Svalbard

Explore the Svalbard archipelago, located halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

Polar Bear, Svalbard

Set in the High Arctic a few hundred miles from the North Pole, the archipelago of Svalbard is a silent wilderness of jaw-dropping beauty. This is a realm of pristine fjords and jagged mountain peaks where polar bears are known to roam. Sailing on an expedition cruise here in summer increases your chances of possibly spotting polar bears along the shores or across the ice. Free from winter’s snow, the tundra should also be painted with patches of colourful arctic flora.

Our long experience of sailing here since 1896 means we know these waters well, from the must-see highlights to the lesser-known gems. You’ll be accompanied by our expert Expedition Team, there to guide you through the in-depth history and behind-the-scenes science of what makes Svalbard such a fascinating place.

Top experiences

When to see

Best time
Good time
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
Polar bears
Polar bears
Whale watching
Whale watching
Walrus and seals
Walrus and seals
Svalbard Reindeer
Svalbard reindeer
Birds
Birds
Midnight sun
Midnight sun
Typical best value
Typical best value
No service to Svalbard from oct - apr

Ships to Svalbard

Explore our ships that regularly sail to Svalbard

MS Spitsbergen Hurtigruten

MS Spitsbergen

MS Spitsbergen is named after the crown jewel of Arctic Norway – the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island, Spitsbergen. Hurtigruten has a long history of travelling to Spitsbergen, beginning in 1896 with the 'Sports Route'. MS Spitsbergen cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May and becomes part of our global expedition sailings during the rest of the year.

MS-Fram-Croker-Bay

MS Fram

MS Fram was purpose-built as an expedition vessel with a superior ice class, chart drawing tools, a ship depth-sounding database, extractable forward sounding sonar, iceberg search lights, an autonomous tracking system, an oversized oil retention system for self-sufficiency, and a full ‘expedition tools deck’ equivalent to a car-deck that holds 25 vehicles. We believe that as an explorer, you need an ‘expedition base camp’ that is comfortable. It should combine ‘all oceans capabilities’ with safety, flexibility, and environmental friendliness. That’s MS Fram. She’s simply the best expedition ship imaginable.

MS-Nordstjernen-Svalbard-HGR-144434 1920- Foto Halvor Mykleby

MS Nordstjernen

MS Nordstjernen was built for the Coastal Voyage fleet in 1956 and extensively modernised in 2000 for exclusive arctic sailing. Today, she takes explorers on adventures in the waters around Spitsbergen. Despite modernisation, she still retains the aura of an old Atlantic ship, restored to her former splendour with new brass, classic wooden interiors and all her original art. Out on deck, you'll be up close and personal to the untouched nature of the Polar Arctic. With cover over a lot of the deck space, you'll enjoy being outside even in rough weather.