Get the best of an epic Arctic voyage in under a week
Cross the 80th parallel on a cruise along the northwest coast of Spitsbergen – bringing you all the benefits of an epic expedition, but in a fraction of the time. Like its southern cousin, the Arctic is one of the world’s last wildernesses, and you’ll explore its mountains and glaciers, cliffs and fjords, and meet its thriving wildlife. Ready binoculars and cameras for polar bears and glaciers as you sail from Longyearbyen to watch ice calve into the sea at Krossfjord, encounter indigenous wildlife on a Zodiac excursion to Ny London, and cruise towards the base of the Monaco Glacier. Land where polar bears roam, walruses take sanctuary, and beluga whales breech the sea surface. Surround yourself with whaling history in Smeerenburg, and snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers in Magdalenafjord. This trip will show that you can experience an epic adventure in just 6 days.
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Physical rating
- Min 8
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 132
Why we love this trip
Get all the experiences of an epic arctic adventure in just 6 days
Take advantage of 24 hours of daylight to encounter iconic arctic wildlife like polar bears, walrus and reindeer
Board Zodiacs to cruise up to towering glaciers and glistening icebergs, and make landings on the surprisingly colourful tundra
With kayaking adventures, take the chance to glide silently on the waters of the arctic surrounded by icebergs and glaciers
Is this trip right for you?
As you’d expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.
Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if seas are rough.
The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.
This trip takes places during the time of year that Spitsbergen enjoys 24-hour daylight. Just one of the benefits of this is that incredible wildlife can be seen at any time of the day – be prepared to be woken at any time so as to not miss out on exciting animal sightings.
Polar bears are one of the most incredible and appealing animals on the planet, but they are also powerful predators with little fear of humans. Therefore it’s necessary to be aware of the guidelines surrounding any contact with Polar bears. Follow your leader’s instructions and do not stray from your group – your leader carries equipment to protect you.
Special InformationIf you arrive today, an arrival transfer will be included. You will be transferred from the airport to Longyearbyen town for some free time. Your luggage will be transferred directly to the ship. Later in the afternoon, you will be collected from a central pick up point to be transferred to the ship.
For passengers arriving one day before the start of the itinerary, a transfer will be provided to your hotel. Please note, no pre voyage accommodation is included in the cost of the voyage but can be arranged if required.
Sailing north into Krossfjord, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehook Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, are possible here.
After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. As if that isn’t thrilling enough, your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for beluga whales and other marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands (where polar bears have been known to roam). At 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching large groups of these lumbering giants jockeying for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars.
The abandoned settlement of Smeerenburg (which means “blubber town”) was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards you panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal clear waters.
During your last full day of your arctic adventure, the options are open. You may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of the world’s northernmost brewery, or Trygghamma, where you may have the chance to walk on a glacier. Round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars, guillemots and thick-billed murres. Encounters with reindeer might be possible here. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s dinner.
- Breakfast (4)
- Lunch (4)
- Dinner (4)
Special InformationAfter disembarkation, a transfer will be provided from the ship to the airport. Please book flights to leave after midday.
If you are spending extra time in Longyearbyen, a transfer is provided from the ship to any central Longyearbyen hotel.
Meals5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
TransportExpedition Cruise Ship, zodiac
AccommodationExpedition Cruise Ship 5 nights
Dates & availability
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Spitsbergen Highlights trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
Jump to a departure month
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.
Kayaking is available to book on all Arctic voyages except on Icebreakers. Kayaking must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. Some previous, recent experience is essential. Snowshoeing and hiking is also offered on some itineraries. These activities are at no additional cost and do not need to be pre-booked. See the itinerary for Adventure options available on this voyage.
Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.