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Svalbard – In the Realm of the Polar Bear

Arctic Svalbard Cruise

Summary : Discover the incredible scenery in Svalbard’s most remote regions. Experience the low-hanging Midnight Sun creating unearthly hues reflected off the sea’s surface, the ice and the glaciers. Roaming in the realm of the polar bear at this time of the year is a very special experience. Your home for this expedition, the Fram, is a spacious exploration ship. By Zodiac, on foot, or from the Fram’s observation deck, there are endless opportunities to take in the majestic Arctic landscape and wildlife.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1 – 2
Longyearbyen, Norway

Arrive in Longyearbyen, and transfer from the airport to your included hotel with the evening at your leisure.

After breakfast, you’ll have some time to explore Longyearbyen on your own. Then return to the hotel for lunch before transferring to the pier to embark the vessel.

Attend briefings on Svalbard and how to explore the land with utmost respect for the vulnerable and exotic wildlife and nature.

Day 3 – 4
Northwest Spitsbergen National Park

This area scattered with islands, fjords and beaches has a long history of exploration. When Willhelm Barentz first came to Svalbard in 1596, he named this land Spitzbergen, reflecting the sharp and steep mountains in the area. Below you can read about some of the possible sites you may visit:

Kongsfjorden or Kings Bay is the largest fjord on the North West coast of Spitsbergen. A large side fjord called Krossfjorden may be visited as well this day. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers.

Ny Ålesund:
At 78º 55' N, Ny-Ålesund is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining community, now it is an advanced High Arctic research station. In the heroic age of exploration, Ny Ålesund was the starting point for numerous expeditions towards the North Pole.

Magdalenefjorden is a fjord with a very important cultural heritage; a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers that died during the first “oil adventure”.

Monaco Glacier:
In front of this dramatically crevassed glacier, there is always a lot of brash ice and larger pieces that have “calved off”. Mixing of fresh and saline water creates an up-welling of creatures available for the local sea birds.

Day 5 – 7
Eastern Svalbard / South Spitsbergen National Park

The large nature reserves in East Svalbard were established to protect the pristine High Arctic environment. The Hinlopen Strait separating the main island of Spitsbergen from Nordaustlandet is teeming with birdlife and polar bears can also be found. Below you can read about some of the possible sites you may visit:

A famous battle between whalers took place here in the late 17th century. It is also the spot where Captain Parry started the first attempt ever to reach the North Pole by row boat.

This spectacular bird cliff is one of the largest of its kind in Svalbard. Marvel at its 1,000 foot spires that rise directly from the sea creating perfect nesting conditions for species like the Brünnich guillemot.

Kapp Lee, Edgeøya:
Edgøya is the third largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. On its western shores, the landscape is largely un-glaciated, unlike most other places on the east side of Spitsbergen. Kapp Lee is a wonderful site where you will find cultural heritage from all eras of human exploration of Svalbard: the early whaling and walrus industry in the 16th century; Russians from the White Sea that sailed to Svalbard in the summers to hunt and fish; and Norwegian trappers.

Transiting the large fjord east of Spitsbergen gives you spectacular views of the east coast. In the distance you will see hundreds of glaciers and mountains. Keep an eye out for marine mammals as you head towards South Cape Land.

This used to be a stronghold for trappers that concentrated on polar bear hunting up until 1973 when it was outlawed, except for indigenous peoples. The landscape of Hornsund is largely alpine with the majestic Hornsundtinden soaring highest of all. Another very special mountain is Bautaen or in English; the Obelisk, which, seen from the right angle looks like a giant Viking sword.

Day 8

In central Svalbard, Isfjorden is its most prominent fjord system. Spend the day exploring its most scenic mountains such as Alkhornet, where thousands of Brunnich Guillemots are nesting during the summer season. Isfjorden’s dynamic landscape has large U-shaped valleys carved by giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. Now the area is home to large populations of endemic Svalbard reindeer. Enjoy a farewell BBQ in these beautiful Arctic surroundings.

Day 9
Longyearbyen, Norway

With memories and photos of Arctic wildlife and calving glaciers in your head, disembark the vessel and transfer to the airport.


The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Travel Insurance:
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $100,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures) 

Kayaking Option:
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Duration is 2-4 hours. Basic kayak experience required. Includes kayaking gear.

Transfer from Longyearbyen airport to hotel; 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Longyearbyen including breakfast and lunch; transfer from hotel to ship in Longyearbyen on embarkation day; transfer from ship to Longyearbyen airport on disembarkation day; onboard cabin accommodations; lectures, shore landings and guides; coffee and tea; Suite-M and Grand Suite-MG include select complimentary beverages for lunch and dinner: beer and a selection of wines by the glass - no spirits; wind/water-resistant jacket. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; travel insurance; luggage handling; passport and visa expenses; optional excursions and gratuities; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; items of a personal nature such as laundry; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos © Dominic Barrington and Linda Drake

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