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Svalbard Cruises & Expeditions

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Choose between the best small ship cruiises to Svalbard, Norway,  just 600 miles from the geographic North Pole and due north of the Scandinavian destinations of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The frigid waters of the Arctic let you experience wonders like the Northern Lights or the towering fjords, and and expedition cruise to the expansive tundras will get you up close (but not too close!) to the polar bears, whose thick fur protects them from the chilling winds. These giant creatures blend right into their glacial habitat, but with a keen eye, you'll be able to spot whole families. These polar islands also provide an excellent starting point for cruises to other destinations in the Arctic like Jan Mayen IslandIceland & Greenland. Contact one of our Arctic cruise experts to start planning your dream trip to Svalbard.

10 Best Svalbard (Spitsbergen) Cruises

Svalbard Deals

Trip NameSaveFromDaysLevelSummary
Franz Josef Land: Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen10%-15%$859514RelaxedJoin the Sea Spirit on an authentic Arctic adventure. Discover Longyearbyen, capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of your expedition, and sail all the way to Franz Josef Land, part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012. View polar bears and other quintessential High Arctic wildlife.
Introduction to Spitsbergen: Polar Bear Safari25%$52959RelaxedWitness the windswept landscapes of the Arctic on this 9-day voyage to the island of Spitsbergen on the Ocean Adventurer. There are also optional adventure like kayaking among icebergs & glaciers, snowshoeing through remote alcoves & hidden valleys, and hiking across the extraordinary Arctic tundra.
Spitsbergen - East Greenland - Iceland10%-15%$749515RelaxedExplore three fascinating Arctic destinations, Spitsbergen, East Greenland, and Iceland, on a spectacular 15-day cruise. Discover magnificent landscapes and fall in love with the culture and unique wildlife of this region.
Iceland, Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen10%-15%$639513RelaxedJoin the Sea Spirit on a fantastic 13-day sailing expedition to Iceland, Jan Mayen, and Spitsbergen. Explore some of the Arctic's most magical landscapes, admire its exotic wildlife, and enjoy all the history it contains!
Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic15%$629511RelaxedThis 11-day cruise on the Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer) explores Spitsbergen, the wildlife capital of the Arctic, through zodiac cruising, tundra hiking, snowshoeing, and kayaking. Witness continuous daylight and unique Arctic wildlife as you sail around the magical island of Spitsbergen.
Spitsbergen Explorer20%$649511RelaxedExplore Spitsbergen, the "wildlife capital of the Arctic", on this 11-day voyage aboard the Ocean Nova. Unique Arctic animals, like polar bears, walrus, and reindeer, can be spotted while Zodiac cruising, tundra hiking, snowshoeing, or kayaking. Take advantage of continuous daylight for your polar desert exploration.

Svalbard Travel Guide

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Highlights of Svalbard
Svalbard is the crown jewel of Norway's Arctic region. This northern archipelago will keep you in awe of the incredible life that inhabits this rugged terrain. On your cruise through Svalbard, you will likely encounter:
  • Several species of whales, including beluga & minke; with a keen eye, you could spot these gentle giants right from your cabin or the deck of your boat as you push through the frigid waters. When you do, be sure to let your fellow cruise-goers know!
  • Polar bears, walruses, seals, and even reindeer, which is why many consider Svalbard the wildlife capital of the Arctic.
  • Glaciers & icebergs 
  • Some of the world's most impressive fjord systems which will seem to dwarf your small boat as you navigate through these giant stone passages. 
  • Opportunities to hike, snow mobile, kayak, and dog sled on the sheet ice that dominates the landscapes. 
  • Diverse cultures that go back hundreds of years, including remnants of the Viking culture.
How to Get to Svalbard
There is only one international airport in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard - the Longyear Airport.

You can find SAS flights from:
  • Oslo (4 hour flight)
  • Tromso (2 hour flight)
SAS is the biggest Scandinavian airline.

The Longyear Airport is just outside of Longyearbyen, and taxis and buses are coordinated with the flight schedules. 

Just let us know if you'd like some extra guidance when booking your flights.
 

Svalbard (Spitsbergen) FAQs

Since Svalbard is a territory of Norway and also home to the country's largest administrative center in Longyearbyen, you will find that these frequently asked questions typically have the same answers as those of the rest of Norway, however we have included some information more specific to the Spitsbergen Archipelago here.

Do I need a visa to travel to Svalbard?

If you are traveling from North America, Europe, or Australia & New Zealand, a visa is not required for entry into Norway/ Svalbard. However, if you are traveling from another country, you should check your country's state department for more information on travel requirements. 

Is tipping customary in Svalbard?
Tipping isn't a big part of the culture in Norway, but if you would like to leave some spare change on restaurant/ cafe bills as a gratuity for good service it is certainly appreciated. It is always up to the individual if they choose to tip.

What is the internet access like in Svalbard?
Perhaps surprisingly, Svalbard has pretty high speed wireless internet access in the developed parts of the archipelago, and you can connect via hotspots and cyber cafes in the town centers. As you get further away from civilization in the polar waters, the signal is usually lost.

Can I use my cell phone while in Svalbard?
As long as you activate global roaming with your service carrier before leaving home, you should have pretty strong coverage in the developed and settled parts of Svalbard. Of course, when you are in the more remote areas and cruising on open ocean, you should not count on having any service at all, sometimes for days at a time.

Do I need a power adapter/ converter?
Svalbard has the same electric grid as the rest of Norway and most of Europe - 220-240V electricity with Type F sockets. You will need either a Type C or Type E/F power converter and a step-down transformer for devices that can only handle 110V electricity.

What are the toilets like in Svalbard?
Toilets on cruise ships and throughout the cities and towns in Svalbard are standard flushing toilets.
 
Approximately what will it cost for (prices in USD):
Cup of coffee - $4.00
Beer - $7.00
Basic lunch - $12.00
Dinner - $24.00

Can I drink the water in Svalbard?
It is considered safe to drink the water in Svalbard and all of Norway unless someone tells you otherwise.

What is the most common way of paying for things in Svalbard?
While traveling through Svalbard, make sure to have enough cash on hand to pay for things from small stores and vendors that do not accept credit cards. In the towns and cities, it's easy enough to find ATMs, but many of the sites are more remote in the Spitsbergen archipelago, and having several krones on hand is helpful.

Should I purchase travel insurance for my trip?
We always recommend purchasing travel insurance, just in case. Here's more information on one of our affiliates. 

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