arctic spitsbergen polar bear on ice dbrom

Around Spitsbergen

from £5100 excluding flights

  • 9-13 nights
  • Jun-Aug

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Average score 4.9/5

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Highlights

In pictures
arctic canada polar bear mother and cub on ice edge ac

Search for the majestic polar bear

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Take in Spitsbergen's flora and fauna under the midnight sun

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See abundant wildlife including seals and walrus

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Cruise past breathtaking icebergs and sweeping glaciers

arctic spitsbergen guillemots on cliff face istk

Observe seabirds in towering cliff-side rookeries

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Visit fascinating historic and scientific sites

Why this trip...

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Choice of vessels

We offer a wide choice of small ships from simple budget-conscious options to purpose-built luxury vessels

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Expertly guided

In-depth knowledge and expertise will enrich your experience on this trip

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Immersive exploration

Immerse yourself in your surroundings on a true exploration of remote and spectacular areas

Overview

The aim of this expedition is to deliver the complete Spitsbergen experience, circumnavigating the Svalbard archipelago’s largest island. With superb wildlife encounters on offer, this voyage also delivers unparalleled photographic opportunities with spectacular scenery throughout.

This is the 'star' voyage in our Arctic portfolio, exploring the full coastline of the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen. Renowned for wildlife watching opportunities both on land and in the marine rich coastal waters, discover this last frontier of the inhabitable world on a fabulous circular voyage.

Please note that the chance of successful circumnavigation is higher later in the season when the ice has melted and more channels are open. Early departures are better for those wanting to see the region's rich birdlife and to experience large ice-floes. All voyage itineraries are dependent on the sea-ice conditions at the time of travel.

Itinerary

Day 1 embarkation, Longyearbyen

Board your ship in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement and the world's most northerly town. Colourful, yet weathered building scatter the shoreline and house restaurants, cafes and the town's museum.

Board your ship in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement and the world's most northerly town. Colourful, yet weathered building scatter the shoreline and house restaurants, cafes and the town's museum.

svalbard longyearbyen coloured houses summer istock
arctic spitsbergen longyearbyen in august istk
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Days 2-10 Spitsbergen

Over the next few days your expedition team will take advantage of local ice and weather conditions to explore the highlights of Spitsbergen, as you attempt to circumnavigate the island. Along the way you may visit the renowned basalt sea cliffs of Alkefjellet, where thick billed murres (brunnich guillemots) nest in their thousands, or visit the abandoned mining town of Pyramiden. Perhaps search for polar bears at Isbukta, beluga whales near Bourbonhamna or walrus at Moffen Island. Conditions permitting there should be plenty of opportunity to hike the Arctic tundra and enjoy Zodiac cruises in the shadow of mighty glaciers.

Over the next few days your expedition team will take advantage of local ice and weather conditions to explore the highlights of Spitsbergen, as you attempt to circumnavigate the island. Along the way you may visit the renowned basalt sea cliffs of Alkefjellet, where thick billed murres (brunnich guillemots) nest in their thousands, or visit the abandoned mining town of Pyramiden. Perhaps search for polar bears at Isbukta, beluga whales near Bourbonhamna or walrus at Moffen Island. Conditions permitting there should be plenty of opportunity to hike the Arctic tundra and enjoy Zodiac cruises in the shadow of mighty glaciers.

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Day 11 disembarkation in Longyearbyen

Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. Choose to extend your stay or head to the airport for your flight home.

Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. Choose to extend your stay or head to the airport for your flight home.

Vessel Finder

There are a choice of vessels available for this voyage. Compare the facilities of up to three ships at a glance then talk to our Travel Specialists who will be happy to advise which one is right for you.

ms expedition polar vessel

G Expedition

The ever-popular G Expedition offers spacious and comfortable accommodation at an affordable price.

The ever-popular G Expedition offers spacious and comfortable accommodation at an affordable price.

  • Category: Standard
  • Passengers: 134
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Sauna
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
ms quest polar vessel

MS Quest

The smallest expedition ship in our polar fleet, M/S Quest offers an intimate polar experience.

The smallest expedition ship in our polar fleet, M/S Quest offers an intimate polar experience.

  • Category: Simple
  • Passengers: 53
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
hondius exterior view ocnwde

M/V Hondius

New for 2019, the M/V Hondius is one of the strongest vessels of its category in the polar regions.

New for 2019, the M/V Hondius is one of the strongest vessels of its category in the polar regions.

  • Category: Superior
  • Passengers: 174
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
antarctica ortelius ship sailing through icy waters

M/V Ortelius

A former scientific-research vessel, the Ortelius offers the classic small ship experience.

A former scientific-research vessel, the Ortelius offers the classic small ship experience.

  • Category: Simple
  • Passengers: 116
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Helicopter: on selected dates
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
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M/V Plancius

The M/V Plancius is a traditional ex-research vessel, with proven experience in icy waters.

The M/V Plancius is a traditional ex-research vessel, with proven experience in icy waters.

  • Category: Simple
  • Passengers: 116
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
ocean adventurer exterior view

Ocean Adventurer

An attractive ice-strengthened vessel, the Ocean Adventurer features plenty of outside deck space making this a great choice for a polar adventure.

An attractive ice-strengthened vessel, the Ocean Adventurer features plenty of outside deck space making this a great choice for a polar adventure.

  • Category: Standard
  • Passengers: 132
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
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Sea Spirit

This all-suite vessel couples adventure with spacious accommodation and a friendly atmosphere.

This all-suite vessel couples adventure with spacious accommodation and a friendly atmosphere.

  • Category: Superior
  • Passengers: 114
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Balcony cabins
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
greg mortimer at sea

The Greg Mortimer

Brand new for 2019, the Greg Mortimer is a custom-built expedition ship featuring cutting-edge design, superior comfort and environmentally friendly technology.

Brand new for 2019, the Greg Mortimer is a custom-built expedition ship featuring cutting-edge design, superior comfort and environmentally friendly technology.

  • Category: Deluxe
  • Passengers: 120
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Balcony cabins
  • Sauna
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
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Ultramarine

The spacious Ultramarine is a purpose-built expedition ship, offering a choice of adventure activities as well as the chance to explore by helicopter.

The spacious Ultramarine is a purpose-built expedition ship, offering a choice of adventure activities as well as the chance to explore by helicopter.

  • Category: Deluxe
  • Passengers: 199
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Balcony cabins
  • Sauna
  • Helicopter: on board
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
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World Explorer

The World Explorer is a new state of the art, purpose-built expedition vessel, among the fastest and most luxurious in our fleet of small ships.

The World Explorer is a new state of the art, purpose-built expedition vessel, among the fastest and most luxurious in our fleet of small ships.

  • Category: Deluxe
  • Passengers: 176
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Balcony cabins
  • Pool/Hot tub
  • Sauna
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available

Select 2-3 vessels to compare.

Special Interest Departures

On the following special departures, join an Around Spitsbergen voyage with a twist.

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On-board Workshops

M/V Hondius: 24 June 2020

Workshop 1: Astronavigation with a sextant

Learn to navigate with a sextant under the supervision of an on-board expert, Dr. Lothar Kurtze, who is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in London. He is a volunteer project coordinator of the Faulkes Telescope Project in Germany and Austria, and is committed to astronomical education. He runs a private observatory in Weinheim, and in his free time provides guest lectures on polar astronomy. His primary career is mechanical engineering in Salzburg.

Workshop 2: Basics of Polar Photography

A photo workshop for beginner and advanced photographers under the supervision of a photo expert on board. The workshop group (up to 20 participants per guide during landings, minimum of 20 for the activity while on board) will be accompanied by the photo expert during activities on shore. The workshop will provide the basic rules of photography, including; objects, exposures, and photo composition.

around spitsbergen with doug allan blog

Special Guest: Doug Allan

MS Quest: 24 August 2020

Doug Allan, an award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be joining this voyage as special guest lecturer. Doug’s love affair with ice has lasted for over forty years. He spent four winters as a research diver, scientist, base commander and photographer for the British Antarctic Survey, before changing direction to full time filming in 1984. He specialises in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries in the wildest and most remote places on our planet, particularly the polar zones. Over his career, he’s filmed for series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants, Operation Iceberg and Forces of Nature. He has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife.

His photographic awards include eight Emmy’s and five BAFTA’s. He has twice won the underwater category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and has three Honorary Doctorates in recognition of his camerawork, as well as two Polar Medals.

Excursions

Prices and Departures

Price from £5100 excluding flights

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Tea & coffee available around the clock
  • All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges

2020 Departures

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Price from (pp) Special interests
21 Jun 2020 11 days Sea Spirit £8,076
22 Jun 2020 11 days The Greg Mortimer £5,100 - Waitlist only!
24 Jun 2020 10 days M/V Hondius £5,636 Hiking & Interactive workshop
24 Jun 2020 * 14 days Ocean Adventurer £8,900
26 Jun 2020 10 days M/V Ortelius £5,636 Hiking
26 Jun 2020 11 days G Expedition £5,199 French translator onboard
27 Jun 2020 * 14 days World Explorer £11,600
30 Jun 2020 12 days Sea Spirit £8,956
01 Jul 2020 10 days M/V Plancius £5,636
02 Jul 2020 ^ 11 days The Greg Mortimer £5,100 - Waitlist only!
05 Jul 2020 10 days M/V Ortelius £5,636
06 Jul 2020 11 days MS Quest £7,592
13 Jul 2020 11 days G Expedition £5,199 French translator onboard
16 Jul 2020 11 days MS Quest £7,592
19 Jul 2020 10 days M/V Plancius £5,636 German translator onboard
26 Jul 2020 11 days MS Quest £7,592
30 Jul 2020 11 days G Expedition £5,399
30 Jul 2020 * 14 days World Explorer £11,600
02 Aug 2020 10 days M/V Hondius £5,636
05 Aug 2020 11 days MS Quest £7,592
09 Aug 2020 11 days G Expedition £5,399
15 Aug 2020 10 days M/V Plancius £5,636 German translator onboard
15 Aug 2020 11 days MS Quest £7,592
24 Aug 2020 12 days MS Quest £7,592 Guest: Doug Allan

* Departs and finishes in Oslo, Norway
^ Departs from Longyearbyen and finishes in Kirkenes, Norway

2021 Departures

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Activites Price from (pp) Special Interest
26 May 2021 * 14 days Ultramarine £12,792 Photography focus
21 Jun 2021 10 days Sea Spirit £6,495
26 Jun 2021 11 days G Expedition £5,399
29 Jun 2021 12 days Sea Spirit £8,995
30 Jun 2021 * 14 days Ocean Adventurer £9,992
01 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Ortelius £5,864
02 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Plancius £5,864
07 Jul 2021 = 13 days The Greg Mortimer £8,300
08 Jul 2021 11 days MS Quest £7,592
10 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Ortelius £5,864
13 Jul 2021 11 days G Expedition £5,399
19 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Ortelius £5,864
20 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Plancius £5,864
28 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Ortelius £5,864
28 Jul 2021 11 days MS Quest £7,592
29 Jul 2021 10 days M/V Plancius £5,864
30 Jul 2021 11 days G Expedition £5,699 German translator onboard
06 Aug 2021 10 days M/V Oretlius £5,864
07 Aug 2021 11 days MS Quest £7,592 German speaking
09 Aug 2021 11 days G Expedition £5,699 German translator onboard
16 Aug 2021 ∅ 10 days M/V Plancius £5,864 German translator onboard
17 Aug 2021 11 days MS Quest £7,592
18 Aug 2021 ^ 13 days The Greg Mortimer £8,600
27 Aug 2021 11 days MS Quest £7,592

* Departs and finishes in Oslo, Norway
= Departs from Longyearbyen and finishes in Kirkenes, Norway
^ Departs from Kirkenes and finishes in Longyearbyen

∅ Attempts to land on island of Kvitoya

Activity Icon Key

  • activity diving Diving
  • activity kayaking Kayaking
  • activity snorkelling Snorkelling
  • activity kayak tester Kayak taster session

The inclusions for this cruise are dependent on the vessel chosen, though the following are applicable to all

Offers

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