Board the MS Spitsbergen for a 12-day expedition that is considered the ultimate Svalbard cruise. Starting in Norway's amazing Arctic frontier town, get a chance to discover the many things to do in Longyearbyen. Next, set sail and travel well above the 80th parallel to place you closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographical North Pole. Enjoy the pristine wilderness of the Arctic.
Discover Longyearbyen, the center of Svalbard, and a great place
Day 1: Flight Oslo to Longyearbyen | Overnight at Longyearbyen
Your trip starts with a flight from Oslo. Before departing, enjoy the museums, parks and cafés of Norway’s capital city. On arrival in Longyearbyen, set foot in an entirely different world, a small town perched on the edge of Arctic wilderness. Transfer to your hotel and overnight.
After an overnight stay, join a post-lunch excursion to get to know this unique town. The mighty Arctic wilderness dominates life here, but Longyearbyen has a lively cultural life and is a prime destination for adventure travelers. Enjoy the atmosphere of this colorful frontier outpost before boarding MS Spitsbergen in the afternoon.
Spitsbergen´s northwestern corner is strewn with rugged islands, beautiful fjords and isolated beaches. It is also the site of spectacularly scenic Northwest-Spitsbergen National Park.
If conditions allow, explore the region’s rich history.
Visit Kongsfjorden, one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by stunning mountains. We hope to call on the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international research center with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings. There will be exciting landings and scenic kayaking opportunities as we go further north.
Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – and we have high hopes of spotting one on this journey! The ocean is full of drifting ice and the frozen landscape changes constantly. This is a true wilderness, so the captain will work with the elements to decide where we can safely land and sail.
We intend to cross 80º N, and possibly head even further north to Sjuøyane (Seven Islands), at the extreme tip of the Svalbard archipelago. Also sail east of Nordaustlandet to Kvitøya, before continuing towards Edgeøya, the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago.
Make the way to the southern cape and the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund hosts a wonderfully varied landscape and geology. Ice pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the floes, so with a bit of luck, we may spot some of these magnificent predators.
Spend the day exploring the Isfjord, the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. In the inner parts of Isfjorden, the landscape changes constantly. The immense U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by giant glaciers that covered the area some 10,000 years ago, are home to large populations of Svalbard reindeer.
Day 12: Longyearbyen | Disembark | Flight to Oslo
Return to the colorful town of Longyearbyen marks the end of a remarkable voyage that took us within a few hundred miles from the geographical North Pole. A transfer vehicle will take you to the airport for your night flight. Arrival early in the morning in Oslo.
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!