Explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic landscape. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate the surroundings as you slip your moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on the first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters. Cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea and then along the coastal islands of the Svalbard Archipelago. From panoramic open decks, enjoy Arctic landscapes and wildlife sightings. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales.
Observe majestic polar bears around the beautiful Barents Sea
Walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at various historical sites
Explore the spectacular fjords and coasts of western Svalbard
Discover the North Pole and the ruins of a WWII weather station
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight, you are free to explore this small but fascinating settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
Spend the night in Longyearbyen. In the afternoon be welcomed aboard the expedition ship Sea Spirit; transfers from the hotel are included. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home-away-from-home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate the surroundings as you slip your moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on the first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
During our expedition, we hope to experience the many facets of this incredible High Arctic territory. Our exact schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice. At the peak of the summer season, we expect ice conditions to be favorable for a circumnavigation, so we will make an attempt to go around Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. We also expect there will be enough sea ice around to support ice-dependent animals such as polar bears and walrus. The pristine nature places of Spitsbergen are protected by a system of national parks, and we will try to visit some of them during the voyage. Below you may find what to expect from each of these places.
During this voyage, we expect to encounter significant sea ice concentrations in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve. In this remote and isolated region, ice can persist very late into the summer, giving it a truly polar character. This reserve covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and the entirety of Nordaustlandet, the second largest island in Svalbard. Here we find the massive Austfonna ice cap, part of which meets the sea along the 45-kilometer ice cliff known as Bråsvellbreen—one of the great wonders of the Arctic world. The polar desert environment supports little in the way of vegetation but hosts prodigious numbers of seabirds at breeding sites such as the spectacular sea cliffs of Alkefjellet. The probability of encountering polar bears and walrus in this icy wilderness is very high.
The ambitious Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge route offer a comprehensive view of the Arctic’s many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. We will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, to witness incredible polar scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.
After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. Transfer to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar worlds!
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!