Spitsbergen: Islands and Polar Bear Cruise
This Arctic Wildlife Cruise pays homage to the stunning beauty of this remote area
What Makes Me Mighty Fine
- Fascinating 10 day cruise from bustling Tromso to the Spitsbergen wilderness, calling in on some of the remotest islands in the Spitsbergen archipelago and exploring the bewitching wildlife highlights of the Norwegian coast
- Make the most of great wildlife watching opportunities as you look out for polar bears, whales and other fascinating creatures
- Travel to the 80th parallel and learn about the great polar explorers
- Enjoy a rare opportunity to visit Bjørnøya (Bear Island), half way between Spitsbergen and the North Cape
- Visit the European mainlands most northerly point, The North Cape
This captivating Arctic expedition takes you to some of the most remote and breathtakingly beautiful regions in Svalbard and Norway. Sail across crystal blue waters surrounded by gaping fjords, wonderful wildlife and towering snow-dusted peaks that dominate the horizon. Keep watch on this Arctic Wildlife Cruise for the remarkable animals that inhabit the coastline and extraordinary seabirds that circle the clear skies as they hunt for food.
As you explore Spitsbergen and North Norway you will visit quaint fishing villages and charming coastal communities where you can uncover a wealth of hidden treasures. Tour intriguing museums and galleries as you delve into the rich history and fascinating culture of the Svalbard islands.
Nature lovers will be in their element here as not only will you have the opportunity to catch sight of polar bears, large bird flocks, impressive walrus colonies, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes on your Arctic Wildlife Cruise, you can also admire the grandeur of striking rock formations that plunge into the icy sea. Indeed, the dramatic landscapes here make every moment of this cruise a wonderfully unique and awe-inspiring holiday.
In need of guidance? Check out our Spitsbergen holidays ideas for more great holidays here. If you want a wildlife-focussed break, take a peek at our bear watching holiday ideas. Alternatively, speak to our helpful travel team on 0333 800 2033 or using our online chat system (during office hours).
Day 1 - Arrive Tromsø
Arrive in Tromsø on your Arctic Wildlife Cruise. The 'Gateway to the Arctic' is a lively, colourful town, rich in Arctic history and surrounded by the dramatic Lyngen Alps, blue fjords and hundreds of islands. During May, the local flora and fauna are coloured yellow and red and the city is buzzing as the Northern Lights begin to assume strength and light up the night skies with their magical display.
Day 2 - Sail to Bjørnøya
Bjørnøya is the southernmost island of the Svalbard Archipelago. Around its southern tip the cliffs and off shore stacks provide an important breeding area for seabirds. This is the northern limit for some species of birds and one of the reasons for this being such a great breeding area is that cold waters from the Arctic Ocean meet the warm Gulf Stream currents here providing an ideal feeding ground for the birds.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - On to Spitsbergen
Your Arctic Wildlife Cruise heads north from Bjørnøya towards Spitsbergen today. Spitsbergen is part of the Svalbard archipelago, home to about 3000 polar bears! Despite this however, the incredibly solitary polar bear can be very difficult to see. They have no colonies and are incredibly mobile (the only exception to this being females who build dens in the winter). The best chances of sightings are often on the shoreline when you and your fellow passengers scour the coastline with binoculars.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Polar Bear Hunting Grounds
Heading further north along Spitsbergen's fjords, the voyage will continue to focus on the ice edge, on the lookout for the "fast ice"! Here polar bears will hunt young ring seals on the landlocked ice.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Longyearbyen
Arriving in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen's largest habitation, you will have the opportunity to take part in activities like ice caving and dog sledding. If you choose to explore the town independently, do be sure to make sure you do not leave the city limits without a guide!Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
Our fantastic Arctic Wildlife Cruise continues as you travel to Barentsburg, a secluded Russian hamlet, focused in the past on mining activity. There will be ample time to visit the Svalbard Museum and gallery which demonstrates how harsh Arctic environments have affected cultural behaviour, the natural world and the surrounding landscapes of Spitsbergen and Norway.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Visit Magdalenefjord and NW Spitsbergen
We admire the sheer beauty of Magdalenefjord in the north west region of Spitsbergen National Park today. During this Arctic Wildlife Cruise we will look out for the amazing local wildlife including reindeer, walrus, Arctic fox and the majestic Svalbard Polar Bear. There's also time to learn about the whaling history of these mysterious shores.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Return to Bjørnøya
Returning to Bjørnøya, your Arctic Wildlife Cruise will make its final stop before mainland Norway. Visiting another part of the island you will get another chance to visit one of Spitsbergens remotest islands with one of its most vibrant wildlife populations.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - North Cape
North Cape is one of North Norway's most popular highlights and your voyage today stops at a nearby port giving you the opportunity to visit the North Cape and some of the nearby bird cliffs which will be teeming with arctic bird life during the spring breeding season.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Tromsø
When you disembark in Tromsø, you will noticeably have returned to civilisation. A melting pot of European adventurers, hardy Norwegians and indigenous Sami, you will by now have a real appreciation of just why Tromsø is rightly known as the Gateway to the Arctic. If you would like to extend your stay to explore Tromsø or the surrounding area speak to one of our friendly travel advisers alternatively return home.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Return international flights from London Heathrow (details of regional departures on request)
- Escorted airport transfer in Longyearbyen
- One nights' accommodation in a local standard room at a central hotel in Longyearbyen
- 12 days' voyage with accommodation in an I-grade cabin (upgrade details on request)
- The following activities and excursions, as per the itinerary:
- Polarcirkel boat landings
- Suites include a selection of drinks with meals on board.
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Services of professional guides
- Optional excursions (these can be arranged for you at a supplement)
- Travel Insurance (this can, however, be arranged for you. Simply speak to our travel team for a competitive quote for comprehensive cover)
Please call our friendly advisors on 0333 800 2033 for pricing on this holiday.