The Complete Spitsbergen Expedition

Longyearbyen, circumnavigating Svalbard (flights from Oslo)

This Arctic expedition is one of a kind! We will sail above 80º N, to take you to the ice edge of the Arctic Ocean while circumnavigating Svalbard. Enjoy excursions including hiking, kayaking and traversing a glacier. In the largest Arctic wilderness in Europe, there's a good chance to see polar bears.

  • Sail around the entire Svalbard archipelago
  • Try 'brevandring', the Norwegian way to cross a glacier
  • Great chance of seeing polar bears
  • See the Midnight Sun and untouched Arctic wilderness

Overview

With more polar bears than people, Svalbard provides an excellent chance to see these magnificent predators

This expedition is one of a kind, with a multitude of landing sites and exciting experiences in the Arctic. We will sail above 80º N, to take you to the ice edge of the Arctic Ocean. The adventure will include several excursions including hiking, kayaking and other activities on land and on the water. There’s also a good chance that we’ll see a polar bear – after all, there are more polar bears than there are humans on Svalbard.

Highlights of the Arctic

Starting in Longyearbyen, we sail well above the 80th parallel and place you closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographical North Pole. Explore the great national parks and some of the most spectacular highlights of the Arctic. One might expect it to be unbearably cold this far north. However, thanks to the Gulf Stream, the Svalbard archipelago boasts a surprisingly mild climate in summer. Among a large variety of plants and wildlife are seals, thousands of seabirds, the Arctic fox and reindeer and the top predator: the polar bear.

Deep fjords, mighty glaciers and pure wilderness

In the summer, beautiful colours and contrasts provide the frames for dramatic glaciers, majestic mountain formations, deep fjords, buzzing bird cliffs and endless arctic tundra with its diverse flora and fauna. The midnight sun makes it possible to fill your days and nights with experiences.

 

Price includes: 

  • Hurtigruten Expedition with cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Return economy flights between Longyearbyen and Oslo
  • One hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast and lunch
  • All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the voyage
  • Wind and water resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions and gratuities

Related voyages

Itinerary

The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

14 June, 22 June, 30 June and 08 July, 2018

Departure port Oslo/Longyearbyen
Day 1
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Photo: Hanne Feyling Photo

From 59º N to 78º N


Location: Oslo/Longyearbyen

This Grand Arctic Circumnavigation starts with an evening flight from Oslo. Norway's capital is often called 'The blue, the green and the city in between' because of its location between the fjord and the forest. Spend a Day checking out the museums, parks and cutting edge architecture or relax in a café or bar. The contrast will be significant when you arrive in Longyearbyen some hours later. Amazingly, this town on the edge of the harsh ice is a modern place, with first-class facilities, charming architecture, an internationally renowned museum and several bars and restaurants – all in the midst of the untouched Arctic wilderness.

Day 2
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Photo: Natalia Davidovich / shutterstock Photo

The Norwegian stronghold in the High Arctic


Location: Longyearbyen

After an overnight stay in one of our hotels, you can join an exciting excursion in the unique little town of Longyearbyen and the surrounding area, before boarding MS Spitsbergen. This Norwegian settlement lies in the shadow of the great arctic wilderness. Here, the arctic environment dominates, but the town maintains a surprisingly cosmopolitan character. Longyearbyen is often called an antidote to modern-Day life and toDay serves as a prime destination for adventure travellers.

Day 3 - 5
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Photo: Dominic Barrington Photo

Exploration Days in large fjords with fascinating history


Location: North West Spitsbergen National Park

The North West Corner is scattered with islands, fjords and beaches. The ocean here is full of drifting ice and the frozen landscape changes constantly. Due to strong winds and currents, the Captain monitors conditions closely before deciding where we can land or sail. This is why all our itineraries are flexible; we work with the elements, not against them, and safety is our first priority. If we are able to land, this area is excellent for exploring Svalbard’s history. You will have the chance to see the remnants of ancient blubber ovens used to render whale oil. We might visit Kongsfjorden, considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by stunning mountain formations. On the shore of Kongfjorden is the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international centre for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings. We might also visit Krossfjorden and Mitrahalvøya, where you can see ruins from the whaling period, beautiful alpine flora, bird cliffs and, quite often, Svalbard reindeer. If conditions allow, try crossing a glacier with the Expedition team. Raudfjorden offers plenty of opportunities for great hikes. Hamiltonbukta is too shallow for our ship to navigate, but it’s perfect to explore by kayak. We might also get to see the enormous Monaco Glacier in Liefdefjord.

Day 6-8
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Photo: Camille Seaman Photo

Enjoy expedition Days in the Arctic


Location: Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park

Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – we really hope that we’ll be able to see one on this journey! ToDay, we aim to cruise in Sorgfjorden, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve, and was the location of a famous 17th-century battle between whalers. Enjoy the view on deck as we pass the spectacular bird cliff of Alkefjellet, one of the largest of its kind. Edgeøya is the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. On its western shores, the landscape is largely un-glaciated, unlike most other places on the east side of Spitsbergen. Kapp Lee is a wonderful site where you will find cultural heritage from all eras of human exploration of Svalbard. We continue to the southern cape and the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund has large variations in its landscape and geology within short distances. Ice being pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the ice, so if we are fortunate, we will spot some of these predators.

Day 9
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Photo: Ester Kokmeijer Photo

Fjord, wilderness and bbq


Location: The Isfjord

We will 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 the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago, are home to large populations of the Svalbard Reindeer. Later on, we’ll might a scenic fjord arm and arrange a farewell barbecue in spectacular Arctic surroundings.

Day 10
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Photo: Morten Normann Almeland / Shutterstock Photo

End of the expedition


Location: Longyearbyen/Oslo

Every good explorer's voyage comes to an end. You will probably sense that time has passed faster than expected. Many report a subtle exhilaration due to having taken a journey to the very top of the globe, just a few hundred miles from the Geographical North Pole. The transfer vehicle takes you early in the morning to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.

23 June, 01 July, 09 July and 17 July, 2018

Location Longyearbyen/Oslo
Your ship

Our ship sailing this route

Set out on an expedition with MS Spitsbergen, our latest expedition ship - equipped and adapted for sailings in polar waters throughout Arctic regions.

Everything you need to know about a cruise with Hurtigruten

Learn more about what you can experience on board - and cruise with confidence on MS Spitsbergen

Things to see and do

Videos

Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a voyage to Svalbard.

Extend your holiday

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Oslo.