• a boat that is floating in the water

Introduction To Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers & Wildlife of Svalbard

Cruise in to a winter wonderland with giant icebergs, fluffy white polar bears and continuous sunlight which brings a rather mystical and unusual feeling to this incredibly unique and icy desert land. Our Introduction to Spitsbergen Arctic cruise is an all-inclusive Arctic adventure into the unknown, with action-packed days filled with activities that will ensure you make the most of everything an Arctic holiday has to offer.

The ultimate Arctic expedition

A trip to the Arctic is a completely different kind of overseas adventure that will have you sharing stories for years to come. The Introduction to Spitsbergen tour with Quark Expeditions takes you on a 10 day journey through this primaeval wilderness, showcasing sights and scenes that compare to no other place on earth.

Aside from travelling in style via a luxury cruise liner with all the includes, this Arctic tour will be guided by an Arctic Expedition Team who bring diverse polar expertise in subjects such as polar history, marine biology, glaciology and photography. The knowledge they share will help to deepen your immersion into the polar environment and enhance your connection with the Arctic.

The ship you will be travelling on is an ice-strengthened vessel built to withstand the challenging polar environments, which means we can take you to places no ordinary Arctic cruise could go to. With an observation lounge inside and an outdoor viewing deck on board, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect with this incredible place and enjoy the never-ending panoramic views of the Arctic all around you.

World Explorer Ship tour dates:

  • 11/06/20 - 20/06/20
  • 19/06/20 - 28/06/20
  • 09/07/20 - 18/07/20
  • 17/07/20 - 26/07/20
10 days
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey

Trip highlights

  • Visit Longyearbyen Island, the perfect spot to see the great white polar bear and the possibility of a walrus haul-out, a mass gathering of walruses upon the land.
  • Expect the unexpected on this Arctic expedition as you cruise past glaciers, fjords and icebergs and go in search of whales, penguins, guillemots and deer.
  • Experience continuous daylight that provides longer days to explore and see all the sights.
  • Our sea kayaking and paddling excursions add an exciting twist to your Arctic trip, offering an opportunity to get up close and personal with all there is to enjoy out on the water.
a dog swimming in a body of water

Your Arctic Voyage will begin in Oslo, the capital of Norway. For early arrivers, there is plenty of things to see and do in the city. Why not take a trip across the fjord to Bygdøy, a forested peninsula known for its history? Take a public ferry for just £5 and check out the rows of astonishing mansions that line the water's edge as you travel towards the Viking museum. Soak up some more Norwegian culture with dinner at a traditional Norwegian restaurant and then retire to your hotel to rest up before your flight in the morning.

Overnight at a nearby airport hotel.

a polar bear in the snow

In the morning you will catch a transfer to the airport and board a flight to Longyearbyen, Spittsbergen’s largest settlement where you will have some time to explore, try some local food and purchase souvenirs before embarkation.

When the ship sets sail, this will be your first chance to see the island’s enchanting landscapes from a distance and look out for polar bears, which are more likely to be seen here than anywhere else. The Svalbard archipelago is one of the polar bear’s preferred hunting grounds. You will sail past the cliffs of Alkefjellet, home to thousands of Brunnich’s guillemot (thick-billed murres) and you may even come across a walrus haul-out, a unique sight you will never forget.

For adventurous Arctic explorers looking to get up close and personal in the icy waters, book a sea kayak or paddling excursion for some added fun to this part of the trip.

Overnight on the boat. Full Board basis.

Polar Bears, Manitoba

You will spend the next ten days on a constant hunt for rare wildlife, exploring mystical lands and capturing spellbinding images that will have your friends green with envy. This Arctic expedition covers western Spitsbergen as well as the stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar fauna to breathtaking glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.

Each expedition presents new opportunities, different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places that may be visited include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. All destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.

In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colourful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is unique Arctic wildlife a polar bear resting between hunts, or abandoned sites from centuries ago.

Overnight on the boat. Full Board basis.

As the final day of an epic trip, this will be a time to say your goodbyes to the Expedition Team and your shipmates. Your Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the historic frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo or taken to a nearby hotel if you have chosen to take in some more sights and extend your magical Arctic holiday.


  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
  • Beer and house wine during dinner
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • Photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • Official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
  • Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
  • Transfers between Longyearbyen town centre and port on embarkation and disembarkation day

Not included

  • Mandatory Transfer Package
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Oslo
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof trousers for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Any adventure options