Circumnavigating Svalbard - In the Realm of the Polar Bear

This Arctic expedition cruise is one of a kind! We plan to sail above 80º N, while circumnavigating Spitsbergen under the Midnight Sun. Explore the largest Arctic wilderness in Europe with optional excursions that include hiking, kayaking and traversing a glacier, all providing a good chance to spot the mighty polar bear.

  • Visit Svalbard in the Arctic summer
  • Circumnavigate Spitsbergen
  • Great chance of sighting polar bears
  • See the Midnight Sun in untouched Arctic wilderness

The itinerary

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.

Departure 06 June, 14 June, 22 June & 17 August 2020

Departs from Oslo / Longyearbyen

One of a Kind

This Svalbard expedition cruise is unique, with a great variety of landing sites and exciting Arctic experiences. We aim to sail above 80º N for chances to hike, kayak and more on land and water.

Above the 80th parallel

Our voyage starts by discovering the many things to do in Longyearbyen. Once asea, we hope to sail well above the 80th parallel to place you closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographic North Pole. This Spitsbergen cruise takes in some of the most spectacular highlights of the Arctic. The local flora and fauna are in full bloom, with rich wildlife like seals, thousands of seabirds, the Arctic fox and reindeer.

King of the North

At the top of the chain, of course, is the mighty polar bear. There´s a good chance that we’ll see some of the polar bears of Svalbard – after all, there are more polar bears than people on the archipelago.  

Summer Showcase of Nature

The Midnight Sun illuminates deep fjords, mighty glaciers and pure wilderness in Svalbard. Beautiful colours and contrasts provide the frames for dramatic glaciers, majestic mountain formations, deep fjords, buzzing bird cliffs and endless arctic tundra with its diverse flora and fauna. Our summer holiday to Svalbard in the realm of the polar bear is filled with unforgettable experiences.

Day 1: Oslo / Longyearbyen

From 59º N to 78º N

Flight & overnight

Before your evening flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, spend the day in the museums, parks and cafes of the Norwegian capital. When you arrive in Svalbard, you will discover an entirely different world: a tiny town perched on the edge of the vast Arctic tundra.

On arrival, we transfer you to your hotel for an overnight.

Day 2: Longyearbyen

The Norwegian Stronghold in the High Arctic


Join an exciting excursion after lunch to get to know this frontier town. The mighty Arctic wilderness dominates life here, but Longyearbyen maintains a lively cultural life, and is considered a prime destination for adventure travelers from around the world. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of this colourful outpost before boarding your ship, MS Spitsbergen.

Day 3-4: North West Spitsbergen National Park

Amazing Fjords with Fascinating History

The North West Corner is scattered with rugged islands, beautiful fjords and isolated beaches. This is true wilderness, so the captain will work with the elements to create the best itinerary for your expedition cruise.

We may visit Kongsfjorden, which is considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea. We hope to call on the settlement of Ny-Ålesund, an international centre for research, that hosts a picturesque mix of old and new buildings. Wherever we explore, the Expedition Team will lead exciting optional ice-cruising and landing activities as we explore further north.

Day 5-7: Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserve

Expedition Days in the Arctic

Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – and we have high hopes of spotting one on this journey!  The ocean is full of drifting ice, and we aim to cross 80º N if conditions allow. We hope to sail all the way to Sjuøyane (Seven Islands) at the far north of the archipelago.

Heading south, we will sail through the Hinlopen Strait, where thousands of seabirds mate while walrus dive for clams in the bays.

We continue towards Edgeøya, 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.

Day 8: South Spitsbergen National Park

National Park Beauty

We make our way to the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund hosts a wonderfully varied landscape and geology. Ice pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the floes, so with a bit of luck, we may spot some of these magnificent predators

Day 9: The Isfjord

Fjord, Wilderness

We explore the Isfjord, the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard to take in immense valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. Scan for the rich population of Svalbard reindeer here.

Day 10: Longyearbyen / Oslo

End of the Expedition

Disembarkation & flight

As we arrive back in Longyearbyen after our far north exploration, enjoy the stunning scenery of the icescape that lies just a few hundred miles from the Geographic North Pole. Transfer to the airport for your night flight. Arrival early in the morning in Oslo.

Arrival 15 June, 23 June, 1 July & 26 August 2020

Location Longyearbyen / Oslo
What's included


  • Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice
  • Return economy flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen
  • One hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast and lunch
  • All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the voyage


  • A rich program of included activities on all voyagesdesigned to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team  
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition Team - an international handpicked team of highly educated experts of various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in  
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket   
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities  


  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience  
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  •  Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips & tricks, photo and film footage from the voyage shared in an Expedition Logbook
  • Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guestsincluding a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers  
  • Destination-focused onboard library  
  • Port presentations providing destination insight
  • farewell event  


  • All meals including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all restaurants)
  • Coffee and tea included throughout the day
  •  Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner 
  • Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • No gratuities expected   


  • International flights 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners  
  • Optional small-group adventures with our Expedition Team such as kayaking (availability contingent on weather conditions and safety)  
  • Travel insurance  
  •  Luggage handling 


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
Life on board

Your ship: MS Spitsbergen

Reconstructed in 2016, MS Spitsbergen features comfortable, modern public areas and cabins. The ship's smaller size make her ideal for exploring polar waters.

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