Arctic & Around

Have you noticed an intrepid explorer stalking your imagination ready to snatch you off to the ends of the earth? Maybe you've found a bold adventurer in there, waiting to whisk you somewhere few others ever go? Yes, you do know these two? Well, Mirrabac's small-group tour, taking in the remote Arctic region, could be exactly what they have in mind for you.

The arctic region is just about as far away as your fearless inner 'friends' can carry you - almost off the edge of the map. And you surely won't be caught up in a crowd if you venture above the Arctic Circle with us, for a polar cruise around the Svalbard archipelago.

We've chosen late summer for this adventure. That's when the pack ice that chokes the region for much of the year has thawed into ice floes so our small, modern polar expedition ship can get you into the most out-of-the-way spots you're ever likely to visit.

You'll sail through icy seascapes in never-ending shades of blue; explore swathes of open tundra, barren but for moss and arctic wildflowers; learn about the arctic from your onboard guides and experts. You'll be on watch for polar bears roaming the sea ice; walrus, whales and seals frolicking in the frigid waters; reindeer and foxes trotting across the landscape. You'll see flocks of birds congregating at craggy cliffs and crowded breeding sites. And you'll see astonishingly beautiful sights that you can only imagine right now. Off-boat you'll be rugged up and ready to go - onboard you'll be cosy and comfortable.

Svalbard lies halfway between the top of Norway and the North Pole. Before arriving there you'll spend a few 'chill-out' days exploring mainland Scandinavia to get you in the mood for your arctic adventure. Oslo and Copenhagen will welcome you to this Nordic zone - with heritage and history, fun and fjords on your itinerary. After your encounter with the arctic you'll head to Lapland for some Sami culture then drop down to Stockholm for a Scandinavian finale to your epic journey.

So come north with us for an entrancing journey ... feel the awe of the Arctic and skip to the beat of Scandinavia.

Next Departure

August – September 2020

7-night cruise on small polar expedition ship, Hotels - Lodges

Depart Auckland, New Zealand

*includes return economy airfares Auckland

Depart Australia (Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne)

*includes return economy airfares

*price subject to change due to airfare and exchange rate increases

Tour Highlights

7-night cruise - epic exploration high in the Arctic Ocean, just 1,300km south of the North Pole.

Svalbard Archipelago - breathtaking natural wilderness of sweeping open tundra, craggy mountain peaks, crystal-like glacial structures and fjord-indented coastlines.

Shore Excursions - wander around at the top of the world, a naturalist's paradise.

Wildlife - we'll keep watch for polar bear, reindeer, arctic fox, walrus, seals, dolphin, whale.

Birdlife - guillemots, kittiwakes and little auks, huge colonies of seabirds populating the cliffs and shores.

Light - lots of late summer daylight, soft and gentle, great for photography.

Norwegian Fjords - picture perfect, some of the world's most beautiful scenery.

Scandinavia Cities - picturesque Oslo, charming Bergen, colourful Stockholm, wonderful Copenhagen.

Helsinki - dynamic sea-city, capital of Finland.

Architecture - palaces, castles, museums, heritage buildings.

Culture - Arctic, Nordic, Viking and Sami.

Lapland - land of the reindeer and home of the Sami people for several thousand years.

M/V Plancius

M/V Plancius is a comfortable and modern polar expedition ship. She was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy who sailed her under the name HNLMS Tydeman until June 2004. In 2009, are being rebuilt as a passenger vessel complying with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea), she was renamed M/V Plancius. She is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

The vessel accommodates 114 passengers in 53 passenger cabins, each with private toilet and shower. Cabins range from: quadruple with porthole; triple with porthole; twin with porthole; twin with window; twin deluxe cabins; double superior cabins.

M/V Plancius is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. She has a restaurant/lecture room and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) where large windows, offer full panorama view. Large open deck spaces give excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

Arctic voyages on M/V Plancius are based around an exploratory educational programme and passengers spend as much time ashore as possible. The vessel carries 10 Mark V zodiacs, fitted with 40-HP 4-stroke outboard engines, and has two gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation.

The ice-strengthened M/V Plancius is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system, which considerably reduces the noise and vibration of the engines. The three diesel engines generate 1,230 horsepower each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots.

M/V Plancius is manned by 17 nautical crew. She has 19 hotel/hospitality staff, eight expedition staff (one expedition leader and seven guides-lecturers) and one doctor.

M/V Plancius M/V Plancius

The most northerly extreme of our plant is also one of its most stark, sensitive and serene environments... and one of its most stunningly beautiful settings. From its farthest reaches in the Arctic Circle to its Scandinavian continental boundaries, the planet's Far North promises you the ultimate travel experience.

So if you find 'extreme' temptations hard to resist, come north with us. Breath the Arctic air; smell its shimmering ice; meet the hardy wildlife and hospitable locals; soak up stunning vistas that seem to stretch to the end of the earth. Contact us now for information on our exclusive small-group tour to the Arctic and Around.

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