Join the MS Spitsbergen for an amazing 12-day Norway & Svalbard cruise. This expedition cruise is filled with history, wildlife, brilliant scenery and great adventure. Now it´s your turn to explore beautiful Spitsbergen! Scan for the mighty polar bear on Bjørnøya and marvel at the North Cape before sailing into our final destination of Tromsø.
Day 1: Flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen | Overnight at Hotel
Before your flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, check out the urban amenities of Norway´s capital. Your arrival in Longyearbyen reveals an entirely different world, a colorful small town perched on the edge of Arctic wilderness. Enjoy the museum and choose among several bars and restaurants. Transfer to your hotel and overnight.
After an overnight stay in one of the hotels, join a post-lunch excursion to get to know Longyearbyen, a prime destination for adventure travelers worldwide. Enjoy the singular atmosphere of this colorful frontier outpost before boarding your ship, MS Spitsbergen.
Spitsbergen’s northwest corner is scattered with islands, fjords and beaches. Pioneering explorers and hardy whalers were the first to set foot here.
Land and see whaling settlements, or visit Kongsfjorden, considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea. The former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund is another possible destination. It is now an international research center with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings.
In the Magdalenafjorden and Gravneset areas, you may get the chance to bathe in the sea and earn a rare Arctic swimming certificate. There will also be exciting landings and optional scenic kayaking opportunities.
Day 8-9: Bellsund & South Spitsbergen National Park
Head south to the Bellsund area, followed by Hornsund with its wonderful varied landscape and geology. On a clear day, you might even see the amazing Hornsundtind, 4,700 ft above sea level. This area was popular with polar bear hunters until 1973. See a polar bear here too!
This isolated island is said to host the largest concentration of sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as polar bears. In the north part of the island is Bjørnøya weather station, which provides vital data to scientists worldwide. The wind and weather conditions will determine what we can do today.
In the early morning, sail past the North Cape. Here, get the chance to make the steep hike up to the cape starting in Hornvika, or to visit the cape by bus from Skarsvåg. The ship will continue to Gjesvær, where the excursion participants will come back onboard. Next, sail past Gjesværstappan, a bird cliff which is home to one of the largest seabird colonies in Norway.
Included activity: North Cape (3 hrs 30)
Cross the 71st parallel and enjoy magnificent landscapes on a trip to North Cape, one of the most northernmost points in Europe. North Cape cliff rises 307 meters above the Arctic Ocean. See an impressive 180° panoramic film about the region in North Cape Hall, where you can also visit a souvenir shop, small chapel and a Thai Museum.
Day 12: Tromsø | Disembark
Your expedition cruise will end in colorful Tromsø, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Arctic.” In the early days, the town was full outfitters, hunters and dreamers who left their loved ones behind to seek their fortune in the far north, and much of that pioneer spirit remains.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.