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Colorful homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Svalbard - Last Stop before the North Pole

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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Embark on an 8-day cruise to and from Longyearbyen aboard the Ocean Albatros. Discover Svalbard, a high-Arctic paradise. Immerse yourself in jaw-dropping natural beauty, encounter charismatic Arctic wildlife, and unravel the captivating history of this remarkable archipelago. Explore the Arctic intimately on land while sailing close to the pack ice, the favored summer dwelling of polar bears. The exact route and how far north you venture will depend on ice conditions. Along Svalbard's west coast, accessible thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, visit fantastic locations and observe busy wildlife preparing for the impending polar winter. With sturdy Zodiac boats, closely approach wildlife, making frequent shore landings and exploring fjords and glacial landscapes. Join this genuine Arctic expedition for an unforgettable experience!
Walruses coming ashore in the arcticBearded seal in Svalbard, NorwayWalking through vast arctic landscapes. Polar bears in the ArcticColorful homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
  • Discover the history of Northwest Spitzbergen, a protected wilderness area with remnants of human habitation
  • Experience the rocky polar desert landscapes of Northeast Svalbard and observe the abundant wildlife
  • Journey to North Svalbard, one of Earth's northernmost pieces of land, and witness the barren beauty
  • Explore the rugged frontier edge of Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen | Embark

Board your flight in Norway and arrive in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. This remarkable little city is not only the northernmost town in the world (if one excludes the tiny research community of Ny-Ålesund, slightly further north on Svalbard) but also hosts the world's northernmost civilian airport, schools, bank, and supermarket. The town's rugged frontier edge belies a core of warm Nordic hospitality and coziness -hyggligt, as you say in Denmark!

Immediately after landing in Longyearbyen, you find yourself in a different world. You can feel the chilly Arctic breeze as soon as you step onto the tarmac, and the famous signpost outside the terminal reminds visitors how far north they are and to keep watch for bears! The snow-capped mountain Hjorthfjellet looms over the airport on the far side of Adventfjorden, and off in the distance, see the saw-toothed peaks and languid glaciers of northern Spitzbergen.

After arrival, board the awaiting Ocean Albatros. After your mandatory safety briefing and lifeboat drill, head onto the outer decks to enjoy a glass of champagne while watching your expedition vessel leave civilization behind and set an adventure course!

Day 2-3: Northwest Spitzbergen

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
One of Europe's largest protected wilderness areas, North West Svalbard, was declared a national park in 1973. The area is famed for its history, which documents some of the earliest human arrivals on Svalbard. While Norse explorers may have sighted these icy shores during the Viking Age, the first definite arrival was the expedition of William Barents, the legendary Dutch explorer for whom the Barents Sea is named. While now protected from human disruption, when Barents arrived in 1596, he noted the vast numbers of whales and seals, soon prey to English and Dutch whalers, who came within a decade of Barents to pillage the area's wildlife. The area occupied the triple point between land, sea, and ice, and as such, was the perfect location to harvest the gentle giants of the oceans. Sites used to dismember whale carcasses and render them for their precious oil include the Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg, where the remains of 16th-century blubber ovens and building foundations can still be seen. Other sites, such as nearby Ytre Norskøya, record the darker side of this industrialized slaughter, where hundreds of young men who hoped to make their fortunes are buried thousands of miles from home. 

Today, all that remains from this period of history are bones and the scant remnants of human habitation. Slowly reclaimed by creeping Arctic nature, the region is now a nature lovers paradise. Tiny Arctic poppies and purple saxifrage defy the brutal conditions to flower in the summer, while geese, eider ducks, and other seabirds return to the island to raise their young. Walrus can be found hauled out on beaches, and you must always be on the lookout for wandering polar bears in this now-again wild region.

Day 4: Northeast Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, cruise into the vast icy wilderness of northeastern Svalbard. This region does not receive the ocean currents that keep western Svalbard warm and wet, and thus, the environment is radically different, with rocky polar desert landscapes. Vast glaciers flow from the mountains into the sea, often choked with ice, even in summer. 

While it may appear barren, the truth is it is anything but. Hardy animals such as Arctic foxes eke out a living on these chilly shores, constantly on the lookout for prey. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds crowd on rocky ledges in the cliffs above the sea, carefully tending their precious eggs. While the area's coastal waters are cold, they are incredibly productive; shellfish are grown in abundance, and these, in turn, are preyed upon by walrus, which are common in the area. 

The exact locations you visit will depend on the sea, wind, and ice conditions in the area, which vary year on year and can change rapidly even in summer - this is the essence of polar exploration, moving with the rhythms of Mother Nature, and taking the opportunities to explore which she provides!

Day 5: North Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Now you reach some of Earth's northernmost pieces of land - the northern coasts of Svalbard, barren landscapes almost permanently beset by ice. With luck, you may reach the island of Nordaustlandet and hopefully the seven (or nine, depending on how you count) smaller islands of Sjuøyane in the far north of Svalbard. The almost vegetation-free, rocky islands are located around 1000 km more northernly than mainland Norway's famous Nordkapp.

Weather permitting, land and walk upon these most northern landmasses. The high Arctic islands are barren; only moss and lichens cover the stones. The birdlife is rich in this area, with flocks of grazing geese and some of the rarer gulls frequently seen on these islands. Bring your binoculars!

Start cruising towards the Arctic ice pack, stretching from Svalbard to the North Pole.

Day 6: Into the Ice

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An icy breeze touches your exposed cheeks. The scent of snow and sea fills your nostrils. Sunlight reflects off the floating ice, illuminating the clouds overhead. Enter an environment like no other, the vast shape-shifting realm of floating ice that crowns the planet. The vast ever-changing ice pack to the north of Svalbard stretches from this already isolated archipelago to the North Pole and across the Arctic Ocean towards the northern shores of Chukotka and Alaska. 

The Arctic ice pack is one of Earth's most significant habitats, although unlike most, it varies hugely year on year, expanding in winter and retreating in summer. The location of the sea ice around Svalbard can also differ wildly. However, your Expedition Leader will work hard to maximize your chances of finding and exploring this impossibly remote environment. At first glance, this stark white wilderness seems barren, empty, and lifeless. This icy wilderness holds on to its mysteries, and wildlife sightings are at the whims of Mother Nature. With a bit of perseverance, however, the ice reveals its secrets.

As Ocean Albatros pushes through the narrow channels in the ice, tiny cod-like fish can be seen silhouetted against the ice in the clear water. Kittiwakes and Glaucous Gulls follow the vessel as it disturbs the water. Black dots appear further out on the ice; moving closer, they resolve into seals, basking on the ice. A plume of water reflects the sunshine - a pod of belugas perhaps, or maybe even the vast gentle bowhead whale crushing the ice from below as its massive body surfaces. There, beyond the banks of rucked ice - a yellowish dot pads along the ice, the head swinging from side to side: the King of the Arctic continues his never-ending quest for prey. This is the kingdom of the polar bear, the vast icy waste at the top of the world.

Day 7: Kongsfjorden Area

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the 'night' (what is a night when the sun never sets?), Ocean Albatros will have repositioned past the saw-toothed mountains of  Prins Karls Forland and arrived in magnificent Kongsfjord. Surrounded by craggy mountains, bounded by the magnificent Kongsbreen and Kongvegen Glaciers, and crowned by the Three Crowns (a set of pyramidal mountains said to represent the monarchies of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark), this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and tranquil corners anywhere in the world. 

Your first landing will be at the small settlement of Ny Ålesund. Situated further north than Longyearbyen, Ny-Ålesund is Earth's northernmost settlement.

These islands' geographical location has made them the staging post for exploratory and scientific expeditions for centuries - a proud legacy that continues today. The setting is spectacular, and the scientific projects are as fascinating as the history of the town, which has hosted the Nobile, the Norge, and the Fram, Amundsen, Nansen, and Nordenskiöld, all legends of polar exploration who passed this lonely outpost seeking to push the boundaries of humanity. The remnants of these expeditions (such as the mooring mast of the Norge) can still be seen today.

Day 8: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the evening, the Ocean Albatros will reposition to return to the port of Longyearbyen. Even this tiny town will feel like a metropolis after days of isolation in the wilderness of the Arctic! 

After enjoying exploring Longyearbyen and a fond farewell to the crew and fellow guests of Ocean Albatros.


Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros BBQ Deck
Ocean Albatros Fitness
Ocean Albatros Pool Deck

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$4,695 2-3 travelers
Ocean Albatros Cat GOcean Albatros Cat G
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Category G
Single Stateroom (Porthole) - 14 m2 Standard single Stateroom onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located State Room close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the Zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures.
Ocean Albatros Cat FOcean Albatros Cat F
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Category F
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) - 22 m2 There are four Triple Staterooms on board Ocean Albatros featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms. Triple staterooms are normally with twin beds however a double bed can be accommodated.
Ocean Albatros Cat EOcean Albatros Cat E
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Category E
French Balcony Stateroom - 14 m2 The French Balcony Suite is a standard Stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
Ocean Albatros Cat DOcean Albatros Cat D
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Category D
Albatros Stateroom (Porthole) - 13-22 m2 The standard Stateroom on Ocean Albatros is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the Zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the Zodiacs. The State Rooms are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Albatros. The standard State Rooms all have a double bed or 2 single beds and a bathroom. The State Rooms are located on deck 3 and 4.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat B Balcony
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Category C
Balcony Stateroom - 18-22 m2 The most abundant type of Stateroom on Ocean Albatros located on decks 4 & 6. They have a balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility within this category.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat C Balcony
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Category Csp
Superior Balcony Stateroom (48) app. 24 sqm, including Balcony.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat C Balcony
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Category Cxl
Grand Balcony Stateroom (4) app. 30 sqm, including Balcony.
Ocean Albatros Cat BOcean Albatros Cat B Balcony
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Category B
Balcony Suite approximately - 25-32 m2 Ocean Albatros has 6 Balcony Suites on board located on decks 4 & 6. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom, and a large balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Ocean Albatros Cat AOcean Albatros Cat A Balcony
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Category A
Junior suite - 39 m2 The 4 junior suites aboard Ocean Albatros have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people.
Ocean Albatros Premium SuiteOcean Albatros Premium Suite
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Premium Suite (Freydis Suite)
Premium suite - 45 m2 – FS (Freydis Suite) The second largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Albatros is the Premium Suite. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a balcony and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck.4. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.
Ocean Albatros Family SuiteOcean Albatros Family Suite
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Family Suite (Brynhilde Suite)
Family suite - 52 m2 – BS (Brynhilde Suite) The largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Albatros is the Premium Suite. The Double-Bedroom, Family Suite is going to be located on Deck 7, featuring two interconnecting French Balcony Suites, accommodating up to 5 people on two double beds and a sofa bed. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.


Kayaking activities available on both Arctic and Antarctic voyages. 
Although kayaking opportunities are possible in most locations during each excursion in the Antarctic region, weather, sea, and ice conditions will dictate the when and where to ensure your safety and improve your experience.
In order to sign up for this activity, you need to have previous kayaking experience and attend a mandatory safety briefing by the Kayak Master. The cost is $345/person per outing and it can only be booked onboard.

Possible shared staterooms for same-gender, single travelers: Category C (Balcony Stateroom) and Category F (Triple Porthole Stateroom)
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more.
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team
  • Special photo workshop
  • Guided walks with the expedition team
  • Dinner drink package
  • Full board on the ship
  • Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Anything not mentioned under 'inclusions'
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance of at least $200,000 per passenger is required. Please bring a copy of your insurance onboard.
  • Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea and dinner-drink package)
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 16 per person per day)
  • Optional Transfer Package: Flights between Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo and Group Transfer between Longyearbyen Airport and the vessel. To be booked 11 months prior to departure at additional cost.



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