Svalbard

Cruise to a beautifully stark landscape of glaciers, rugged snow-capped mountains, and the land of the Kings and Queens of the North, the Polar Bear.

Cruises to Svalbard

Around Spitsbergen

NOO20-17

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.

Cruise date:

25 Jul - 9 Aug, 2017

Price:

6250 USD

Around Spitsbergen

OTL12-17

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.

Cruise date:

3 Aug - 12 Aug, 2017

Price:

4900 USD

Chevron

Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland

RVR25-17

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.

Cruise date:

7 Aug - 24 Aug, 2017

Price:

on request

Around Spitsbergen

NOO21-17

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.

Cruise date:

9 Aug - 24 Aug, 2017

Price:

on request

Around Spitsbergen

PLA13-17

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.

Cruise date:

11 Aug - 20 Aug, 2017

Price:

4900 USD

Svalbard cruise video

Svalbard story

A true Polar Bear Special

When I look out of the window I see only ice. Floes as far as the eye can see. It is Saturday, but not your typical Saturday. This morning I...

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Svalbard blog

Remembrance of Expeditions Past

Today I sit in the sun, thinking back on the years I spent with my Oceanwide family since my retirement in 1997. My first trips were on a little...

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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 73 votes

Hansjürgen van de Loo
Kein "Polar Bear Special"
by Hansjürgen van de Loo on Arctic

Der Titel der Reise weckt Erwartungen, die mit dem Antreffen von 2 Bären an nur einem Tag von 7 für mich nicht erfüllt wurden. Es wurde mehr Wert auf den Besuch von Fjorden gelegt als nach mehr...

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Michael Fox
Very underwhelming
by Michael Fox on Arctic

Not a complete loss, but for a trip sold as a "polar bear special", we left feeling like we'd just been hoodwinked. A single bear at great distance is hardly special. Similarly, a single blue whale,...

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Mirko Daniele Comparetti
Good Morning my Dear Polar Explorers!
by Mirko Daniele Comparetti on Arctic

«Good Morning my Dear Polar Explorers!» was the wake up call we received every morning from our Expedition leader Michael. This kind of expedition was a first time for me and it met all my expectations:...

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Astrid Detzler
Eisbären Spezial
by Astrid Detzler on Arctic

Tolle Reise! Crew: Supernett und zuvorkommend Expeditionsteam: Kompetent und immer für uns da Kabine: Total in Ordnung Essen: Gut und abwechslungsreich LEIDER: Nur einen Eisbären gesehen...

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Terence O'Rourke
Great Time! A Must!
by Terence O'Rourke on Arctic

Had a fantastic time. Never been on a cruise, but the boat was great. Nice room, plenty of places to spend time, and always great views. Loved the food, and really good vegetarian options. Activities were fun,...

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Peter Tadin

We just got back from Norway and I just want to say how satisfied I was with Oceanwide Expeditions for a fantastic cruise of Spitzbergen on the s/v Rembrandt van Rijn sailing ship where we chartered the ship...

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Svalbard FAQ

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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What is the time in Svalbard?

Spitsbergen uses CET/Greenwich Mean Time +1 (GMT +1). This means that if it is 22:00 GMT (10 p.m.) during your cruise to Spitsbergen, it would be 16:00 (4 p.m.) in New York City, USA, 21:00 (9 p.m.) in London, U.K. and 09:00 (9 a.m.) the next morning...

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About Svalbard

Svalbard weather

Svalbard is located 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