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Svalbard Circumnavigation and Kvitøya : In-Depth Exploration in the Land of the Polar Bear

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Sea Spirit
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Embark on a 14-day expedition cruise aboard the Sea Spirit. Begin your Arctic expedition in Longyearbyen, exploring the town and visiting the Svalbard Museum. This voyage includes visits to Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, Ny Ålesund, and the rarely explored Kvitøya. You can have the opportunity to encounter diverse wildlife, including Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, and walruses, and witness breathtaking landscapes of deep fjords and towering glaciers. Your journey concludes in Longyearbyen, leaving the ship with unforgettable memories of your polar adventure.
Polar bear balances on the ice in the ArcticSeals are just one of the many Arctic mammels you may encounter on your voyageTake advantage of the many opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime shots!Incredible photography opportunitiesZodiac boats bring you closer to the majestic Arctic landscape
Highlights
  • Explore Longyearbyen's vibrant culture and history
  • Discover the Polar Ice Edge towards Nordaustlandet
  • Experience the isolation and beauty of Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve
  • Explore rarely visited islands like Kvitøya for polar bear sightings
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.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Longyearbyen (Hotel Night)

Upon arrival at Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard, you are greeted by the staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which is included in the itinerary's price. The charming town center is easily walkable and offers many delightful restaurants. It is recommended that you start discovering this fascinating Norwegian High Arctic territory with a visit to the Svalbard Museum, where travelers can purchase hard-to-find polar books and maps. The sun never sets during your stay in Svalbard, a unique experience.

Day 2: Longyearbyen | Embark

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you have the morning free to explore Longyearbyen. Icy fjords and glaciated mountains surround the town, and you can enjoy the stunning views. You can also shop for souvenirs or any last-minute cold-weather gear you may need. Receive your parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, Longyearbyen offers quick and easy meal options, including the northernmost pizzas and kebabs in the world.

In the afternoon, transfer to the pier to board the deluxe expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Once on board, you can get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship, which will be your home throughout the adventure. The expedition staff will provide informative briefings and introductions, kicking off a full schedule of events. After enjoying a delicious dinner on board, you can step out onto the open decks to admire the breathtaking scenery in 24-hour daylight as you sail through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden.

Day 3-5: Northeastern Svalbard Archipelago

The goal of this voyage is a circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago. Attempt to go to the northeasternmost part of the archipelago—the island of Kvitøya, famous for its polar bears. Along the way, you hope to experience the many facets of this incredible High Arctic territory.

Much of the pristine nature of Spitsbergen is protected by a system of national parks, and the first one on your way will be the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, which is the crown jewel of Svalbard's scenic wonders. This area is well-known for its deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain ranges and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The skies are filled with millions of murres, guillemots, and little auks, whose eggs are now hatching at countless breeding colonies on small islands, mountainsides, and sea cliffs within the park. This is also a great chance to encounter marine mammals, including beluga whales and Arctic seals.

Your journey will also take you to Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base now a vibrant international community of Arctic researchers. This unique settlement, one of the world's most northerly, offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the Arctic. Here, you can explore a museum, browse a gift shop, and even send a postcard from the world's most northerly post office.

Day 6: The Polar Ice Edge

The Svalbard Archipelago is located halfway between the top of Norway and the North Pole, which means the Polar Ice Edge can be found north of the islands! This corner of Svalbard is full of stunning scenery, wildlife, and rich history from the age of exploration. The plan is to navigate along the ice edge towards the island of Nordaustlandet and further to the east towards Kvitøya (White Island). However,  remember that your route and research opportunities depend heavily on the weather. Rest assured, the team will take the best possible advantage of the circumstances presented to you by nature in this wild and remote corner of the world.

Day 7-8: Kvitøya

On this part of the journey, attempt to go to the eastern and northern regions of the Svalbard Archipelago – infrequently visited aboard expedition ships – experiencing the isolation and beautiful remoteness of Svalbard’s Arctic wilderness areas. Kvitøya (White Island) is one of the most rarely visited and closest islands to Franz Josef Land. This place, almost entirely covered by ice, became the final resting place of the balloon expedition of the Swedish polar explorer Salomon August Andrée. Kvitøya is not always accessible to expedition ships, but it may provide another opportunity to observe polar bears in their natural habitat.

Day 9-10: Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve

During this voyage, you expect to encounter significant sea ice concentrations in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve, which covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet, the second-largest island in Svalbard. Ice can persist late into the summer in this remote and isolated region. The massive Austfonna ice cap rises above the stunning landscapes of the High Arctic. Part of it 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 many seabirds. The cliffs of Alkefjellet are home to thousands of pink-footed geese, glaucous gulls, little auks, black guillemots, snow buntings, and (probably) barnacle geese. This icy wilderness has historically proven a good location for spotting polar bears and walruses.

Day 11: Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve

The Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve is a pristine and rarely visited wilderness containing hundreds of uninhabited islands. Broad tundra valleys on the large islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya support the territory’s densest population of endemic Svalbard reindeer. 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 young cubs, who are just now emerging from their dens. Shallow, murky seas are ideal feeding grounds for walruses 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.

South Spitsbergen National Park is 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 the remains of historical whaling operations can be found, including wooden boats, cabins, and thousands of whale bones — a distant past scene frozen in time. Throughout the park, wildlife sightings are always highly probable, ensuring your journey is filled with thrilling encounters. Wildflowers will be at their peak during this time.

Because of its extended length, this ambitious and in-depth Svalbard circumnavigation expedition cruise is a great chance to get a comprehensive view of the Arctic’s many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. Do not miss a single opportunity to encounter unique Arctic wildlife, witness incredible polar scenery, and walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions.

Day 12-13: West Coast

Your circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago is coming to an end. You are back to the West Coast of the Spitsbergen archipelago, with its beautiful locations like Alkhornet Mountain (also known as bird heaven because its cliffs support over 10,000 breeding pairs of seabirds).

Day 14: Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, bid farewell in Longyearbyen. Transfers to the airport or the town center are provided if you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be planning your next amazing trip to the polar world with the team!

Ship/Hotel

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

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$10,495 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.
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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.

Notes

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.
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • 13 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
  • Group transfer upon disembarkation
  • 1 pre-voyage night on Day 1 in a hotel in Longyearbyen
  • Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on Day 1
Excluded
  • 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

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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