

Itinerary is subject to minor changes.

 

Accommodation

Åre Gården Hotel - Åre

Located on the square in Åre village, close to the famous Bergbana (old funicular) with shops and resturants on the door step, this historic hotel has just 57 rooms and dates from 1895. Tourism to Åre started in 1892 when the railway line to Trondheim was opened. Today it is a modern hotel with a historic story to tell.

Explore the Scandes (mountain range between Norway and Sweden) during the summer and ski almost to the doorstep in the winter. 

Please click on the image for more photos.

 

Clarion Collection Hotel With - Tromsø

Clarion Collection Hotel With is located on the quayside in the centre of Tromso and just 70m from the airport transfer bus.As a Clarion Collection Hotel, afternoon waffles and a simple evening buffet is included during your stay. One of the most popular hotels in Tromso. To guarantee a harbour view room please upgrade to a superior room. 

Click on the image for more photos.

 

 

Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer - typical cabins

A fleet of 11 ships cruise the beautiful Norwegian fjords taking you through breathtaking scenery and giving you the opportunity to see natural phenomena, such as the midnight sun and the Northern Lights from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the far north.

The journey is quite spectacular and you won't spend much time in your cabin. You must be on deck or in the panoramic lounges to witness this jaw-dropping scenery. Click on the photo to the left to see the typical cabins on board.

You are generally accommodated in an unspecified outside cabin which may have llimited views. We do recommend upgrading to a cabin with an unobstructed view.

Raddison Blu Polar Hotel - Spitsbergen

In Scandinavia, and especially on Svalbard, it is customary to remove your shoes when you enter someone’s house or a hotel. It creates a warm welcoming atmosphere.

Raddison Blu Polar Hotel is located in the centre of this small town and has 95 comfortable ensuite rooms and suites. This is a place to relax and escape the extremities of the Arctic elements. It may be close to the North Pole but high speed  WiFi is available throughout the hotel and a comprehensive breakfast buffet is served each morning.

The in-house restaurant Nansen serves internationally inspired meals in front of an open fire and the Barentz bar serves beer from the world’s northern most brewery, Svalbard Bryggeri.

Click on the image for more photos.

Activities & Excursions

Dates

22nd August 2016 for 11 nights

Prices

Price is £3990 per person 

With space for just 16 guests don't delay. Book now - Wonders of the Sun booking form - click here! 

Supplements
£495 single occupancy

Includes
Simply Sweden guide
Flights as per the itinerary
Local airport transfers 
3 nights on Svalbard
1 night in Tromsø
3 nights on board the Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer in an unspecified outside cabin.
4 nights in Åre, Jämtland
11 x breakfasts
10 x lunches
10 x evening meals
Activities as detailed in the itinerary
Please note drinks are not included with meals.

Gallery

Information

With space for just 16 guests don't delay. Book now - Wonders of the Sun booking form - click here! 

Holiday information

The geeky facts that make this holiday possible ...
Midnight 
Sun
Midnight sun is visible on Svalbard up to and including 24 Aug 2016. We will land under the midnight sun on the night 22-23Aug! On 24th Aug we will hike to catch the last midnight sunof 2016. It will not go dark during our time in Longyearbyen.

Northern lights 
Last year we first saw the northern lights on 15Aug in Åre. In 2016 the new moon is on 1Sep so natural light is almost zero, especially as there won’t be any snow to brighten the surrounding mountains. 
During our time in Åre we will experience ‘astronomical twilight’ and ‘complete night’. From personal experience we know the northern lights visible!

Astronomical twilight occurs when the sun is 12 to 18 degrees below the horizon. There is a small amount of light from the sun low on the horizon between 10.30pm and 3.30am.

Complete night occurs when the sun is more than 18 degrees below the horizon and will occur between 0015 and 0145 (approx.) on 31Aug and 1Sep. There is no light visible from the sun during this time.

We will also offer a northern lights alarm call on our cruise between Tromsø and Trondheim and during our stay in Åre.

Our recommended packing list
Head torch and extra batteries. 
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes.
Camera, extra battery and tripod.
Small rucksack.
Water bottle and thermos flask.
Much of this holiday is in the Arctic or mountains and the weather can be unpredictable. Hat, scarf, thermal layers, waterproof jacket, gloves and woollen socks are essential items. Waterproof trousers are recommended.

Passports and Visas
All visitors need to go through passport control between Norway and Svalbard. Please note that if you need a visa to arrive to Norway (not relevant to British passport holders) you will need another visa (double entry) to enter Norway again after your visit to Svalbard. If you require a visa to enter Norway you are likely to require a visa for Sweden (or have a Schengen visa).

Health and Insurance
Please make sure you have insurance to cover all aspects of your holiday. If you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EU residents) please make sure you carry this with you at all times (this is not a replacement for standard holiday insurance).

Activities
All of the activities are optional, even if they are included in the main body of the holiday. The majority of the activities are suitable for normal levels of fitness but it should be noted that the RIB tour is not suitable for those with back problems or who are pregnant. The midnight sun hike and mountain hike in Åre require a good degree of fitness and are also not suitable for those with back problems. If you have any questions regarding this please speak to us so we can offer our advice before making a booking.

Dietary requirements
Our menus will be fixed in advance so we need to know dietary requirements at the time of booking. Drinks are not included in the price of this holiday.

Local Currency
Norway and Sweden have their respective kronor and are almost cash free societies. International debit and credit cards are widely accepted, even for small amounts. You are unlikely to need much cash in hand at all. Tipping is not expected on this holiday as the cost of your meals is included in the price of your holiday.

Electricity
Standard European sockets at 220V.

 

Svalbard Information

Svalbard is unlike any other location and we strongly recommend you read the information below so you have a good understanding of what life is like deep inside the Arctic Circle. It is for those with a love of nature, an appreciation for spectacular scenery and special locations and will appeal to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. Svalbard is an environmentally sensitive location and the ice coverage in winter is often used as an indicator of global warming.

Polar Bears
Polar bears are the largest living predator on Earth and are generally recognised as the symbol of Svalbard. There are 3000 polar bears on Svalbard and these sensitive creatures are vulnerable to climate change, pollutants and human interference.
Rules protecting polar bears are strict and it is forbidden to lure, pursue, seek out or disturb them; hence there are no ‘polar bear excursions’. Polar bears can appear anywhere at any time on Svalbard and you should never venture outside the settlement without a qualified guide.

The Svalbard Dictionary
Svalbard – is the name given to the entire archipelago.
Spitsbergen – is the name of the largest island within the Svalbard Archipelago.
Longyearbyen – is the main town / settlement on Spitsbergen and Svalbard. 

Weather and Climate
A land of extremes! With endless summer days and never ending winter nights the weather can be unpredictable so close to the North Pole. In the middle of summer temperatures average +7C but can be as warm as +17C or as cold as 0C. In the depths of winter, when Svalbard is covered in a blanket of virgin snow, average temperatures are -15C and extremes can reach 0C and -30C. During the winter warm outer clothing can be included in your holiday.

History
Svalbard has a complicated history dating back to the 12th century. Whaling, hunting and fishing have played an important role and many countries tried to claim Svalbard during the 16th and 17th centuries, including Britain, France and Denmark. Following WWI, the 1920 Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty to Norway and Svalbard became an economic free and demilitarized zone. Today Longyearbyen and Svalbard have an established, low-key tourism industry. 

Geography
Glaciation covers 60% of Svalbard and the highest point is 1700m above sea level. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town and has just 2700 residents and this northerly latitude means the midnight sun shines from the end of April until the end of August – leave your body clock at home. There are no roads on Svalbard outside the settlements, so villages are connected by boat, snowmobiles and aircraft.

Nature
Polar bears are not the only animals on Svalbard! You will also find reindeer and a myriad of bird and marine wildlife. It is not unusual to see whales and seals during your stay on Svalbard, and boat safaris around Isfjord offer some wonderful wildlife experiences. There are 7 national parks, 15 bird sanctuaries and 6 nature reserves; all allow these animals to thrive in the Arctic.

Overview

An exclusive 12 day full board adventure ticking off so many items on your bucket list - we can guarantee a few, but others are in the hands of Mother Nature. Guaranteed is a visit to Svalbard, experiencing the midnight sun and cruising the Norwegian fjords. Mother Nature will tell us if we are to see the northern lights, polar bears or whales.  

The main aim of this holiday is to see the midnight sun and northern lights in one memorable trip, but we have also filled it with local culture, ancient and recent history, scenic activities, interesting excursions and plenty of opportunities to see the northern lights. The conditions are perfect; the northern lights are still at their cyclical activity peak and the new moon on 1st September means any northern lights activity will be visible in the night sky. This is an unrepeatable adventure for years to come.

Svalbard
Way up north between the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea is an incredible archipelago where the midnight sun shines from 19th April to 24th August. We will land on Svalbard under the midnight sun on 22nd August. Local legislation does not allow for 'polar bear' based activities, but there is a chance of seeing polar bears on any of the activities. We have packed Svalbard with activities as venturing outside the settlement and experiencing all Svalbard has to offer is not possible without a professional guide.

Tromsø
Tromsø is the capital of Northern Norway and an island city. Our hotel in Tromsø is on the quay side and our local activities include a cultural tour with the indigenous Sami where we will learn about reindeer herding and life the history of the Sami. We will listen to their stories about the degradation by the Norwegian and Swedish governments as we enjoy a wilderness meal around an open fire. You will also have time at leisure to explore this arctic city at your own pace.

Hurtigruten Coastal Cruise
Relax on board as we cruise gently across the Arctic Circle between Tromsø and Trondheim. This will be our first opportunity to see the northern lights from the stern of the ship. We will weave between the dramatic Vesterålen and Lofoten Archipelagos before crossing to the main land with options for shore excursions along the way.  

The Swedish Mountains (Åre & Jämtland)
Take a cultural journey to central Sweden crossing the Scandes mountain range from Norway to Sweden. We have given careful consideration to Åre as the best place to see the northern lights at this time of year. We first saw the northern lights in Åre on 15th August 2015; light pollution is easily avoided; it will be sufficiently dark in the night sky to see the northern lights; there are plenty of authentic local activities and excursions to keep us occupied and teach us about Scandinavian life.

This once in a lifetime holiday draws to an end at Tännforsen, Sweden’s largest waterfall, where we will enjoy a 3 course mouth-watering meal in the cosy restaurant with an open log fire crackling away in the corner. Tännforsen is also a spectacular location from which to see the northern lights (see the gallery).

 

Itinerary

Monday 22 August
Fly from Heathrow to Svalbard (via Oslo).
1730-2040 Heathrow - Oslo.
2135-0030 Oslo to Svalbard.
Land under the midnight sun.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel (10mins).
Check in and sleep well!

Tuesday 23 August
0730 Breakfast.
0830 Boat trip to Pyramiden.
Lunch is served on board.
1930 Return to Longyearbyen.
2000 Evening meal at your hotel.

Wednesday 24 August
0830 Breakfast.
0930 Life of a miner.
1300 Lunch.
1430 Guided tour of Svalbard Museum.
1900 Wilderness meal served at Camp Barentz.
2200 Midnight sun hike.
0100 Return to the hotel.

Thursday 25 August
0800 Breakfast.
0900 Isford RIB tour (optional excursion).
1230 Lunch.
1330 Transfer to the airport (10mins).
1445 Take off for Tromsø.
1620 Land in Tromsø.
Transfer to your hotel in Tromsø.
Evening buffet at the hotel. 
Evening at leisure.

Friday 26 August
0800 Breakfast.
1000 Guided tour of the Polar Museum in Tromsø.
1230 Lunch.
1800 Wilderness evening with the indigenous Sami.
Wilderness evening meal provided.
2345 Board the Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer - M/S Finnmarken.
Check in to your unspecified outside cabin on board.
Our first chance to see the northern lights - northern lights alarm.

Saturday 27 August
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal all served on board.
Relax as you glide through the Vesterålen and Lofoten Archipelagos.
A Taste of Vesterålen (optional excursion).
Sea Eagle Safari (optional excursion).
Chances to see the northern lights from the stern of the ship - northern lights alarm.

Sunday 28 August
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal all served on board.
UNESCO world heritage Vega Islands (optional excursion).
Chances to see the northern lights from the stern of the ship - northern lights alarm. 

Monday 29 August
0600 Arrival in Trondheim.
Stay on board and in your cabin.
0730 Relaxing breakfast.
0900 Transfer to Åre (2hr45).
1200 Check-in to your hotel.
1230 Lunch.
Afternoon visit to Åre Brewery - the local brewery.
1800 Evening BBQ by the lake in Åre. 
Floating sauna also available.
Northern lights alarm.

Tuesday 30 August
0800 Breakfast.
1000 Guided history walk through Åre (1hr30).
1230 Lunch.
Afternoon at leisure.
1800 Evening meal.
2200 Northern lights chase.

Wednesday 31 August
0900 Breakfast.
1000 Visit Åre Chocolate Factory
Lunch.
Evening meal in the wilderness with bush craft skills.
Northern lights possible from this wilderness location.

Thursday 1 September 
0900 Breakfast.
1030 5-6km (3-4 miles) hike in the mountains around Åre.
Includes a wilderness lunch with locally produced products.
Afternoon at leisure.
1800 Farewell evening meal at Tännforsen - Sweden's largest waterfall.
See the gallery - hopefully northern lights.
Late evening return to Åre.

Friday 2 September
0800 Relaxing breakfast.
1000 Transfer to Östersund Airport (approx. 1hr30).
1245 Flight to London (via Stockholm)
1700 Land at Heathrow.

 

Itinerary is subject to minor changes.

 

Accomodation

Åre Gården Hotel - Åre

Located on the square in Åre village, close to the famous Bergbana (old funicular) with shops and resturants on the door step, this historic hotel has just 57 rooms and dates from 1895. Tourism to Åre started in 1892 when the railway line to Trondheim was opened. Today it is a modern hotel with a historic story to tell.

Explore the Scandes (mountain range between Norway and Sweden) during the summer and ski almost to the doorstep in the winter. 

Please click on the image for more photos.

 

Clarion Collection Hotel With - Tromsø

Clarion Collection Hotel With is located on the quayside in the centre of Tromso and just 70m from the airport transfer bus.As a Clarion Collection Hotel, afternoon waffles and a simple evening buffet is included during your stay. One of the most popular hotels in Tromso. To guarantee a harbour view room please upgrade to a superior room. 

Click on the image for more photos.

 

 

Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer - typical cabins

A fleet of 11 ships cruise the beautiful Norwegian fjords taking you through breathtaking scenery and giving you the opportunity to see natural phenomena, such as the midnight sun and the Northern Lights from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the far north.

The journey is quite spectacular and you won't spend much time in your cabin. You must be on deck or in the panoramic lounges to witness this jaw-dropping scenery. Click on the photo to the left to see the typical cabins on board.

You are generally accommodated in an unspecified outside cabin which may have llimited views. We do recommend upgrading to a cabin with an unobstructed view.

Raddison Blu Polar Hotel - Spitsbergen

In Scandinavia, and especially on Svalbard, it is customary to remove your shoes when you enter someone’s house or a hotel. It creates a warm welcoming atmosphere.

Raddison Blu Polar Hotel is located in the centre of this small town and has 95 comfortable ensuite rooms and suites. This is a place to relax and escape the extremities of the Arctic elements. It may be close to the North Pole but high speed  WiFi is available throughout the hotel and a comprehensive breakfast buffet is served each morning.

The in-house restaurant Nansen serves internationally inspired meals in front of an open fire and the Barentz bar serves beer from the world’s northern most brewery, Svalbard Bryggeri.

Click on the image for more photos.

Excursions
Dates

22nd August 2016 for 11 nights

Prices

Price is £3990 per person 

With space for just 16 guests don't delay. Book now - Wonders of the Sun booking form - click here! 

Supplements
£495 single occupancy

Includes
Simply Sweden guide
Flights as per the itinerary
Local airport transfers 
3 nights on Svalbard
1 night in Tromsø
3 nights on board the Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer in an unspecified outside cabin.
4 nights in Åre, Jämtland
11 x breakfasts
10 x lunches
10 x evening meals
Activities as detailed in the itinerary
Please note drinks are not included with meals.

Gallery More Info

With space for just 16 guests don't delay. Book now - Wonders of the Sun booking form - click here! 

Holiday information

The geeky facts that make this holiday possible ...
Midnight 
Sun
Midnight sun is visible on Svalbard up to and including 24 Aug 2016. We will land under the midnight sun on the night 22-23Aug! On 24th Aug we will hike to catch the last midnight sunof 2016. It will not go dark during our time in Longyearbyen.

Northern lights 
Last year we first saw the northern lights on 15Aug in Åre. In 2016 the new moon is on 1Sep so natural light is almost zero, especially as there won’t be any snow to brighten the surrounding mountains. 
During our time in Åre we will experience ‘astronomical twilight’ and ‘complete night’. From personal experience we know the northern lights visible!

Astronomical twilight occurs when the sun is 12 to 18 degrees below the horizon. There is a small amount of light from the sun low on the horizon between 10.30pm and 3.30am.

Complete night occurs when the sun is more than 18 degrees below the horizon and will occur between 0015 and 0145 (approx.) on 31Aug and 1Sep. There is no light visible from the sun during this time.

We will also offer a northern lights alarm call on our cruise between Tromsø and Trondheim and during our stay in Åre.

Our recommended packing list
Head torch and extra batteries. 
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes.
Camera, extra battery and tripod.
Small rucksack.
Water bottle and thermos flask.
Much of this holiday is in the Arctic or mountains and the weather can be unpredictable. Hat, scarf, thermal layers, waterproof jacket, gloves and woollen socks are essential items. Waterproof trousers are recommended.

Passports and Visas
All visitors need to go through passport control between Norway and Svalbard. Please note that if you need a visa to arrive to Norway (not relevant to British passport holders) you will need another visa (double entry) to enter Norway again after your visit to Svalbard. If you require a visa to enter Norway you are likely to require a visa for Sweden (or have a Schengen visa).

Health and Insurance
Please make sure you have insurance to cover all aspects of your holiday. If you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EU residents) please make sure you carry this with you at all times (this is not a replacement for standard holiday insurance).

Activities
All of the activities are optional, even if they are included in the main body of the holiday. The majority of the activities are suitable for normal levels of fitness but it should be noted that the RIB tour is not suitable for those with back problems or who are pregnant. The midnight sun hike and mountain hike in Åre require a good degree of fitness and are also not suitable for those with back problems. If you have any questions regarding this please speak to us so we can offer our advice before making a booking.

Dietary requirements
Our menus will be fixed in advance so we need to know dietary requirements at the time of booking. Drinks are not included in the price of this holiday.

Local Currency
Norway and Sweden have their respective kronor and are almost cash free societies. International debit and credit cards are widely accepted, even for small amounts. You are unlikely to need much cash in hand at all. Tipping is not expected on this holiday as the cost of your meals is included in the price of your holiday.

Electricity
Standard European sockets at 220V.

 

Svalbard Information

Svalbard is unlike any other location and we strongly recommend you read the information below so you have a good understanding of what life is like deep inside the Arctic Circle. It is for those with a love of nature, an appreciation for spectacular scenery and special locations and will appeal to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. Svalbard is an environmentally sensitive location and the ice coverage in winter is often used as an indicator of global warming.

Polar Bears
Polar bears are the largest living predator on Earth and are generally recognised as the symbol of Svalbard. There are 3000 polar bears on Svalbard and these sensitive creatures are vulnerable to climate change, pollutants and human interference.
Rules protecting polar bears are strict and it is forbidden to lure, pursue, seek out or disturb them; hence there are no ‘polar bear excursions’. Polar bears can appear anywhere at any time on Svalbard and you should never venture outside the settlement without a qualified guide.

The Svalbard Dictionary
Svalbard – is the name given to the entire archipelago.
Spitsbergen – is the name of the largest island within the Svalbard Archipelago.
Longyearbyen – is the main town / settlement on Spitsbergen and Svalbard. 

Weather and Climate
A land of extremes! With endless summer days and never ending winter nights the weather can be unpredictable so close to the North Pole. In the middle of summer temperatures average +7C but can be as warm as +17C or as cold as 0C. In the depths of winter, when Svalbard is covered in a blanket of virgin snow, average temperatures are -15C and extremes can reach 0C and -30C. During the winter warm outer clothing can be included in your holiday.

History
Svalbard has a complicated history dating back to the 12th century. Whaling, hunting and fishing have played an important role and many countries tried to claim Svalbard during the 16th and 17th centuries, including Britain, France and Denmark. Following WWI, the 1920 Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty to Norway and Svalbard became an economic free and demilitarized zone. Today Longyearbyen and Svalbard have an established, low-key tourism industry. 

Geography
Glaciation covers 60% of Svalbard and the highest point is 1700m above sea level. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town and has just 2700 residents and this northerly latitude means the midnight sun shines from the end of April until the end of August – leave your body clock at home. There are no roads on Svalbard outside the settlements, so villages are connected by boat, snowmobiles and aircraft.

Nature
Polar bears are not the only animals on Svalbard! You will also find reindeer and a myriad of bird and marine wildlife. It is not unusual to see whales and seals during your stay on Svalbard, and boat safaris around Isfjord offer some wonderful wildlife experiences. There are 7 national parks, 15 bird sanctuaries and 6 nature reserves; all allow these animals to thrive in the Arctic.