Oceanwide Expeditions

expedition cruises

Antarctica cruises & Arctic cruises

Arctic Ocean - Fair Isle, Jan Mayen, Ice edge, Spitsbergen, Birding

Sail the East Greenland ice edge north of Spitsbergen in search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife

PLA01b24 Search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife of the land, sea, and air on an adventurous voyage from the Scottish port of Aberdeen to our favorite Arctic island group.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

28 May - 6 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

on request

North Spitsbergen Explorer - Versatile landscapes, sea ice & wildlife
$1000 travel credit | code ARCTIC2024

North Spitsbergen Explorer - Versatile landscapes, sea ice & wildlife

The best opportunity to get active while spotting exotic Arctic wildlife!

PLA02-24 This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen’s visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and many opportunities to spot whales, polar bears, seabirds, walruses, and other such wildlife. Enjoy the fantastically beautiful...

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

6 Jun - 13 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

4000 USD

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

Watch for wildlife in iconic Arctic terrain

RVR06-24 The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt van Rijn

Cruise date:

8 Jun - 18 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

4800 USD

North Spitsbergen Explorer – Polar Bears , Bowhead Whales & more
$1000 travel credit | code ARCTIC2024

North Spitsbergen Explorer – Polar Bears , Bowhead Whales & more

This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen's visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and the many opportunities to spot wildlife like whales, polar bears, seabirds, and walruses.

HDS03-24 This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen's visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and the many opportunities to spot wildlife like whales, polar bears, seabirds, and walruses.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

10 Jun - 17 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

5000 USD

North and East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice
Up to $3600 OFF

North and East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice

HDS03d24 Combining our North Spitsbergen voyage (focusing on polar bears, bowhead whales, and pack ice) with our East Spitsbergen cruise (also emphasizing bears as well as the summer solstice), this program turns two equally amazing trips into one amazing Arctic...

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

10 Jun - 24 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

6400 USD

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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 Sandy Kuan

The destination of this trip were Antartica, Falkland Island , South Georgia in January 2024, for 18 days cruising. For the most part on Hondius, we felt we were discriminated by some of the Expedition team members. This can be seen especially at lunch and dinner time. Most of the team members sit only with Caucasian guests. There were also different attitudes towards Caucasian vs second language English speakers seen throughout this trip. I tried to initiate conversations with some of the team members but gotten minimum replies. It was very different attitude when this team member interacted with Caucasian guests which was always with lots of enthusiasm. I remembered the first day we arrived on the ship, the Team Lead said ‘’ we are on the same ship and we are a big family.’’ But it didn’t feel that we were welcomed throughout the journey. Most of the time it felt been treated as secondary. I understand there was a group of people from other countries who don’t speak English well or at all. But, It doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore or treat one who doesn’t speak English or who is not Caucasian differently. I am not taking about Language barriers but more about attitudes and Oceanwide appearance in front of its customers from its own expeditions team members. Only the last day or two, some of the team members finally started been seen doing their “homework “ it felt like, by company’s standard I guess..to sit with second language English speaking guests at lunch/dinner whom they have almost never interacted with. The positive sides were the expedition team members were very knowledgeable about Antarctica, from water, ice , birds, whales, winds, penguins, Hondius ….etc. They were able to answer every question, putting efforts to lectures and landings. They even tried to use rope to show us how long each different whale looked like. The Team from the restaurant was impressive, very nice service, excellent food. Front desk, super sweet, friendly and helpful. Housekeeping, they kept our room and bed clean and cozy, surprised towel animals every day. However it does not justify how we were been discriminated. Once again, you can’t treat your guests differently by skin color.

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by david yang
Very good cruise except Ascension island that we could not land. Would be interested in Ross sea cruise in the future. Read full review
by Karen Thompson
Departing from Ushuaia on a transatlantic odyssey was truly a voyage of a lifetime, visiting some of the remotest islands in the world, and seeing creatures very few people are fortunate to see. The M/V Hondius was a very well appointed and stable vessel, with a crew and expedition staff who were phenomenal.
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by Ohad Sherer
It was my first visit to the Southern Ocean and I'm grateful I choose Oceanwide Expeditons to do so. Amazing Team and fabulous itinerary.
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by Douglas Koch
Excellent Read full review
by Erik van Zwol
Dit was de tweede poging om de reis die al 30 jaar op mijn bucketlist staat te ondernemen. Een aantal jaren geleden heb ik me al een keer ingeschreven op een Expeditie Rondreis naar Antarctica. De eerste was al volgeboekt en de tweede werd gecanceld door gebrek aan belangstelling. Dus toen de nieuwsbrief van de ANWB binnen kwam heb ik geen seconde geaarzeld en geboekt. Door verschillende factoren heeft deze reis een Godvermogen gekost maar het was iedere cent dubbel en dwars waard. "Explore and Learning" is niets teveel gezegd , Alle lezingen die werden gegeven waren razend interessant. Ook het feit dat vanaf de brug meldingen werden gedaan om Wildlife te spotten vond ik geweldig. Eenmaal bij het Antarctisch Schiereiland aangekomen maakten de Zodiac cruisses en de landingen het nog mooier. Ook op de terugweg , toen we werden geconfronteerd met de "Drake Shake" en een zware storm boven Buenos Aires die onze terugreis in de war schopte , was het het allemaal waard. Het grootste probleem is alleen dat , als je er eenmaal bent geweest , je weer terug wil. Toen jaren geleden mijn eerste poging werd geannuleerd heb ik me gelijk op de nieuwsbrief van Oceanwide Expeditions ingeschreven en sinds die tijd heb ik heel wat keren kwijlend achter mijn laptop gezeten. Niemand kan in de toekomst kijken maar ik heb mezelf beloofd dat het niet mijn laatste expeditie rondreis is geweest. HET WAS ONVERGETELIJK , FANTASTISCH EN VOOR HERHALING VATBAAR !!!!! Read full review
by Darlene Zabowski
This was the best cruise we have ever done. The guides, the sites, the ship, the food, the weather.... it was all more than we had ever hoped for! The crew and guides kept us safe and gave us a fabulous trip. Thanks for all the wonderful experiences! We hope to do another trip with Oceanwide Expeditions again! Read full review
by Barclay Lezon

Plancius - [ ] No tv except for web camera on the ships deck - [ ] WIFI needs improvement; it doesn't work in cabins - [ ] I paid $260 € for Internet access. It is a little frustrating that I paid $1500 more than passengers who bought a ticket days before we left the dock and they got the same type of room as me. That $1500 should have been used to buy internet time or refunded. - [ ] The lounge benches need to be reupholstered. They are covered in pleather. Whereas real leather would last longer and look good. - [ ] The activities were great. It was a once in a lifetime experience. The zodiac drivers knew just where to look for wildlife. - [ ] The food was excellent. Jerrica had a smile on her face constantly. She knew everyone by name. That is a talent! - [ ] The cabin steward was awesome. - [ ] I learned something new from every lecture. The staff who gave the talks were confident and competent. - [ ] I did not like passengers and staff smoking while we were loading the zodiacs; that should be a no smoking area. - [ ] I was happy you sold waterproof pants. - [ ] The barbecue was a pleasant surprise. - [ ] Overall the staff, accommodations, attention to detail, was beyond

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by Luděk Jakob
Thank you to Oceanwide and especially to the ENTIRE crew of the Plancius for the perfect care during the Antarctic cruise we took part in. From the first welcome on the ship to the kind care of the staff, daily exclusive food, interesting and funny lectures and the entire program on the Zodiac cruise and during walks on the coast organized by the best guides, it was an unforgettable and lifetime experience for us! We also of course thank the ship's crew for the professional management of the ship and the safe return. Long will this cruise remain in our minds and hearts!! Luděk and Petra Jakob 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


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.


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. 


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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