Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Travel information 11 days MS Fram
Price from $ 12,314
$ 9,784
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

11-day expedition cruise of the Svalbard archipelago in an attempt to circumnavigate Spitsbergen

Land of the polar bear

Starting from Oslo, you‘ll fly to Longyearbyen, where your adventure continues at sea. We then sail into Northwest Spitsbergen National Park. Take in the stunning Arctic scenery as we scout for polar bears, Arctic foxes, and Svalbard reindeer. You’ll also have the chance to see colonies of Brünnich’s guillemot and kittiwakes.

Crossing the 80th parallel north

We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen and attempt to sail beyond the 80th parallel north, if conditions permit. You’ll see awe-inspiring nature and wildlife, along with the breathtaking Hornsund mountains, before we cruise toward stunning Isfjord and back to cozy Longyearbyen.

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear
  • Day 1

    Explore cosmopolitan Oslo

    Enjoy time in Oslo before flying to Svalbard

    Your expedition begins in Oslo, Norway’s fjord-side capital. If you have some time, we recommend exploring the city center.

    With its rich history and fashionable art scene, Oslo is a fascinating city. You’ll find museums, galleries, and breathtaking architecture, including the beautiful Opera House and new Munch Museum.

    Take a stroll in the Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, visit Akershus Fortress, or relax in a floating sauna. Explore modern Sørenga and enjoy urban beach life. You can also try New Nordic cuisine before spending the night at your airport hotel in Oslo.

    Day 1

    Explore cosmopolitan Oslo

  • Day 2

    Longyearbyen adventures

    Explore colorful Longyearbyen

    After your morning flight to Longyearbyen, it’s time to explore the world’s northernmost town, a colorful frontier settlement where people are outnumbered by snowmobiles.

    Longyearbyen is perfect for exploring on foot. Stroll down the main street and you might see Svalbard reindeer pass by. Although wild, they’re curious and gentle.

    Before boarding your ship in the afternoon and continuing your Arctic discovery, join an included excursion after lunch for a glimpse of this amazing region at the top of the world inhabited by polar bears.

    Day 2

    Longyearbyen adventures

  • Day 3

    Expedition days

    Experience pristine Arctic wilderness

    Over the next three days, you’ll explore the natural beauty and rugged tundra of Northwest Spitsbergen National Park. Surrounded by steep mountains, stark glaciers, and beautiful offshore islands, we’ll scan for Arctic animals, including whales, seals, walruses, and reindeer. If we’re really lucky, we might even see the elusive polar bear hunting on the ice. In stunning Kongsfjord, you may see glaciers calving into the sea.

    Be ready for adventure – we’ll seize any opportunity to launch our kayaks or use our small boats (RIBs) to go ashore to hike or help in a beach clean-up.

    Day 3

    Expedition days

  • Day 6-7

    Exploring the east

    Scouting for polar bears, seabirds, and walruses

    The frozen seascape of eastern Svalbard is home to the archipelago’s largest population of polar bears. We have high hopes you’ll see this elusive animal over the next two days. We will also scout for walrus and colonies of Brünnich’s guillemots and other seabirds in the Hinlopen Strait. We may head south to Freemansundet and Kapp Lee or take our small boats (RIBs) to Edgeøya or Barentsøya.

    Your Expedition Team will set the daily itinerary. They’ll monitor local ice and weather conditions to take you on exhilarating landings, hikes, and kayaking tours.

    Day 6-7

    Exploring the east

  • Day 8

    Beautiful Hornsund

    Majestic glaciers, rich vegetation, and seabirds

    As we sail toward the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, we’ll enter Hornsund, one of Svalbard’s most beautiful fjords. Rich, colorful vegetation transforms into towering mountains along this picturesque waterway. Head out on deck to spot seals and whales, admire Mount Hornsundtind, and watch glaciers calving into the sea.

    The green patches of land you’ll see here are fertilized by little auk colonies. This in turn attracts Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes, so keep your eyes peeled. In the evening, we’ll journey north toward Isfjord, past beautiful Bellsund.

    Day 8

    Beautiful Hornsund

  • Day 9

    Astonishing Isfjord

    Witness living history and ecology

    Our Svalbard circumnavigation continues into Isfjord’s lush fjord system, where you’ll see immense, glacier-carved valleys rich in wildlife, vegetation, and human history.

    To the north, Alkhornet is home to guillemots, kittiwakes, Svalbard reindeer, and Arctic foxes. Clear traces of the area’s whaling and hunting past are visible on beaches and in bays. Farther south, we’ll pass the former Isfjord Radio satellite communication station, which is now one of the world’s most beautifully situated hotels.

    Today’s activities will be determined by the ever-changing weather conditions in Isfjord. Each day, your Expedition Team will decide on the best options for exploring.

    Day 9

    Astonishing Isfjord

  • Day 10

    Return to Longyearbyen

    A final day on top of the world

    Your Arctic adventure comes to an end back in Longyearbyen. A transfer will take you to the airport for your flight to Oslo. You’ll return home knowing more about Arctic animals, history, polar ice, and climate change than when you arrived. You’ll also have lifelong memories from this incredible experience.

    After your flight, spend another night at your airport hotel in Oslo.

    Day 10

    Return to Longyearbyen

  • Day 11

    Return home

    Time to say goodbye

    Your cruise officially ends after breakfast. Feel free to explore some more of the city of Oslo if you have time before your flight back home.

    Day 11

    Return home


What’s included


  • Round-trip flights in economy class between Oslo and Longyearbyen


  • All transfers in Oslo and Longyearbyen include an excursion with lunch before the expedition cruise


  • Overnight stays in Oslo, one before and one after the expedition cruise, including light dinner, breakfast

Expedition Cruise

  • Stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages* in the Aune restaurant
  • The Lindstrøm À la carte restaurant is included for suite guests (on MS Fram only)
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water

†Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel and streaming is not supported. When in Svalbard, there is no Wi-Fi or cell coverage, except in Longyearbyen.

Onboard activities

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Full use of our Science Center, extensive library, and advanced biological and geological equipment
  • The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects.
  • Our onboard professional photographer will give photography tips and teach techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife photos.
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and a gym.
  • Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings.

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will be on hand to assist you.


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 318 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of her time, and the achievements of her Arctic and Antarctic expeditions are the stuff of legend. In this spirit, the comfortable surroundings and advanced technology on today’s MS Fram – which was fully upgraded in summer 2022 – make her exceptionally well suited for modern expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch

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