Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen and Iceland - Arctic Islands Exploration

Welcome to true Arctic adventure. Island-hopping across the region, we sail above 80º N, to take you to the ice edge of the Arctic Ocean while circumnavigating Svalbard. Next, we head to the remote outpost of Jan Mayen before exploring the volcanic home of the sagas: Iceland. Enjoy excursions such as hiking, kayaking, and traversing a glacier on this active and exciting voyage.

  • Circumnavigate Svalbard
  • Try 'brevandring', the Norwegian way to cross a glacier
  • Great chance of seeing polar bears
  • Explore Iceland and remote Jan Mayen
Special Offer

Arctic Savings Extended!

Save $1,000 per person when you join us on this expedition; only available through December 31, 2018! Please note, prices shown are inclusive of applicable savings.


Itinerary

Cruise 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.

Departure June 27, 2019

Departs from Oslo/Longyearbyen
Overview

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

This expedition is one of a kind, with a multitude of landing sites and exciting experiences in the Arctic. We aim to sail above 80º N, to take you to the ice edge of the Arctic Ocean. There will also be several excursions including hiking, kayaking, and more on both land and sea. And, there’s a good chance we’ll even 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. This is a great opportunity to 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, of course, we hop to see the top predator: the polar bear.

Deep Fjords, Mighty Glaciers, and Pure Wilderness

In the summer, beautiful colors 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 unforgettable memories on Spitsbergen, the biggest island in Svalbard.

Island Hopping Across the Arctic Ocean

We head across the Arctic Ocean towards Jan Mayen. The cone of Beerenburg volcanic peak rises more than 6,500 feet over the tiny Norwegian station of Olonkinbyen. Coming ashore on this rugged island can be difficult, but if conditions allow, we will attempt a landing.

Following the mid-Atlantic ridge, we encounter Iceland, a land of volcanoes, sagas, and according to some, elves. Sail by the Hornbjarg Cliffs, or enjoy walk in a lava field before visiting the cosmopolitan capital city Reykjavík.

Day 1
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Photo: Morten Normann Almeland Photo

From 59º N to 78º N

Oslo/Longyearbyen

This Arctic voyage 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 nestled between the fjord and the forest. Spend a day checking out the museums, parks and cutting-edge architecture, and relax in one of the many cafés or bars.

Then prepare to enter an entirely different world when you set foot in Longyearbyen after your flight. Amazingly, this town on the edge of the harsh wilderness is a modern oasis, with first-class facilities, charming architecture, an internationally renowned museum and several bars and restaurants – all surrounded by untouched Arctic tundra.

Day 2
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Photo: Natalia Davidovich Photo

The Norwegian Stronghold in the High Arctic

Longyearbyen, Svalbard

After an overnight stay in one of our hotels, you can join an exciting excursion in unique Longyearbyen and the surrounding area. 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 travelers. Enjoy this remarkable place before boarding MS Fram.

Day 3-4
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Exploring Huge Fjords with Fascinating History

North West Spitsbergen National Park

The North West Corner is scattered with islands, fjords and beaches. The ocean here can be full of drifting ice especially in the early season 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 Kongsfjord, 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 Kongfjord is the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international center for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings.

In the Magdalenafjorden and Gravneset areas, you may have the chance to actually swim and earn a rare arctic swimming certificate. There will also be exciting hiking and scenic kayaking opportunities, featuring the nearby Gully Glacier.

We may also get to see the enormous Monaco Glacier in Liefdefjord, and enjoy a chance to cruise in small boats.

Day 5-8
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Enjoy Expedition Days in the Arctic

Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park

Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – we have high hopes of seeing one on this journey! 

If conditions allow, we will to sail to Isflakbukta on Phippsøya, part of Sjuøyane (Seven Islands), which are located at the far north of the Svalbard archipelago. Thousands upon thousands of seabirds mate here, while walrus dive for clams in the bays.

We also aim to cruise in Sorgfjord, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve, and was the site of a famous 17th-century battle between whalers. If the weather is favorable here, we can hike in beautiful Eolsneset or enjoy tender boat cruising in the Hinlopen Strait area.

Another part of our journey may be a visit to Torellneset, which is an excellent place to spot walruses sunning themselves on the flat beach.

We continue on to Edgeøya, 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 make our way to the southern cape and the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund hosts a wonderfully varied landscape and geology. Ice being 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.

Day 9
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Lectures, Photo Courses and Relaxing

At Sea

As we start sail south, the Expedition Team continue the lecture program, covering topics related to the areas we sail, and the environmental challenges of the world’s oceans in a time of climate change. The expedition photographer will be available to show you the basics of photography. Of course, you will also have time to just enjoy being on board the ship. 

Day 10
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Isolated in the Arctic Ocean

Jan Mayen

The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen is one of the most isolated places in the world. Located where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, the island is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on earth.

Dutch whalers operated from Jan Mayen in the 16th century, but today only a Norwegian weather station accommodates a few brave individuals throughout the year. Visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, especially from tourists. As one of the few vessels operating in this area, MS Fram and her crew will attempt to make a landing on this most exotic Arctic island.

Day 11
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Unwind with a View

At Sea

A day at sea means you can join the lectures by the expedition team, spend time on deck or in the Panorama lounge with fellow travelers as we sail towards Iceland. Enjoy a refreshing workout in the ship's well-equipped fitness room with a panoramic ocean view or let your muscles relax in one of the outdoor whirlpools.

Day 12

Remote Ruins and Natural Beauty

Djupavik

In 1917 Elías Stefánsson settled down in Djupavik and built a herring salting factory. Today you can still see the remains of the factory as well as only seven houses and a hotel here. We will explore the landing site, and the beautiful natural scenery surrounding it.

Day 13

Secret Scenery

Patreksfjördur

Patreksfjördur is a charming settlement on the west coast of Iceland with around 660 inhabitants. The picturesque fjord offers scenic hiking trails if conditions allow. Patreksfjördur is also close to the spectacular waterfall of Dynjandi and to Látrabjarg, a renowned site for birdwatching.

Day 14
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Photo: Alexey Stiop Photo

Glaciers and Lava

Stykkishólmur

As we reach the west region of Iceland, you will understand why this area is dubbed “The Sagaland”. Take your time to explore Stykkishólmur’s diversity with lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity, and hot and cold springs. Participate in a range of exciting excursions such as kayaking, hiking and horse riding. 

Day 15
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Photo: Alexey Stiop Photo

End of the Expedition

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city. Norwegian settlers named the place Reykjavik (meaning 'Smoky Bay') after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made a profound impression. The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths that are well worth exploring after disembarking from MS Fram.

Arrival July 11, 2019

Location Reykjavik, Iceland
What's Included

INCLUDED IN YOUR EXPEDITION:

  • Hurtigruten expedition in the cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Coach-class flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
  • One overnight hotel stay in Longyearbyen before the cruise, including breakfast and lunch
  • All transfers in Longyearbyen,  including an excursion before the cruise
  • 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 accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR EXPEDITION:

  • International flights
  • Travel protection plan
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions and gratuities
Your ship
Experiences

Articles

Read more about the islands you'll explore on this trip, including mysterious Iceland and wild Svalbard.

Flights

Contact us

Please get in touch with our customer service team if you have questions or wish to add services like flights, transfers and land adventures to your voyage.