Circumnavigating Svalbard - The Ultimate Expedition

An expedition cruise for those who wish to see and learn as much as possible, this is a voyage to Arctic wilderness at its most extreme. We plan to sail above 80º N while circumnavigating Svalbard in search of the mighty polar bear. This cruise will venture further than any of our other expeditions.

  • The ultimate Svalbard expedition cruise
  • Circumnavigate the entire island
  • Great chance of sighting polar bears
  • Enjoy the pristine wilderness of the Arctic

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 30 June, 10 July, 28 July & 7 August 2020

Departs from Oslo / Longyearbyen

Ultimate Adventure

Welcome to an expedition that is considered the ultimate Svalbard cruise. Starting in Norway´s amazing Arctic frontier town, you will have a chance to discover the many things to do in Longyearbyen. Next, we set sail and travel well above the 80th parallel to place you closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographical North Pole.

There will be great opportunities for exciting activities such as hiking, kayaking and more on land and water during this Svalbard holiday, as we explore great national parks and some of the most spectacular highlights of the Arctic.

Living Landscape

The frozen tundra is teeming with life. We will scan for seals, thousands of seabirds, Arctic fox, reindeer and, of course, we will keep a sharp eye out for the top predator: the mighty polar bear. There´s a good chance that we’ll see one of the polar bears of Svalbard – after all, there are more polar bears than people on the archipelago.

This Spitsbergren cruise offers incredibly beauty: deep fjords, mighty glaciers and pure wilderness. The Midnight Sun makes it possible to fill your days and nights 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


After an overnight stay join an excursion to get to know this unique town after lunch. The mighty Arctic wilderness dominates life here, but Longyearbyen maintains a lively cultural life and serves as a prime destination for adventure travellers. Enjoy the atmosphere of this colourful frontier outpost before boarding MS Spitsbergen in the afternoon.

Day 3-5: North West Spitsbergen National Park

Exploring Amazing Fjords with Fascinating History

The North West Corner is scattered with lovely islands, fjords and beaches. If conditions allow, we will explore Svalbard’s rich history in the area. We may visit Kongsfjorden, one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by stunning mountain formations.

We hope to call on the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international centre for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings. There will be exciting landings and scenic kayaking opportunities as we go further north.

Day 6-8: Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserve

Enjoy 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 the frozen landscape changes constantly. This is true wilderness, so the captain will work with the elements to decide where we can safely land or sail. 

We aim to cross 80º N, and possibly head even further north to Sjuøyane (Seven Islands), at the extreme of the Svalbard archipelago. We may also sail east of Nordaustlandet to Kvitøya, before continuing towards Edgeøya, the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago

Day 9-10: South Spitsbergen Nationa Park and Bellsund area

The Expedition Continues

We make our way to the southern cape and 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 11: The Isfjord

Fjord, Wilderness

We will spend the day exploring the Isfjord, the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. In the inner parts of Isfjorden, the landscape changes constantly. The immense U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago, are home to large populations of the Svalbard reindeer.

Day 12: Longyearbyen / Oslo

End of the Expedition

Disembarkation & flight

Our return to the colourful town of Longyearbyen marks the end of a remarkable voyage that brought us just a few hundred miles from the Geographical North Pole. A transfer vehicle will take you to the airport for your night flight. Arrival early in the morning in Oslo.

Arrival 11 July, 21 July, 8 August & 18 August

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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