Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear

  • Attempt

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear

  • Attempt
Travel information 10 days MS Spitsbergen, MS Fram
Departures
18 departures between Jun 2023 and Jul 2024
Price from 6116 €
5866 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

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. 

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear Circumnavigating Spitsbergen - In the Realm of the Polar Bear
Attempt

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.

  • Day 1
    Oslo / Longyearbyen

    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. 

    Day 1
    Oslo / Longyearbyen

    Explore cosmopolitan Oslo

  • Day 2
    Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen adventures

    Estimated time of departure is 8:00 PM

     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.      

    Day 2
    Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen adventures

  • Day 3-5
    North West Spitsbergen National Park

    Expedition days

    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.  

    Day 3-5
    North West Spitsbergen National Park

    Expedition days

  • Day 6-7
    Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserve

    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. 

    Day 6-7
    Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserve

    Exploring the east

  • Day 8
    South Spitsbergen National Park

    Beautiful Hornsund

    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. 

    Day 8
    South Spitsbergen National Park

    Beautiful Hornsund

  • Day 9
    The Isfjord

    Astonishing 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. 

    Day 9
    The Isfjord

    Astonishing Isfjord

  • Day 10
    Longyearbyen / Oslo

    Return to Longyearbyen

    Estimated time of arrival is 6:00 AM

    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.  

    Day 10
    Longyearbyen / Oslo

    Return to Longyearbyen

Departures

2023

June:
7.
8.
15.
16.
23.
24.
July:
1.
9.
September:
15.

2024

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
June:
6.
13.
14.
21.
22.
29.
30.
July:
7.
15.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Flights   

  • Return flights in economy class between Oslo and Longyearbyen    

Transfers   

  • All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the expedition cruise  

Hotel   

  • Overnight in Longyearbyen before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and lunch   

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 

*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, 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 

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 

Notes 

  • 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 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 

Ships

MS Spitsbergen

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Expedition sailings during the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
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