Oceanwide Expeditions

expedition cruises

Antarctica cruises & Arctic cruises

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

HDS08-24 Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch sight of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

21 Jul - 30 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

on request

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

PLA08-24 Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch sight of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

22 Jul - 31 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

5400 USD

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

OTL08-24 Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch sight of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

28 Jul - 6 Aug, 2024

Berths start from:

on request

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

HDS10-24 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

8 Aug - 17 Aug, 2024

Berths start from:

on request

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

PLA10-24 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

9 Aug - 18 Aug, 2024

Berths start from:

on request

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Latest blog and customer story

News & blogs

What’s so Special about East Spitsbergen?

Though eastern Svalbard does not differ dramatically from the rest of the island group, the itineraries we follow there give you a different experience than our other Svalbard options.

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Customer story

Around Spitsbergen, in the Realm of the Polar Bear & Ice

There are journeys and there are journeys. This trip is one that falls in the latter category. I look back on a fantastic experience, during which the awareness of human behavior on this vulnerable planet (and especially the Arctic) became very clear to me.

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Antarctica & Arctic cruise reviews

by Martin Baumgarten
What an adventure! Extremely friendly, welcoming and well trained crew that fulfilled all wishes (well, almost ;-) ) - enthusiastic guides who were very empathic. Wonderful flora and fauna that were explained to us in the lectures on board as well as on the zodiacs. Excellent food served by a very friendly staff. Thank you!!! Read full review
by Vladimir Bohanes
The very best! Read full review
by Oliver P
It was a great experience and we will never forget it. We can recommend it for everyone who wants to do an action vacation. The guide team around Marcel made a tremendous good job to make this trip to a great experience.
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by LIMEI YAO
The whole trip was very exciting, which gave me a deep understanding of the Arctic scenery and wildlife. The speed of glacier melting also shocked me. I hope each of us can protect the earth well Read full review
by Ashley Toye
For anyone who has dreamed of travelling to the Polar regions, Oceanwide Expeditions is the (only) company to go with. From start to finish the quality of service was impeccable. I felt well taken care of. The value for money is indescribable. The memories are priceless. Oceanwide sets the bar extremely high, upholding a strong focus on sustainable adventure tourism. Read full review
by Joke Sens
Astonishing nature (cliffs, rocks, glaciers, tundra, beautiful plants, mosses, fjords). Arctic silence (except for a few moments completely offline), the sun that never sets. An international crew that thinks along. A fantastic expedition leader Jordi and captain Ismael, 27 pleasant fellow travelers and 2 bird guides. Animals in their own habitat, such as polar bear, walrus, seal, bearded seal, arctic fox, reindeer, graceful belugas, minke whale, colonies of auks, kittiwakes and puffins. History of Svalbard, whaling, mining, the science centre, information about past expeditions to the North Pole, geological background etc. etc. too much to mention. Good food and good weather!
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by Doris Mayr
Unsere Reise startete mit dem ganz besonderen Ereignis, gleich am ersten Tag fünf Eisbären beobachten zu können - und das schon am Vormittag. Das Wetter hat mitgespielt, wir haben Polarfüchse, Rentiere, Walrösser, Robben, unendlich viele Vögel gesehen, aber wir haben auch genau die richtige Zeit, um die blühende Vegetation zu bewundern. Ich habe vor allem genossen, einmal ohne Internet und Telefon eine Woche Auszeit von der digitalen Welt zu nehmen und die Natur zu genießen. Wir hatten ein großartiges Expeditionsteam, geleitet von Philipp und auch die restlich Crew des Schiffes war toll. Eine sehr behutsame Reiseorganisation, die immer auf die Tierwelt und die Natur geachtet haben. Und ich konnte Mitternachtssonne oft genießen!
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by sue cobley
A for us once in a lifetime trip to Svalbard. We picked the Rembrandt as we wanted a small boat experience,rather than luxery and wildlife and outdoor walks/rib boat expeditions was our priority without disturbing wildlife. From start to finish the trip exceeded expectations. The boat as described-yes cabins are rather bijou but apart from sleeping /changing we were not in them. The food was wholesome and plentiful. The guides (Jordy & Bill) were fantastic, good humoured and knowledgable. We were exceptionally lucky to see lots of polar bears close up from the Rib boats and ship ( The Rembrandt can get closer than the bigger ships) along with artic reindeer,foxes and lots of birds. The glaciers and scenery were outstanding. We particularly liked that the schedule could be adjusted- we watched polar bears for 3 hours one morning having been called at 4 am for an exceptional sighting and all the ship crew helped make this very special. Please pass our thanks onto the whole team. Read full review
by Jennifer stergion
Absolutely breathtaking scenery, TONS of wildlife, stunning blue glaciers, excellent staff, great food and wonderful new friends! Read full review

Frequently Asked Questions

An ice-strengthened ship is a ship made of steel. These ships are made to get through the ice at Antarctica and the Arctic. Nowadays, most of the ships that cruise to Antarctica and the Arctic are ice-strengthened ships. Ortelius and Plancius are both are ice-strengthened ships. Ortelius has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. Plancius has an ice-class notation of 1D.

Icebreakers are needed if there is a trade route to keep ice free, if there are military reasons for patrolling in areas with heavy sea ice or if you need to work in heavy ice conditions, particularly in winter. Icebreakers are expensive to build and very expensive in fuel to run (sometimes powered by gas turbines or a nuclear generator). They are uncomfortable to travel in on the open sea. 

All guests are required to wear a waterproof jacket and trousers (the clothing must be fully waterproof – water resistant or repellant is not suitable sufficient) while in our Zodiacs. This is for safety reasons owing to the increased risk of exposure related illness if you get wet. In Norwegian waters this is also a legal requirement – any person not properly dressed will not be permitted to leave the vessel.

Apart from that, our advice is to take warm, windproof clothes that you can easily add or remove in layers. Multiple layers of medium-warmth clothing provide more insulation than single heavier articles. This is due to warm air getting trapped between the layers and acting as further insulation. Look for clothing made of wool, silk, and new synthetic fibers, all of which retain heat better than other materials.

Layers give you the flexibility to control your temperature. The most important layer is the outer waterproof and windproof shell. More information about this can be found in our expedition manual, which you will receive at time of booking.

Our trips can best be described as expedition-style cruises. The emphasis is on viewing wildlife, visiting interesting locations, and participating in activities. For example, we may go to places where there is a good chance of seeing penguins or polar bears, or we may visit culturally significant sites or research stations, or we might embark on a kayaking trip or shoreline snowshoeing hike.

The aim is always to give you the utmost firsthand contact with the polar world. This is why we keep our program flexible, so that we can take the best possible advantage of local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions as they occur. No two voyages are the same. There is always an element of the unexpected in our trips.

When packing for an expedition cruise, avoid weighing yourself down with too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers. Please ask for our expedition manual with detailed information on clothing lists, what to pack, and what to expect on our voyages.

Yes, we provide all passengers lightweight life jackets that inflate automatically on contact with the water. It is mandatory to wear these life jackets at all times while cruising in the Zodiac boats.

All promoted Arctic and Antarctica cruise itineraries are for general guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The expedition leader and captain make these decisions in order to provide you the safest and most exploratory experience. Landings may also change due to site availabilities and environmental regulations per IAATO or AECO.

We follow the protocol advised by IAATO. Before leaving for your voyage, please make sure anything you bring that may come into contact with the environment (clothes, equipment, etc.) is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. We ask that you do not sit, kneel, or lay down during our landings. Please also do not place anything on the ground. You will receive a document with further information after booking.

On this page you find all information you need to know about the avian influenza outbreaks, including biosecurity protocols.

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About Oceanwide Expeditions

Passionate

Taking you closer to the heart of the polar regions has been our driving passion at Oceanwide Expeditions for over twenty years. Our knowledgeable cruise leaders, committed staff, and thoroughly outfitted vessels are our way of expressing what we care about most: making your cruise to the Arctic and Antarctic truly unforgettable. When you sail with us, you experience a part of the world that is unlike any other. Mountainous glaciers, snow-swept shores, whales and polar bears and vast colonies of penguins make up this world, and they are all part of the surreal ecosystem you can watch unfold before you on your future Oceanwide expedition.

Adventurous

Providing you a travel experience that inspires (and is inspired by) you, that’s what taking you closer to the heart of the polar regions means to us. We get you away from the vessel and into the action as fast as possible: up to two landings per day in the morning and afternoon, with a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs ready to shuttle you past the ice floes and onto the shore. We keep our programs flexible so that you get the most out of whatever surprises nature has in mind. When you sail with us, the cruise is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Pioneering

So what exactly is beneath the tip of that iceberg? The pioneering spirit, which all travelers to the polar regions (regardless of age and background) have in common. Guiding our expeditions with passion, tapping into the desire for inspiration and beauty, and always taking you closer to the heart of the Arctic and Antarctic – at Oceanwide Expeditions, that is our promise to you.

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