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Visit historical Arctic settlements on your voyage

Big Island, Big Adventure: Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Nova (QU)
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Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Join the Ocean Nova on this 13-day voyage to attempt a circumnavigation of the island. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen is unspoiled, wild, and utterly unforgettable. It is also one of the premiere locations to view Arctic wildlife, including the world's largest carnivore - the polar bear. Look out for whales, walruses, and numerous seabirds, all of which populate the icy waters around this island.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen
Days 2-12 : Circumnavigating Spitsbergen
Day 13 : Disembark in Longyearbyen


  • Search for the largest land carnivore, the polar bear
  • Learn about the culture, history, and exploration of Spitsbergen
  • View whaling evidence at landing sites such as Smeerenburg
  • Visit 14th of July Glacier, home to purple sandpipers and common eiders


Ocean Nova (QU)

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Visit historical Arctic settlements on your voyage Icebergs float throughout the seas in the Arctic Bright wildflowers liven up the mountainous Arctic landscape Reindeer roam along the Arctic tundra Explore Alkhornet on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen

Day 1 Embark in Longyearbyen

Your Spitsbergen expedition begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island's largest settlement, and a frontier-style town. Enjoy your first view of the island's rugged, glacier-topped mountains, rising majestically from icy Arctic waters.

Day 2-12 Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Expect a new adventure every day, as you journey around the island of Spitsbergen and explore smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding! Every expedition is unique, but a few of our favorite landing sites include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsoya, Alkefjellet, and Sundneset and if ice conditions allow, you may land on seldom-visited Kvttøya.

The names may seem strange to you, but they each have their own unique appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and Arctic terns; while Alkefjellet is home to nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

If you want to prove that reindeer are real, then have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world – searching for polar bears is a constant activity, with Phippsoya and Isbukta being two of their preferred places for hunting – meaning great potential for you to capture them in action.

A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture, not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry here and you can see blubber ovens and other whaling evidence at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. Colorful tundra meadow displays are complimented by glaciers, and the potential exists for spotting beluga whales.

Day 13 Disembark in Longyearbyen

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast on board, disembark in Longyearbyen where you began. From here, a transfer is provided to the airport for your flight home.

Ocean Nova (QU)

Per person starting at
Quad Cabin
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Equipped with 4 twin beds, private facilities, and exterior views.
Triple Cabin
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Averaging 150 sq ft. Equipped with 3 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
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Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
Averaging 88 sq ft. Equipped with one twin bed. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Upper Deck Twin Cabin
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Upper Deck Twin Cabin
Averaging 105 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Bridge Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Upper (Lower Berth) Cabin
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Upper (Lower Berth) Deck Twin
Averaging 115 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.


-Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where we match you with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if we are unable to find a cabin mate for you, no single supplement will be charged.

-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Included in your cruise fare:
  • Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation and have booked additional accommodation
  • Transfer from hotel or Longyearbyen airport to ship on embarkation day
  • Group transfer from ship to airport or local designated drop-off location on disembarkation day
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals on board
  • All shore landings per the daily program, weather permitting
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by your experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by your expedition team
  • Photographic journal, including photographs, daily expedition reports, maps, and more
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An Expedition parka to keep
  • Life jackets and immersion suits
  • Coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

Rates do not include:
  • Passport and applicable visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
  • Meals ashore, with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and (mandatory) medical travel insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Laundry, bar, beverage, and other personal charges
  • Phone and internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
  • Adventure options on ship expeditions (weather dependent) that are not included in the cost of the voyage


  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
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Jenna F

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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