Svalbard

Explore the stark beauty of an Arctic island chain

Cruises to Svalbard

Around Spitsbergen

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

HDS09-19. Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch site of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

23 Jul - 1 Aug, 2019

Price:

5000 USD

Around Spitsbergen

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

NOO26-19. Sail around Spitsbergen taking in the wildlife, whaling history, and stunning landscapes. Visit historic whaling stations and search for walruses and reindeer. Head to Hornsund to explore the glaciers and the hunting grounds of the Polar Bear.

s/v Noorderlicht

s/v Noorderlicht

Cruise date:

23 Jul - 7 Aug, 2019

Price:

6400 USD

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

Watch for wildlife in iconic Arctic terrain

RVR27-19. The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

27 Jul - 6 Aug, 2019

Price:

4450 USD

Chevron

Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland

A classic three island voyage : Ice , Inuit and Remoteness

RVR28-19. The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears.

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

6 Aug - 24 Aug, 2019

Price:

6950 USD

Around Spitsbergen

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

NOO27-19. Sail around Spitsbergen taking in the wildlife, whaling history, and stunning landscapes. Visit historic whaling stations and search for walruses and reindeer. Head to Hornsund to explore the glaciers and the hunting grounds of the Polar Bear.

s/v Noorderlicht

s/v Noorderlicht

Cruise date:

7 Aug - 22 Aug, 2019

Price:

6400 USD

Svalbard cruise video

Svalbard story

An Incredible Adventure on a Tall Ship

Ever since discovering Svalbard on the map a little over a year ago, I had felt a desperate need to explore this Arctic archipelago for myself....

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Svalbard blog

Svalbard’s 12 Most Iconic Animals

Each of our Arctic areas of operation offers its own unique and equally unforgettable feature: Greenland is great for mountainous shorelines...

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Svalbard experiences

Svalbard wildlife

See the impressive array of wildlife you may encounter::

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Map of Svalbard

Svalbard cruise reviews

rating reviews

Overall rating based on 196 votes

Ruth Zantvoort

Our 9-night expedition was a series of high points, from polar bears (single males, mothers with cubs) to blue whale, tundra and arctic fox. The expedition team and ship's crew did their utmost to provide...

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Wolf-Dietrich Langhof

Wir waren 10 Tage Anfang Juli unterwegs und haben zwar "nur" den Plan D erfahren, aber wir waren begeistert von der Reise mit sehr freundlichen und erfahrenen Crewmitgliedern, auch die Mannschaft der...

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Tullio Bonicelli

The trip on the Hondius met all my expectations.. the ship, brand new, was perfect..common areas were ample and the cabin was beyond my expectations... staff was great and the guides very knowledgeable....the...

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Petra Schmidt
Face to face to a polar bear
by Petra Schmidt on Arctic

We enjoyed very much all the trip. The ship and the staff were great. The cabins were beyond our expectations. The quality of the lectures was amazing. The third officer Mr. Igor Nazarov was always ready to explain...

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Teresa Rivas

We loved our week aboard the Hondius: The ship, which had been sailing for less than a month when we boarded, was clean, well appointed, and very stable/smooth sailing. The food was varied and delicious, there...

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Chris Lewis
Polar Bears and Pack Ice
by Chris Lewis on Arctic

Really knowledgeable Guides made for a fantastic trip. Seeing Polar Bears, Whales, Walrus in the flesh all great. Beautiful scenery. Lectures used flexibly and really informative Hinduism was a really well turned...

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Svalbard FAQ

Where do we go on Spitsbergen?

The sailing range of this expedition is limited to the north-west coast of the Spitsbergen archipelago. As we want to make several longer hikes we do not want too spend much time travelling around with the ship. We like to spend as much time ashore as...

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What is the best time to travel to Spitsbergen?

This depends on what you want to experience at Spitsbergen. In case you want to experience the Polar night or the Aurora Borealis, November to February is the best time to travel to Spitsbergen. Do you want to see the midnight sun and enjoy boat trips,...

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When is the winter season in Spitsbergen?

The sun sets for the last time in Spitsbergen in mid-September and rises above the horizon again in mid-February. The winter landscape and temperatures prevail until May.   

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What is the temperature and weather like in Svalbard?

The weather in Spitsbergen differs per area and location. Although snow can occur throughout the year in Svalbard, the North Atlantic Current helps provide Svalbard with warmer temperatures than many other areas within similar latitudes. However,...

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Where can I see Polar bears during the Spitsbergen voyage?

As Polar bears are animals which can travel many kilometres in a day, it is impossible to say where and when you can spot Polar bears. Your best chance to observe Polar bears are found in the areas around sea ice. The chance to see Polar bears in Svalbard...

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What wildlife can I see in Spitsbergen?

Your cruise to Spitsbergen will come with an enormous amount of opportunity to spot wildlife. Polar bears are obviously the main attraction regarding wildlife. There are six national parks throughout Spitsbergen, and Svalbard alone is known to contain,...

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About Svalbard

Svalbard weather

Svalbard is located in the high Arctic and shares the Arctic’s designation as a technical desert when it comes to annual precipitation (or lack thereof). Particularly the eastern part of Svalbard sees relatively little precipitation annually. The west coast sees more precipitation in the form of rain and snow. Depending on when you take your Svalbard cruise you can expect temperatures to average anywhere from -14°C in the winter to 6°C in the summer.

 

Facts about Svalbard

  • The name “Svalbard” is an old name (going back to at least the 1100s) meaning “cold coasts.”
  • Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s only true town, was founded by an American in 1906. It has a little over 2000 inhabitants.
  • Almost 65% of Svalbard is a protected nature reserve or a national park.
  • Svalbard is the archipelago (chain of islands) off the north coast of Norway.
  • Svalbard has the world’s third biggest ice sheet, coming behind only Antarctica and Greenland.
  • Svalbard is made up of 4 main islands, and almost 150 smaller islands.
  • Nobody gets buried on Svalbard. Because of the cold in the ground bodies generally fail to decompose, meaning that the graveyards would quickly get overrun. Therefore bodies are shipped to mainland Norway and buried there.

Travel to Svalbard

Travel to Svalbard and experience one of the Earth’s northernmost human inhabitations. Your Svalbard expedition cruise will take you to a beautifully stark landscape of glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. During your Svalbard holiday you’ll explore the preserved and protected history of the region, watch high Arctic wildlife on both land and at sea. Come during the late autumn/early winter months and your Svalbard cruise will be capped off by the great wonder of the Polar skies, the Northern Lights. For the polar bear enthusiasts special polar bear itineraries are arranged to offer the best polar bear experiences. 

Polar bear video by Vedat Mihmat