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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Study in White: Polar Bears and Ivory Gulls of Svalbard

Tour Information

2018 CABIN DESCRIPTION & PRICES: Prices listed below are just for the cruise portion of the trip and do not include Day 1.  A complete gallery (including 360 degree views) of the cabins listed below can be found at the following link: https://oceanwide-expeditions.com/our-fleet/m-v-ortelius/cabin  

Quadruple Porthole: 2 portholes, 2 upper / lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Sharing berth (Share your cabin with others for the best price): $3.900 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $15,600 USD

Triple Porthole: 2 portholes, 1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Sharing berth (Share your cabin with others for the best price): $4,700 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $14,100 USD

Twin Porthole Deck 4: 2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Sharing berth (Share your cabin with others for the best price): $5,540 USD
  • -Single cabin (Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate): $9,418 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $11,080 USD

Twin Porthole Deck 3: 2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Sharing berth (Share your cabin with others for the best price): $5,540 USD
  • -Single cabin (Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate): $9,418 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $11,080 USD

Twin Window: 2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Small sofa, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Sharing berth (Share your cabin with others for the best price): $5,800 USD
  • -Single cabin (Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate): $9,860 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $11,600 USD

Twin Deluxe: 3 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Small sofa, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Flatscreen TV, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Sharing berth (Share your cabin with others for the best price): $6,150 USD
  • -Single cabin (Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate): $10,455 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $12,300 USD

Superior: 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

  • -Single cabin (Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate): $11,645 USD
  • -Complete cabin (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied): $13,700 USD

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: Payment policy: A 20% non-refundable deposit is due at time of booking.  The tour will be invoiced at 120 days and final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Cancellation Policy: If cancelling up to and including 90 days prior to departure 20% of the total price will be forfeited.  If we receive the cancellation 90 – 60 days prior to departure 50% of the price is nonrefundable.  The full expedition fee is forfeited if your notice of cancellation is received within 59 days of your departure date. 

Please note that notice of cancellation must be received in writing with a signature (fax is acceptable, e-mail is not) by the WINGS office prior to the deadline dates noted above. Given the size and timing of cruise deposits and cancellation penalties, we strongly recommend you consider some form of trip cancellation insurance. 

EMERGENCY MEDICAL EVACUATION INSURANCE is mandatory.  If you are unable to provide proof of insurance before or upon embarkation Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to deny you boarding the ship.

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Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for the Study in White: Polar Bears and Ivory Gulls of Svalbard. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING AND LEAVING NORWAY: Norway authorities require a passport that is valid for at least three months after the date you are intending to depart Norway. Visas are not required for US and Canadian citizens, but may be needed by citizens of other countries. Contact the Royal Norwegian Embassy at 2720 34th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008-2714, Tel: 202-333-6000, or the nearest Norwegian Consulate for the most current visa information. Consulates are located in Houston, Minneapolis, New York City, and San Francisco. Information can also be obtained from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website.

HEALTH: No inoculations are required for this cruise. The M/V Ortelius carries a medical advisor and a well-equipped medical clinic on deck 4. The medical advisor is available 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency on board. In order to insure that our on-board doctor has the information he or she needs, all cruise participants will be asked to fill out a health advisory.

PACE OF TOUR: You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment. Please remember that more than rudimentary medical care will be impossible during the course of the cruise.

If you have limitations but nonetheless feel you are able to participate in an expedition cruise, please advise us in detail and in writing of the nature of your limitation, and please attach a letter from your physician expressing his or her approval of your participation.

Any condition discovered at or before boarding may, at the sole discretion of the ship’s captain, be grounds for denying the participant boarding privileges or requiring the participant to leave the ship and terminate his or her continued participation in the cruise. People thus excluded are responsible for all expenses associated with getting themselves home. By forwarding a deposit for this cruise, the cruise participant certifies that he or she is in good physical health and capable of performing the normal activities on this expedition.

CLIMATE: The weather in Spitsbergen differs per area and location. Although snow can occur throughout the year in Svalbard, the North Atlantic Current helps provide Svalbard with warmer temperatures than many other areas within similar latitudes. However, strong winter breezes, low pressure and the combination of wet sea air and cold polar air can lead to rapidly changing weather conditions. Temperatures during the May/June trip will range anywhere from 10-30 degrees Fahrenheit and so we highly recommend that you bring a variety of warm clothes for your Spitsbergen cruise. 

TRANSPORT: The ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius” is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing us with the opportunity to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land.  “Ortelius” was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989 and was named “Marina Svetaeva”, serving as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel was re-flagged and renamed “Ortelius” after Abraham Ortelius who published the first modern world atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theatre of the World, in 1570. At that time, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed.

The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. The vessel is manned by 20 highly experienced international nautical crewmembers, 19 international hotel staff, including stewardesses, 8 expedition staff and 1 doctor.

”Ortelius” offers two restaurants and a bar/lecture room. This voyage was developed to offer passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 116 on the “Ortelius”, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

ACCOMMODATION: Please see the complete printed General Information document for a plan of the decks and cabins.

FOOD: Excellent cuisine prepared by our chefs and served in the dining room. The dining room can accommodate all passengers at a single seating. There will be no seat assignments. All meals will be announced on the ship. Normally breakfast starts at 07:30 AM , lunch starts at 12:30 PM and dinner starts at 07:00 PM. Sacks will be provided between meals free of charge.  Bottled water is provided on the Ortleius.

COMMUNICATIONS: The Ortelius is equipped with internet and phone facilities (subject to satellite connection and coverage). WiFi access is available throughout the ship. In each cabin you can connect your own laptop to the network; there are also two laptops available for public use. You can either purchase full access to internet or purchase a shipboard E-mail account for the duration of the voyage.

DRESS: In keeping with our expedition’s atmosphere, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call “Whales!” comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship - and often cold on deck.

SMOKING: On board the vessel there is a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship at any time. You are allowed to smoke at the designated smoking areas on the outer decks. It is prohibited to throw the cigarette butt overboard. Please note: do not smoke on the aft deck in the proximity of Zodiacs, engines and fuel. Smoking is not allowed when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If any site where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, the stricter policy will prevail.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the General Information and Conditions on the WINGS website. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

FINAL INFORMATION: Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Created: 31 May 2017