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Yoga in Svalbard with M/S Quest 2024

Are you looking for a unique trip where you can combine amazing nature experiences with yoga? Then this adventure might be perfect for you! In May, you have the chance to join PolarQuest and yoga teacher Isabel Holmquist on an unforgettable expedition cruise in the realm of the midnight sun and the polar bear - Svalbard. Here we experience exciting Zodiac cruises and explore the magnificent nature up close. As an added value to the trip, Isabel will lead yoga and meditation sessions whenever an opportunity arises. Practicing yoga in this awe-inspiring environment, far from the constant noise of civilization and the demands of everyday life, is an unparalleled experience

During the month of May, Svalbard is characterised by a wonderful purity and offers spectacular sceneries. The fairytale winter landscape is dominated by sparkling ice formations, snow covered mountains, fjord ice and pastel coloured skies. It is spring in the Arctic and it is an indescribable experience to be there and witness the archipelago come to life. The Arctic foxes and the Svalbard reindeers still wear their winter fur and walruses can often be seen resting on the fjord ice and if we are lucky we might see a polar bear hunting for seals.

  • Experience the Arctic spring
  • Stunning winter landscapes
  • Magical midnight sun
  • True expedition cruising
  • 5 experienced guides
  • Yoga teacher on this voyage
Special lecturer on board
Accommodation: Cabin on board M/S Quest, hotel. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Quest. Passengers: 50 passengers. Languages: English & Swedish. Length: 9 days, 7 nights on ship. Price: From USD 5 790. Departure: 16 May 2024

Itinerary

With our sturdy Zodiacs we explore this winter wonderland, heading for some of Svalbard’s most magnificent fjords. We also try to go ashore when the opportunity arises and ice and snow allows us.

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

We arrive in Longyearbyen and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2 - 8: Expedition cruising

We start our Svalbard adventure by exploring Longyearbyen. In the afternoon we embark our expedition ship M/S Quest and head out through Isfjorden - our Arctic adventure has started. Perhaps we could make a first outing before we continue either south or north – all depending on the weather and the current ice situation. Here are some examples of places we may visit:

Alkhornet

At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff Alkhornet. We go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife with barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Arctic foxes are sometimes seen in the rock crevices around the mountain and with some luck we might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.

Prins Karls Forland

This narrow strip of land is covered by a magnificent and snow-covered mountain chain. The island is also home to many seabirds and harbour seals 

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden

The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is situated in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. In the nearby Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large number of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs.

Raudfjorden

Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favourite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.

Virgohamna, Danskøya

Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskøya. Swedish explorer Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these Arctic expeditions left on this site.

Bellsund

At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. We go ashore and walk across the tundra to take a closer look at these charming birds.

 

Hornsund

The majestic Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where enormous glaciers calve out shimmering blue ice. This is one of the favourite haunts for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and if lucky we can spot one of them on the fjord ice.

Day 9: Longyearbyen

In the morning we leave the ship in Longyearbyen and begin our journey home.

All itineraries are for guidance only. Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions, wildlife and government regulations. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

Snowshoeing

For the active there is a chance to explore the areas we visit with snowshoes. This is an extra option that requires a good level of fitness. Please note: this activity is always dependent on weather, wind and other safety precautions.

Flights
We offer group flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen with return (limited availability). Contact us for more information!

Unique to this trip


Yoga and Meditation with Isabel Holmquist

It's hard to imagine anything more relaxing than practicing yoga on a sun-warmed rock, overlooking snow-capped peaks and a crystal-clear fjord where the sky paints the world upside down. This is exactly what you have the chance to do during our yoga trip in Svalbard.

Experienced yoga teacher Isabel Holmquist will be joining us on this trip. She will lead yoga and meditation sessions for a group of 10 - 15 people. This is a yoga experience beyond the ordinary and not a typical yoga retreat where exercises are done in a group indoors. Instead, you will practice yoga on a rocky beach wearing outdoor clothing, meditate with your eyes open not to miss the breathtaking views, and perhaps rise early to do some yoga exercises on the deck before breakfast. Isabel is also open to offering private consultations about the body, nutrition, and exercise.

Important Information
We want to make it clear that we cannot provide you with a schedule in advance or tell you what exercises will take place. The itinerary is flexible, as is the yoga and Isabel. There is no large studio on board M/S Quest, so the yoga sessions on board will take place on the deck, on chairs in the lounge, in the corridor, etc., and will be announced daily. Isabel adapts the yoga sessions to the participants and adjusts them daily based on the weather, landings, and the day's schedule in consultation with the expedition leader. You will also have the opportunity to participate in all landings, hikes, and lectures with other passengers on board.

Being part of the yoga group does not cost anything extra, but when you book your trip, you need to express your interest in joining the yoga group to PolarQuest and bring your own mat.

Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experienced practitioners. There are 10-15 spots in the yoga group. Additionally, simpler yoga and meditation exercises will be organized on board and on land for all passengers who wish to participate.

Isabel joined us as a yoga teacher on a Svalbard expedition with M/S Quest in 2022. She organised yoga and meditation sessions on several occasions, both for her group of yoga travellers and for other guests on board. These took place in the lounge, on deck and on land, with breathtaking views that left everyone in awe. Isabel is very inspiring, inclusive, resourceful and flexible. She will adapt and adjust the exercises on a daily basis throughout the voyage.

“Being in nature nourished our senses and our souls with a symphony of stimulus that grounded us firmly in the present moment. Doing yoga also brought people closer together. It is much easier to take a seat next to someone during dinner who you recently practiced odd poses next to. Yoga is disarming and attracts a few laughs.”
- Isabel about her trip with M/S Quest 2022.

More about Isabel Holmquist
For almost 30 years, Isabel has been practicing yoga, and for the past 15 years, she has been teaching and sharing her knowledge full-time. Isabel finds it fantastic to see her students discover yoga. To her, it's like a physical, more creative form of physiotherapy. She focuses on body alignment and aims to help you understand how your body works, become friends with it, and cultivate a positive relationship with yourself on the mat.

Isabel has been a yoga teacher for 15 years. She attended the Gothenburg School of Business, and her initial plan was to follow the typical career path. However, when she had her first child, she chose to step off the hamster wheel and open her own yoga studio in Gothenburg. She wanted to try life as an entrepreneur and dedicate herself to yoga full-time. Since then, she has run several yoga studios, and today, Isabel lives with her family in Åre, where she teaches yoga in her own studio.

Comments from previous yoga travellers: 


"The yoga trip in 2022 with Isabel and Polarquest's amazing team to Svalbard was absolutely fantastic. Sun salutation under the midnight sun and Isabel's guided meditation in a nature that is so unrealistically beautiful. A memory for life!"
– Karolina Nilo Bengtsson

"To do yoga with Isabel and have the spectacular nature of Svalbard as a backdrop is magical in every sense."
– Kristina Harmsen Hogendoorn

"Being part of the yoga trip in Svalbard was fantastic. To be in this incredibly beautiful and magnificent nature, to experience a completely windless day, feel the warmth from the sun spreading through the body, look out over the fjord with its snow and ice-covered peaks, while turning your focus inward, being within yourself, is a breathtaking feeling that I will never forget."
– Kerstin Zimmerman-Lindh

Read the interview with Isabel about her 2022 Svalbard trip here!

The Package Travel Directive – protects the traveller’s rights

When you have booked a trip with PolarQuest, you are protected by the Package Travel Directive. This includes that you have the right to rebook your trip or cancel and receive a full refund, if your Government, or other relevant authorities, have implemented restrictions against travelling. This includes documented quarantine requirements in the country you are travelling to. However, free cancellation is only possible when it is less than 30 days to departure, provided the travel restrictions are still in place and clearly will affect your trip. You are also entitled to a full refund, should PolarQuest cancel the trip for any reason whatsoever.

The ship M/S Quest

  • helbild.se
  • Elke Lindner
  • The ship offers spacious observation decks
    Olle Carlsson
  • Jett Britnell
  • Dining room
    Jonas Sundquist
  • It's easy to access the Zodiacs
    Adrian Nordenborg
  • Owner's Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin Superior
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin Superior
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Twin Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Triple Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter

A COMFORTABLE EXPEDITION SHIP WITH A WONDERFUL CREW

The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry along the west coast of Greenland. In 2004-2005, it was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship, and in 2018, the passenger areas underwent further renovation. M/S Quest can accommodate 50 passengers, with all 24 cabins being outside cabins equipped with private facilities. The triple cabins feature upper and lower berths, while all other cabins have either two lower berths or a double bed. Each cabin includes a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious, featuring armchairs and a TV. The owner’s cabin offers a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area, and a TV.

In the dining room, you enjoy delicious meals between landings, while the panorama lounge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This lounge serves as the venue for entertaining talks about the area's flora, fauna, and history. It also features a bar and a small library. The ship boasts spacious observation decks for you to enjoy the stunning vistas. The bridge welcomes you around the clock, and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew, and the atmosphere on board is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on M/S Quest.

It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

Cabins & prices

Cabin category Price per person
Triple cabin upper/lower beds USD 5 790
Twin cabin 2 twin beds USD 6 690
Twin cabin Plus 2 twin beds USD 7 090
Double cabin double bed USD 7 090
Double cabin Superior large double bed* USD 8 190
Owner’s cabin large double bed USD 8 790
Twin cabin for single use USD 10 890

Please note: It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

*The double bed in the Superior cabins is separable.

Price includes

  • 7 nights on board M/S Quest
  • 1 night in a hotel in Longyearbyen
  • Lunch day 2
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee and tea
  • An experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides
  • Guiding ashore and talks on board
  • All excursions and activities
  • Yoga teacher Isabel Holmquist on this voyage

Not included

  • Flight to/from Longyearbyen
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges

Departures & booking

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make a reservation.

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Departure Return
16 May 2024 24 May 2024

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