Fjords and glaciers of Spitsbergen

From Paris / Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen / Paris
  • All Arctic Cruises
  • Spitsbergen
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Somewhere in the High Arctic, between 76 and 80 degrees latitude North, Spitsbergen, meaning "pointed mountains”, awaits you for seven days of unforgettable travel looking out for wild life.

You will lift the anchor in Longyearbyen, where colourful wooden homes dot the landscape with a human presence that will certainly be the last you see for a while. The sea rolls on, and the white-striped mountains, which gave the region its name, rise up from deeply tinted waters. The polar light combines with the changing weather of the Arctic, a big blue sky, the horizon scattered with clouds, the enveloping mist erasing the border between the land and the sea: these variations all provide the magical, almost surreal, setting with new nuances.

The ship is escorted by Arctic fulmars. The first ice appears; still discreet, it seems to be dancing around you. At the end of a fjord, you will find yourself before an immense glacier. Black-legged kittiwakes share an iceberg, while Arctic terns fly over the area. Aboard the ship or a Zodiac dinghy, you will admire the power of nature while becoming aware of its fragility. The music of the thaw has begun its soft melody: a combination of cracking, roaring, murmuring and fizzing defies the silence of the polar desert.

On land, you will set foot on malleable earth, known as moraine. Only moss, lichen and a few rare flowers have managed to adapt and to take hold here, forming the tundra. On these inhospitable lands, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes coexist with walruses, lying on the beach. It has been a long time since the Pomor settlers, of which traces remain, came to hunt them.

Here, the lord of the Arctic, the polar bear, is never very far away. The crucial aspects of this cruise involve searching and keeping an eye out. On board, the team of naturalists will scan the horizon so they can provide you with marvellous sightings of wildlife and, in particular, the polar bear. The region’s elusive fauna upholds its mysteries while the uncertain nature of the encounter bestows an indescribable magic upon it.

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A cruise to discover the riches of Svalbard, in search of mysterious wild fauna, in the comfort of an exceptional ship, along with outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

Wildlife galore: polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, walruses, bearded seals, harbour seals, Arctic fulmars, Arctic terns, black-legged kittiwakes, eiders, guillemots, blue whales, minke whales, orcas.

Scenic sailing past glaciers or cliffs, inside huge fjords, between dazzling blue sky or mysterious polar mist. Witness rugged mountains, icebergs, ice caps, deep valleys, striated cliffs, gigantic glaciers, glacier fronts, tundra and ice floes.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Fly from Paris to Longyearbyen - Embarkation

Embarkation day - Paris/Longyearbyen

Flight Paris/Longyearbyen
Approximate flight duration: 4 h 30

We suggest you to be at the check-in counter 2 hours before departure.
We highly recommend you arrive in Paris the day before this flight.

Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
Transfer to the pier for embarkation.

Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

Day 2

Nestling between millennial glaciers and carved mountains, and considered to be “the crown of Arctic Norway”, Spitsbergen is a place that never sees the night. Your ship will take you closer to this fascinating archipelago and, more particularly, the Hornsund fjord. Considered to be Svalbard’s southernmost fjord, it is especially reputed to be its most stunning: at the end of its vast bay, 8 great glaciers slowly make their way down to the sea before giving way to the many icebergs elegantly drifting along its cold and mysterious waters.

Day 3

You will head to the Bellsund fjord to follow in the footsteps of the first explorers who came from the Norwegian coast, or those of the many fur traders seeking game and trophies. Boasting an astonishingly rich wildlife, the arms of the fjord separate to form two lush valleys. Give free rein to your imagination in the heart of this majestic natural environment where time seems to stand still.

Day 4
Edge of the ice floe

Your captain will sail right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you will be able to go out in a zodiac dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 metres thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.

Day 5
Texas Bar & Monaco Glacier

Despite the name given to the place, we are neither in Texas nor in a bar; it is actually an unusual place in the High Arctic. Texas Bar is a former trapper’s hut that was used by Arctic fox and polar bear hunters in the past. The hut, still in place, has a rudimentary interior with bunkbeds and kitchen utensils. Located at the entrance to Liefdefjorden (the “fjord of love”), it stands peacefully in a landscape of hills covered with moss, lichen and flowers. The cliffs with their changing colours, very frequented by birds, complete the beauty of the panorama. Take a little hike up the slopes and admire the superb view over the Monaco Glacier, which is further south.

Located to the North-West of the Svalbard archipelago, the Monaco Glacier is probably one of Spitsbergen’s most beautiful and majestic. Named in honour of Prince Albert I of Monaco, a sailor, it stands as an impenetrable, blue-tinged jagged wall, the last glacier before reaching a latitude of 80° North. Imagine the sound of the ice cracking as it breaks free and crashes into the transparent water. And to make the magical landscape even more perfect, you might be lucky enough to spot bears and whales, as these two animals have a special fondness for this area.

Day 6
Raudfjorden & Smeerenburg

Raudfjorden means “red fjord”, from the colour of the sandstone of the surrounding mountains. Along the west coast of this 20 km fjord, dissected by many shallow bays, you will be able to admire some of Spitsbergen’s most spectacular ice formations. At the extremity of the fjord, two offshoots lead to the magnificent glaciers of Chauveaubreen and Raudfjordbreen which is 3 km wide. To the east, Alicehamna Beach in Bruceneset Bay has seen trappers, fishermen and explorers arrive for centuries, as evidenced by the “Raudfjordhytta” - the cabin of a Swedish trapper built in 1927.

Located at the far north-west of the Svalbard archipelago, at the intersection of oceanic and Arctic influences, Smeerenburg is a former Dutch whaling colony on the southern part of Amsterdam Island. In a landscape of hills with steep slopes, plateaux, lakes and lagoons, you will anchor at a sandy beach. Dotted with driftwood and the remains of ovens that were used to melt the whale blubber, this is one of Spitsbergen’s most important archaeological sites. At the height of the whaling activity, 200 men worked here and several are buried here.

Day 7
Ny-Ålesund & Kongsfjorden

During your cruise, discover Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town that has been transformed into a scientific base. Founded in 1916, this small town was the departure point for many Arctic expeditions, including those of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen. Don't miss a visit to the museum and its famous post office, considered to be the most northerly in the world!

Very close to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund, set off to discover Kings Bay. Your ship will sail in one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden (the fjord of the King), a gateway to grandiose landscapes. Here, the snow-capped mountains are reflected in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty, a delight for photographers. Seals, reindeer, barnacle geese and black guillemots frequent these places that have a unique atmosphere. Once you arrive at the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three characteristic rocky points, which take their names from three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark) and Nora (Norway).

Day 8
Disembark Longyearbyen Fly to Paris

Disembarkation after breakfast this morning. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward charter flight to Paris which is included in your cruise package.
We recommend staying in Paris for 1 or 2 nights post-cruise before continuing on to your next destination

NOTE: Tourist infrastructures are very limited in Longyearbyen. We kindly ask you for your flexibility and understanding
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 7 nights stay on board with ensuite
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 All meals while on board the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Photographers and other expert expedition team onboard
  • Included Copy 20 All tours mentioned with professional English speaking guide
  • Included Copy 20 Parka to keep & boots to Loan while on the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Return flights to/from Paris to meet your cruise
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Travel Insurance, Gratuities / Tips are not included
  • Included Copy 7 Transfers to/from Paris airport on Day 1 & Day 8 are not included

Le Boréal

264 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers

Le Lyrial

260 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers


  • Included Learn about the fascinating history and geology of Spitsbergen
  • Included Sail in Spitsbergen’s fjords and towards the ice floe.
  • Included The possibility of hiking on the island, between tundra, beaches and glaciers.
  • Included Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
  • Included Gigantic glaciers, ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, ice caps, steep-sided valleys...!
  • Included Wildlife: polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic terns, walruses, whales, puffins.
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8 days

Price from

$9,074 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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