A Spitsbergen cruise will take you way beyond the north coast of Northern Norway, across the Barents Sea bound for the Arctic Ocean, to the Svalbard archipelago, a group of islands of which the largest is Spitsbergen.
A whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, these islands were then largely uninhabited until the beginning of the 20th century, when several permanent mining communities were established. No roads connect the settlements; but snowmobiles, aircraft and boats serve as local transport. Therefore to visit this region in comfort a Spitsbergen cruise is really the only option.
Well within the Arctic Circle, this is truly a land of the midnight sun, and is a breeding ground for many seabirds.
In addition you would hope to see reindeer, marine mammals and, if you are lucky, polar bears, with many areas protected nature reserves. The stunning scenery features glaciers, mountains and fjords.
A Spitsbergen cruise is effectively a floating hotel, enabling you to follow the clement weather and more importantly the wildlife as it moves.
It also offers a higher level of comfort, familiarity and convenience than a Spitsbergen holiday that is land based.
Spitsbergen cruises visit during the Arctic summer. Silversea’s Arctic expedition cruise ship Silver Explorer or Hurtigruten’s fleet are regular visitors, and you join them either by flying to Northern Norway, or even to Longyearbyen.
Day 1 - Fly London to Longyearbyen, Norway. Board Silver Explorer
Day 2 - 8 - Cruise & Explore Svalbard. You have several days to explore the bays and fjords of this remarkable land, giving ample opportunity to see polar bears, arctic foxes and an array of birdlife. The mountains and glaciers provide a stunning backdrop to the cruise which has no fixed itinerary, enabling you to seek out wildlife and take advantage of clement weather. You also have the chance to see whales such as Minke and Beluga
Day 9 - Cruise & Explore Bear Island. See tens of thousands of birds on this huge nature reserve
Day 10 - Tromso, Norway. See the Polar Museum in this charming town
Day 11 - Disembark Silver Explorer. Fly Tromso to London
Day 1 – Fly London to Oslo, Norway
Overnight hotel stay at Radisson Blu, Oslo Airport
Day 2 – Longyearbyen, Norway. Overnight hotel stay at the Spitsbergen Hotel, Longyearbyen. Sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen
Day 3 – Longyearbyen, Norway. Embark MS Fram where you cruise to Barentsburg, a Russian coal mining settlement and hear from the Expedition Leader
Day 4-5 – Cruise & Explore North West Spitsbergen National Park. Discover Kongsfjorden, Magdalenefjorden & Ny Ålesund which is the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited community and visit the fast moving Monaco Glacier
Day 6-8 – Cruise & Explore Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves & South Spitsbergen National Park including Sorgfjorden, Alkefjellet, Kapp Lee, Edgeoya, Strofjorden & Hornsund
Day 9 – Isfjorden. Visit the most prominent fjord system in Svalbard and senjoy a farewell barbecue in beautiful Arctic surroundings
Day 9 – Fly Longyearbyen to London
This is not all we can offer. If you would like to discuss more ways to visit this destination give us a call. Contact us for more options.
Day 1 – Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Norway
Day 2 – Spitsbergen Bellsund
Day 3 – Spitsbergen, Magdalena Bay
Day 4 – Spitsbergen, NW National Park
Day 5 – Spitsbergen, Monaco Glacier
Day 6 – Spitsbergen, NW National Park
Day 7 – Spitsberg, Ny Alesund / Cross Fjord
Day 8 – Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
Day 1 – Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
Day 2 – Cruise & Explore Barentsburg
Day 3-4 – Cruise & Explore Kongsfjorden, Ny Alesund, Magdalenefjorden & Monaco Glacier
Day 5-7 – Cruise & Explore Sorgfjorden, Alkefjellet, Kapp Lee, Edgeoya, Strofjorden, Hornsund
Day 8 – Cruise & Explore Isfjorden
Day 9 – Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
Day 1 – Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
Day 2 – Cruise & Explore Longyearbyen & Barentsburg
Day 3 – Cruise & Explore Spitsbergen National Park, Magdalenefjorden & Moffen
Day 4 – Cruise & Explore Hornsund
Day 5 – Cruise & Explore Bjornoya
Day 6 – Cruise & Explore Tromso
Day 7 – Cruise & Explore Bleiksoya, Skipnes & Tinden
Day 8 – Cruise & Explore Trollfjord, Svolvaer & Å
Day 9 – Cruise & Explore Hamaroy & Kjerringoy
Day 10 – Cruise & Explore Traena & Lovund
Day 11 – Cruise & Explore Froya
Day 12 – Cruise & Explore Andalsnes (2014) or Vaerlandet (2015)
Day 13 – Bergen, Norway
Day 1-2 – Bergen, Norway
Day 3 – Nordfjord
Day 4 – Smola
Day 5 – Exploring the Fjords of Norway
Day 6 – Lofoten Islands
Day 7 – Tysfjorden
Day 8 – Tromso
Day 9 – Bear Island
Day 10-14 – Exploring Svalbard
Day 15 – Longyearbyen / Oslo
Day 16 – Oslo / Home
The best time to go is during the summer time, when the snow is thawing and the wildlife is out of hibernation.
As you would expect, the temperatures are quite cool even at the height of the summer, but with luck you will enjoy long hours of sunshine late into the night. For any Arctic cruise layers and thermals are essential, as well as good quality sunglasses, and high factor sunblock. This destination is all about the scenery and very appealing to photographers – remember to come well equipped as you are unlikely to be able to get everything you need locally.