Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the realm of the Polar Bear
Join us as for a full circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, taking in mighty glaciers, peaceful fjords, and Arctic wildlife under the enchanting Midnight Sun.
10-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.
Know before you go
Practical information you need to know
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 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 in your airport hotel in Oslo.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Return to Longyearbyen
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 home. 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.
On this epic expedition cruise, we will 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 circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, ice permitting.
Take a look at what you can look forward to on this 9-day expedition cruise.
Flights in economy class between Oslo and Longyearbyen
All transfers in Oslo and Longyearbyen include an excursion with lunch before the expedition cruise
Overnight stay in Oslo before the expedition cruise, including light dinner and breakfast
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.
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.
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
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
Solo Traveler Benefit!
For a limited time, solo travelers pay no single supplement* on select expedition cruises to Alaska, Antarctica, the Galápagos Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, West Africa and the Canary Islands, and more!
26 days left to take advantage of our best price guarantee
The Ultimate Expedition | Circumnavigating Svalbard
Jul 2, 23, Jul 17, 23 + 5 more departures
MS Fram +1
Arctic Islands Discovery | Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland, Iceland: Westbound
Jul 12, 23, Jul 18, 24