Spitsbergen, East Greenland & Iceland (Ocean Nova) 2016 Trip Notes

Spitsbergen, East Greenland & Iceland (Ocean Nova) 2016

Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015
Spitsbergen, East Greenland & Iceland (Ocean Nova) 2016
Trip code: BQMT
Validity: 15 Aug 2016 to 28 Aug 2016
Table of Contents
StyleTippingEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeIssues on your trip
ItineraryYour fellow travellersWhat to take
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersHealth
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationSafety
Culture shock rating MealsTravel insurance
Physical ratingTransportResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesArrival complicationsFeedback
Spending moneyFinish point
  • ‘Comfort travel’ means encountering all that the real world has to offer, but with an added degree of, well… comfort. We use more private transport, the travel pace more relaxed, the accommodation a touch nicer. And by paying a little more up front, you’ll be treated to more included meals, more leader-led activities and get a greater immersion in all things local.
Sailing, Wildlife, Polar
Spitsbergen, East Greenland & Iceland (Ocean Nova) 2016
Day 1 Embarkation day in Longyearbyen
Your voyage will embark in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.
Included Activities
  • Activity
Cruise ship (1 nt)
Days 2-5 Exploring Spitsbergen
Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest of the Norwegian-ruled Svalbard islands, rewards you with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Here you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep-walled fjords with walrus, polar bear and Spitsbergen reindeer among your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, long-tailed ducks, kittiwakes and glaucous and ivory gulls. As an added bonus, when conditions are right, you could sail within 10° of the North Pole!
Included Activities
  • Activity
Cruise ship (4 nts)
Days 6-7 Greenland Sea
While sailing the historic Greenland Sea, you’ll learn about the wildlife and history of Greenland, your next stop. On deck you’ll learn to identify seabirds on the wing. Share photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie; there are many things to do during your time at sea.
Included Activities
  • Activity
Cruise ship (2 nts)
Days 8-12 East Greenland
During your tour of Greenland’s remote eastern coast, you’ll enjoy sea-level Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. Visit the remains of ancient Thule settlements, and keep an eye out for grazing musk oxen, as 40% of the world’s population of this fascinating mammal lives here. Finally, sail you will sail through spectacular Scoresbysund, the birthplace of many icebergs, and - some say - the most beautiful fjord system in the world.
Included Activities
  • Activity
Cruise ship (5 nts)
Day 13 Denmark Strait
At sea, the Denmark Strait is your pathway east, towards Iceland. Your onboard Expedition Team will keep you informed and entertained with presentations about the history of exploration in the Arctic and the seabirds that you’ll inevitably see soaring above your ship.
Included Activities
  • Activity
Cruise ship (1 nt)
Day 14 Disembarkation in Akureyri/Reykjavik
We disembark in Akureyri and transfer to our waiting charter flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. We provide a transfer to downtown Reykjavik.
Included Activities
  • Activity
Also available to purchase
Bike hire is not included in the tour price and should be arranged at the time of booking. The cost will be added to your invoice. The bike type is Trek/Specialized mountain bikes with front suspension.
Very occasionally a bike of your size may not be available. We may be able to offer you a bike of a different but acceptable size, or otherwise you must bring your own bike.
If you plan on taking your own bike, please notify your sales consultant at time of booking so the bike hire charge can be removed from your invoice.
  • Kayaking - Arctic 2016 ()
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Polar travel requires an amount of flexibility as weather, ice conditions and wildlife can all affect where your ship is able to access, and where your Expedition Team think you will get the best experience possible from your trip. On board, daily updates are given to advise what the specific itinerary will be for the next day based on local conditions. Published itineraries are subject to change when local conditions dictate.
    Culture shock rating

    This is the least confronting of Intrepid's product range. English is the native language and the food, customs and access to services will be similar to home.
    Physical rating

    These trips are a relaxing break. You don't have to worry about doing anything physically demanding unless you want to.
    Included activities
    Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
    Optional activities
    On some voyages we offer optional activities such as kayaking. Numbers on these activities are extremely limited so it is important that you book in advance. Your consultant can advise which activities are available on your voyage and the cost.
    On some voyages there is also the option of a photography program. This includes a series of photography-focused lectures and shore excursions. There is no cost for this activity and it does not need to be booked in advance.
    Some voyages also offer snowshoeing. There is no cost for this activity and it does not need to be booked in advance.
    Spending money
    The US Dollar is the standard currency on board. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover Card and American Express are accepted on board for settling your shipboard account.
    At the time designated in the shipboard program, please give the Hotel Manager the credit card you would like to use for all your incidental expenses. An account will be opened for your cabin for purchases aboard ship. This will include bar services, laundry, postage, and communication charges. A ‘chit’ system will operate for on board payments. You will sign for any bar, wine, communication charges, laundry, etc. An account for payment will be presented to you on the final day of the voyage. Final payment can be made using cash, travellers’ checks or major credit cards. Personal cheques are not accepted on board. If you are sharing a cabin and would like separate accounts, you must advise the Hotel Manager.
    It is wise to travel with sufficient cash to pay for incidentals such as shipboard items on the last day of the voyage, airport taxes and taxicab transfers.
    The voyage price does not include the customary gratuity to the ship’s personnel, which is divided amongst the crew, Expedition Team and Hospitality Team. We suggest this guideline for your convenience: aboard ship US $14 to US $16 per traveller, per day. The amount you choose to give is at your discretion. It can be added to your shipboard account.
    Important notes
    An increased non-refundable deposit of A$2000 per person is required at time of booking. The deposit for ice breaker voyage (50 Years of Victory and Kapitan Khlebnikov) is A$6000 per person. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. If the tour is cancelled inside 90 days the full amount is forfeited.
    Group size
    Maximum of 8 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
    Single travellers
    Single occupancy is available in most cabin categories for 1.7 or 2 times the twin berth price (dependent on which cabin category). Some ships have designated single occupancy cabins. Single travellers wishing to share will be matched with another solo traveller of the same sex. Please note that it is not possible to share with a stranger in all cabin types. Please speak to a consultant for full details.
    Cruise ship (13 nts)
    All passenger cabins have exterior views, private facilities and climate control. Cabins are cleaned daily. Linen and towels are provided. There is a hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
    The different types of cabins available and their prices can be accessed via the Dates & Availability link.

    13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    USD 100.00
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. Hours of operation will be posted and are subject to change to accommodate the expedition. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available around the clock. The tap water on board is safe to drink.
    We're able to meet most special dietary requests, as long as you have clearly indicated your requirements far in advance of your voyage. Kosher food cannot be prepared.
    Zodiac , Ship
    During the expedition we visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac landing craft. The flat bottom design permits the craft to land directly onto the cobble and ice-strewn beaches although you should expect to walk through shallow water to reach the shore.
    Joining point
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact section on your final documents to get in touch with the Quark representative at your starting city.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival.
    Finish point
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Quark Expeditions can be reached on tel: +1 416 504 5900 (business hours - US & Canada Eastern) or 001 647 449 5303 (after hours).
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    Clothing on board ship is generally informal. For outdoor wear, please bring wind and waterproof outer layers. Tight clothing is not recommended as it does not allow insulating air to be trapped.Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like fleece, retain heat. We do not recommend clothing made of cotton. Plan to dress in layers.
    Essential Gear:
    Boots - Rubber boots are provided on a loan basis for the duration of the voyage. You do not need to bring these with you.
    Parkas - A complimentary parka will be provided on the ship.
    Pants - Waterproof pants are essential for zodiac travel as well as activities on shore. These, over a pair of warm pants, will keep you warm and dry.
    Gloves - To keep your hands warm and dry, pack a minimum of two pairs of gloves: a pair of thin polypropylene gloves to be worn underneath warm outer gloves. We strongly recommend that you bring at least one other set of gloves in case on pair gets wet or lost.
    Hat and Scarf - Pack a warm, woollen hat or cap that covers your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection. A peaked or brimmed hat helps protect against the sun but needs some kind of retainer for windy conditions.
    Socks - For maximum warmth we suggest that you wear two pairs of socks inside the rubber boots that are loaned to you. In addition, pack warm, long wool or cotton socks to be worn over a thin pair of silk or polypropylene socks. Bring several pairs.
    Outer Clothing - Pack woollen or fleece sweaters and tops, plus several turtlenecks for layering.
    Underclothing - Pack silk or polypropylene underwear since it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Many polar travellers prefer a lightweight version but this depends on your own personal thermostat.
    Day Pack - To keep your hands free for shooting photographs bring a water resistant or waterproof daypack
    Shoes - Bring shoes with non-slip soles for walking around the vessel. Slip-on sandals are not suitable for use on board ship.
    Swimsuit - There may be an opportunity for a polar plunge during the voyage so we recommend that you pack a swimsuit.
    Children - Children will be required to bring their own life jacket and rubber boots as child sizes are not provided on board.
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of staff, any traveller is found to be unfit to complete the itinerary on the day of embarkation, they may be denied boarding and excluded from the trip without refund.
    If you are taking prescribed medication, carry an extra week’s supply just in case of flight delays or other unforeseen circumstances. If you have particular health needs, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician explaining your health problems and/or the dosage required for the prescribed medication. The letter will assist our doctor on board, and any emergency medical personnel to care for you should you become ill. Please hand the letter to the expedition doctor once you are on board.
    There will be a licensed English-speaking physician on board. Your vessel will have a medical clinic with a limited supply of prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment. The clinic will not be stocked with every drug or piece of equipment required for every medical problem. If you are under regular treatment for any ailment, you must bring a sufficient supply of medicines for yourself. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board.
    You should anticipate some rough seas. The motion-sickness medication that is available on board is for emergencies only. To avoid motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids, and confined spaces. Most people feel better on deck looking at the horizon or lying still with their eyes shut. You will definitely feel better with some food in your stomach, such as dry toast or crackers.
    As a ship registered for international voyages, the ship must comply with a variety of regulations, codes and industry standards. This regime of requirements ensures that internationally accepted standards for safety and environmental protection are developed, implemented and monitored within the company management system onshore and on board the ship. The ship adheres to regulations set by IMO (International Maritime Organisation) including ISM Code (Safety Management System), ISPS Code (for ship and port security), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Maritime Pollution Prevention), the flag state and the classification society on an accredited system. In addition, as the ship spends considerable time in the Arctic waters, Quark Expeditions, Inc is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and a full member of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators).
    CHILDREN: The minimum age for travel is 8. If a child is travelling without their parent/legal guardian, their parent/legal guardian will need to fill out a waiver form. Children will also be required to bring their own life jacket and rubber boots as child sizes are not provided on board.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    As a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operatiors (AECO), Quark Expeditions are supporters of responsible tourism that mitigates the impact of our shore landings on the landscape or wildlife. Quark was the first operator to offer inclusive Carbon Neutral voyages on the Ocean Diamond. By doing so we have enhanced our commitment to ecological sensitivity and to minimising our impact on the areas we visit including:
    • Having our vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor.
    • Conforming to all international regulations/policies governing disposal of waste at sea.
    • Serving only sustainable seafood.
    • Using only eco-friendly laundry chemicals and room amenities.
    • Removing disposable water bottles from the ships.
    • Making all our voyages virtually paperless by 2014 and having any paper used be 100% recyclable.
    IAATO and AECO members also operate according to established rules of conduct, which, while you travel with us, we ask you to respect. A copy of the IAATO or AECO guidelines will be provided prior to travel and staff will brief all passengers prior to the first landing.
    For more information on the responsible travel guidelines to Antarctica established by the IAATO please visit: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller.php
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.