Intro to Spitsbergen: Svalbard Explorer

From Helsinki to Helsinki
  • All Arctic Cruises
  • Spitsbergen
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Explore the wildlife and landscapes of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago; home of the polar bear, walrus, and very few people on this 10 day expedition.

Sample what this region has on offer, from the remote settlement of Longyearbyen, where colourful houses stand solitary among the stark backdrop of Arctic hills, then voyage through icy waters along the coast, through bays and fjords. Discover creaking and calving glaciers, including the 14th of July Glacier and watch mountains of rock, snow and ice glide by. Take zodiac cruises to get up close and personal, like beneath the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet, home to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. Land and walk ashore, visiting abandoned historical sites, be surprised by the beautiful flora that manages to grow in this harsh polar environment, photograph reindeer grazing, or sit and watch walrus wallowing on the shores. There is time to take a polar plunge if you dare, or try something new and kayak in Arctic waters! And always, keen eyes are on the lookout for the majestic polar bears that call Svalbard home.

Come and explore the land of the polar bear. 

Viva's Best Bits...

Cruise through stunning fjords and visit the immense glaciers of the north, Hike the tundra and polar desert,...then perhaps dare to take a polar plunge into the icy waters!

Have a great chance to spot the legendary polar bear - population in Svalbard is around 3000 other wonderful wildlfe...Arctic foxes, Beluga, reindeers and more in their natural environment.

"Kayaking in the Arctic was a surreal experience, so calm, peaceful, just the sound of my paddle dipping the water, a nearby seal, and the creaking of ice from the nearby glacier – an experience not to be missed!” Tara, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Helsinki, Finland

Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

Day 2
Embarkation in Longyearbyen - Svalbard

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Day 3-9
Exploring Spitsbergen

You’ll cruise around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.

The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Spotting polar bears is more likely here than almost anywhere else, as the Svalbard archipelago is one of their preferred hunting areas.
The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can book the sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventure options.

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.

Day 10
Disembark in Longyearbyen Helsinki

The time to say goodbye to your Expedition Team and shipmates has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the historic frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Included Copy 20 Guiding and leadership by expert exploration team and crew
  • Included Copy 20 All shore landings per the daily program
  • Included Copy 20 A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Included Copy 20 A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan
  • Included Copy 20 An official expedition parka to keep
  • Included Copy 20 All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Included Copy 20 Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Included Copy 31 Mandatory transfer & charter flight package (additional cost)
  • Included Copy 31 Optional Activities: kayaking and paddling (additional cost)
  • Included Copy 7 Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance — strongly recommended
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, visas, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges

Ocean Adventurer

132 Passengers


199 Passengers


  • Included Zodiac cruising among icebergs, near seabirds, whales and glaciers
  • Included Explore Spitsbergen on foot with shore landings, walks and hikes
  • Included Chance to kayak in the Arctic
  • Included Dare to take a polar plunge above the Arctic Circle!
  • Included Possible polar bear encounters
  • Included Fantastic photo opportunities: walrus, reindeer, towering cliffs teeming with seabirds...!
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10 days

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$8,490 $8,490 USD

Per person, sharing

Based on a triple share cabin

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