January 2018

Norway Svalbard Polar Night Tour

January 27 - February 5
10 Days
RM 8200
15 Pax

Price

Date: 27/01-5/02/2018 (10 Days)
Fee: RM 8,200
Register before: 01/10/2017
Travel style: Nature backpack tour
Tour status: Recruiting


Terms & Conditions

  1. Fee includes:
    • Accommodation (Oslo stay in budget hotel, twin-sharing; Longyearbyen stay in apartment style lodge, 4 persons in one apartment, equipped with kitchen and utensil)
    • Oslo airport and city center train tickets; Longyearbyen airport shuttle bus fare
    • Dog sledding package (special gears for keeping warm provided)
    • Snowmobile to Northern Lights Camp package (special gears for keeping warm provided)
    • Ice Caving package (helmet and head lamp provided)
    • Oslo walking tour guide
    • Travel insurance (only for Malaysia-based tour members, the point of embarkation and return must be Malaysia. Overseas based members, please acquire own policy, the charges included in Levart’s costing shall be deducted from tour fee)
  2. Fee excludes:
    • Airfare (round trip Kuala Lumpur-Oslo, estimated price between RM 3,400-RM 4,000, airline to be confirmed later; round trip Oslo-Longyearbyen by Norweigian Air, estimated cost 200-230Euro); once the trip is confirmed ON, LevArt shall provide flight details for members to buy own tickets online via airlines’ official website)
    • Meals (in Longyearbyen, could do self-catering to cut cost; minimum budget around RM1,400)
    • Tourist sites entrance fee (could skip paid sites, the best sights in Svalbard is the free nature and aurora)
    • Cost incurred during free & easy session
    • Optional activities
    •  Additional cost due to unforeseen calamity (acts of god)
  3. Group size: minimum 10 pax, maximum 15 pax.
  4. Booking fee: a non-refundable deposit of RM3,200 is payable to secure tour booking. The deposit can be returned if the tour is cancelled due to insufficient number of participants, or unforeseen calamity (acts of god).
  5. Balance tour fee settlement: full payment upfront upon registration deadline or when the tour is fully booked.
  6. Tour Cancellation: Fully paid tour members who pull-out due to unavoidable circumstances with valid reasons, may get partial refund based on a case-to-case review. A minimum of RM200 administrative charges applied.
  7. LevArt reserves the right to alter the fee in the event of a significant spike in fuel prices, airfares, and foreign exchange rates.
  8. Itineraries are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond LevArt control. Every effort will be made to operate tours as planned, but alterations in accommodation arrangement and itinerary may occur when deem necessary.

Reminders

Reminders

  • The winter in Svalbard is bitter cold, average temperature is -15°C, and January is the coldest month. Must prepare very warm winter gears; beware of the danger of frostbites, cover head, face (nose/ cheek), fingers and toes properly.
  • Northern lights is a natural phenomenon, there’s no guarantee you will see it even at the right spot during the best possible season; we have allocated 4 days to wait for northern lights sighting, but please be mentally prepared that northern lights may not appear during stay in Svalbard.
  • During stay in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, we’ll do self-catering, and we’ll buy provisions from the supermarket. All team members are required to share the tasks, like cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning up. Team spirit is very important.
  • This itinerary contains many outdoor activities; require a certain level of fitness.
  • The Ice cave exploration activity (D4) is unsuitable for those suffering from claustrophobia or restricted movement.
  • For the snowmobile northern lights hunting activity (D5), require driver license.
  • Norway is an expensive country, and Svalbard tops the list, as the island is remote and incurred high transportation cost to bring in materials. The restaurants in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, cost nearly double of Oslo. An average meal per pax could cost 200NOK-300NOK (RM100-150), hence suggest to do self-catering during stay in Longyearbyen and that could cut cost by more than half.
  • Svalbard is home to wild polar bears, the animal could be potentially dangerous, but it rarely ventures into populated settlements. During the polar night, more difficult to sight polar bear in the wild from a distance due to the darkness.

Hardship Level

  • Extremely cold winter, could reach -10°C to -15°C.
  • During stay in Svalbard, the sun never rise, it’s darkness around the clock. One may feel confused about timing, or the biological clock disturbed.
  • Require patience to wait for the elusive northern lights sighting (which may or may not show up).
  • During stay in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, all members require to help up in cooking and cleaning.
  • Outdoor activities require certain level of fitness and stamina, unsuitable for those with restricted movement

Tour Map


Tour Leader

pic-sengkit

Seng Kit

An office executive turned freelancer, to save himself the troubles of repeatedly quitting steady jobs to hit the road. He’s now into multimedia design and photography. But what he likes most is traveling and sharing travel experiences, his travelogues and photos from the journeys appear regularly in Malaysian newspapers and magazines. He’s also an active blogger, as he believes travel is all about communicating with others, and experience sharing is an essential process.

Itinerary

For more than two months in winter, Svalbard is enveloped in darkness, as the sun remained below the horizon around the clock; this is a period known as the polar night, but it is not complete darkness, as residue light is reflected off the blue sea and the white snow, bathing the surrounding landscape in an atmospheric deep blue hue. Visiting Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean during the Polar Nights is a unique experience, when the weather is good, the moon is shining, the Northern Lights might come dancing in the stars filled sky. Svalbard is also famed as the home of wild polar bears, and a great place to enjoy winter activities, such as exploring ice cave, dog sledding, and riding snow mobile.

Remarks: This journey is dedicated to experiencing the polar night, but if lucky, the northern lights would be a bonus. There’s no guarantee of Northern Lights sighting, even during peak season, the aurora is elusive.


DAY 01 : Kuala Lumpur – Oslo

Depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at night (air carrier to be decided later), heading for Norwegian capital city Oslo via a transit point in Europe or Middle East.


DAY 02 : Oslo

Arrive in Oslo around noon, catch a local train from airport into city center, later walk a few minutes to the hotel for check-in. Afternoon free and easy, suggest to take a stroll along the main commercial district. If lack of severe winter gears, one may consider buying locally.


DAY 03 : Oslo - Longyearbyen (Svalbard)

Catch a morning flight (3 hr) to Svalbard located in the Arctic Ocean, around lunch time arrive in Spitsbergen, the biggest island of the archipelago. Take an airport shuttle bus to the main town Longyearbyen, check-in to apartment-style lodging; nearby are shops, restaurants, pubs, and the only supermarket in town. Afternoon, stroll around town, there’s a museum and a church, and you may visit the post office to send postcards from the Arctic. Later, shop for provision at supermarket, prepare own dinner at the lodge, and wait for Northern Lights sighting.


DAY 04 : Longyearbyen

Have a taste of waking up in the morning to darkness around the clock. Today’s activity is exploring ice cave. We would descend underneath the Longyear Glacier and enter a cave system. Led by experienced local guide, equipped with helmet and headlamp; walk along passages formed by melted water under the glacier. Fascinating ice formations, but beware of narrow paths, and one might have to crawl at certain places. Late afternoon return to the lodge, wait for Northern Lights by the windows, or if dare to brave the cold outdoor, find a spot with panoramic view to wait for aurora sighting. Dinner self-catering or dine at restaurant.


DAY 05 : Longyearbyen

After breakfast, roam the snow land by snowmobile into the moon-lit polar night, and hunting for the Northern Lights. Be captivated by the unique deep blue light of the day. By lunch, reach a Northern Light Camp, where members would have hot meal inside tents warmed by bonfire, while local guide tells fascinating stories from Svalbard. On the way back to town, the group would make a stop on higher ground to get a panoramic view of Longyearbyen with the imposing snow mountains as backdrop. Dinner self-catering or dine at restaurant.


DAY 06 : Longyearbyen

After breakfast, take a dog sledding trip to hunt for the northern lights in the wilderness of Svalbard. Dog sled is a unique winter transport in the Artic. The activity lasted about 4 hours, at the end of the trip, visit the kennel and learn of how to care for the dogs, later simple snack is served. Late afternoon return to town, members could do some last minute souvenir shopping. This is the last day of waiting for Northern Lights. Dinner self-catering at lodge, or dine out at restaurant.


DAY 07 : Longyearbyen - Oslo

Take a noon flight out of Svalbard, head back to Norwegian capital city Oslo, upon arrival, catch a local train into city center, and then walk a short distance to hotel for check-in. Afternoon and evening free and easy.


DAY 08 : Oslo

After breakfast, take a walking tour under the chaperone of a local guide, explore interesting sites in city center while listening to local tales; among the sites en-route include Christiania Square, Akershus Fortress , Opera House, and more. Afternoon enjoy leisure time, one could visit the numerous cafes in town, or shopping at the commercial district.


DAY 09 : Oslo - Kuala Lumpur

Check-out from hotel, catch a train to airport, and board an international flight back to Kuala Lumpur via a transit point in Europe or Middle East.


DAY 10 : Kuala Lumpur

Arrive in Kuala Lumpur. End of tour.

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