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Polar bear and cub

Svalbard Through the Camera Lens

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Sea Spirit
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Embark on a 13-day cruise from Oslo to Longyearbyen aboard the Sea Spirit, immersing yourself in Svalbard's majestic landscapes and compelling history—cruise through icy waters, exploring Spitsbergen's coastlines, mountains, and fjords. Take part in included excursions for wildlife photography, polar hikes, and historical site visits. Conclude your journey with a guided tour of Longyearbyen, including visits to the Svalbard Museum and Art Gallery.
Nearing South Georgia a rock full of shags Oslo's skylineArctic fox during spring in SvalbardWalruses huddling together in Svalbard.Visit the colorful town of Longyearbyen in the far northPolar bear and cub
  • Explore Oslo's shops, cafes, and cultural attractions
  • Visit historic Ny Ă…lesund, a former mining town
  • Discover Svalbard's diverse wildlife, including beluga whales and Arctic seals
  • Learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional
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: Oslo

Welcome to Oslo. Enjoy the city's "Green Capital of Europe" title in 2019. Stay comfortably at a hotel near the Oslo Airport, conveniently close to your flight to Longyearbyen on Day 2.

For those with extra time and a sense of adventure, a handy airport train takes just 20 minutes to reach central Oslo. The train runs frequently during the day, allowing you to explore the shops, cafes, cultural attractions, and attractive waterfront areas near the Oslo Central Station. The Botanical Garden is also worth a visit.

Day 2: Fly to Longyearbyen | Embark

On this day, you have a flight to catch Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard, and the starting point of your Arctic expedition. Upon arrival at the airport, the staff greets and transfers you to the pier aboard the deluxe expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. You can settle into the spacious suite and explore the ship. The expedition staff will introduce themselves and provide informative briefings. 

This is not just any cruise but a photo cruise designed explicitly for amateur photographers of all skill levels. The journey promises to be incredible and unforgettable, offering the opportunity to photograph some of the world's most pristine and remote wilderness areas. You can also develop your photography skills with like-minded fellow travelers.

Day 3-11: Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge

  • Ship
  • 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
This voyage aims to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Along the way, you can experience the many facets of this incredible High Arctic territory. Your exact schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice. During this mid-summer voyage, hoping ice conditions will be favorable for a circumnavigation. However, plenty of sea ice will still be around to support ice-dependent animals such as polar bears and walrus. In addition to seeing Spitsbergen from every angle, this itinerary offers the appealing possibility of setting foot on all four of Svalbard's main islands.

As you cruise along the coastline of Spitsbergen, you can have the opportunity to capture breathtaking images of snow-capped mountains, icy glaciers, and rugged coastlines.

The first of many pristine natural areas on this itinerary is South Spitsbergen National Park, a vast region of varied landscapes, including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay where you can find the remains of historical whaling operations, including cabins, wooden boats, and thousands of whale bones—a scene from the distant past, frozen in time. Throughout the park, there is always a high probability of wildlife sightings. There are also plenty of possibilities for world-class hiking through wild polar landscapes with fascinating geology. Wildflowers are especially abundant during this time.

Next along your route is the wildlife-rich Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, a pristine and rarely visited wilderness containing hundreds of uninhabited islands. On the large islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, discover broad tundra valleys supporting the territory's densest population of endemic Svalbard reindeer. You may see newborn reindeer calves at this time of year. The valleys are also important breeding areas for ground-nesting birds such as geese, eiders, and sandpipers. Arctic foxes prowl the vast landscape, seeking to provide food for their growing cubs. Shallow, murky seas are ideal feeding grounds for walrus, which can be seen resting in large numbers on gently sloping beaches. Historical sites throughout the islands provide glimpses into the region's bygone era of trapping and hunting.

During this voyage, you expect to encounter the densest sea ice concentrations in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve. Ice can persist very late into the summer in this remote and isolated region, giving it a truly polar character. This reserve covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet, the second-largest island in Svalbard. Here, you can 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 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.

At this time of year, the edge of the polar pack ice will likely be close to Nordaustlandet. You hope to sail along this dynamic boundary between sea and ice, where you have an unparalleled opportunity to witness the dramatic interplay between polar bears and seals. Take the ship as close as safely possible to the jumbled and constantly shifting ice floes, hoping to observe polar bears in their preferred habitat.

Finally, reach Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the crown jewel of Svalbard's scenic wonders. Here, you can find deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain ranges and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. During your voyage, the seabird breeding season is in full swing, and the skies are filled with millions of murres, guillemots, and little auks. This is also a great time to encounter marine mammals, including beluga whales and Arctic seals. Set among this incredible scenery and wildlife activity, you can also find evidence of Svalbard's earliest sealers and whalers.

Human habitation along your route can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world's most northerly settlements, where you can find a museum, gift shop, and post office.

The ambitious Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge route offers a comprehensive view of the Arctic's many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. Take advantage of every opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, witness incredible polar scenery, and walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.

Day 12: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After your final breakfast aboard, disembark in Longyearbyen. However, the day promises further exploration in this charming town full of attractions. Right after disembarkation, the team will offer a guided sightseeing tour, which includes visits to the Svalbard Museum and the Art Gallery. In the evening, you can relax in a comfortable hotel in Longyearbyen.

Day 13: Fly back to Oslo

Today marks the beginning of your journey back home. The team will arrange your transfer to the airport, where a regular flight will transport you to Oslo. You may already be dreaming up plans for your next polar adventure!


Sea Spirit

Travelers board a Zodiac to get a closer look at the terrain and wildlife
Sea Spirit
Outdoor Bistro at the Jacuzzi area of the Sea Spirit

Oslo - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$9,595 2-3 travelers
Sea Spirit
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Triple Classic
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds (convert to a King) and a sofa bed, picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Main Deck Suite
Averaging 248 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, minimum two portholes, and en suite facilities.
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Single Suite
Averaging 21 square meters/226 square feet, these cabins are located on the Oceanus Deck. They feature a picture window (it may be covered during rough sea crossings), two wardrobes, and a king-size bed.
Sea Spirit
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Classic Suite
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window, two wardrobes, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Superior Suite
Averaging 215 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window overlooking outside walkway, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Deluxe Suite
Averaging 258 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, walk-in closet or wardrobe, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Premium Suite
Averaging 323 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, lounge area, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 463 sq ft. King size bed and sofa bed, separate living room with game and meeting area, private deck, and en suite facilities with jetted bathtub.


Solo Travelers:
All rates posted are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; twice the posted price for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
  • All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather conditions)
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
  • Wi-Fi on board
  • AECO Fees and Governmental Taxes
  • Group transfer to the ship for embarkation on Day 2
  • Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka
  • 1 pre-voyage hotel night on Day 1 in Oslo
  • 1 post-voyage hotel night on Day 12 in Longyearbyen
  • Round trip Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo air transportation (regular flight)
  • A guided sightseeing tour upon disembarkation in Longyearbyen on Day 12
  • Group transfer to the airport on Day 13
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Kayaking
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
  • The cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or Poseidon Expeditions before, during or after the cruise;
  • Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of US$ 200,000 per person
  • Luggage and trip cancellation insurance
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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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!
Meyer Smolen
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