An iceberg rises out of a grey ocean next to an inflatable boat full of passengers from the expedition around spitsbergen
icebergs rise out of the ocean, as seen from the side of a zodiac boat on the around spitsbergen expedition cruise
sea birds flap their wings to take flight from the ocean in the arctic circle
reindeer walk on the tundra in the arctic circle near spitsbergen
a polar bear crosses the ocean, between icebergs, in the arctic circle
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Around Spitsbergen

The 10-day Around Spitsbergen Arctic cruise sails entirely around the island of West Spitsbergen, round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway. While in the realm of the polar bear, focus on seeing these magnificent hunters, along with other Arctic wildlife. Cruise through icy waters to impressive glaciers and attempt to reach 80 degrees north. Spitsbergen’s abundant wildlife was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers and now discerning visitors are discovering the attractions of huge Arctic seabird colonies and the chance to enjoy and photograph Arctic wildlife like walrus, reindeer, arctic fox, beluga whales and, of course, polar bears. 

The Norwegian name for the Svaldbard archipelago, including Bear Island and Jan Mayen, is Spitsbergen and it contains the largest of Norway’s Arctic islands. Covering an area almost as big as the Republic of Ireland, Spitsbergen has a population of 3,500 in five settlements and is a virtually unspoiled wilderness. Highlights of this Arctic cruise include a Zodiac ride near the towering blue-white face of the 11th of July Glacier; exploring the once mining village and now research center of Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement; photographing thousands of kittiwakes near a popular polar bear hunting ground at Monaco Glacier; attempting to reach 80 degrees north and the Seven Islands at Phippsøya; sailing the Hinlopen Strait to search for blue whales, polar bears and ringed seals; watching walruses haul out on Kapp Lee; gazing at the spire-like mountain peaks of Horsundtind; and walking amongst beluga whale skeletons and witnessing the consequences of 19th century whale hunters.

In addition to the main 10-day Around Spitsbergen itinerary, there is a 10-day alternative route that aims to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya Island as well as a 16-day Sailing Around Spitsbergen departure that offers a relaxed pace aboard a two-masted schooner, with a free itinerary to visit many fascinating stops along Spitsbergen’s east coast. 

Passage is aboard the 170-guest Hondius, 108-guest Ortelius, 108-guest Plancius or 20-guest Noorderlicht schooner. Noorderlicht is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter cruises due to her adventurous nature and intimate size, however all of these small ships are equipped for intimate exploration of the incredible sights visited on all Around Spitsbergen itineraries. While the intention is to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, it is important to note that the chances of each ship completing a full Spitsbergen circumnavigation (based on the expeditions’ experiences from 1992 until 2018) are about 30% in the first half of July, 70% in the second half of July, 90% in the first half of August and 95% in the second half of August. In case your expedition cannot complete a full circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, your captain and expedition team will devise a program in Northeast or Southeast Spitsbergen.

Regardless of itinerary choice, the wildlife, history and frigid magnificence of the Arctic makes sailing Around Spitsbergen a trip to remember. Contact the polar experts at AdventureSmith Explorations to discuss which itinerary and ship best suits your interests, ability and budget.

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



Itinerary

Around Spitsbergen - In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice Itinerary

The 10-day Around Spitsbergen – In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice voyage operates roundtrip from Longyearbyen and circumnavigates Spitsbergen.

Route map of Around Spitsbergen Arctic small ship cruise, operating roundtrip from Longyearbyen, Norway and circumnavigating the island of Spitsbergen, with stops at Krossfjorden, Ny Ålesund, Liefdefjorden, Monaco Glacier, Phippsøya, Nordaustlandet, Barentsoya Island, Bell Sund & Ahlstrandhalvøya.
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Day 1
Embark Longyearbyen, Norway

Arrive in Longyearbyen, Norway, the administrative center of the Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of the voyage.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Krossfjorden - Ny Ålesund

Heading north along the west coast, arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, with the possible opportunity to board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting opportunistic arctic foxes scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord. In the afternoon sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway that can still be seen, Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese and arctic terns. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships Norge in 1926 and Italia in 1928 before their flights to the North Pole.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Liefdefjorden & Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, the ship could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 3.1-mile-long face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of the glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 4 - 5
Seven Islands - 80 Degrees North

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you will be at 80 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again. When the edge of the sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), spend a second day to get to and in the sea ice. Alternatively (mostly in July), turn to Sorgfjord where a herd of walrus is often found not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans. The opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Hinlopen Strait & Nordaustlandet

Sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears; at the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in Zodiacs, explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, the Zodiacs may attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese and walruses. Near Torrelneset, explore the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Barentsoya Island: Freemansundet & Diskobukta

The plan is to make a landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper´s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You may also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Hornsund Area of Southern Spitsbergen

Start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 4,695 feet, while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name “Spitsbergen” – pointed mountains – to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales and polar bears.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Bell Sund & Ahlstrandhalvøya

Today find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. A possibility is to land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction and there’s a good chace of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore the tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

Accommodations

Hondius, Ortelius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Disembark Longyearbyen, Norway

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must come to an end. Disembark in Longyearbyen and be transferred to the airport for your flights onward home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snow shoes; transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotel and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise land arrangements; transfers to/from the vessel outside Spitsbergen; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a 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 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% 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.

Arrival & Departure

The Around Spitsbergen – In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice cruise begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR). Longyearbyen is only accessed via flights from Oslo, Norway (OSL). Some flights arrive very early in the morning, before standard hotel check-in; in these cases, we recommend booking an extra hotel night or arranging a day room option. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. 

The following Arrival & Departure Guidance is for 2020; details for 2021 to be confirmed upon booking: Plan flights to arrive to Longyearbyen by 3:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure, with a 6:00pm departure. Transfers in Longyearbyen are provided on specified group flights. Travelers arriving on independently arranged flights should make their own way to the port on day of embarkation and to the airport upon disembarkation. Disembarkation is after breakfast on day 10 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Longyearbyen no earlier than 2:30am on day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Guided shore excursions, walks, wildlife spotting and Zodiac cruises are included in the fare and will be offered to all passengers during each voyage. Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take 3 to 6 hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers’ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 years old with parents may receive a 40% discount in the following cabins: Grand Suite, Superior, Triple (1 child sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple (1 child sharing with 3 parents/adults, or 2 children sharing with 2 parents/adults). Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; 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 conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Around Spitsbergen – Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

The 10-day Around Spitsbergen – Kvitoya, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice voyage operates roundtrip from Longyearbyen, circumnavigates Spitsbergen and aims to sail around the rarely visited Kvitøya Island.

Route map of Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice voyage, operating round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway and circumnavigating the island with aim to visit its northeastern sub island.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Longyearbyen, Norway

Arrive in Longyearbyen, Norway, the administrative center of the Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of the voyage.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Krossfjorden - Ny Ålesund

Heading north along the west coast, arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, with the possible opportunity to board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting opportunistic arctic foxes scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord. In the afternoon sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway that can still be seen, Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese and arctic terns. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships Norge in 1926 and Italia in 1928 before their flights to the North Pole.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Seven Islands - 80 Degrees North

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you will be at 80 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may roam for several hours among the pack ice in search of wildlife.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Schweigaardbreen

Pushing east to Nordaustlandet, the ship reaches the area where the Italian captain Sora tried to rescue the Nobile Expedition in 1928. The focus here is the great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen, though there may also be a landing at Firkantbukta with the chance to gain some altitude and take a few higher-elevation photos. Alternately, there may be a Zodiac cruise near Storøya, where there may be walrus encounters.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Kvitøya

Today the ship tries to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. Land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Isisøya & Bråswellbreen

South of Nordaustlandet, possibly land on Isisøya, formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers but now an island surrounded by the sea. Next possibly pass by Bråswellbreen, part of the largest ice cap in Europe and famed for its meltwater waterfalls.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Barentsoya Island: Freemansundet & Diskobukta

The plan is to make a landing in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper´s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You may also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Hornsund Area of Southern Spitsbergen

Start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 4,695 feet, while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name “Spitsbergen” – pointed mountains – to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales and polar bears.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Bell Sund & Ahlstrandhalvøya

Today find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. A possibility is to land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction and there’s a good chace of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore the tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

Accommodations

Hondius, Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Disembark Longyearbyen, Norway

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must come to an end. Disembark in Longyearbyen and be transferred to the airport for your flights onward home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snow shoes; transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotel and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise land arrangements; transfers to/from the vessel outside Spitsbergen; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a 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 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% 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.

Arrival & Departure

The Around Spitsbergen – Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice cruise begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR). Longyearbyen is only accessed via flights from Oslo, Norway (OSL). Some flights arrive very early in the morning, before standard hotel check-in; in these cases, we recommend booking an extra hotel night or arranging a day room option. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. 

The following Arrival & Departure Guidance is for 2020; details for 2021 to be confirmed upon booking:  Plan flights to arrive to Longyearbyen by 3:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure, with a 6:00pm departure. Transfers in Longyearbyen are provided on specified group flights. Travelers arriving on independently arranged flights should make their own way to the port on day of embarkation and to the airport upon disembarkation. Disembarkation is after breakfast on day 10 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Longyearbyen no earlier than 2:30am on day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Guided shore excursions, walks, wildlife spotting and Zodiac cruises are included in the fare and will be offered to all passengers during each voyage. Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take 3 to 6 hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers’ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 years old with parents may receive a 40% discount in the following cabins: Grand Suite, Superior, Triple (1 child sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple (1 child sharing with 3 parents/adults, or 2 children sharing with 2 parents/adults). Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; 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 conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Around Spitsbergen Itinerary

The 16-day Around Spitsbergen voyage operates uniquely aboard the 20-guest two-masted schooner Noorderlicht roundtrip from Longyearbyen. The route aims to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, offering a relaxed pace and free itinerary to visit many fascinating stops along Spitsbergen’s east coast.

Route map of Sailing Around Spitsbergen arctic voyage, operating round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway, and completing a full circumnavigation.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Longyearbyen & Embark Isfjorden

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum are well worth visiting. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plants have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord you may see your first minke whale.

Accommodations

Noorderlicht

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Trygghamna & Alkhornet

From Trygghamna, walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot arctic foxes, and there may also be reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow.

Accommodations

Noorderlicht

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Fuglefjorden & Ytre Norskoya

Sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta, see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The aim next is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout. Follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.

Accommodations

Noorderlicht

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 4 - 15
Sailing Spitsbergen

Today starts by sailing either to Sorgfjord or Murchison Bay, on the north side of which lies an extensive polar desert that is home to numerous reindeer as well as a Swedish research station. Continue through Hinlopen Strait, surrounded by lofty ice caps.

Over the following days, you may visit the following sites:

Lomfjord – This is a beautiful fjord fringed by towering mountains offering great opportunities for a hike.

Wilhelmøya – A tundra landscape in which polar bears can possibly be seen, Wilhelmøya is also a good
area for shoreline, inland and altitude-gaining hikes.

Svartknausflya – This stark polar desert is almost devoid of vegetation but rich with invertebrate fossils and whale skeletons along its raised beaches.

Heleysundet – A narrow but picturesque waterway between Spitsbergen and Barents with this route can only be made against the current.

Freemansundet – Depending on conditions, possibly sail through this waterway. A walk at Kapp Lee may reveal a few new reindeer and walruses, and you might also visit a large colony of kittiwakes nesting in a canyon in Diskobukta. Arctic foxes and polar bears with their young often roam this canyon, scavenging for birds that fall from the ledges. Sub-fossilized whale bones are scattered across the raised beaches.

Hornsund – Continue the voyage by sailing into the labyrinth of side fjords around Hornsund. At Brepollen rests a large glacial deposit at the head of the fjord. Sailing along the glacier front will afford good chances of spotting bearded seals and polar bears. The geological formations in this area are vibrant and mesmerizing.

Bellsund – En route to Longyearbyen, the ship may reach Ahlstrandhalvøya. More fascinating geological formations can be seen here, as well as the remains of 20th-century beluga hunting and belugas themselves.

Barentsburg – If time allows, pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen. A side option is Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.

Accommodations

Noorderlicht

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 16
Disembark Longyearbyen, Norway

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must come to an end. Disembark in Longyearbyen and be transferred to the airport for your flights onward home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snow shoes; transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotel and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise land arrangements; transfers to/from the vessel outside Spitsbergen; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a 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 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% 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.

Arrival & Departure

The Sailing Around Spitsbergen cruise begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR). Longyearbyen is only accessed via flights from Oslo, Norway (OSL). Some flights arrive very early in the morning, before standard hotel check-in; in these cases, we recommend booking an extra hotel night or arranging a day room option. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. 

The following Arrival & Departure Guidance is for 2020; details for 2021 to be confirmed upon booking: Plan flights to arrive to Longyearbyen by 3:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure, with a 6:00pm departure. Transfers in Longyearbyen are provided on specified group flights. Travelers arriving on independently arranged flights should make their own way to the port on day of embarkation and to the airport upon disembarkation. Disembarkation is after breakfast on day 16 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Longyearbyen no earlier than 2:30am on day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Guided shore excursions, walks, wildlife spotting and Zodiac cruises are included in the fare and will be offered to all passengers during each voyage. Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take 3 to 6 hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers’ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Contact AdventureSmith for details if traveling with children is a request on this voyage.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; 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 conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Noorderlicht is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Jul 01 - Jul 10, 2021
Ortelius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 02 - Jul 11, 2021
Plancius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 07 - Jul 16, 2021
Hondius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 10 - Jul 19, 2021
Ortelius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 11 - Jul 20, 2021
Plancius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 16 - Jul 25, 2021
Hondius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 19 - Jul 28, 2021
Ortelius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 20 - Jul 29, 2021
Plancius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 25 - Aug 03, 2021
Hondius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 28 - Aug 06, 2021
Ortelius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Jul 29 - Aug 07, 2021
Plancius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 03 - Aug 12, 2021
Hondius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 06 - Aug 15, 2021
Ortelius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 07 - Aug 16, 2021
Plancius • 10 days
From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 12 - Aug 21, 2021
Hondius • 10 days
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From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 15 - Aug 24, 2021
Ortelius • 10 days
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From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 16 - Aug 25, 2021
Plancius • 10 days
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From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 21 - Aug 30, 2021
Hondius • 10 days
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From $5150USD
Per Person
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Aug 22 - Sep 06, 2021
Noorderlicht • 16 days
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From $6400USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Choose the Small Ship that Fits Your Travel Style

Expedition Ship
Hondius

The 170-guest M/V Hondius was built exclusively for cruises in Antarctica and the Arctic. She is one of the strongest ice-strengthened vessels currently cruising in the polar regions.

Expedition Ship
Plancius

The Plancius is a 108-passenger small ship designed and built exclusively for polar cruises. A wide variety of cabins, ample space on five decks and a wide range of activities offered make the Plancius a great option for active expedition cruises.

Expedition Ship
Ortelius

The 108-guest M/V Ortelius is an ice-strengthened small ship designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. She offers passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program to spend as much time ashore as possible.

Motorsailer
Noorderlicht

Well suited for expedition cruising among small islands, the 20-guest Noorderlicht two-masted schooner is ideal for her Northern Norway itineraries as her small size allows for the flexibility to explore the remote areas around Spitsbergen depth.

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

"Outstanding"

The boat and staff were outstanding, great food and service, excellent wildlife with loads of whales, polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes, and arctic birds.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
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

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Around Spitsbergen

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