zodiac of photographers near two polar bears on pack ice on arctic wildlife safari small ship cruise
three polar bears drinking water seen on arctic wildlife safari small ship cruise
zodiac beside huge glacier as sun sets on arctic wildlife safari small ship cruise
photographers on a zodiac nearby seal on ice in arctic waters
yellow wildflowers near svalbard coast on arctic wildlife safari cruise
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Arctic Wildlife Safari

Select from three itineraries to explore Svalbard—one of the best places in the world to observe polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat, the pack ice. Enjoy a flexible itinerary based around sea and ice conditions that explores the spectacular fjords, coasts and islands of Svalbard. Polar bears, walruses, endangered bowhead whales and other Arctic wildlife can be spotted anywhere, anytime in and around this High Arctic archipelago. With 24-hour daylight the captain and crew are determined to make the best of every opportunity for wildlife viewing in this unique polar ecosystem. 

Encounter a stark, enigmatic landscape steeped in the drama and heroism of historic polar explorations. Walk the footsteps of famous polar explorers at significant High Arctic places. Visit historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, an abandoned polar research station, and the Arctic research community of Ny Ålesund, complete with gift shop, post office, and museum—all testimonies to incredible human history.

In addition to the main 10-day West Svalbard polar expedition, there are 12-day Best of Svalbard and 14-day In-Depth Exploration in the Land of the Polar Bear departures that attempt a full circumnavigation of Svalbard. AdventureSmith Explorations’ award-winning crew has personal experience sailing in the Arctic and can recommend the best itineraries to suit your travel interests and timeline.

All itineraries are aboard the 114-guest Sea Spirit, which boasts an impressive staff-to-passenger ratio of 1 crew member per 10 guests. Plus, expedition leaders each have the field experience of 50-plus voyages to the polar regions.

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



Itinerary

West Svalbard Itinerary

The West Svalbard voyage cruises round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway, with included round-trip flights from and to Oslo to start and end the trip. This itinerary focuses on the west coast while searching for wildlife.

Route map of West Svalbard Arctic small ship cruise, operating round-trip from Longyearbyen with a focus along the island's west coast.
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Day 1
Arrive Oslo, Norway

Welcome to Oslo, which in 2019 was awarded the prestigious title “Green Capital of Europe”. Enjoy a pre-arranged, comfortable stay at an Oslo Airport hotel so that you’re conveniently close for your flight to Longyearbyen on Day 2. If you’re adventurous and have the time, take the handy airport train into central Oslo–it’s a 20-minute ride and trains depart and arrive frequently during the day. Near Oslo Central Station are shops, cafes, the Botanical Garden, cultural attractions and the beautiful waterfront area.

Accommodations

Oslo Airport Hotel (TBA)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen & Embark

Today you have a flight to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of your Arctic expedition! At the Longyearbyen airport, be greeted by ship staff and transferred to the pier for a warm welcome aboard the ship. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. Once underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in endless evening light as you pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, dinner

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Days 3 - 9
West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge

The itinerary for this voyage focuses on the spectacular fjords, coasts and islands of western Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago. This area contains Svalbard’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. The exact schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice conditions. Polar bears and other iconic Arctic animals can be spotted at anytime, anywhere in this area of exploration.

One of the pristine natural areas on this itinerary is South Spitsbergen National Park, a vast region of varied landscapes including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. Encounter fast ice—that is, sea ice that is fastened to the shore. This situation offers an excellent chance of observing polar bears on the hunt for ringed seals. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay with the remains of historical whaling operations, including wooden boats, cabins and thousands of whale bones. This area also offers great hiking opportunities through landscapes rich with Arctic flora and birdlife, as well as fascinating geology.

Also on your route is Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. Here find deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain peaks and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The whole area is alive with migratory Arctic seabirds. Witness the return of millions of murres, guillemots and little auks to the small islands, mountainsides and sea cliffs where they breed within the park. This is also a great area to encounter marine mammals, including various kinds of whales and Arctic seals. Set among this incredible scenery and wildlife activity, also find evidence of Svalbard’s earliest sealers and whalers.

Your area of exploration also includes gorgeous Forlandet National Park. Here, find Prins Karls Forland, one of the best places in Svalbard to observe herds of walrus hauled out on land. Also along the route is North Isforden National Park, where you have the chance to observe endemic Svalbard reindeer grazing and Arctic fox romping in lush tundra meadows. Human habitation along your route can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements, offering a museum, gift shop and post office.

In addition to exploring the terrestrial environment and inshore waterways of western Spitsbergen, make a special effort to reach the edge of the polar pack ice. At this dynamic boundary between solid sea ice and open ocean is an unparalleled opportunity to witness the dramatic interplay between polar bears and seals. At this time of year, the ice edge is not far from mainland Spitsbergen and your sailing time in open seas will be relatively short.

The West Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge route offers a stunning variety of Arctic landscapes and animals with minimal sailing time between excursions. Every day offers something new and exciting. You will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, to witness incredible polar scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Disembark Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, Fly to Oslo & Depart

After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, bid the crew farewell in Longyearbyen and take an included transfer to your charter flight back to Oslo. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip into the polar worlds!

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Round-trip flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen, 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Oslo, group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation, shipboard accommodation, all meals on board throughout the voyage, tea and coffee station 24 hours daily, all scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions), leadership throughout the voyage by experienced expedition leader & expedition team, branded Poseidon Expeditions parka, rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise, welcome and farewell cocktails, all port fees, group transfer upon disembarkation, pre-departure materials, digital voyage log and WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Airfare (except for round-trip charter flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen); visa and passport fees; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations; personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges; staff gratuities; kayaking; Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 USD per person; the cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or the operator (Poseidon Expeditions) before, during or after the cruise. Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may 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 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 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.

Arrival & Departure

The West Svalbard voyage begins and ends in Oslo, Norway (OSL). Plan flights to arrive to Oslo anytime on Day 1 of the itinerary. The estimated disembarkation time is after breakfast, between 8:00am and 9:00am on the last day of the itinerary. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Group charter flights between Longyearbyen and Oslo are included on this trip’s itinerary. These flights are expected to depart early on the second and final day 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 final day of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 8:00 and 9:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Oslo.

Activities

Hiking, Zodiac cruising, lectures, workshops and an expert photography guide on board each voyage are optional and included. Kayaking may be available on your Best of Svalbard voyage for $655 (2024). Experience rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have paddled or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from sturdy and stealthy sea kayaks. Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person listed rate in Main Deck Suite, Classic Suite and Superior Suite; and 2x the per-person listed rate in Deluxe Suite, Premium Suite and Owner’s Suite, based upon availability. Cabin share is available only in the following categories: Triple Classic, Main Deck Suite, Classic Suite and Superior Suite.

Families & Children

Children must be at least 12 years of age to participate in this trip; however, on a case-by-case basis, children ages 6-11 may be accepted with additional screening.

Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $200,000 USD per person, but is not included in the cost of this trip. In addition to the emergency evacuation insurance, we highly recommend our travelers 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.

Best of Svalbard Itinerary

The Best of Svalbard voyage cruises round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway, with included round-trip flights from and to Oslo to start and end the trip. This itinerary attempts a circumnavigation of Svalbard while searching for wildlife.

Route map of Best of Svalbard Arctic small ship cruise, operating round-trip from Longyearbyen with an attempt to circumnavigate Svalbard.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Oslo, Norway

Welcome to Oslo, which in 2019 was awarded the prestigious title “Green Capital of Europe”. Enjoy a pre-arranged, comfortable stay at an Oslo Airport hotel so that you’re conveniently close for your flight to Longyearbyen on Day 2. If you’re adventurous and have the time, take the handy airport train into central Oslo–it’s a 20-minute ride and trains depart and arrive frequently during the day. Near Oslo Central Station are shops, cafes, the Botanical Garden, cultural attractions and the beautiful waterfront area.

Accommodations

Oslo Airport Hotel (TBA)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen & Embark

Today you have a flight to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of your Arctic expedition! At the Longyearbyen airport, be greeted by ship staff and transferred to the pier for a warm welcome aboard the ship. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. Once underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in endless evening light as you pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, dinner

Read More
Days 3 - 11
Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge

The goal for this voyage is a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. The exact schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice. In addition to seeing Spitsbergen from every angle, this itinerary offers the appealing possibility of setting foot on all four of Svalbard’s main islands.

First visit South Spitsbergen National Park, a vast region of varied landscapes including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay with remains of historical whaling operations, including cabins, wooden boats and thousands of whale bones. Throughout the park, there is always a high probability of wildlife sightings, plus world-class hiking, fascinating geology and wildflowers.

Next is the wildlife-rich Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, a pristine and rarely visited wilderness containing hundreds of uninhabited islands. On the large islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, discover broad tundra valleys supporting the territory’s densest population of endemic Svalbard reindeer. Other possible sightings include ground-nesting birds such as geese, eiders and sandpipers; arctic foxes and walrus. Historical sites provide glimpses into the region’s bygone era of trapping and hunting.

Encounter the densest concentrations of sea ice in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve. In this remote and isolated region, ice can persist very late into the summer. This reserve covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and the entirety of Nordaustlandet, the second largest island in Svalbard. Here find the massive Austfonna ice cap, part of which meets the sea along the 28-mile (45-kilometer) ice cliff known as Bråsvellbreen—one of the great wonders of the Arctic world. Also see prodigious numbers of seabirds at breeding sites such as Alkefjellet. The probability of encountering polar bears and walrus in this icy wilderness is very high.

Hope to sail along this dynamic boundary between sea and ice, along Nordaustlandet with its unparalleled opportunity to witness the dramatic interplay between polar bears and seals. Finally, reach Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. Here find deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain ranges and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. Skies are filled with millions of murres, guillemots and little auks; seas are abundant with beluga whales and various arctic seals.

Also find evidence of Svalbard’s earliest sealers and whalers, and modern human habitation at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements offering a museum, gift shop and post office.

The ambitious Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge route offers a comprehensive view of the Arctic’s many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. Encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, witness incredible polar scenery and walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Disembark Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, Fly to Oslo & Depart

After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, bid the crew farewell in Longyearbyen and take an included transfer to your charter flight back to Oslo. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip into the polar worlds!

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Round-trip flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen, 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Oslo, group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation, shipboard accommodation, all meals on board throughout the voyage, tea and coffee station 24 hours daily, all scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions), leadership throughout the voyage by experienced expedition leader & expedition team, branded Poseidon Expeditions parka, rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise, welcome and farewell cocktails, all port fees, group transfer upon disembarkation, pre-departure materials, digital voyage log and WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Airfare (except for round-trip charter flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen); visa and passport fees; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations; personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges; staff gratuities; kayaking; Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 USD per person; the cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or the operator (Poseidon Expeditions) before, during or after the cruise. Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may 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 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 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.

Arrival & Departure

The Best of Svalbard voyage begins and ends in Oslo, Norway (OSL). Plan flights to arrive to Oslo anytime on Day 1 of the itinerary. The estimated disembarkation time is after breakfast, between 8:00am and 9:00am on the last day of the itinerary. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Group charter flights between Longyearbyen and Oslo are included on this trip’s itinerary. These flights are expected to depart early on the second and final day 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 final day of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 8:00 and 9:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Oslo.

Activities

Hiking, Zodiac cruising, lectures, workshops and an expert photography guide on board each voyage are optional and included. Kayaking may be available on your Best of Svalbard voyage for $655 (2024). Experience rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have paddled or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from sturdy and stealthy sea kayaks. Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person listed rate in Main Deck Suite, Classic Suite and Superior Suite; and 2x the per-person listed rate in Deluxe Suite, Premium Suite and Owner’s Suite, based upon availability. Cabin share is available only in the following categories: Triple Classic, Main Deck Suite, Classic Suite and Superior Suite.

Families & Children

Children must be at least 12 years of age to participate in this trip; however, on a case-by-case basis, children ages 6-11 may be accepted with additional screening.

Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $200,000 USD per person, but is not included in the cost of this trip. In addition to the emergency evacuation insurance, we highly recommend our travelers 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.

In-Depth Exploration in the Land of the Polar Bear Itinerary

The In-Depth Exploration in the Land of the Polar Bear voyage operates round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway, with included round-trip flights from and to Oslo to start and end the trip. This itinerary attempts a circumnavigation of Svalbard plus a unique visit to Kvitoya, while searching for wildlife.

Route map of In-Depth Arctic Expedition & Polar Bear Safari, round-trip from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, with an included flight to Oslo following disembarkation, and attempts a circumnavigation of Svalbard plus a unique visit to Kvitoya, while searching for wildlife.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Oslo, Norway, Fly to Longyearbyen & Overnight

Welcome to Oslo, which in 2019 was awarded the prestigious title “Green Capital of Europe”. Today you have a flight to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of your Arctic expedition! At the Longyearbyen airport, be greeted by ship staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by the ship staff and is included in the price of the itinerary.

You will then be free to explore the charming, walkable town center. We recommend starting your discovery of this fascinating Norwegian High Arctic territory at the excellent Svalbard Museum, where you can also purchase hard-to-find polar books and maps. Afterward, you can enjoy an excellent dinner at one of Longyearbyen’s many delightful restaurants. If you are still awake at midnight, you will notice the sun has not set. In fact, the sun will not set for the entire duration of your time in Svalbard.

Accommodations

Longyearbyen Hotel (TBA)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Embark Longyearbyen

After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Longyearbyen. Take in the views of icy fjords and glaciated mountains surrounding this historic former coal-mining town. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some last-minute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you will soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, Longyearbyen offers quick and easy meal options including the most northerly pizzas and kebabs in the world.

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where you will be warmly welcomed aboard. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in 24-hour daylight as you pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, dinner

Read More
Days 3 - 5
Arctic Adventures Begin

The goal of this voyage is a circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago. Attempt to go to the northeastern most part of the archipelago–the island of Kvitøya, famous for its polar bears. Along the way, hope to experience the many facets of this incredible High Arctic territory.

Much of the pristine nature of Spitsbergen is protected by a system of national parks, and the first one on your way will be the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, which is the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. This area is well-known for its deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain ranges and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The skies are filled with millions of murres, guillemots and little auks. This is also a great chance to encounter marine mammals, including beluga whales and various Arctic seals.

This wildly beautiful area contains many enchanting locations like Signehamna Bay and Kongsbreen Glacier (Kings Glacier). Human habitation–rare along your route–can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements where you can find a museum, gift shop and post office.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
The Polar Ice Edge is Straight Ahead!

The Svalbard Archipelago is located halfway between the top of Norway and the North Pole, which means the Polar Ice Edge can be found to the north of the islands! This corner of Svalbard is full of stunning scenery and wildlife as well as rich history from the age of exploration. Plan to navigate along the ice edge towards the island of Nordaustlandet and further to the east towards Kvitøya (White Island). However, remember, your route and research opportunities are heavily dependent on the weather. But rest assured, you’ll be well positioned to take in this wild and remote corner of the world.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 7 - 8
Following the Trails of Great Arctic Explorers

Make an attempt to go to the eastern and northern regions of the Svalbard Archipelago–infrequently visited aboard expedition ships–experiencing the isolation and beautiful remoteness of Svalbard’s Arctic wilderness areas. Kvitøya (White Island) is one of the most rarely visited and closest islands to Franz Josef Land. This place, almost completely covered by ice, became the final resting place of the balloon expedition of the Swedish polar explorer Salomon August Andrée. Kvitøya is not always accessible to expedition ships, but it may provide another opportunity to observe polar bears in their natural habitat.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 9 - 10
Great Wonders of the Arctic World

During this voyage, expect to encounter significant sea ice concentrations in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve, which covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and the entirety of Nordaustlandet, the second largest island in Svalbard. In this remote and isolated region, ice can persist very late into the summer. The massive Austfonna ice cap rises above the stunning landscapes of the High Arctic. Part of it meets the sea along the 28-mile (45-kilometer) ice cliff known as Bråsvellbreen—one of the great wonders of the Arctic world.

The polar desert environment supports little in the way of vegetation, but hosts a prodigious number of seabirds. The cliffs of Alkefjellet are home to thousands of pink-footed geese, glaucous gulls, little auks, black-guillemots, snow buntings and (probably) barnacle geese. Historically, this icy wilderness has proven a good location for spotting polar bear and walrus.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
The Picture-Perfect Nature of Svalbard

The Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve is a truly pristine and rarely visited wilderness containing hundreds of uninhabited islands. On the large islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, broad tundra valleys support the territory’s densest population of endemic Svalbard reindeer. The valleys are also important breeding areas for ground-nesting birds such as geese, eiders and sandpipers. Arctic foxes prowl the vast landscape, seeking to provide food for their young cubs who are just now emerging from their dens. Shallow, murky seas are ideal feeding grounds for walruses resting in large numbers on gently sloping beaches. Historical sites throughout the islands provide glimpses into the region’s bygone era of trapping and hunting.

South Spitsbergen National Park is a vast region of varied landscapes, including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay where the remains of historical whaling operations can be found, including wooden boats, cabins and thousands of whale bones. Throughout the park, there is always a high probability of wildlife and wildflower sightings.

Because of its extended length, this ambitious and in-depth Svalbard circumnavigation expedition cruise is a great chance to get a comprehensive view of the Arctic’s many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. We will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, witness incredible polar scenery and walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions.

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 12 - 13
Back to the West Coast

Your circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago is coming to an end. The ship returns back to the West Coast of the Spitsbergen archipelago, with its beautiful locations like Alkhornet Mountain (which is also known as bird heaven because its cliffs support over 10,000 breeding pairs of seabirds).

Accommodations

Sea Spirit

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 14
Disembark Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, Fly to Oslo & Depart

After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, bid the crew farewell in Longyearbyen and take an included transfer to your charter flight back to Oslo. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip into the polar worlds!

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Round-trip flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen, 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Longyearbyen, group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation, shipboard accommodation, all meals on board throughout the voyage, tea and coffee station 24 hours daily, all scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions), leadership throughout the voyage by experienced expedition leader & expedition team, branded Poseidon Expeditions parka, rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise, welcome and farewell cocktails, all port fees, group transfer upon disembarkation, pre-departure materials, digital voyage log and WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Airfare (except for round-trip charter flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen); visa and passport fees; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations; personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges; staff gratuities; kayaking; Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 USD per person; the cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or the operator (Poseidon Expeditions) before, during or after the cruise. Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may 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 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 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.

Arrival & Departure

The In-Depth Exploration in the Land of the Polar Bear voyage begins and ends in Oslo, Norway (OSL). Plan flights to arrive to Oslo by 7:30am on Day 1, ahead of the 9:35am charter flight on Day 1 of the itinerary. The estimated disembarkation time is after breakfast, between 8:00am and 9:00am on the last day of the itinerary. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Group charter flights between Longyearbyen and Oslo are included on this trip’s itinerary. These flights are expected to depart early on the first and final day 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 final day of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 8:00 and 9:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Oslo.

Activities

Hiking, Zodiac cruising, lectures, workshops and an expert photography guide on board each voyage are optional and included. Kayaking may be available on your Best of Svalbard voyage for $655 (2024). Experience rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have paddled or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from sturdy and stealthy sea kayaks. Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person listed rate in Main Deck Suite, Classic Suite and Superior Suite; and 2x the per-person listed rate in Deluxe Suite, Premium Suite and Owner’s Suite, based upon availability. Cabin share is available only in the following categories: Triple Classic, Main Deck Suite, Classic Suite and Superior Suite.

Families & Children

Children must be at least 12 years of age to participate in this trip; however, on a case-by-case basis, children ages 6-11 may be accepted with additional screening.

Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $200,000 USD per person, but is not included in the cost of this trip. In addition to the emergency evacuation insurance, we highly recommend our travelers 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

Jun 09 - Jun 18, 2024
Sea Spirit • 10 days
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From $7895USD
Per Person
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Jun 17 - Jun 26, 2024
Sea Spirit • 10 days
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From $7895USD
Per Person
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Jun 25 - Jul 07, 2024
Sea Spirit • 13 days
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From $9195USD
Per Person
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Jul 05 - Jul 16, 2024
Sea Spirit • 12 days
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From $9195USD
Per Person
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Jul 15 - Jul 28, 2024
Sea Spirit • 14 days
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From $10695USD
Per Person
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Jul 27 - Aug 09, 2024
Sea Spirit • 14 days
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From $10695USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Sea Spirit

Sail aboard the luxurious all-suite Sea Spirit to experience the Arctic and Antarctica in grand style with all the amenities of a fine hotel. Carrying just 114 passengers, this outstanding vessel is the perfect home away from home.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires February 29th, 2024
Save Up To 35% On Select 2024 Arctic Expeditions

Don't wait up! Book your select 2024 Arctic cruise aboard the Sea Spirit and receive up to 35% off.

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.

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

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5 - 6 Day Cruise
Wild Iceland Escape

On this compact Wild Iceland Escape Cruise aboard 126-guest Nat Geo Resolution, discover pristine fjords, fascinating tundra and dramatic waterfalls. Soak in geothermal hot springs, hike over cooled lava fields and view Iceland's newest isle Surtsey.

Special Offer
From $6192USD
Jul
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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
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