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Svalbard Odyssey

Exploring a Polar Wilderness Aboard a Luxury Expedition Ship


On this exploration of the Svalbard archipelago, enjoy the best of this magical region, a world of near-endless daylight, where polar bear sightings quicken your pulse, guillemot cries echo from towering cliffs, and beluga whales rise from the sea. From a luxury expedition vessel, you will explore tundra adorned with wildflowers and look out for arctic fox, discover historic camps of explorers and hunters, push through pack ice to find walrus and bearded seals, and enjoy breathtakingly beautiful Norwegian fjords. The ships are specifically designed for active expeditions, with special platforms that allow for faster disembarkation from the ship so you can get out on your adventure quicker, whether by Zodiac or kayak. On board, enjoy supreme comfort in indoor lounge areas with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views and multiple open decks with expansive 270- to 360-degree views. Additional amenities include a gym or sauna, Jacuzzis on the top deck, and optional massages. This is expedition cruising at its finest!

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.


Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway

Arrive in Longyearbyen, where you are met and transferred to the group hotel. This evening, enjoy a light refreshment as you meet your fellow expeditioners at a Welcome Reception and pre-embarkation briefing. Afterwards, dine at your leisure (dinner not included). Overnight at Radisson Blu Polar Hotel.

Day 2
Longyearbyen / Embark

Enjoy a sightseeing excursion of Longyearbyen before transferring to the pier for embarkation in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as we set sail. This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and the friendly Expedition Team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Sail out of the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot in one of the observation areas to watch seabirds, including graceful ivory gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots. They rise and fall skilfully, using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Days 3-11
Svalbard Archipelago

Svalbard offers Arctic wilderness at its best. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design the day-to-day itinerary, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea-ice conditions, and wildlife encounters.

Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, stretch your legs on walks across tundra emerging in brightly-colored wildflowers. Visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your expedition team is just as keen as you to find them—they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures. If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you’ll have the option to enjoy the activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you’ll hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating plunge, a memory you’ll savor for years to come.

Day 12
Longyearbyen / Disembark

During the early morning you will cruise back into Longyearbyen. Bid farewell your expedition team upon disembarkation and enjoy some free time before transferring to the airport to continue your journey.

15-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Days 2-14: Expedition. The 15-day itinerary will spend two extra days exploring the archipelago, with an attempt to explore the two largest islands in the archipelago: Spitsbergen and Nordauslandet. You may enjoy the delights around Barentsoya and Edgeoya that are located in the Hinlopen Strait, a known polar bear migration route. The expedition plans to visit the remains of old whaling settlements, old pomor sites, and enjoy early morning Zodiac cruises. You will encounter glittering glaciers, keep watch for beluga whales, and watch for ivory gulls. Weather and ice permitting you may sail along the most northerly point of the Svalbard archipelago, a favored spot to a large colony of walruses. You may encounter the mighty polar bear in its element, in the pack ice.
Day 15: Longyearbyen / Depart



Venture close to 80° north looking for polar bears on the pack ice
Chance to discover other arctic wildlife including walrus, guillemots, puffins, seals, reindeer, arctic fox, seabirds, and whales
Zodiac past blue glaciers and through stunning fjords
Enjoy hikes surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful scenery


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $11,895  
Arrive: Longyearbyen, Norway
Depart: Longyearbyen, Norway
Lodging: 10 or 12 nights on board an expedition vessel, depending on departure, 1 night hotel
Meals: All meals aboard ship, including wine, beer, and soft drinks with dinner
Activity: Sea Kayaking, Wildlife and Natural History, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

11-day or 14-day cruise, nature walks, Zodiac cruises

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