Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

An Arctic Odyssey in the Land of the Polar Bear

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7995  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Longyearbyen, Norway
Depart: Longyearbyen, Norway
Lodging: 12 nights aboard 112-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Cultural exploration and walking tours


  • Spitsbergen—best place in the world to see polar bears!
  • Incredible wildlife including walrus, reindeer, and Arctic fox
  • The midnight sun and brilliant colors of the tundra in summer
  • Hiking, Zodiac cruises, optional sea kayaking

All the lecturers were very knowledgeable and were interesting and fun to listen to.Sharon R.—Beaverton, OR

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Pre-Departure Information

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Visa Requirements

US citizens do not need a visa for Norway. If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.

Norway’s far-flung Svalbard Archipelago, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, includes the “big island” of Spitsbergen—rugged, wild, and utterly unforgettable bathed in the light of the midnight sun. Our circumnavigation of Spitsbergen on the expedition ship Sea Spirit is an Arctic adventure that brings us deep into the realm of reindeer, walrus, and most excitingly, the polar bear, the icon of Svalbard. This thrilling expedition offers not just extraordinary wildlife, from Arctic fox to whales, but also the brilliant summer colors of the Arctic tundra and the majesty of Spitsbergen’s jagged mountains and cliff-lined fjords. Fantastic day hikes and adventures by Zodiac enrich our journey, along with options for sea kayaking and camping.


Please note: When traveling in extremely remote regions, the expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice, and the weather to guide the route. The below is a projected outline of what we experience. Please be aware that no specific itinerary or experience can be guaranteed.

Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway /Embark

Our Spitsbergen expedition begins when we board the Sea Spirit in Longyearbyen, Svalberg Island’s largest settlement, with a population of 2,000. This rugged island’s glacier-topped mountains rise majestically from the icy Arctic waters surrounding it. All meals included aboard ship.

Days 2-12
Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

We can expect a new adventure every day as we circle Spitsbergen and explore its smaller, outlying islands. The  incredible wildlife and the variety of geological formations are astounding. Every expedition to Spitsbergen will be unique, depending on local conditions, but a few of our favorite landing sites include the 14th of July Glacier, Alkefjellet, Ny London, Sundneset,  Phippsoya, and Isbukta. The names may not sound familiar, but they each have their own special appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese, and Arctic terns, while Alkefjellet is home to nesting Brunich guillemots and thick-billed murres. On Ny London and Sundneset, we’ll have our cameras ready for the opportunity to see herds of reindeers. And on Phippsoya and Isbukta, we’ll have the privilege of seeing the largest land carnivore in the world—the polar bear. The walrus sanctuary off Moffen Island is another place we often visit, as it can offer great opportunities for photographing walrus from the sea. We also have the potential to see Beluga whales. A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture, not only to see how its people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry here and we will see blubber ovens and other whaling evidence at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.

Day 13
Longyearbyen / Disembark

Our adventure ends where it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. We disembark about 9:00 am and transfer to the airport for flights home. Flights should not be scheduled to depart until after 12:00 noon.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

2016 Cruise Collection

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.

Download our online digital brochure to view on your computer or mobile device, or as a PDF! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Zodiac landing crafts are used to transport passengers ashore for walks to wildlife sanctuaries and the remains of local settlements. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. Options for sea kayaking and snowshoeing are available.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Jun 11-23, 2016  Sea Adventurer

Jun 22-Jul 4, 2016  Ocean Nova
Jun 23-Jul 5, 2016  Sea Adventurer
Jul 4-16, 2016  Ocean Nova
Jul 24-Aug 5, 2016  Sold Out

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Quad $7,995
Triple $8,995
Upper (Lower Berth) Twin $9,995
Upper Deck Twin $10,495
Bridge Deck Twin $10,995
Sole Occupancy $17,480
Optional Kayaking (subject to availability): $595

Prices are for 2016

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

Aboard the Sea Adventurer (2016 departures)

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple $7,295
Lower Deck Twin $8,195
Main Deck Porthole Twin $8,995
Main Deck Window Twin $10,995
Superior Twin $11,995
Deluxe Twin $12,995
Single Lower Deck $13,932
Suite Twin $13,995
Single Main Deck Porthole $15,292
Single Main Deck Window $18,692
Single Deluxe $25,990
Optional Kayaking (subject to availability): $595

Aboard the Ocean Nova (2016 departures)

CategoriesCruise Price
Quad $7,995
Triple $8,995
Upper (Lower Berth) Twin $9,995
Upper Deck Twin $10,495
Bridge Deck Twin $10,995
Single Upper Deck $16,992
Single Bridge Deck $18,692
Optional Kayaking (subject to availability): $595

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 20% of trip cost
130 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $1000 per person
179-120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
119 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals included aboard ship
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader
  • A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
  • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation
  • On embarkation day transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship
  • On disembarkation day group transfer from the ship to airport or local designated drop-off location
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

  • International airfare
  • Passport and any applicable visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Laundry and other personal charges
  • Telecommunications charges
  • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Any overnight accommodation required due to flight connections
  • Optional sea-kayaking activities

Arrival & Departure Information

Arrival & Meeting Place
Longyearbyen, Norway

Date: Day 1
Suggested arrival time:  by 2 pm

Suggested Arrival Airport
Longyearbyen (airport city code LYR)

An arrival transfer from the airport to the ship is included. If you are arriving early and staying  overnight in a hotel in Longyearbyen, an arrival transfer to your hotel is included.

Depending on your routing, it may be necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary.

Longyearbyen, Norway
Date: Day 13

Suggested Airport for Departure
Longyearbyen (airport city code LYR)   

After breakfast on Day 13, you will disembark the ship about 09:00 and be transferred to the airport for your return flights. You can schedule your return flight after 12:00 p.m. on Day 13.

Expedition Details

A valid passport is required for Norway. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for three months after the conclusion of your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.

No visa is required for US Citizens traveling to Norway.

We recommend checking the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov should you have any international health concerns.

No inoculations are currently required for entry into Norway.

<em>Ocean Nova</em>

Ocean Nova

Days 1 to 12 (12 nights)

The Ocean Nova is an expedition-style ship carrying just 68 to 86 guests, depending on the destination. She was built in Denmark in 1992 to ...
Click here for full description and more photos

<em>Sea Adventurer</em>

Sea Adventurer

Days 1 to 12 (12 nights)

The 117-guest Sea Adventurer is an expedition ship equipped with stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull that allow her to navigate ...
Click here for full description and more photos