Category Archives: Arctic/Antarctic Travel

Imagine This: a Destination Wedding in Antarctica, Courtesy of Atlas Ocean Voyages

Departing on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022, World Navigator’s Happy Ever Atlas voyage will offer couples and their companions the most adventurous destination wedding on earth – in Antarctica. The Happy Ever Atlas destination wedding package is complimentary for guests when registered in advance.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.– Imagine this! Couples can exchange vows at ‘the end of the world’ on a once-in-a-lifetime Antarctica expedition with Atlas Ocean Voyages’ new Happy Ever Atlas destination weddings and vow renewals.

Departing on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022, World Navigator’s Happy Ever Atlas voyage will offer couples and their companions the most adventurous destination wedding on earth. The Happy Ever Atlas destination wedding package is complimentary for guests when registered in advance. Plus, the bride enjoys a 50 percent savings off her stateroom when the wedding party books five or more rooms.

The package includes a legal marriage license, valued at more than $650, and many additional inclusions, which ensure a unique, complete and unforgettable nuptial exchange. As with all Atlas luxe-adventure expeditions, all guests travel in the brand’s signature All Inclusive All The Way style, which, on Antarctica expeditions, includes complimentary round-trip air travel aboard Atlas’ private charter jet service direct to Ushuaia, Argentina. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages’ Happy Ever Atlas wedding package, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/AntarcticaWedding.

“Antarctica is the most coveted bucket-list destination and Atlas Ocean Voyages is delivering the Seventh Continent in the most distinctive and memorable way,” said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. “World Navigator’s Happy Ever Atlas voyage will offer couples the most unique setting to exchange their vows for a wedding day they will never forget. Throughout the voyage, guests will also discover fascinating wildlife; awe at Antarctica’s pristine and majestic landscape; and learn about the need to sustain and preserve our planet’s fragile ecosystem.”

Atlas will provide an officiant to conduct the ceremony; a wedding coordinator to ensure everything is perfect for the big day; and a professional wedding photographer to capture each breathtaking moment. Depending on weather, ceremonies can be performed both on land, with penguins, seals and other Antarctica wildlife to bear witness, or in shipboard venues, including World Navigator’s bridge. 

The Happy Ever Atlas wedding package includes marriage license, one-tier wedding cake, digital photo package, welcome itinerary & giftbag, personalized bridal parasol, custom penguin jackets, flower bouquet and boutonniere, and custom nuptial announcements and Thank You cards. World Navigator will also throw separate group bachelorette and bachelor parties, as well as host a wedding reception.

Additionally, Atlas will establish an online wedding registry, which allows family and friends to contribute to the couple’s voyage costs or other gifts. Family and friends can gift upgraded transfers, excursions, spa services and more.

Atlas’ signature All Inclusive All the Way provides all guests a complete and seamless experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, choice of a shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, emergency medical evacuation insurance, premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, Wi-Fi, L’OCCITANE bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

For its Antarctica voyages, Atlas is the first and only cruise brand to charter its own widebody private jet to bring guests in a safe bubble directly to Ushuaia, where Antarctica expeditions embark. Guests travel from 16 major U.S. and Canada gateways and connect with Atlas’ branded jet at Orlando airport. Atlas’ private charter jet eliminates lengthy layovers in an international airport, common with very limited commercial options.

Atlas’ Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy provides travelers a 100 percent refund of deposited funds up to 91 days prior to sailing. Plus, they can change their reservation as many times as they want, up to 15 days before their voyages’ sail date. They can even change their destination and sail with Atlas in another part of the world or choose to cancel at least 15 days or more prior to the departure date and be assured of a 100 percent future cruise credit.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in exciting and awe-inspiring moments in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,930 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design. 

World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021. World Navigator will be joined by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Atlas welcomes travelers to come back to something new’ in the brand’s new marketing campaign “At Last… Atlas” (www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/itstime.) To learn more, visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com. Follow Atlas Ocean Voyage on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlasOceanVoyages), Twitter (www.twitter.com/atlascruises), Instagram (www.instagram.com/AtlasOceanVoyages), and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/atlascruises). Travel Advisors can call 844-44-ATLAS (844-442-8527) to book their clients on this luxe-adventure expedition.

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New Virtual Tour of the Arctic Bath and Hot Air Ballooning over the Arctic – Free

The new Virtually Visiting Arctic holiday travels to the region of Northern Sweden around Lulea where guests will join a tour of the Arctic Bath, the new floating hotel and spa; experience the remote wilderness of the Aurora Safari Camp; and go for a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the Arctic tundra.

Virtual travel experts Virtually Visiting have created their second four-day virtual holiday showcasing two of the Arctic’s most anticipated experiences from the comfort of your own home. It begins April 30 and it’s free!

The new virtual holiday travels to the region of Northern Sweden around Lulea where guests will join atour of the Arctic Bath, the new floating hotel and spa; experience the remote wilderness of the Aurora Safari Camp; and go for a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the Arctic tundra.

Designed by Virtually Visiting, the experience will be released over four days from Thursday, April 30 through Sunday May 3. It can be experienced on Virtual Reality goggles or via computer, tablet or phone. (If you can’t “travel” on those dates, the experiences will stay live on the site for you to watch at your convenience.)

New experiences will be released each morning lasting from 5 to 20 minutes each. Each experience has been filmed to allow guests to get a true feeling of the adventures with expert guides throughout.

“This is the second full virtual holiday we have released with the aim of putting you, as the guest, right in the action. You’ll experience the tours as if you were actually there,” says Jonny Cooper, founder of Virtually Visiting. “This new tour is a really exciting opportunity to visit the Arctic Bath, one of the most anticipated and distinctive spa and wellness experiences, launched this winter, and soar above the Arctic wilderness on a hot air balloon ride. Both are new experiences this year, with two very different views of the Arctic.”

This tour will begin on Thursday April 30 with guests virtually arriving into the coastal city of Luleå and the capital of Norrbotten County. Just 70km north of Luleå is the Aurora Safari Camp, the first stop for the tour. Here guests will join Fredrik Broman on a tour of the camp including a traditional Sami Lavu (teepee) where they will learn about the camp and the nature that surrounds it, and soak up the warmth sitting around the fire and chatting.

On day two, Friday May 1, a triple treat awaits. Guests first join guide Fredrik Broman on a nature walk to the Arctic Circle learning about the complex balance of animals and plants as they thrive in the varied Arctic conditions. The afternoon offers a different perspective of the Arctic, soaring above on an Arctic Hot Air Balloon flight, newly introduced this year. Get ready to sit back, and relax as you take off from a frozen lake and rise above Europe’s last true wilderness.  To end the day, guests arrive at Arctic Retreat, a traditional Arctic luxury log cabin deep in the Lapland wilderness, where your host will take you on a tour before leaving you to enjoy the countryside from an outdoor Jacuzzi.

The highlight of the four-day holiday is revealed on Saturday May 2 when you’ll join local guide Peter Engström on a tour of the long-anticipated Arctic Bath. Opened to guests in December, this floating hotel and spa is the world’s first Arctic floating spa, delivering wellness, mindfulness and cleansing treatments through spa partners Kerstin Florian. The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, freezes into the ice of the Lule River in the winter and floats on top of the water in the summer. The tour will cover the accommodations and main spa building while informing about the local connection to history, culture and nature.

As the trip nears its conclusion, there is time for one last experience on Sunday May 3. As you head back towards Lulea the trip will stop off for a nature encounter like no other, meeting the moose. Guests join local guide and founder of Cape Wild, Thomas Dahlquist, to meet “Zigge” and “Zebbe,” learning about these lovable creatures and feeding them. As heavy as 1400 pounds each, the moose at Cape Wild are gentle giants who love to be petted and fed snacks.The trip concludes after a short trip back to Lulea.

Virtually Visiting founder, Jonny Cooper, adds, “We really want to give people a true-to-life experience of these amazing activities and experiences led by some of the best and most knowledgeable guides in the region. We hope this will transport visitors to the region – so set the mood, turn off your heat, grab a wool hat and join us for our next virtual adventure.”

To join the free four-day Virtual adventure from April 30-May 3, visit https://virtuallyvisiting.com/360-journeys/.

But, don’t worry, the tour will stay online if you can’t visit on those dates exactly, or if you need to time-shift to meet your schedule.

For more information on these and other virtual travel experiences, visit www.virtuallyvisiting.com or email info@virtuallyvisiting.com.

Virtually Visiting was set up by a group of travel and technology experts who believe in the power of travel and the good that it can bring to the world. Understanding that the planet is an ever-changing place and that travel is not always accessible, Virtually Visiting has combined advances in technology with their passion for travel. The result is real tours and experiences available online to everyone, everywhere. www.virtuallyvisiting.cominfo@virtuallyvisiting.com

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Poseidon Expeditions Renews Charter for 114-Passenger Sea Spirit

Poseidon Expeditions is extending the charter of the 114-passenger expedition ship Sea Spirit.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Poseidon Expeditions announced that it has signed an agreement with ship owner SunStone Ships, Inc. to extend the charter of the 114-passenger expedition ship Sea Spirit for two years. This will keep the ship flying the Poseidon Expeditions banner until May 2024.

Nikolay Saveliev, founder and president of Poseidon Expeditions (https://poseidonexpeditions.com/), a specialist in active adventure cruises in Arctic and Antarctic regions, said that the Sea Spirit has received great acceptance in the marketplace and that the company is delighted to be able to continue offering the ship to its travel partners and polar travelers around the globe.

“With the Sea Spirit, we have a smaller-capacity, premium vessel that’s perceived as very desirable compared with most of the newly announced polar-class ships in the range of 200-500 passengers. Those wanting to go to Antarctica or to the Arctic understand the advantages that a smaller vessel can provide – better access to remote areas and landing sites; more ‘face time’ with the expedition team; and a camaraderie among guests and staff that is more difficult to achieve aboard larger ships,” he added.

“This ship has delivered a consistently high level of service and performance in the polar regions from the ship’s officers, catering and hospitality team. Sunstone has done a great job keeping the passenger areas renovated and the technical features consistently updated, such as the new, state-of-the art Rolls Royce Zero Speed Stabilizers installed in 2019. Combined with our exceptional expedition staff, which curates experiences for our guests that are engaging, educational and fun, it’s no wonder the Sea Spirit achieves a 4.9 ranking out of a possible 5.0 from TrustPilot,  the well-established third-party review site,” he added.

The founder of Poseidon said plans were still moving forward with a new build, configured for fewer than 150 passengers, but that an official announcement with details was still forthcoming.

Like a migrating bird, the Sea Spirit spends her year between the two polar regions, in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean from late October through mid-March and then in the sub-Arctic and Arctic regions of the British Isles, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Greenland from mid-May through September.

For inquires and questions, contact the company’s North American sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.

With offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia, Cyprus and China, Poseidon Expeditions is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).
 
NOTE: For up-to-the-minute information on the status of cruises and booking policies during the COVID-19 crisis, see: https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/coronavirus-info/

Follow Poseidon Expeditions on Social Media:
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/poseidonexpeditions
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Website         http://poseidonexpeditions.com/

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Poseidon Expeditions Thwarts Cabin Fever With Polar Ice – Via Video

Poseidon Expeditions offers up an online travel menu of virtual expedition cruises in the mystical worlds of ice — Antarctica in winter, and in summer, the wild Arctic and even the geographic North Pole. Experiences include, among others, kayaking among the icebergs, safe encounters with whales and polar bears and a helicopter flight over the Top of the World.

PROVIDENCE, RI– Right now snuggling up in an armchair with travel videos is the best antidote to what the Germans call Fernweh or yearning for places far away. As the world is still in travel lock-down mode, most of us long for the day we can freely explore the world once again.
 
Today most of us can’t travel much farther than our corner grocery store. But there is relief to this cabin fever. Poseidon Expeditions offers up an online travel menu of virtual expedition cruises in the mystical worlds of ice — Antarctica in winter, and in summer, the wild Arctic and even the geographic North Pole. Experiences include, among others, kayaking among the icebergs, safe encounters with whales and polar bears and a helicopter flight over the Top of the World.
 
“If you have the travel bug fever, we recommend treating symptoms with polar ice – via our extraordinary videos,” said Steve Wellmeier of Poseidon Expeditions.
 
Poseidon has also introduced a “Relaxed” reservation policy for new bookings for the 2021 Arctic and 2021-22 Antarctic seasons aboard the 114-passenger Sea Spirit. For these new bookings in 2021-22 the deposit is reduced from 20% to 10%, and travelers have two months before the deposit is due. For Poseidon travelers booked on 2020 Arctic programs, please find coronavirus-related updates at: https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/coronavirus-info/
 
Here’s a selection of Poseidon Expeditions’ destination videos:
 
East Greenland
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/arctic/east-greenland-in-1-minute/  (1:13)
 
Franz Josef Land
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/arctic/franz-josef-land-in-1-minute/  (1:36)
 
North Pole
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/north-pole/on-top-of-the-world-north-pole-cruise/  (18:34)
 
North Pole by Helicopter
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/north-pole/north-pole-ruise-helicopter-footage/  (2:42)
 
Svalbard: Where Does the Ideal Adventure Lead
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjC8-Gn3mE0  (1:00)
 
Antarctica 
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/antarctica/antarctic-cruise-highlights/  (1:33)
 
Kayaking Antarctica
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/antarctica/kayaking-in-antarcica/  (2:06)
 
Ship videos
 
mv Sea Spirit
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/video/arctic/m-v-sea-spirit-video-tour/  (4:55)
 
Nuclear-powered Icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory
https://poseidonexpeditions.com/video-360/  (7:02)
360º virtual reality video experience
 
Interview with the Captain of 50 Years of Victory, Nuclear-powered Icebreaker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRDolpy54nQ&t=2s  (6:02)
 
Additional Videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/pxpeditions
 
For inquiries and reservations, or to request a catalog, contact the company’s North American sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.
 
With offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia, Cyprus and China, Poseidon Expeditions is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

Follow Poseidon Expeditions on Social Media:
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/poseidonexpeditions
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/poseidonexp
YouTube:       https://www.youtube.com/user/pxpeditions
Instagram:     https://www.instagram.com/poseidonexpeditions/
Website         http://poseidonexpeditions.com/

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Spend 4 Days in Arctic on Free Virtual Holiday, One Day at a Time, Beginning April 18

Experience a four-day Arctic adventure in Swedish Lapland from the comfort of your own home today for free. The holiday has been designed by Virtually Visiting to be experienced through your own computer, tablet or phone as if you are there, day by day, with the itinerary unfolding from Saturday, April 18 through Tuesday, April 21.

Experience a four-day Arctic adventure in Swedish Lapland from the comfort of your own home today for free. The holiday has been designed by Virtually Visiting to be experienced through your own computer, tablet or phone as if you are there, day by day, with the itinerary unfolding from Saturday, April 18 through Tuesday, April 21.

The Arctic adventure puts you right in the center of the holiday with new experiences released each day over a four-day complete trip.

The first holiday starts on Saturday April 18. It has been designed to take guests on a wintery tour of the Arctic region of Swedish Lapland.

“We wanted to put you right in the action, allowing you to experience tours as though you were there,” says Jonny Cooper, founder of Virtually Visiting. “This is about keeping the travel experience real; we meet some of the best local guides who walk us through local life to give guests the real-life experience – from their own homes.”

What’s more, this bucket-list four-day holiday is completely free for people to experience and will unfold one day at a time at https://virtuallyvisiting.com/360-journeys/.

Your Virtual Travel Itinerary

Guests will virtually arrive 144km north of the Arctic Circle into Kiruna. The first stop has been perfectly timed just as the ICEHOTEL closes the doors on ICEHOTEL 30 for the last time this year, before it is left to melt back into the river – and it is here that the adventure begins.

The first experience on Saturday April 18 sees our ICEHOTEL guide Matilda give a personal tour around four of the jaw-dropping, individually designed and carved ice rooms and explain how it all comes together – from the frozen water in the river flowing beside the hotel, to being transformed into these beautiful masterpieces you see before you.

The tour will not only allow you to hear from Matilda but also look around the amazing space created entirely from ice and snow – a breathtaking combination of an art-exhibition and a hotel in one.

The following day, on Sunday April 19, the tour heads south 250km to Lassbyn to meet local guide and founder of the Aurora Safari Camp, Fredrik Broman. Today Fredrik will be taking guests on a Snowmobile adventure through the stunning Swedish wilderness visiting two frozen lakes and learning about local wildlife and landmarks on the way.

Monday April 20 brings a more leisurely pace and a chance to join Kent Lindvall, the founder and visionary behind the world famous Treehotel. Today, Kent will take us on a personal tour of Treehotel where guests learn about the history of the hotel including a tour inside four of the seven amazing tree-top hotel rooms. Each room has its own theme which is showcased in the design of the exterior and interior.

The final day of the tour, Tuesday April 21, the adventure will take guests east 90km to the wilderness around Kroktask. Here we join Erik Hordijk from Yellow Snow Husky tours to learn how to harness a team of huskies in preparation for the journey across the frozen landscape, before setting of on our dogsled adventure.

Each day a new virtual experience and additional information will be released allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a journey through the region getting a real sense of the people and place as you travel through it.

The team behind Virtually Visiting will launch more experience and tours after this with the chance to visit Storforsen middle falls nature walk, join a tour of the new Arctic Bath, visit ICEHOTEL 365meet the Moose and Reindeer, learn about the Sami culture, go Kayaking, and explore the Aurora Safari Camp.

Virtually Visiting founder, Jonny Cooper, added, “As well as our new virtual holiday, we’re also working hard to add further capabilities allowing us to run live VR tours in the future, adding even more real-time interaction with guides.”

To join the free four-day Virtual Arctic adventure from Saturday April 18 – Tuesday April 21, visit https://virtuallyvisiting.com/360-journeys/ (and don’t worry, if you miss one of the days, the video can be accessed at the same link).

Virtually Visiting was set up by a group of travel and technology experts who believe in the power of travel and the good that it can bring to the world. Understanding the planet is an ever-changing place and that travel is not always accessible – we decided to combine advances in technology with our passion for travel. The result is real tours and experiences available online to everyone, everywhere. 

For more information on virtual travel experiences visit www.virtuallyvisiting.com or email info@virtuallyvisiting.com

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Poseidon Expeditions Suspends March and April 2020 Cruises; Revises Re-Booking, Final Payment and Deposit Policies

Poseidon Expeditions announced that it is suspending cruise operations aboard its 114-passenger expedition vessel Sea Spirit for the balance of March and April 2020. The expeditionary cruise company is rebooking Arctic cruises for 2021.

PROVIDENCE, RI — Poseidon Expeditions announced that it is suspending cruise operations aboard its 114-passenger expedition vessel Sea Spirit for the balance of March and April 2020.
 
Postponed until 2021 are a sub-charter in the mid-Atlantic and a cruise along the coastline of Portugal, Spain and France. All sales and reservation offices are available to provide assistance to booked and prospective passengers and to answer questions about upcoming Spring and Summer 2020 cruises and future cruises.
 
“We certainly understand the COVID-19 related concerns and questions from our travel partners and the travelers booked on our upcoming cruises. There’s no question about it: things are changing daily. We are looking at each cruise on the calendar’s horizon, and will factor into our decision-making all issues pertaining to Coronavirus-related bans, travel advisories, flight availability and any other matters that potentially might affect the health and safety of our guests, staff and crew,” said Steve Wellmeier, managing director of the company’s US office.
 
Following the successful completion of the company’s 2019-20 Antarctic season this past week, the Sea Spirit is currently heading north from Montevideo, Uruguay, where it disembarked passengers March 19.
 
“At the present time, Poseidon remains committed to its schedule of cruises in the Arctic this season. But we are giving our booked passengers and travel partners the benefit of the doubt in rescheduling their summer cruises. Those passengers with existing reservations for the upcoming season may re-book or transfer their booking to a 2021 Arctic departure, beginning from 60 days and up to seven days prior to the 2020 scheduled departure date. Final payment for 2020 Arctic voyages is pushed back from 90 days to 60 days prior to departure, and deposits on new bookings for 2020 Arctic programs are reduced from 20% to 10% of the cruise fare,” said Wellmeier.
 
For the next 2020-21 Antarctic season, final payment is due 60 days prior to departure rather than the customary 90 days, and deposits on new Antarctica business are also reduced from 20% to 10% of the cruise fare.
 
While the Russian Federation recently announced that its borders are closed to all foreign travelers until May 1, the company’s three voyages to the North Pole aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory remain scheduled for operation, beginning with the July 12-24, program from Murmansk, Russia. Final payment conditions are changed from 90 days to 60 days prior to the departure date.
 
The company recently updated its Coronavirus Travel Policy, and will continue to do so as the situation warrants.
 
For inquires and questions, travelers and their agents can contact the company’s North American sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.
 
With offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia, Cyprus and China, Poseidon Expeditions is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

Follow Poseidon Expeditions on Social Media:
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YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/pxpeditions
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poseidonexpeditions/
Website     http://poseidonexpeditions.com/

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Off the Map Travel Introduces ‘Truly Green Aurora’ Arctic Northern Lights Holiday by Eco-Friendly EBike/Snowmobile

Off the Map Travel, Northern Lights travel experts have added an environmental twist to their popular all-day Aurora itinerary in Svalbard, using e-snowmobiles powered by renewable energy from the Arctic winds and the Midnight sun, guests while searching for the Northern Lights.

(Longyearbyen, SVALBARD) —  Off the Map Travel, Northern Lights travel experts have added an environmental twist to their popular all-day Aurora itinerary in Svalbard, making it the lowest impact Arctic Northern Lights adventure ever. Using e-snowmobiles powered by renewable energy from the Arctic winds and the Midnight sun, guests indulge their green sensibilities at any hour of the day while searching for the Northern Lights in the eco-friendly “Truly Green Aurora” holiday. 

The new adventure is based in Longyearbyen on the island of Svalbard at 78° North, an island designated as a Sustainable Destination. The itinerary is recommended from November to January when the skies over the island are almost permanently black, forming a perfect backdrop for searching the Aurora both daytime and nighttime. www.offthemap.travel

“Although the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and are never guaranteed, you need clear, dark skies to optimize your chances to see them,” notes Jonny Cooper, Arctic travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel. He explains, “Svalbard’s dark skies and extended Aurora viewing are due to the sun’s being at least 6 degrees below the horizon. This means it can be dark all day so the Northern Lights can appear at any time. In effect, the sun never rises.”

To compliment this eco Arctic adventure, guests will also journey into the wilderness on a snowshoe trek and hunt for the Aurora while driving a dogsled. The activities and experiences minimize travel impact and encourage connection with the environment and culture. The new holiday is in line with the reason Svalbard and Longyearbyen were designated a prestigious Sustainable Destination where travel experiences are designed to care for nature, culture and environment as well as strengthen local social values.

“The new eBikes are snowmobiles that use electric motors that are great for the environment as well as totally quiet permitting a closer connection with local wildlife and nature,” states Cooper. “The quiet engine allows for gentle searching of the Northern Lights, reindeer, ptarmigans and polar foxes. Exploring some of the most uncharted areas of our planet has never been more eco-friendly,” he adds.

As with any itinerary from Off the Map Travel, every adventure can be tailor-made to fit the wishes and requirements of any guest. As an example, a 4-day, 3-night A Truly Green All Day Aurora itinerary with Off the Map Travel, is priced starting from $1407 per person, not including flights. This includes private transfers and three nights at Funken Lodge on a B&B basis, Northern Lights evening at Camp Barentz, use of an electric snowmobile under the Aurora, dog sledding under the Aurora, snowshoeing to an ice cave, and a tour to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an underground bunker where seeds, nuts and plant species are stored and protected against global crisis. https://www.offthemap.travel/green-aurora/ 

Off the Map Travel is a team of travel experts who work with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of the world. Specializing in soft adventure and viewing of the Northern Lights, Off the Map Travel creates tailor-made itineraries that offer a distinctive vacation based on first-hand experience. Off the Map Travel vacations anticipate travelers’ needs with pre-planning and customization. Each bespoke itinerary is tailored to the ages of participants, creating experiences for families, groups, couples and singles that are comfortable and luxurious, with activity levels appropriate for all participants. www.offthemap.travel

For more information on tailor-made Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 646-701-0041; email info@offthemap.travel or join the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube or Pinterest

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AdventureSmith Explorations Offers 2021 Solar Eclipse Viewing on 7 Antarctic Cruises

On Dec. 4, 2021, there will be a total eclipse of the sun in Antarctica, a region most can only dream about. But Adventure Smith Explorations, an international expert in small ship expedition cruising, has announced limited availability for voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula to witness this phenomenon that will only be seen in the south polar region.

TRUCKEE, CA – On Dec. 4, 2021, there will be a total eclipse of the sun in Antarctica, a region most can only dream about. But Adventure Smith Explorations, an international expert in small ship expedition cruising, has announced limited availability for voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula to witness this phenomenon that will only be seen in the south polar region.
 
Vessels accommodating from 102 to 170 passengers are specifically appointed to maneuver the ice-bound waters of Antarctica for positioning in the center of the moon shadow during the eclipse.
 
Itineraries of 20 to 24 days will utilize in-depth technology to find the best possible viewing area, hoping to ensure an unobscured sun.
 
Departures are round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, with explorations of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula, the ultimate polar wilderness. These eclipse cruises aim to be in the Weddell Sea to witness the phenomena among giant tabular icebergs and sea ice.
 
For some passengers the eclipse will be the expedition’s highlight. However, the ongoing adventure into spring in Antarctica will leave everyone in awe over some of the world’s most impressive scenery, including icebergs of every size and description, and Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. Penguins form large nesting colonies on land.
 
Antarctica cruises, already once-in-a-lifetime experiences, become even more so on the following small ships in December 2021. Following are the scheduled departures for eclipse viewing:
 
20-Day Voyages

     Nov. 23-Dec. 12, 2021 – Polar Solar Eclipse, aboard 116-guest Planica’s; per person double rates from $16,400.

     Nov. 25-Dec. 14, 2021 – Polar Solar Eclipse, aboard the brand-new 170-guest Janssonius; per person double rates from $16,400.

     Nov. 26-Dec. 15, 2021 – Polar Solar Eclipse, aboard the brand-new 170-guest Hondius; per person double rates from $16,400. 

The Plancius, Janssonius and Hondius are purpose-built expedition vessels designed exclusively for polar cruises. These ships offer top-tier activity gear and exploratory educational travel programs, with guests spending as much time ashore as possible.
 
23-Day Voyage

     Nov. 20-Dec. 12, 2021 – Antarctic Wildlife Adventure, aboard 114-guest Sea Spirit; per person double rates from $18,395. Complementing the strong credentials of the ship’s team of marine biology, history, geology and ornithology specialists will be Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist, author, speaker, producer and on-air host. His first book, Your Place in the Universe; Understanding Our Big, Messy Existence, was published by Prometheus Books in 2018. He is the author of over 50 articles on astrophysics and serves as Chief Scientist of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. 

24-Day Voyages

     Nov. 17-Dec. 10, 2021– National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands, aboard 102-guest National Geographic Orion; per person double rates from $26,600.

     Nov. 17-Dec. 10, 2021 – National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands, aboard the brand-new, 126-guest National Geographic Endurance; per person double rates from $28,750.

     Nov. 18-Dec. 11, 2021 – National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands, aboard 148-guest National Geographic Explorer; per person double rates from $25,890. 

On these National Geographic cruises, photography experts will share information about special equipment you’ll need if you want to create an image of the eclipse, like solar filters. And the onboard National Geographic photographer and certified photo instructor will prepare guests for the special challenges of shooting an eclipse from a ship, where tripods and long exposures don’t work on what amounts to a moving platform. A naturalist team and guest speakers will provide insight and background on eclipses and other astronomical features one might encounter in the Southern Ocean and Southern Hemisphere.
 
For intrepid explorers who can’t wait until 2021 to experience Antarctica, AdventureSmith Explorations announces availability with some rate savings on the following Antarctic expeditions in the 2019-2020 season.

     Antarctic Peninsula  – 5 percent savings if cruise for 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons is booked by Dec. 1, 2019.  

     Antarctic Latitudes – save 15 percent on 2019-2020 cruises if booked by Nov. 30, 2019; and save up to $1,700 per person on 2020-2021 cruises if booked by Dec. 31, 2019.

     National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands – book by Dec. 31, 2019, to receive complimentary roundtrip airfare. 

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Truckee, CA, near the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith first joined the ranks of Condé Nast Traveler‘s prestigious world’s Top Travel Specialists list as the leading expert on small ship expeditions.

For details on all of AdventureSmith Explorations’ small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and for 2019-2020 reservations, please call 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit the company website.
 
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Poseidon Expeditions Offers Close Encounters with Reindeer and Polar Bear On High Arctic Expedition Cruises

Poseidon Expeditions, specialists in Arctic cruises, offers opportunities aplenty in the high Arctic wilderness between Norway and the North Pole to see reindeer as well as the King of the North, polar bear in their natural habitat. On Arctic Wildlife Safari and Bet of Svalbard cruises, guests can observe and learn such fun facts about these animals.

PROVIDENCE, RI– In an ancient ice age the four-legged critter we associate with Santa’s sleigh lived as far south as Tennessee. Whether those reindeer picked up a southern drawl is still up for debate.

What’s non-debatable is that Rangifer tarandus or reindeer (aka caribou), meaning snow shoveler, was so named by the Mi’kmaq, who were among original inhabitants of the Atlantic Provinces of Northern Canada.

The specialists in Arctic cruises, Poseidon Expeditions, offers opportunities aplenty in the high Arctic wilderness between Norway and the North Pole to see reindeer as well as the King of the North, polar bear in their natural habitat. On Arctic Wildlife Safari and Best of Svalbard cruises, guests can observe and learn such fun facts about these animals as… 

A reindeer’s hide is covered with hair follicles that are hollow and that trap air that provides insulation.

Their noses warm the air before it reaches the lungs.

In the winter, facial hair grows long to the mouth, protecting muzzles while grazing in snow.

Its body temperature adjusts to just above freezing to avoid losing body heat in extremely cold conditions.

Both male and female reindeer sport antlers.

They vocalize through air sacs in their neck, males warning other males away from girlfriends and females communicating with their young.

The knees of one subspecies of reindeer make a clicking noise while walking, sounds that allow a herd to stay together in a blizzard. 

And about the polar bear? 

Adult females often weigh between 500 and 600 pounds; males are double these weights. Cubs enter the world at around one pound, females reaching full weight at age five and males by age 10.

Ask anyone what color a polar bear is and they’ll reply “white” with total confidence. The fact is, their fur is actually transparent and holds no color. It only appears white because it reflects visible light. The transparent fur also traps in the sun’s heat to help keep the polar bear warm.

When polar bears swim, they use their large front paws to propel themselves through the water and their back legs to steer. They can actually move pretty fast at approximately at 6 mph, closing their nostrils when under water.

They can go days, even weeks, without eating. When they reach a week or more without food, their metabolism slows down and goes into starvation mode until the next meal.

Polar bear cubs learn to freeze or “play dead” while momma bear hunts for food. If they’re caught moving, mom will discipline them, with a smack to the head.

Two-thirds of polar bears could disappear by 2050 due to disappearing hunting grounds, or sea ice. They are now compelled to swim such long distances that they are drowning from exhaustion.

While cruising around seldom-visited, natural preserves of the far north, guests may also experience polar wildlife from the perspective of a kayak. Imagine paddling with bearded seals, large and peaceful creatures that are often encountered at close range reposing on ice floes in sheltered bays and fjords. Harbor seals and ringed seals can be seen from a kayak as well. Sometimes massive walrus can also be seen.
 
Guests may also access beluga whales via kayak. Paddling with these gentle and intelligent creatures in the wild — hearing their breaths and feeling their inquisitive gaze upon you — is a life-changing experience, especially if it happens to be a pod of over a hundred beluga whales swimming in long procession past and underneath the kayaks.

Poseidon Expedition’s sea kayak guides are well versed in the wildlife viewing and protection protocols developed by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).

The rates for 2020 Arctic Wildlife SafariWest Spitsbergen & Polar Ice Edge, are discounted: May 31-June 8, June 7-June 15, June 14-June 22 from $5,895 to $5,305; June 21-July 1 from $7,295 to $6,566 and June 30-July 11 from $8,095 to $7,286. On the June 7 departure guests receive a bonus, the opportunity to mingle with a polar bear expert from the Cincinnati Zoo.

Best of SvalbardSvalbard & Polar Ice Edge cruises offers three departures in June and July 2020. Children under age 12 travel at half the regular rate when sharing a double-occupancy cabin with an adult. Per person double rates are from $10,095 double in a main deck suite.

For inquires and reservations in North America, or to request a catalog, contact the company’s Providence, RI, sales and reservation office at www,poseidonexpeditions.com or call 347-801-2610, or contact your travel agent.
 
With offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia, Cyprus and China, Poseidon Expeditions is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

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New Booking Incentives on Small Ship Expedition Cruises to Amazon, Galapagos, Antarctica

One of the most biodiverse regions of the world, the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin, reveals its bounties from the perspective of the Napo River aboard the 40-guest cruise vessel M/V Anakonda, specifically designed to navigate these waters.

TRUCKEE, CA– For expedition cruisers looking for an amazing deal, below is a heady mix of high-end itineraries available through 2019 in three distinct destinations. All offer booking incentives, with some limited offers up to 40 percent off. All are being promoted through the small ship cruise expert Adventure Smith Explorations.
 
40% Savings on Cruise Departures Exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon
 
The Ecuadorian Amazon comes to life on four, five and eight-day Anakonda Amazon Cruises from $2,440 per person double (for four days). Specific departures through Dec. 20 come with savings ranging from 10% to 40%. One of the most biodiverse regions of the world, the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin, reveals its bounties from the perspective of the Napo River aboard the 40-guest cruise vessel M/V Anakonda, specifically designed to navigate these waters. Guests visit Amazonian communities where they are invited to see handicraft demonstrations and to sample traditional meals. Here the varied ecosystems showcase such wildlife as pink river dolphins, giant otters and turtles. Hundreds of native birds and primates signal their presence while navigating along the region’s freshwater rivers. In Yasuni National Park guests may swim, kayak and canoe, birdwatch and trek through the rainforest.
 
The Manatee Amazon Explorer Cruise offers savings up to 40% on cruises departing from Sept 4 through Dec 20, 2019. These are from $1,966 per person double for four days exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin. Five and eight-day adventures are also available. Accommodation is aboard the 30-guest M/V Manatee Amazon Explorer.
 
Free Local Air on Nov-Dec Galapagos Cruises
 
Sea Star Journey Galapagos Cruises are five and six-day active explorations of the Galapagos aboard the 16-passenger luxury yacht, Sea Star Journey. Select departures in November and December come with complimentary local airfare and savings of up to 10 percent. The per person double rate is from $4,649 for five days. (Five and six-day programs can be combined with other itineraries to create longer cruises of up to 15 days.) Complimentary roundtrip air from Quito or Guayaquil to Galapagos is available on Nov. 3, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15, 2019 departures. Sea kayaking, snorkeling, trekking and exploring the underwater world in a glass-bottom boat bring to life the wonders of this region.
 
On select departures of Seaman Journey Galapagos Cruises from October through December 2019, guests can enjoy savings of up to 20% plus a $300 discount on local airfare. Accommodation is aboard M/C Seaman Journey, a recently remodeled 16-passenger catamaran with one of the best sundecks in the Galapagos. Four, five and eight-day cruises are available starting from $2,599 per person double.
 
Free Round-Trip Airfare Offered on Two Antarctic Itineraries 
 
National Geographic the White Continent is a 14-day cruise from $14,680 aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, the 102-guest National Geographic Orion or the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance. Bookings made by December 31, 2019 on this classic itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula offer complimentary round-trip airfare (when booking on the National Geographic Explorer or Orion), as well as a complimentary bar tab and all ships’ crew gratuities. These ships are virtual floating basecamps during the voyage, offering enough kayaks and Zodiacs to send all guests out exploring at the same time. Huge tabular icebergs, Gentoo penguins, whales and more stamp memories in place forever.
 
Complimentary round-trip airfare and waived bar tab and crew gratuities are also offered on the National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands cruise throughout a 24-day adventure at a per person double rate from $25,220. Guests enjoy distinguished hospitality aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, the 102-guest National Geographic Orion or the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance. Opportunities for wildlife viewing are countless. Think a vast colony of king penguins, albatross, king cormorants, nesting rockhopper penguins and Magellanic penguins.
 
For details on these and all of AdventureSmith Explorations’ small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and for 2019-2020 reservations, call 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit the company website.
 

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Truckee, CA, near the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith first joined the ranks of Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious world’s Top Travel Specialists list as the leading expert on small ship expeditions, a distinction that is still enjoyed to this day.

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