Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear (Spitsbergen)

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear (Spitsbergen)

From AUD $8,985


This epic voyage will see us attempt to find a way through the Arctic’s ever-changing sea ice and venture above the 80th parallel north. Our goal is to successfully complete a circumnavigation of the island of Spitsbergen, if the ice allows us.

Included in your voyage:

Return flights in economy class between Oslo and Longyearbyen

Overnight in Longyearbyen before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and lunch

All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the expedition cruise

Trip Name
Circumnavigating Spitsbergen – In the Realm of the Polar Bear (Spitsbergen)
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 100 metres Passenger Capacity: 335 Built / refurbished: 2009 / 2016 MS Spitsbergen is named after the crown jewel of Arctic Norway – the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island, Spitsbergen.  After complete reconstruction, MS Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016. The ship features high technical standards as well as comfortable, modern public areas and cabins. The vessel's fresh Scandinavian design reflects a colour palette derived from the sea. She is modern and environmentally progressive, and we plan further improvements that will reduce emissions and fuel consumption even more. The new ship’s maneuverability and optimal size make her quite suitable for exploring polar waters.  Expedition team on board MS Spitsbergen has its own on-board Expedition Team and serves as a university at sea. Interesting lectures inside the ship as well as out on the sun deck make this an exciting and educational journey. Topics depend on the season and the waters we sail in. The Expedition Team host a lecture programme and evening gatherings daily. Out on deck you can participate in live points of interest to learn more about the nature, culture and other phenomena we encounter along the coast. In addition, the Expedition Team will introduce you to the uniquely Norwegian notion of `friluftsliv´ (outdoor life), and encourage you take part in `friluftsliv´ hikes and activities during the journey. Our dedicated Expedition Teams have one mission: to enhance your experience by engaging you and interpreting the nature, wildlife, and culture you encounter during the voyage. Read more about our Expedition Teams here.  Ship facilities Expedition Team - Explorer bar - Panoramic lounge – Explorer lounge - Compass Service Centre - Brygga bistro - Shop - Torget main dining - Wi-Fi - Sauna - Fitness room - Lift - Hot tub - Guest launderette - Panoramic deck 8 - Outside bar for events, decks 7 & 8


Day 1 - Day 1 From 59º N to 78º N
Your trip starts with a flight from Oslo in the evening. Before your flight, enjoy the museums, parks and cafés of the Norwegian capital. On arrival in Longyearbyen, you will set foot in an entirely different world; a tiny town perched on the edge of the Arctic wilderness. Transfer to your hotel and overnight.
Day 2 - Day 2 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 your ship in the afternoon.
Day 3 - Day 3-4 Exploring Amazing Fjords with Fascinating History
The North West Corner is scattered with lovely islands, fjords and beaches, but such majestic sights can be blocked by heavy sea ice. We use all our expertise and 120 years of experience in these waters to try and navigate the ice in order to access areas for you to explore. One such site is Kongsfjorden, one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by stunning mountain formations. We also plan 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 likely be many other exciting landings and scenic kayaking opportunities if we are able to move past the ice and go further north.
Day 4 - Day 5-7 Enjoy Expedition Days in the Arctic
Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears in the archipelago. You will also be exploring the area in summertime, which is when polar bears and their cubs will be out hunting for seals on the ice floes. We therefore have high hopes that you’ll spot one or more during this journey.The Arctic Ocean in this part of Svalbard is also full of drifting ice and its frozen seascape changes constantly. Being modern-day explorers, the captain and the Expedition Team will be carefully analysing the density and movements of the sea ice using advanced sonar and live satellite imagery. They will then discuss together and decide where we can safely sail or land. This is what makes this cruise an expedition; it is a true, suspense-filled adventure into the Arctic’s great wilderness, negotiating and adapting to whatever elements nature challenges us with. Ultimately, it is the sea ice that will determine whether we can cross the 80th parallel and head further north to Sjuøyane (Seven Islands) at the extreme of the Svalbard archipelago. Again, depending on sea and weather conditions at the time, we will sail through the Hinlopen Strait, before continuing towards Edgeøya, the third largest island in the archipelago.
Day 5 - Day 8 The Expedition Continues
Our aim for these days is to navigate any sea ice and reach the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen. The varied geology here at Hornsund has created a dramatic and photogenic landscape. Ice pushed into the fjord early in the season also attracts polar bears that hunt on the floes, so with a bit of luck, we may spot this magnificent predator.
Day 6 - Day 9 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 7 - Day 10 End of the Expedition
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. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.
Day 8 - Please Note:
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.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-06-202113-06-2021AUD $8,985Polar Inside. From
04-06-202113-06-2021AUD $10,156Polar Outside. From
04-06-202113-06-2021AUD $11,052Arctic Superior. From
04-06-202113-06-2021AUD $22,079Expedition Suite. From
12-06-202121-06-2021AUD $8,985Polar Inside. From
12-06-202121-06-2021AUD $10,157Polar Outside. From
12-06-202121-06-2021AUD $11,053Arctic Superior. From
12-06-202121-06-2021AUD $13,809Expedition Suite. From
20-06-202129-06-2021AUD $11,443Arctic Superior. From
20-06-202129-06-2021AUD $14,319Expedition Suite. From
20-06-202129-06-2021AUD $9,285Polar Inside. From
20-06-202129-06-2021AUD $10,508Polar Outside. From
28-06-202107-07-2021AUD $9,285Polar Inside. From
28-06-202107-07-2021AUD $10,508Polar Outside. From
28-06-202107-07-2021AUD $11,443Arctic Superior. From
28-06-202107-07-2021AUD $14,319Expedition Suite. From
06-07-202115-07-2021AUD $9,285Polar Inside. From
06-07-202115-07-2021AUD $10,508Polar Outside. From
06-07-202115-07-2021AUD $11,443Arctic Superior. From
06-07-202115-07-2021AUD $14,319Expedition Suite. From


    • Comfortable and intimate expedition experience aboard refurbished MS Spitsbergen
    • Attempt to sail above 80°N and fully circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen
    • Summertime offers good chances of sighting polar bears hunting on the sea ice
    • See beautiful fjords, glaciers, and icebergs in the pristine Arctic wilderness