Polar bear on the pack ice | Svalbard | Norway
FROM: USD $5,965 pp
Svalbard Explorer - 8 Days map

Take in the most northern town in the world on this 8-day expedition cruise to the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Spot polar bears hunting for seals on the ice floes, navigate the northern pack ice and explore the abandoned whaling station of Smeerenburg. Marvel at jaw-dropping glaciers and colossal icebergs, see ruined mining communities and cruise along shimmering fjords.

Prices & Dates
Expedition Cruise Ship
Cruise Ship Deck Plan

Trip Highlights

Longyearbyen - begin your adventure in the capital of Svalbard which is also the most northern town in the world
Smeerenburg - visit this abandoned whaling station where more than 200 hardy men once lived - and often died in the process of blubber production
Ny Alesund - stroll around this tiny scientific station which is further north than Longyearbyen but doesn't count as a town
Fuglesongen - watch the largest colony of Little auks on Svalbard swooping over the cliffs and spot Arctic foxes stalking the birds
Svalbard pack ice - look out for polar bears on the floating ice floes and weave amongst the pack ice on a Zodiac cruise (weather permitting)
Blomstrand Peninsula - climb to the top of Irgensfjellet Mountain for incredible views over the archipelago as far as Ny Alesund
Monacobreen Glacier - pass along the front of this impressive wall of ice and watch icebergs calve from the glacier
Calypsobyen - see abandoned buildings where mining communities once thrived and explore the wintry tundra environment


Charter flight Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo
7 nights aboard the Ocean Atlantic expedition cruise ship in a shared outside double cabin with private facilities
All guided sightseeing and excursions as per itinerary
Lectures from the expedition team onboard
Welcome and farewell cocktails
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Services of the ship captain and crew and an English-speaking expedition team
Full board on the ship, afternoon snacks, free tea and coffee daily
Special photo workshop and a digital visual journey to remember your trip
Taxes and port fees

Not Included

International flights and visas
Any meals not onboard the ship & any drinks (excluding tea and coffee)
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Pre and post tour accommodation


Day 1


Sunday. Oslo - Longyearbyen. Included flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago which lies midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Our expedition cruise ship, the Ocean Atlantic, is docked in the capital of Svalbard, Longyearbyen, which also happens to be the most northern town in the world. Upon arrival in Longyearbyen make your way to the ship which is docked close to the town centre. Embark and settle in with a welcome drink on board.

Later today we set sail as the captain takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and into the Arctic Ocean. We'll be sailing up the coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island on Svalbard, and the only one inhabited by humans.

Facilities aboard the Ocean Atlantic include a spacious restaurant serving international cuisine, two bars, a comfortable lounge area, and a library. Relax in the sauna or work out in the gym. There is also a lecture theatre where you can learn more about this part of the world. All of your meals onboard are included, and you can enjoy free snacks, tea and coffee. From the top deck you can keep your eyes peeled for marine life and watch sea birds swooping and wheeling over the ship.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Dinner

Day 2

Polar bears & Ny Alesund

Longyearbyen - Ny Alesund. During the Arctic summer, the sun never sets. Sailing through the bright night, we reach the Kongsfjord, where floating winter ice may still block many of the waterways. Keep your eyes peeled for polar bears on the ice. Svalbard is one of the final strongholds for these incredible animals, and they command respect amongst the human residents of Svalbard. As well as the bears, seals and sea birds are arriving at Svalbard at this time, eager to begin their frantic summer feed before the harsh winter sets in.

Our first port of call is Ny Alesund. This settlement is actually more northern than Longyearbyen but with just a handful of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop, it doesn't really count as a town. We enjoy a leisurely walk through the settlement.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Exploring Northwest Svalbard

Ny Alesund - Smeerenburg - Fuglesongen. Today we reach the northwest reaches of Svalbard. The unforgiving conditions here mean our itinerary must be flexible, but projected activities include a Zodiac (small boat) cruise to search for seals and of course their ever-present hunters, the polar bears.

We also plan to visit Smeerenburg, the now abandoned 17th century whaling town. A place of Norwegian myth and legend, more than 200 men once lived, and often died, in this dangerous environment. Whaling was banned due to the near extinction of many of these incredible gentle giants, and the town was abandoned.

From Smeerenburg, we'll land on the tiny island of Fuglesongen. The island is a haven for birdlife and is home to the largest colony of Little auks in Svalbard. One creature to have noticed this is the Arctic fox, which is also present on the island and can often be seen stalking birds at the base of the cliffs.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Into the pack ice

Fuglesongen - Svalbard pack ice. Today we reach the northernmost location of our expedition. How far north we go depends on the extent of the ice, but we aim to get to the edge of the pack ice. This is prime polar bear territory. The bears ride the ice floes up north during the summer, following the seals. If we have been lucky enough to see some bears already, then these are the unfortunate ones who haven't been able to ride the ice - they will have a hungry summer, feeding on berries, eggs and whatever scraps they can find. If we spot any bears in the pack ice, they will be much better fed.

Gaze out from the observation deck at the incredible scenery of ice floes sailing past, keeping your eyes peeled for polar bears, whales and other Arctic wildlife. Walruses, Minke whales and Sei whales all inhabit Svalbard during the summer months. If the sea is calm then we may be able to arrange a Zodiac cruise out into the pack ice.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Monacobreen Glacier

Svalbard pack ice - Monacobreen Glacier. Leaving the pack ice behind, we head east aboard the Ocean Atlantic. Our route may still be restricted by the ice but we will travel as far east as the conditions allow. We may enjoy a Zodiac excursion around bird-rich Andoya and will attempt to land on the inhospitable Reindyrflya peninsula. We also visit Mushamna trapping station and the Texas Bar, a wooden cabin built in 1927, which has certainly passed the test of time in these trying conditions.

The final stop of today will be the Monacobreen Glacier, which we cruise up to aboard our Zodiacs. Named after Prince Albert of Monaco, a famed explorer of the 1900s, we'll get as close as we can to this wall of ice, weaving between small, but still impressive icebergs.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Blomstrand Peninsula & Lilliehook Glacier

Monacobreen Glacier - Blomstrand - Lilliehook Glacier. Today we begin our return journey to Longyearbyen, heading west along the coast of Spitsbergen. We anchor on the Blomstrand Peninsula, now an island due to the continued retreat of the Blomstrand Glacier. We'll cruise up this newly formed channel aboard our Zodiacs, and if you wish, you'll be able to hike up to the summit of Irgensfjellet mountain (385m). The views of this frozen land from the summit are sublime - gaze out over the Nunatak Mountains all the way to Ny Alesund.

After lunch we continue into the fjords and can enjoy a Zodiac cruise along the front of the Lilliehook Glacier.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Bellsund & Calypsobyen

Lilliehook Glacier - Bellsund - Calypsobyen. The west coast of Svalbard enjoys warmer water than the rest of the archipelago, meaning there will be no more ice to navigate. This allows us to enter the fjord of Bellsund, once an important coal mining community. We'll make landings at Varsol Bay, home to a huge population of Little auks. The birds fertilize the tundra, meaning Svalbard reindeer can also be seen grazing in the region. We enjoy a walk along the beach and can see the remnants of the Industrial era, when Svalbard was busier than it is today.

After lunch we land at Calypsobyen to see more of the Industrial era ruins. Enjoy a pleasant walk along the tundra behind these abandoned buildings.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8


Calypsobyen - Longyearbyen - Oslo. Today our expedition cruise comes to an end as we return to Longyearbyen. Enjoy a final breakfast onboard before you disembark the Ocean Atlantic. You'll be transferred to the airport for your charter flight back to Oslo where arrangements end.

Prices & Dates

The prices shown are per person based on twin occupancy sharing a Category D Porthole stateroom on the Ocean Atlantic ship. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room. 'Single Room' prices are based on Category G Porthole stateroom aboard the Ocean Atlantic ship.

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The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Ocean Atlantic, Expedition Cruising

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 star cruise boat

Newly renovated in 2016, the Ocean Atlantic is the perfect vessel for exploring the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. With an international ice class-rating of 1B, this cruise ship is one of the strongest operating in this region. At 140-metres in length, a total of 198 passengers are accommodated across multiple decks. Each cabin features an ensuite bathroom, individual temperature controls and a TV, with either portholes or windows. Indoor lounges offer large panel windows, where you can easily look out for passing whales and other sights. Passengers can enjoy shore landings, with a fleet of 20 motorized rubber ‘Zodiac’ boats, taking you to exciting areas that the larger vessel can't reach. Upon your return, perhaps enjoy a dip in the pool or sauna, or curl up with a book in the onboard library. There’s also a spacious restaurant serving 4-star international cuisine and a bar offering an assortment of beverages.

In Brief

June - July 2022
Hotel Rating
Ocean Atlantic expedition cruise ship
Tour Guide
Services of ship captain, crew & expedition team
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 6, Dinner: 7
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