coastal birds fly over hikers resting by cliffside on spitsbergen highlights: expedition in brief arctic cruise
polar bear seen on spitsbergen highlights: expedition in brief arctic cruise
View Photos
Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief

Pack in all the excitement of an epic long Arctic cruise into only 7 days with the Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief itinerary. In just a week, cruise through the pack ice up to 80°N along the west coast of Spitsbergen like an explorer of long ago, on a constant search for wildlife. Though this rocky island is covered in mountains and glaciers, the towering cliffs and fjords play host to a surprisingly thriving and varied ecosystem. Exploring as much of the area as possible will provide optimal opportunities to spot the most iconic of Arctic wildlife, the polar bear.

Begin and end in Helsinki, Finland. Oslo is Norway’s capital city, where museums, restaurants and shops begin the subtle introduction to northern living. Helsinki is renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. The bulk of this expedition-style voyage is spent exploring, observing and taking in the beauty of the High Arctic with no set agenda. Possible stops include the abandoned mining settlement Ny London, Texas Bar, Worsleyneset, the famed cliffs of Alkehornet, the Andoyane Islands (where polar bears have been known to roam) and a walrus sanctuary at 80°N on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. 

Take in the abandoned Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg, one of Europe’s most northerly outposts. And possibly visit the world’s northernmost brewery at Barentsburg. Glaciers amaze along the way, including Lilliehöök and Monaco Glaciers. Keep binoculars at the ready for reindeer, sea birds, polar bears and walrus. And appreciate opportunities to learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling and mining history.

The Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief expedition is aboard the 128-guest Ocean Adventurer, an ice-stable ship equipped for personal and intimate Arctic exploration. AdventureSmith Explorations’ crew of award-winning small ship cruise experts have personal experience sailing in the polar regions. Contact us to discover more about this Arctic small ship cruise and other options to suit your travel interests and timeline.

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


Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief Itinerary

This 7-day Arctic expedition through Spitsbergen begins and ends in Helsinki, Finland with round-trip charter flights to and from Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief cruise route map
Read More
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.


Airport Hotel TBA



Read More
Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard & Embark

This morning, transfer to the airport and board the private group charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, with some time to explore before embarkation. As the ship sets sail, enjoy great vistas of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this historic town.


Ocean Adventurer


breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 3 - 6
Exploring Spitsbergen

Sail around the shores of this magical island, constantly searching for polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen, this expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna.

Sailing north into Krossfjord, have the camera handy, ready to capture some of the best glacier calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehöök Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, are possible here.

After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. To make this even more thrilling, help the expedition team to scan the shorelines and ice edge for marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands (where polar bears have been known to roam). At 80°N, reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching from the water as large groups of these lumbering giants jockey for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with binoculars.

At Smeerenburg, see the remains of an abandoned settlement that was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards with panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal-clear waters.

During the last full day of your Arctic adventure, possibly visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of the world’s northernmost brewery. Hope to round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Encounters with reindeer might be possible here too. Later, in the evening, swap stories with shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s dinner.


Ocean Adventurer


breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
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.





Read More
Inclusions, Terms & Notes


Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals and snacks on board; soft drinks and juices on board; select beer and house 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 the 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 bathrobe 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.


Mandatory Transfer Package (approximate package price is $995 and includes one night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Helsinki airport hotel, 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 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 (2023 season) 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 Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief 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 7 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 7. 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 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 7 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.


Various optional activities may be available on your Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief 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

In addition to listed Single cabin rates, 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

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

Jul 02 - Jul 08, 2023
Ocean Adventurer • 7 days
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity A brown kayak paddle icon depicting a one-time paddle activity option
From $4995USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity Kayaking
A brown kayak paddle icon depicting a one-time paddle activity option One-Time Paddling

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

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.


Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires April 3rd, 2023
Save Up To 35% On Select 2023 Arctic Expeditions

Save up to 35% per person when you book your select 2023 Arctic expedition and receive an additional 10% 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.


Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"Incredible Trip"

Incredible trip, excellent guide and hotel staff. Cruise with zodiacs and land hiking, all excellent.

5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
4.5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Read More Rectangle Copy 10 Created with Sketch.
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

Add to Wishlist
15 - 16 Day Cruise
Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea Cruise

Sail aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer to six different countries that dot the shores of the Baltic Sea, for a whirlwind exploratory cruise through the history and cultures of these varied places.

From $19090USD
May Jun Jul
Add to Wishlist
16 - 17 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 $20960USD
May Jun Jul
Add to Wishlist
8 - 12 Day Cruise
Norwegian Fjords Cruise

Set sail  for 8-12 days aboard one of three French ships for a luxury Norwegian fjords cruise. Select from various routes to add time exploring Spitsbergen, Scotland, Denmark or the island of Bjornoya.

Special Offer
From $6310USD
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
More to Explore

Trips You Might Also Like

Add to Wishlist
10 Day Cruise
Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard

On this 10-day adventure aboard 200-guest Ultramarine or 128-guest Ocean Adventurer, cruise Spitsbergen's coastline and discover fjords, sea cliffs, polar bears and walrus.

Special Offer
From $6995USD
May Jun
Add to Wishlist
11 - 14 Day Cruise
Spitsbergen In Depth

This 14-day voyage around the Svalbard archipelago aboard the 200-guest Ultramarine or the 128-guest Ocean Adventurer seeks out polar bears and remarkably diverse landscapes, exploring everything from jagged mountain peaks to sweeping polar deserts.

Special Offer
From $8495USD
May Jul
Add to Wishlist
12 Day Cruise
Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

This 12-day expedition aboard 128-guest Ocean Adventurer or 200-guest Ultramarine enables more time to explore the vast tundra, appreciate the natural beauty of the surprisingly colorful Arctic wilderness.

Special Offer
From $8495USD
May Jun Jul
Exit Created with Sketch.

Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief

test message
View Wishlist