Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

Oslo/Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen/Oslo

Join an extraordinary expedition cruise on Hurtigruten that circumnavigates the largest island in Svalbard. Located on the southern fringe of the frozen Arctic Ocean, Spitsbergen offers expedition landings, hikes, kayaking and other activities in the largest Arctic wildnerness in Europe.

  • Sail around the most cosmopolitan and largest island in Svalbard, Spitsbergen
  • Take part in fascinating lectures on intriguing topics from the Expedition team
  • See natural wonders like Alkefjellet, Edgeøya and the Monaco glacier
  • Chances of seeing the King of the Arctic, the polar bear


A cruise around Spitsbergen gives you ample opportunity to explore all the aspects of this fascinating arctic island. See the great eastern nature reserves and some of the most spectacular highlights of the Arctic. We aim at taking you well above the 80th parallel and placing you closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographical North Pole. The eastern part of Svalbard is more barren and characteristically High Arctic than any other place we visit with MS Fram. Enjoy expedition landings, hikes, kayaking and other activities in the largest arctic wilderness in Europe.

Visiting the settlements on Spitsbergen

Longyearbyen is a prime destination for adventure travellers. This Norwegian settlement is a unique little town. The influence of the arctic environment is obvious and it is also a surprisingly cosmopolitan town. Russian settlement Barentsburg is a “company coal mining town”. Explore the exotic collection of old Russian artefacts and architecture, visit the Pomor Museum or soak up the real Russian atmosphere in the local pub. Ny-Ålesund is situated at 78º 55’ N, and is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining community, it is now an advanced High Arctic research station.

Fjords, glaciers and polar bears

During this voyage you will see some of the most spectacular fjords of Spitsbergen. The eastern part of Svalbard is mainly divided into two large nature reserves. Combined they represent one of the last large, mainly untouched wildernesses in Europe. Traversing the large fjord east of Spitsbergen will give you spectacular views of the island’s east coast with hundreds of glaciers and mountains. If we are lucky we’ll meet some of Svalbard’s marine mammals like seal and walrus, and wherever there is ice there is a great chance of spotting polar bears during this voyage!

Price includes: 

  • Cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Wind and water resistant jacket
  • Return economy flights between Longyearbyen and Oslo
  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats and activities onboard 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


  • Prices are in EUR (€) per person
  • All planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • All itineraries are subject to change
  • Medical questionnaire mandatory
  • Rubber boots rental service on board

Related voyages


The itinerary

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

3 July, 11 July, 19 July & 27 July 2017

Departs From Oslo/Longyearbyen
Day 1
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Photo: Tyler Olson / Shutterstock Photo

From the City to the Stunning Arctic

Location: Flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Your Arctic adventure starts with an evening flight from Norway's capital – Oslo. Before departure, you can spend some time exploring this beautiful fjord-side city surrounded by forests, lakes, and hills. Oslo offers varied architecture, a strong café and bar culture, top-notch restaurants, and endless shopping possibilities. The contrast will be significant when you arrive in Longyearbyen a couple of hours later. Still, this very small settlement offers all the amenities of a modern town, in addition to its stunning location in a wild Arctic landscape.

Day 2
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Photo: Ester Kokmeijer Photo

Exploring the Historic Settlements

Location: Longyearbyen and Barentsburg, Svalbard

After an overnight stay in a hotel, you can join an exciting excursion in the unique little town of Longyearbyen and the surrounding area before boarding the MS Fram. The influence of the Arctic environment is obvious but the town is also surprisingly cosmopolitan, with art galleries, pubs, long wine lists at restaurants, shops, and a small shopping center. While the town is often called an antidote to modern-day life and is a prime destination for adventure travelers, the history and heritage of the first coal miners are evident everywhere. Barentsburg is a Russian settlement, known for its coal mines and Soviet architecture, and is very different from Longyearbyen. The museum, library, and newly opened brewery function as meeting places for the community and a research station is under construction. See a colorful folklore show and visit the hotel and museum. Here you'll experience a different side of Svalbard, a little piece of Russia in the Arctic.

Day 3-5
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Photo: Agurtxane Concellon Photo

Fjords, Glaciers, and Mountains

Location: North West Spitsbergen National Park, Svalbard

Kongsfjorden is considered to be one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by characteristic mountain formations.

As we sail northwest, we reach the Krossfjord and Mitrahalvøya, where you can see cultural remains from the whaling period, beautiful alpine flora, bird cliffs, and quite often Svalbard reindeer. Try traversing a glacier with our expedition team. We also visit the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international center for research with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings.

The North West Corner of Spitsbergen offers the largest concentration of graves, blubber ovens, and other cultural treasures from when Svalbard was first inhabited. The Raudfjord 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 will also see the enormous Monaco Glacier in Liefdefjord.

Day 6-8
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Photo: Tori Hogan Photo

Into the Untouched Wilderness

Location: East Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park, Svalbard

Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears on the Svalbard archipelago – and we really hope to see one on this voyage! Today, we'll explore the Sorgfjord, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve, and was the location of a famous 17th-century battle between whalers. Enjoy the view from the deck as we pass the spectacular Alkefjellet bird cliff, 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 of the 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.

Day 9
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Photo: Camille Seaman Photo

Arctic Scenery and Wildlife

Location: Isfjord, Svalbard

The Isfjord is the most extensive fjord system in Svalbard. We will spend the day exploring the outer and the inner parts of the fjord. One of the most striking features of the outer part of the fjord is the Alkehornet peak, where thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots nest during the summer season. In the inner part of the Isfjord, the landscape changes. 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 endemic Svalbard reindeer. Later on we’ll find a scenic fjord arm and arrange a farewell barbecue in the most beautiful Arctic surroundings.

Day 10
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Photo: Dominic Barrington Photo

Return to civilisation

Location: Longyearbyen, Svalbard/flight to Oslo

Our voyage comes to an end. You will probably sense that time has passed faster than expected. Lingering is the subtle exhilaration of having spent time on top of the globe, just a few hundred miles from the Geographic North Pole. An early morning transfer takes you to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.

12 July, 20 July, 28 July & 5 August 2017

Location Oslo, Norway
Your ship Things to see and do


Learn more about the various seasons in Svalbard and the wonders of the High Arctic


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

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