Svalbard

Explore the stark beauty of an Arctic island chain

Cruises to Svalbard

Central Spitsbergen, Aurora borealis

NOO27-18. The central Spitsbergen cruise offers the chance to explore both the beautiful fjord region as well as the history of the people who have lived and worked here. The expedition is also a wonderful way to enjoy the wildlife in its natural habitat and one of the great attractions in the Arctic: The Nor...

s/v Noorderlicht

s/v Noorderlicht

Cruise date:

30 Sep - 7 Oct, 2018

Price:

on request

Central Spitsbergen, Aurora borealis

NOO29-18. The central Spitsbergen cruise offers the chance to explore both the beautiful fjord region as well as the history of the people who have lived and worked here. The expedition is also a wonderful way to enjoy the wildlife in its natural habitat and one of the great attractions in the Arctic: The Nor...

s/v Noorderlicht

s/v Noorderlicht

Cruise date:

14 Oct - 21 Oct, 2018

Price:

on request

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring

RVR17-19. At the end of a long Arctic winter, spring is starting to awaken. The climate, however, still clings to the cold: snow-covered mountains, snow-swept shores, temperatures around –4° C (25°F). It’s a good time to experience the last of winter scenery, and with a little luck, also see some polar bears,...

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

1 May - 8 May, 2019

Price:

3100 USD

Alpine Peaks of Spitsbergen, Ski & Sail

Climb snow covered alpine mountains and ski downhill

RVR18-19. This program is designed for experienced ski mountaineers who have mastered ski techniques both for ascent and descent in challenging snow-covered alpine terrain. A typical day involves ski climbs on mountaintops averaging heights of 700—850 meters (2,300—2,800 feet) and downhill skiing from those p...

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

8 May - 15 May, 2019

Price:

3300 USD

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring - Hike & Sail

RVR19-19. At the end of a long Arctic winter, spring is starting to awaken. The climate, however, still clings to the cold: snow-covered mountains, snow-swept shores, temperatures around –4° C (25°F). It’s a good time to experience the last of winter scenery, and with a little luck, also see some polar bears,...

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

15 May - 22 May, 2019

Price:

3100 USD

Svalbard cruise video

Svalbard story

Doing research in the Arctic

At Wageningen Marine Research we are working with our international partners to monitor ecological changes in the Arctic. Our research on the...

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Svalbard blog

Six Must-See Svalbard Sites

It is home to humanity’s last-ditch supply of crop seeds, the world’s northernmost settlement over 1,000 people, and it’s one of the best places...

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Svalbard experiences

Svalbard wildlife

See the impressive array of wildlife you may encounter::

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Map of Svalbard

Svalbard cruise reviews

rating reviews

Overall rating based on 144 votes

Tereza Jelinkova
Just amazing
by Tereza Jelinkova on Arctic

I would like to thank you all for this very well organized trip. Special thanks to hotel manager Zsuzsanna, who was always kind and ready to help. She and her team had no problem to customise the meal menu according...

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Lalitha Reddy
Trip Of A Lifetime
by Lalitha Reddy on Arctic

This was an epic trip ! My family and I traveled to Arctic (m/v Plancius) between August 29th and Sept 5th 2018 and indeed it was a great trip. Definitely the wildlife, beautiful glaciers, flora and the landscapes...

  • Zodiac landing, Svalbard
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Don Campbell
Wonderful Experience
by Don Campbell on Arctic

My wife and I have long wanted to photograph polar bears. Val had been several years ago with One Ocean, to see a total eclipse of the sun, but had with her only a small point and shoot, which proved to be totally...

  • phpiy1VBg
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Eliane Schaller
Spectacular trip
by Eliane Schaller on Arctic

A fantastic 10 day trip around Svalbard. Great weather and wonderful memories. The expedition guides were all brilliant, kept us safe and sound, well informed and were flexible to ensure we had the best experience...

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Monika Ziegler
Ausgezeichnet
by Monika Ziegler on Arctic

Es war eine unglaublich gut organisierte Reise und Die Reiseführer auf dem Schiff waren Fänomenal !!!! Können diese Reise nur weiterempfehlen.

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Sabine Hildebrandt
Die Reise war der Hammer
by Sabine Hildebrandt on Arctic

Es war eine perfekte Reise. Unsere Erwartungen wurden erfüllt bzw. übertroffen. Die Crew, die Guides, die mitreisenden Passagiere, das Wetter- es hat alles gepasst. Wir hatten unvergessliche Tage auf...

  • phps0wp4n
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Svalbard FAQ

Where do we go on Spitsbergen?

The sailing range of this expedition is limited to the north-west coast of the Spitsbergen archipelago. As we want to make several longer hikes we do not want too spend much time travelling around with the ship. We like to spend as much time ashore as...

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What is the best time to travel to Spitsbergen?

This depends on what you want to experience at Spitsbergen. In case you want to experience the Polar night or the Aurora Borealis, November to February is the best time to travel to Spitsbergen. Do you want to see the midnight sun and enjoy boat trips,...

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When is the winter season in Spitsbergen?

The sun sets for the last time in Spitsbergen in mid-September and rises above the horizon again in mid-February. The winter landscape and temperatures prevail until May.   

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What is the temperature and weather like in Svalbard?

The weather in Spitsbergen differs per area and location. Although snow can occur throughout the year in Svalbard, the North Atlantic Current helps provide Svalbard with warmer temperatures than many other areas within similar latitudes. However,...

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Where can I see Polar bears during the Spitsbergen voyage?

As Polar bears are animals which can travel many kilometres in a day, it is impossible to say where and when you can spot Polar bears. Your best chance to observe Polar bears are found in the areas around sea ice. The chance to see Polar bears in Svalbard...

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What wildlife can I see in Spitsbergen?

Your cruise to Spitsbergen will come with an enormous amount of opportunity to spot wildlife. Polar bears are obviously the main attraction regarding wildlife. There are six national parks throughout Spitsbergen, and Svalbard alone is known to contain,...

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About Svalbard

Svalbard weather

Svalbard is located in the high Arctic and shares the Arctic’s designation as a technical desert when it comes to annual precipitation (or lack thereof). Particularly the eastern part of Svalbard sees relatively little precipitation annually. The west coast sees more precipitation in the form of rain and snow. Depending on when you take your Svalbard cruise you can expect temperatures to average anywhere from -14°C in the winter to 6°C in the summer.

 

Facts about Svalbard

  • The name “Svalbard” is an old name (going back to at least the 1100s) meaning “cold coasts.”
  • Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s only true town, was founded by an American in 1906. It has a little over 2000 inhabitants.
  • Almost 65% of Svalbard is a protected nature reserve or a national park.
  • Svalbard is the archipelago (chain of islands) off the north coast of Norway.
  • Svalbard has the world’s third biggest ice sheet, coming behind only Antarctica and Greenland.
  • Svalbard is made up of 4 main islands, and almost 150 smaller islands.
  • Nobody gets buried on Svalbard. Because of the cold in the ground bodies generally fail to decompose, meaning that the graveyards would quickly get overrun. Therefore bodies are shipped to mainland Norway and buried there.

Travel to Svalbard

Travel to Svalbard and experience one of the Earth’s northernmost human inhabitations. Your Svalbard expedition cruise will take you to a beautifully stark landscape of glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. During your Svalbard holiday you’ll explore the preserved and protected history of the region, watch high Arctic wildlife on both land and at sea. Come during the late autumn/early winter months and your Svalbard cruise will be capped off by the great wonder of the Polar skies, the Northern Lights. For the polar bear enthusiasts special polar bear itineraries are arranged to offer the best polar bear experiences. 

Polar bear video by Vedat Mihmat