Secret Atlas has unveiled several low-impact, sustainable micro cruises for just 12 guests to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. These more intimate voyages will appeal to travellers wishing to experience an authentic expedition combined with the smallest group sizes in the Arctic and Antarctica.
The modern-day traveller wants to embark on something that will stimulate their senses, whether it’s via adventure, culture, knowledge, taste/smell or natural beauty. One of the best places in the world to do this is Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
Svalbard is one of the few relatively unspoilt places remaining on the planet and somewhere that should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Fortunately, Secret Atlas’ arrival on the expedition cruise market has made it even simpler to do this. And, the best bit is that their cruises cater to smaller parties, allowing guests to experience something extraordinary without unwanted distractions.
In this travel feature, we’re looking at what the Secret Atlas micro cruises have to offer guests craving something more than lounging on a plastic recliner on a beach.
Micro Cruises: Travelling on board ice-strengthened, purpose-built expedition vessels with better manoeuvrability than larger cruise ships allows visitors to access remote corners of this unspoilt wilderness and get closer to the magical wildlife and visit fascinating historical locations. And, since there is space for all guests in the Zodiacs, allowing everyone to go ashore together, there is minimal waiting around, resulting in maximum time to explore the polar environment at a leisurely pace.
With the best-in-industry guide-to-guest ratio of 1:6, guests can be sure of excellent service and attention to detail from the Secret Atlas team.
Among the new micro cruises is Natural Wonders of Svalbard. This cruise is a 10-day expedition onboard M/V Villa with departures from Longyearbyen during May, June, July and August, timed to experience the natural phenomenon of 24-hour daylight. (Prices from £6800 per person for full board in a twin cabin with bunk beds and bathroom facilities shared with one other cabin.)
One of the best places to see polar bears, Svalbard is also home to walrus, whales, Arctic foxes, native reindeer and a plethora of bird species, making it an attractive destination for wildlife enthusiasts, keen photographers and environmentalists.
In fact, for keen photographers, Secret Atlas is also offering nine-day Natural Wonders of Svalbard Photo Tours during May 2022 and 2023, accompanied by Chase Teron, a highly experienced Arctic wildlife photographer with a passion for teaching his art.
Chase will share his skills and expertise with warmth and enthusiasm to support guests in taking the best wildlife shots possible during their voyage. Photography workshops and feedback sessions are included in the price. (Prices from £7000pp for full board in a twin cabin with bunk beds and bathroom facilities shared with another cabin.)
Private Cruises: In addition to its scheduled departure dates, Secret Atlas also offers groups and families of 12 guests the opportunity to charter one of its micro vessels for a customised, private motor yacht expedition to Svalbard of between eight and 15 days.
Available between May and September, the private expeditions feature the excitement of walrus haul-outs, wilderness hikes, calving glaciers, stunning scenery and abundant wildlife, all enjoyed in the company of family and friends. The expeditions are led by a highly experienced team and can be tailored to suit participants’ fitness levels. (Prices on application.)
All prices quoted include the knowledge and expertise of expedition leaders who are passionate about the polar regions; lectures on the areas visited; use of Zodiacs; full board accommodation in a twin cabin, plus alcohol with dinner; return transfers to Longyearbyen.
For further information on the cruises offered by Secret Atlas, visit their website www.secretatlastravel.com.
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