Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear
Discover incredible Arctic scenery and wildlife under the Midnight Sun
10-day expedition cruise of the Svalbard archipelago. Explore Longyearbyen and North West Spitsbergen National Park on an attempt to circumnavigate Spitsbergen.
The Midnight Sun provides perfect light for Svalbard wildlife photography of polar bears, whales, reindeer and more.
Optional Pre- and Post-Programmes available from Longyearbyen to Isfjorden, spotting walrus and visiting glaciers.
10-day expedition cruise of the Svalbard archipelago on an attempt to circumnavigate Spitsbergen
Land of the polar bear
Starting out from Oslo, you‘ll fly to Longyearbyen where your adventure continues at sea. We'll then sail into Northwest Spitsbergen National Park. Take in the stunning Arctic nature as we scout for polar bears, Arctic foxes and Svalbard reindeer. You'll also have the chance to see colonies of Brunnich’s Guillemots 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, and the breathtaking Hornsund mountains, before we cruise towards stunning Isfjord and back to cosy Longyearbyen.
We'll help you plan where to go, when to visit and how long to stay
Explore cosmopolitan Oslo
Explore cosmopolitan Oslo
Enjoy time in Oslo before flying to Svalbard
Your expedition begins in Oslo, Norway’s fjord-side capital. If you have time before your flight, why not explore the city centre.
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 or try New Nordic cuisine before flying out to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago.
Explore colourful Longyearbyen
After breakfast, it’s time to explore the world's northernmost town, a colourful 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 saunter by. Although wild, they're curious and tame. Admire the polar bear–inspired art or visit the North Pole Expedition Museum.
Before boarding your ship in the afternoon and continuing your Arctic discovery, join an included excursion after lunch, or try an optional electric bike, dogsledding or hiking tour.
Experience pristine Arctic wilderness
Over the next three days, you'll explore the natural beauty and rugged tundra of Northwest Spitsbergen National Park. In this wilderness of steep mountains, stark glaciers and beautiful offshore islands, we’ll scan for animals of the Arctic – 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 expedition boats and go ashore to hike or participate in a beach clean up.
Exploring the east
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'll 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 expedition boats to Edgeøya or Barentsøya.
The daily itinerary will be set by your Expedition Team. They’ll monitor local ice and weather conditions to take you on exhilarating landings, hikes and kayaking tours.
Majestic glaciers, rich vegetation and seabirds
As we sail towards the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, we'll enter Hornsund, one of Svalbard’s most beautiful fjords. Rich, colourful vegetation makes way for towering mountains along this picturesque waterway. Head out on deck to spot seals and whales, Mount Hornsundtind, and glaciers calving into the sea.
The green patches of land you’ll see here are fertilised 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, past beautiful Bellsund towards 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, Alkehornet is home to guillemots, kittiwakes, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes. The 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, now one of the world's most beautifully situated hotels.
Our activities today will be determined by the ever-changing weather conditions of Isfjord. Your Expedition Team will decide on the best possibilities for exploring on the day.
Return to Longyearbyen
Return to Longyearbyen
A final day on top of the world
Your Arctic adventure comes to an end back in Longyearbyen. You'll return home knowing more about Arctic animals, history, polar ice and climate change than you arrived with – and memories of an incredible experience.
Before your flight back to Oslo, you'll have time to discover more of Longyearbyen and do a spot of shopping – perhaps a warm Svalbard sweater.
This epic expedition cruise will see us attempt to find a way through the Arctic’s ever-changing sea ice and venture above the 80th parallel north. Our goal is to successfully complete a circumnavigation of the island of Spitsbergen, if the ice allows us.
Take a look at what you can look forward to on this 9-day expedition cruise.
Return flights in economy class between Oslo and Longyearbyen
Overnight in Longyearbyen before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and lunch
All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the expedition cruise
A stay in a cabin of your choice
Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune
À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm 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 organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
Range of included 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
Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research
Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer
Use of ship's hot tubs, panoramic sauna and gym
Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings
Escorted landings with small expedition boats
Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities
Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
Expedition photographers on hand to assist you
All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
Excursions and activities are subject to change
Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
No gratuities expected
What's not included
Optional shore excursions with our local partners
Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
Expedition exclusive cost savings and rare opportunities.
* Certain offers may not be combinable, up to two savings opportunities except where noted otherwise