Protecting the fragile environments they sail in is of paramount importance to Hurtigruten. Its philosophy of ‘take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints’ is one supported by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) who will increase their number of guidelines for specific sites in Spitsbergen from 9 to 21 for 2013. They aim to ensure the continued protection of this vulnerable destination and to ensure guests can continue to enjoy visiting it in years to come.
This year, AECO extended its site inspection expedition and took a team of specialist team including biologists, an archaeologist, a botanist and other tourism experts to the East Svalbard Nature Reserves. The work of the scientific team was to conduct biological, cultural heritage and botanical observations in order to derive practical guidelines for environmentally friendly field landings that AECO members are required to follow. This includes areas where Hurtigruten sails during its circumnavigation of Spitsbergen itinerary. This project isfunded by the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, a fund that all visitors, including Hurtigruten guests, contribute into via a fee incorporated into their airfares.
Hurtigruten offers three itineraries in Spitsbergen on various dates in July and August 2013.
In the Realm of the Polar Bear – From £3896pp – This nine-day ‘In the Realm of the Polar Bear’ voyage offers a complete circumnavigation of Spitsbergen. Prices start from £3896pp and include seven-nights full board on MS Fram, a night pre-voyage in Longyearbyen including breakfast and lunch, a city tour of Longyearbyen, landings and lectures by expedition team. Based on two sharing.
Flights from London to Longyearbyen via Oslo are extra and a package including flights, taxes and transfers, costs from £792pp. Departs 14, 21 and 28 August 2013. HURTIGRUTEN – 0844 448 7601 www.hurtigruten.co.uk
For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601 www.hurtigruten.co.uk