Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping in and around the Arctic (Northbound)

Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping in and around the Arctic (Northbound)

Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping in and around the Arctic (Northbound)

Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping in and around the Arctic (Northbound)

Travel information 14 days MS Spitsbergen
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Where nature’s elements rule 

Your island-hopping adventure into the Arctic begins in Glasgow (Greenock), before setting sail to Iceland – the so-called land of ice and fire. With active volcanoes, serene fjords and soaring mountains, witness the unique geology and landscapes of this fascinating country, looking out for wildlife such as whales and dolphins along the way.  

Towards the top of the world 

Continuing north, we head for the remote volcanic island of Jan Mayen, a bird haven that’s home to Northern Fulmars, Brünnich’s Guillemots and Little Auks. And in the Svalbard archipelago, you’ll explore an Arctic wilderness where nature reigns supreme and the majestic – if elusive – polar bear roams the icy tundra. 

Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping in and around the Arctic (Northbound) Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping in and around the Arctic (Northbound)
  • Day 1

    Embark from Glasgow (Greenock)

    Start in Scotland’s stylish city of culture 

    A former industrial powerhouse, Glasgow has reinvented itself as a cultural hot spot, packed with museums, galleries and parks. Discover the splendid Art Nouveau architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh before your expedition cruise begins.  

    You’ll embark in Glasgow (Greenock), where MS Spitsbergen, one of our smaller vessels purpose-built for close-up exploration, will be waiting for you. Get to know the ship before meeting the Expedition Team – your guides for the adventure ahead – and enjoy your first dinner aboard as we set sail.   

    Day 1

    Embark from Glasgow (Greenock)

  • Day 2-3
    At sea

    At sea

    Sailing to Iceland 

    As we sail to Iceland, it’s time to relax and explore the onboard facilities of our expedition ship. 

    Your Expedition Team will explain the protocols of respectfully visiting wildlife habitats and remote communities. Join our onboard experts and get a first overview of Iceland’s unique geology, learn about the sea birds on the Atlantic Ocean, and discover which whales might we encounter along the expedition. You can also join one of our Citizen Science projects and contribute to global research. 

    Why not enjoy the gym, relax in the hot tub and warm up in the sauna, or get acquainted with the onboard restaurant – it's totally up to you. 

    Day 2-3
    At sea

    At sea

  • Day 4

    Heimaey's explosive past

    Discover the town that defied a volcano  

    Heimaey is the only inhabited island in the Westman Islands, found off the south coast of Iceland. It has a fascinating history, and still bears the scars of a powerful volcanic eruption that nearly destroyed the island.  

    Visit Eldheimar, a museum that features an excavated home frozen in time, and learn more about the eruption and its aftermath. Or why not take a hike to seek out puffins at Stórhöfði, where around eight million nest every summer. Don’t miss climbing Mount Eldfell – at the volcano’s summit you’ll have incredible views of the town below. 

    Day 4

    Heimaey's explosive past

  • Day 5
    Snæfellsnes peninsula

    Charming Grundarfjörður

    Gateway to spectacular Snæfellsnes 

    The majestic Kirkjufell mountain, one of the best-known landmarks of Iceland, rises just two miles west of the small harbour of Grundarfjörður, a quaint fishing town in Breiðafjörður bay.  

    Nearby, you’ll find Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park, with the striking, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano at the western tip. It’s nicknamed 'Little Iceland' for its array of landscapes. 

    At the national park, you can visit Djúpalónssandur's black sand beach and the Saxhóll crater. Or why not ride a snowcat to the top of the Snæfellsjökull glacier or take a guided underground tour along a gigantic lava tube.  

    Day 5
    Snæfellsnes peninsula

    Charming Grundarfjörður

  • Day 6

    Picturesque Ísafjörður

    Explore Westfjords’ beautiful harbourside town 

    Flanked by towering mountains on all sides, Ísafjörður is a nearly perfect natural harbour and an excellent gateway to the Westfjords region. Stroll around to see the architecture, shop for a variety of local handicrafts and view some of the oldest houses in Iceland.  

    One of these historic 18th century buildings is home to Westfjords Heritage Museum, where you can learn about the maritime past of this fascinating port. Or if you prefer something more energetic, you could take the steep hike up to Naustahvilft - the Troll’s Throne. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts at the top by the stunning panoramic view. 

    Day 6

    Picturesque Ísafjörður

  • Day 7

    Whale watching in Húsavík

    Whales, volcanos and the horse of Odin 

    Today you’ll discover Húsavík, a pleasant small town famous for excellent whale-watching opportunities. The town looks out over Skjálfandi bay, which enjoys visits from humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and even elusive blue whales. 

    Geology and mythology come together at nearby Ásbyrgi canyon, a horseshoe-shaped canyon which, according to Norse mythology, was created when Odin’s horse Sleipnir accidentally put one of his eight legs down on the ground.  

    Further south is Lake Mývatn. Nowhere else will you find such an array of active volcanic features and landscape evolution, including evidence of dramatic eruptions such as the 18th-century Mývatn fires and the Krafla fires of the late 1970s. 

    Day 7

    Whale watching in Húsavík

  • Day 8
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

    Enjoy a restorative day in the Arctic  

    Take time to relax on the ship day as we cruise through Arctic waters towards Jan Mayen. Enjoy panoramic views and chat with fellow guests in the Explorer Lounge & Bar, or take a soak in a hot tub out on deck while scanning for seabirds.  

    You can also listen to a lecture or two on topics such as local history, geology or Arctic wildlife. Or visit the Science Center for more in-depth insights into the places we'll be visiting and maybe participate in a Citizen Science project that contributes to ongoing scientific research.  

    Day 8
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

  • Day 9
    Jan Mayen

    Volcanic Jan Mayen

    Visit an active volcano that's a haven for birdlife  

    Jan Mayen has no permanent residents and visits to the island are rare. In fact, we're one of the few to attempt landings here. If conditions allow, you’ll be setting foot in one of Earth’s most remote places.  

    Jan Mayen’s surreal, moss- and lichen-streaked landscape is dominated by the Beerenberg volcanic cone. It's the world's northernmost active volcano and it last erupted in 1985.  

    You won’t see land mammals here, but the island is designated an Important Bird Area, supporting large populations of Northern Fulmars, Brünnich’s Guillemots and Little Auks. Look out for abundant marine life in the surrounding waters too, including whales and seals.   

    Day 9
    Jan Mayen

    Volcanic Jan Mayen

  • Day 10
    At sea

    At sea

    A peaceful interlude in your adventure 

    Spend the day at your leisure as we sail deeper into the Arctic towards the Svalbard archipelago. Savour the quiet moments, simply appreciating the peaceful feeling of being at sea. This is a rare opportunity to disconnect and get a break from the modern world. 

    Feeling active? You can enjoy a workout in the gym or simply relax in the panoramic sauna while gazing out at the view. As ever, our Expedition Team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and offer insights about these Arctic islands.  

    Day 10
    At sea

    At sea

  • Day 11-13

    Scenic Spitsbergen

    Witness a land of spectacular beauty  

    Spitsbergen showcases Arctic beauty in its untouched glory; a wilderness of steep mountains, stark glaciers and eerily beautiful islands. Over the next three days you’ll visit some of the world’s most dramatic fjords and see glaciers preparing to calve icebergs into the sea.    

    Each day will be different. From landings to kayaking, be ready for anything as your Captain and Expedition Team decide on the best landing sites and activities based on the day’s conditions. Perhaps we’ll head to the snowcapped peaks of Isfjord, or visit Ny-Ålesund, the world’s northernmost settlement and an important climate research station. 

    If we’re really lucky, we might even see the elusive polar bear in its natural environment. 

    Day 11-13

    Scenic Spitsbergen

  • Day 14

    Return to Longyearbyen

    Enjoy a final day on top of the world 

    Your island-hopping adventure into the Arctic comes to an end in Longyearbyen, a town on top of the world.  

    A transfer will take you to the airport for your flight home. You'll return with a wealth of knowledge about Arctic animals, geology, history, polar ice and climate change – and memories of an incredible experience that will last a lifetime. 

    Day 14

    Return to Longyearbyen


What’s included


  • Flight in economy class from Longyearbyen to Oslo before the expedition cruise  


  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Longyearbyen  

Expedition Cruise 

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune  
  • 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 

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water 

†Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to, and streaming is not supported. When in Svalbard, there is no Wi-Fi or mobile coverage, except in Longyearbyen 

Onboard Activities 

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team 
  • Full use of our Science Center, library and advanced biological and geological equipment 
  • Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research 
  • Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscapes 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 

Landing Activities 

  • 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 
  • Depending on your individual flight times, an additional overnight in Oslo might be necessary (not included)  

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights 
  • Additional overnight(s) if required due to international flight timings  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 
MS Spitsbergen
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland
A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
Your ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 220
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots
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´.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

MS spitsbergen

Explore other destinations: