A curious polar bear puts its paws on the dark blue hull of a National Geographic ship that's sitting in pack ice in Svalbard.
Arctic adventurists venturing the icy waters overlooking rugged mountains off nat geo expedition ship
Mother polar bear & 2 cubs stand on snow-covered ice on a sunny day during the Svalbard in Spring small ship cruise.
Camp Barentz with a backdrop of Snowy landscapes in the Artric during a landcruise
Adventurist explore breathtaking artic landscapes off the national geographic expedition ship
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears

The National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears voyage sails north just as the spring sun mounts higher in the Arctic sky. Scan the icescapes for emerging bears, walrus and other wildlife. Walk on a frozen sea. Cruising along Svalbard is a unique and memorable experience. Enjoy a unique visit to Camp Barentz on Longyearbyen, for a taste of Arctic culture.

Arctic Svalbard, a remote archipelago situated just over 350 miles north of Norway’s North Cape, is a place of deep fjords, mountains and massive sheets of ice. During summer, when the sun never sets, the tundra experiences a warm revival and becomes carpeted with wildflowers, sleepy walrus, reindeer and hunting polar bear. During the spring, Svalbard is stunning with vistas of snow and ice. The changing light initiates a true awakening as this part of the world transitions from polar night to polar day. Even experienced Arctic sailors find this moment to be remarkable, so special that it deserves its own itinerary. Watch the frozen world awaken alongside expert naturalists, experienced crew and National Geographic photographers, whose goal is to spot the earliest risers of polar bears, walrus and reindeer.

Sail along Svalbard aboard one of two identical sister ships: the 126-guest National Geographic Resolution or National Geographic Endurance. With a polar ice class 5 rating, state-of-the-art educational equipment and highly qualified naturalist guides, these ships are ideal for an Arctic cruise. After daily explorations via hiking, kayaking and Zodiac cruising, relax in the sauna, yoga room, library or bar, then watch your expedition ship crush through ice from the bridge or deck and enjoy the highest technologies in ice-stable small ship cruising.

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



Itinerary

Land of the Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration of Arctic Svalbard Itinerary

The 10-day National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears voyage begins and ends in Oslo, Norway with a flight to sail from Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

Route map of National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears voyage, operating round-trip from Oslo, Norway, via Longyearbyen, Svalbard, with visits to sites along Spitsbergen's northern, western and southern coasts.
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Day 1
Arrive Oslo, Norway

Arrive in Oslo and transfer to the centrally located group hotel. After lunch, your introduction to Norway begins with a tour of Oslo, including a visit to the Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian pole explorers such as Nansen and Amundsen. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

Accommodations

Hotel Bristol (or similar)

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen & Embark

Depart Oslo on a charter flight and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. On arrival to this Arctic outpost, explore the world’s northernmost settlement, which has morphed from a coal mining hub to a base for exploration and science in recent history. Witness daily life and delve into this history before embarking the ship.

Accommodations

National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 8
Exploring Svalbard

Travel in true expedition style, letting nature dictate your day-to-day movements within an immense Arctic wonderland. Your fully stabilized, ice-class expedition ship probes deep into the ice where the polar bears forage, walrus sun themselves and the Svalbard reindeer roam. Join your spotters on the bridge as you scan the floes and islands for these iconic creatures, along with bearded and ringed seals; arctic fox; and whales that call these waters home, like beluga, fin and minke. There’s no greater thrill than a sighting that brings everyone rushing to the bow or bridge for a close-up view.

Sail deep into protected bays and fjords, where even a novice kayaker can comfortably paddle surrounded by sparkling bergs and dramatic mountains. Video from your ship’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) allows you to peer into the mysterious world that exists 1,000 feet below during Recaps with your multi-talented field staff.

Accommodations

National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Disembark Longyearbyen, Fly to Oslo & Overnight

Disembark in Longyearbyen for one more taste of civilization in this northern frontier. Fly back to Oslo on a private charter flight, enjoy dinner with fellow guests and overnight at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.

Accommodations

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 10
Depart Oslo, Norway

After breakfast, proceed to the airport for the flight home or continue on to other adventures.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Expedition parka to keep; two hotel nights in Oslo; accommodations; meals as indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; basic WiFi (enhanced and premium packages available for purchase). Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

Round-trip charter flight Oslo-Longyearbyen ($1,140 per person in 2024, subject to change; TBD for 2025); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation 

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 15% 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 payment terms apply for groups of 8 or more; inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – 100% of deposit**
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost
**Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate, valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation, and which may only be applied towards final payment on any future booking. 

(For expeditions booked prior to May 1, 2023: Please refer to your invoice for your payment and cancellation terms.)

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.

Arrival & Departure

The National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears cruise begins and ends in Oslo, Norway (OSL). Embarkation time may vary as it is based upon arrival of group flights from New York, New York (JFK). Disembarkation times may vary depending on local conditions on Day 9. Plan departing flights after breakfast on Day 10 of the itinerary. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

The round-trip charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen is not included in the cruise price, but is arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled charter flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. See Exclusions for sample airfare rates, subject to change.

There is a strict luggage limit of one checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs (23 kg), and one carry-on bag weighing up to 18 lbs (8 kg) plus a personal item that can be stowed under the seat. In Oslo, arrangements can be made to store excess luggage which can then be delivered back to you upon your return from Svalbard.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, kayaking, Zodiac excursions, photography, morning yoga and stretching, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. 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

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change.

Jun 13 - Jun 22, 2024
National Geographic Resolution • 10 days
From $14085USD
Per Person
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Jun 07 - Jun 16, 2025
National Geographic Endurance • 10 days
From $15358USD
Per Person
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Jun 10 - Jun 19, 2025
National Geographic Resolution • 10 days
From $15358USD
Per Person
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Jun 17 - Jun 26, 2025
National Geographic Resolution • 10 days
From $15358USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Endurance

The 126-guest National Geographic Endurance is the newest addition to the National Geographic fleet. This expedition ship is specifically designed for stability and sustainability as well as for in-depth education and an unmatched range of exploration in the polar regions.

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Resolution

The 126-guest National Geographic Resolution is one of the newest additions to the National Geographic fleet. This expedition ship is specifically designed for stability, efficiency, scholarship and long-range exploration in the polar regions.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires May 31st, 2024
Kids Save $500 On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Expeditions Worldwide

Save $500 per kid under 18 when you book your 2024 or 2025 departure from a variety of National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires May 31st, 2024
Groups Save 5% On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Expeditions Worldwide

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on a variety of 2024 or 2025 National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

Expert Reviews

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.

Todd Smith • June 17th, 2022
Expert Aboard: National Geographic Resolution & Endurance Ship Review

AdventureSmith's founder writes this firsthand review of the National Geographic Resolution & Endurance. Learn what makes these the best-in-class, next-generation expedition ships, from X-Bow design to on-deck igloos.

Testimonial

Hear It From Travelers Who Have Explored With Us Before

"Coordinated Superbly"

Endurance is a wonderful ship with a crew that not only sailed her with great competence but coordinated superbly. Our many land hikes through snow, rocky terrain and on tundra were enhanced by the experts who led us. When Zodiacs were not safely able to land, we had memorable landings on drift ice.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
4.5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

In conjunction with this cruise, the following pre- and post-cruise options are available for a seamless land-and-sea group travel experience with National Geographic guides and fellow passengers. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for pricing.

Norway’s Fjords Extension is a 6-day pre-cruise exploration of Bergen, Oslo, and Norway’s two longest fjords, with nightly hotel accommodation. Kayak, canoe and hike, and enjoy a ride on the Flåm Railway, one of world’s most scenic train journeys.

Add to Wishlist
8 - 8 Day Cruise
Norwegian Fjords Cruise

Set sail  for 8-9 days aboard a French luxury ship on this Norwegian fjords cruise. Discover dizzying cliff faces, Viking history and the Norwegian capital of Oslo, a city with unique energy.

From $7550USD
Jul Aug
Add to Wishlist
13 - 30 Day Cruise
Jewels of the Arctic

Discover the jewels of the Arctic aboard cutting-edge small expedition ships. Among Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland there is something for every traveler to discover. Add-ons like kayaking, rock climbing and scuba diving make the journey even more rewarding for the adventurous.

Special Offer
From $16195USD
Jun Jul Aug Sep
Add to Wishlist
16 - 16 Day Cruise
Norway's Fjords & Arctic Svalbard

Join National Geographic expert leaders aboard 126-guest Nat Geo Endurance or Resolution to see the Arctic's unparalleled beauty, exploring where polar bears prowl and walruses haul out on rocky shores.

Special Offer
From $24366USD
May Jun Jul
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National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears