Tailor-Made Holiday

Introduction to Spitsbergen Cruise

A wonderful introduction to the incredible scenery & wildlife of Spitsbergen

10 days

from £3,800pp (excluding flights)

An Arctic expeditionary cruise offering an excellent introduction to the impressive wildlife, history and geography of Spitsbergen.

  • A 9 day introduction to Spitsbergen's incredible fauna, flora, geography and history, ideal for those short on time
  • Spitsbergen (Svalbard) is the most wildlife-rich part of the whole Arctic playing home to walrus, seal, reindeer, whales, a plethora of birdlife as well and the world's largest land carnivore, the polar bear
  • Choose from a variety of smaller ice-strengthened ships (from 25 - 112 passengers), renowned for their expeditionary feel, informal atmosphere, ease of logistics and track record for great wildlife sightings 

While Antarctica takes days to reach, Spitsbergen is a mere 7 hours flight away and gives it's southern polar counterpart a good run for its money. Synonymous with polar exploration, teeming with charismatic wildlife and with jaw-droppingly beautiful glaciers seemingly around every corner the archipelago of Svalbard is a favourite with historians, wildlife lovers and photographers alike. For most the lure of seeing the polar bear in its natural habitat is enough to draw travellers to Spitsbergen but also be prepared to see Artic foxes, walrus, whales and a variety of birdlife. With departures primarily operating in June and July, voyage northwards up the western side of the island of Spitsbergen, the most ice-free coast earlier in the season, exploring the secluded waterways and fjords by zodiac and stepping ashore to trek across vast tundras and glaciers. A memorable polar expedition into this little-visited corner of the world.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3800 £ 600
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Longyearbyen

You will be staying at Basecamp Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Longyearbyen embarkation
Transfer to the ship for embarkation. Sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. After an introductory briefing, sit down for the first meal on board.

The former mining town of Longyearbyen offers the Svalbard Museum and the North Pole Expedition Museum, both located close to The University Centre. The nearby Svalbard Gallery houses an interesting collection of artwork, maps, books and notes. Keen birders can make their way to the bay, a wonderful place to look for waders. A short stroll away is the infamous polar bear warning sign, while the tiny Svalbard Church is located on the far side of the valley.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 3

Krossfjorden and Ny Alesund
The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies. Anchor off a small harbour and cruise by Zodiac along the bird cliffs that lie near the 14th of July Glacier. Hope to catch a glimpse of bearded and ringed seals, which frequent the fjord.

During the afternoon, cross Kongsfjord to Ny Alesund, a former mining village and currently the world's most northern community. Founded in 1916, Ny Alesund operated as a coal mine sporadically until 1962. Since then, it has become the site of numerous international polar science institutes. Ny Alesund earned its place in aviation history as a launch pad for North Pole aviation exploration. Notable pioneer aviators, such as Zeppelin, Amundsen, Ellsworth, Byrd and Nobile all passed through Ny Alesund.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 4

Continue onto Ruadfjord, which is tucked into the north-western tip of Spitsbergen. This secluded fjord is an excellent place to hike, take Zodiac trips and explore by kayak. Whilst here, have the chance to search for reindeer on land or ringed and bearded seals in the water. Alternatively, explore the tundra vegetation at select points along the shoreline, looking out for wildflowers.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 5

Hinlopenstretet and Alkefjellet
Head into the Hinlopen Strait, which separates Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. The water that flushes through the strait is rich in phytoplankton and zooplankton. Thriving off this food source, thick-billed murres make the impressive bird cliffs at Alkefjellet their home. Each summer, these spectacular cliffs house more than 120,000 pairs of murres.

The water moving through Hinlopen Strait also brings sea ice with it, and access into the area is dictated by the ice conditions that day. However, exploring this sea ice can bring the ship into close contact with polar bears. The captain will work in tandem with the expedition team in order to maximise viewing potential.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 6

Phippsoya – northernmost point
At 81 degrees north, pass Phippsoya, one of the Seven Islands. Only 540 nautical miles from the North Pole, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing, due to its proximity to the pack ice.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 7

Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen
Sail into Leifdefjorden, and towards Monaco Glacier. This spectacular glacier provides a fabulous backdrop for cruising by Zodiac or exploring by kayak. Miles of ice are broken up by the occasional ice cave or tumbling serac, whilst thousands of black-legged kittiwakes feed on the upwelling of nutrients found near the sub-glacial outflow. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 8

Fuglesangen and Smeergenburg
Continue onto the island of Fuglesangenoya, and approach by Zodiac. Home to a large dovekie colony, the island is shaped in such a way that viewing opportunities are maximised, whilst minimising disturbance to the colony.

Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the former whaling station of Smeerenburg, which translates as 'Blubber Town'. Hike along the shoreline and learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens are all that is left of this controversial industry.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 9

Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland
Visit Prince Charles Island and head to a well-known spot for seeing walruses ashore. Hope to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures, whose presence can often be confirmed by approaching from downwind and waiting for their pungent odour to fill the air.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 10

Longyearbyen Disembarkation
After a final hearty breakfast, disembark and transfer to the town.

Fly Longyearbyen to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Basecamp Hotel

Basecamp Hotel

The Trappers Lodge is in the middle of Longyearbyen and is furnished with driftwood from a Russian settlement to give the feeling of a Spitsbergen hunter's cottage....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Spitsbergen

Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

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Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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