polar landscape under blue sky with wispy clouds on arctic cruise
polar bear and cub seen on introduction to spitsbergen: fjords, glaciers & wildlife of svalbard cruise
closeup of polar bear face on introduction to spitsbergen: fjords, glaciers & wildlife of svalbard cruise
arctic landscape of spitsbergen on small ship cruise
musk ox in svalbard seen on introduction to spitsbergen arctic cruise
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard

The 10-day Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard voyage is an active adventure that begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, one of Norway’s Arctic islands in the Svalbard archipelago. The aim of this expedition is to explore a majority of the coastline of the largest island in the group. Expect to sail magnificent fjords, cruise in inflatable skiffs past towering sea cliffs and encounter polar bears and walruses in their natural habitat.

The huge bird cliffs along the Spitsbergen coasts are a major attraction. Spitsbergen is a breeding ground for large numbers of guillemots such as the Brunnich’s and the black guillemot. Other bird species such as Atlantic Puffin, little auk, northern fulmar and kittiwake can also be found on or around the cliffs, while the arctic tern, ringed plover, purple sandpiper and four species of skua prefer the tundra. Shore excursions by Zodiac will enable you to set foot in places only a few humans have walked before and optional kayaking and paddle excursions are available at an added cost to intimately explore your surroundings even further.

This Arctic cruise begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Svalbard with round-trip charter flights to and from Helsinki, Finland. Get an extensive exploration of Spitsbergen aboard the 200-guest Ultramarine or the 128-guest Ocean Adventurer, both ice-stable ships equipped for personal and intimate Arctic exploration. Experience the Arctic for yourself on this stunning Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard cruise.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises, Svalbard Cruises and Arctic trips.



Itinerary

Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers and Wildlife of Svalbard Itinerary

The Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard voyage is an active adventure that begins and ends in Helsinki, Finland with round-trip charter flights to and from Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

Route map of 10-day Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard voyage, operating round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway, with visits to the western and northern shores of Spitsbergen, including Calypsobyen, Smeerenburg, the Monaco Glacier & Alkefjellet.
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Day 1
Arrive Helsinki, Finland

This Arctic voyage begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If arriving early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at the included airport hotel.

Accommodations

Airport Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard & Embark

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board a private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where there will be some free time to explore before embarkation. As the ship sets sail, enjoy the first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Accommodations

Ultramarine, Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 9
Exploring Spitsbergen

Cruise around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. The expedition covers western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places to possibly visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.

The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Spotting polar bears is more likely here than almost anywhere else, as the Svalbard archipelago is one of their preferred hunting areas. The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment that won’t soon be forgotten. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, see something interesting, whether it is unique arctic wildlife a polar bear resting between hunts, or abandoned sites from centuries ago.

Accommodations

Ultramarine, Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Disembark Longyearbyen, Fly to Helsinki, Finland & Depart

The time to say goodbye to the expedition team and shipmates has come. The adventure ends as it began, in the historic frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, transfer to the airport for the return group charter flight to Helsinki.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals and snacks on board; soft drinks and juices on board; select beer and wine during dinner; all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced expedition leader; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by expedition team and special guests as scheduled; photographic journal documenting the expedition; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard the ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person; transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day.

Exclusions

Mandatory Transfer Package (approximate package price is $995 and includes one night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Helsinki airport hotel, with breakfast; charter flight from Helsinki to Longyearbyen; arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen; and charter flight from Longyearbyen to Helsinki); international airfare; arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended), or insurance of any kind; excess baggage fees on international and domestic flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, and any gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of voyage for shipboard staff and crew; additional overnight accommodation; any adventure options or excursions.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 180 days – full refund, less $500 admin fee
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 75% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard voyage begins and ends in Helsinki, Finland (HEL), with group charter flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Helsinki anytime on Day 1 of the itinerary. An arrival transfer is not needed, as the Day 1 hotel is at the airport. On Day 10 of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 7:00 and 8:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport or hotel. Plan flights to depart Helsinki no earlier than three hours following arrival of your group charter flight from Longyearbyen on Day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Group charter flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen are required on this trip’s itinerary; see the Mandatory Transfer Package information listed above under Exclusions. The flight to Longyearbyen is expected to depart early on Day 2 of the itinerary. There is a strict luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage on the flights to and from Helsinki. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Helsinki; there is no option to pay for additional luggage. On Day 10 of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 7:00 and 8:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Helsinki, or to your independently arranged hotel in Longyearbyen.

Activities

Various optional activities may be available on your Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard voyage at the following per person costs: sea kayaking for $695 and one-time paddling excursion for $195. Hiking, Zodiac cruising, daily presentations, photography guides and the polar plunge are optional and included. Sea kayaking is arranged in small groups of 10 people, multiple times per voyage, and only conducted during calm weather conditions. You must have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit. Each departure’s first paddling excursion may be pre-booked and all subsequent outings are booked on the ship. Contact AdventureSmith for more details and to reserve your spot on these adventure activities.

Room Configuration

Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth goes unsold, you will be guaranteed the double rate. Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x (2x for Premium cabins) the per-person listed rate in select cabins based upon availability. Premium Cabins are as follows:
Ocean Adventurer: Superior, Deluxe, Suite & Owner’s Suite
Ultramarine: Deluxe Balcony Suite, Terrace Suite, Penthouse Suite, Owner’s Suite, Ultra Suite

Families & Children

At date of embarkation, a minimum age restriction of 8 years and minimum height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48 in. or 1.2 m. tall) must be met. Children under 16 years of age must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times, and may not participate in adventure options.

Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of up to $500,000 USD per paying traveler provides coverage between the first and last day of ship-based travel and is included in the cost of this trip. For ship- and land-based trips, additional days of travel pre- and post-expedition are not covered. Travelers are responsible for having adequate international medical coverage prior to embarkation, with a minimum benefit of $50,000 USD. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers also protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

May 27 - Jun 05, 2023
Ocean Adventurer • 10 days
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From $6995USD
Per Person
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May 30 - Jun 08, 2023
Ultramarine • 10 days
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From $8395USD
Per Person
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Jun 14 - Jun 23, 2023
Ocean Adventurer • 10 days
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity A brown kayak paddle icon depicting a one-time paddle activity option
From $6995USD
Per Person
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Jun 17 - Jun 26, 2023
Ultramarine • 10 days
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity A brown kayak paddle icon depicting a one-time paddle activity option
From $7995USD
Per Person
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brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity Kayaking
A brown kayak paddle icon depicting a one-time paddle activity option One-Time Paddling
Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Ultramarine

The new Ultramarine 200-passenger polar ship is purpose-built for safety and far-off exploration in Antarctica and the Arctic. Dual helicopter pads and an incredible 70-day cruising range allow access to the hardest-to-reach places.

Expedition Ship
Ocean Adventurer

A handsome and newly refurbished expedition ship, the Ocean Adventurer combines travel to the polar regions with superior onboard comfort for her 128 passengers.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Save 10-25% On Select 2022 & 2023 Arctic Expeditions

Save up to 25% per person when you book your select 2022 or 2023 Arctic expedition and receive an additional 5% savings when making full payment earlier.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts So You Know What To Expect

Arielle Lightcap • January 7th, 2020
Expert Review: What to Expect on a Polar Bear Cruise

A travel expert lends her Arctic cruise insight on what you can expect aboard a small ship polar bear cruise in the Arctic Svalbard region.

Testimonial

Hear It From Travelers Who Have Explored With Us

"The Trip Ran Like Clockwork"

Fulfilling all that was on the detailed expectations. The wilderness of the Arctic was the big plus and to be there in real life and not just seeing it via the TV screen was humbling. To go where there had never been habitation and nature ruled was awesome. The kayaking made the holiday.

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Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard

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