The Best of Spitsbergen

From Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen
  • All Arctic Cruises
  • Spitsbergen
  • Expedition
  • Cruising
  • Wildlife
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Tour Description

Explore the Far North on this 8-day expedition cruise to the heart of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. The scenery is spectacular and the flora and fauna exceptional. Longyearbyen is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet and the starting point of your Arctic voyage. Witness the alpine glaciers, floating icebergs and tundra of Cross Bay; marvel at the impressive wall of ice at the 14th July Glacier and admire the snow-capped mountains of Magdalena Bay where polar bears roam. Discover former trappers huts and abandoned mining towns and see the beautiful blue-tinged jagged walls of Monaco Glacier. This cruise takes you to the top of the world, to the last islands before the North Pole to reach latitudes of 80° north. This is a true Arctic adventure!

Please note the following dates 05Jun21, 12Jun21, 19Jun21 & 26Jun21 are found on the L'Austral.

Viva's Best Bits...

Encounter unique arctic wildlife while discovering Spitsbergen.

Explore an incredibly diverse array of natural landscapes.

Discover the northernmost territorial capital on the planet.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Paris Longyearbyen

Flight from Paris to Longyearbyen is included in your cruise package and it is highly recommended to arrive in Paris the day before this flight. On arrival at Longyearbyen, you will be met and transferred to the pier. Embarkation time is between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm, at which time cabins and suites will be ready to check in to. The vessel will depart at 6.00 pm.
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
Lilliehöök Glacier

Welcome to Cross Bay’s décor of plutonic rocks and tundra. Admire the immense expanses of flowers that cover the mountain slopes, amidst 14 Alpine glaciers plunging majestically into the sea. In this setting of wild beauty, which endemic wildlife has chosen to call home, set off to discover the sublime Lilliehöök Glacier. Located in the fjord of the same name, it forms a kind of circle and its front is 7 km wide. As you approach it, you will fall under the spell of the icebergs floating around it, like jewels bedecking the magical waters of the Arctic. Walruses, sea birds, seals and Svalbard reindeer will perhaps accompany as you explore these unique places.

Day 3

At the entrance to Cross Bay, between tundra, plutonic rocks and mountains covered with a surprising endemic flora, set off to discover the 14th July Glacier. It was thus named by Prince Albert I of Monaco, following an expedition that he led there at the beginning of the 20th century. The glacier’s surroundings are frequented by numerous birds (Tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres, barnacle geese, common eiders, Atlantic puffins…), as well as Arctic foxes and reindeer. As you arrive in front of the glacier, admire the impressive wall of ice and the reflection of the cliffs in the water. It is quite common to see a section of ice come loose, or a bearded seal lounging on an iceberg.

Day 4
Magdalena Bay & Virgohamna

Nestling in north western Spitsbergen, Magdalena Bay is one of Svalbard’s unmissable sites. In a spectacular landscape of snow-topped Alpine mountains, deep fjords, beaches and majestic glaciers, it offers multiple opportunities for wonderment. We will not be surprised to observe whales, walruses, seals, common eiders, terns, polar bears and Arctic foxes there. The site of Gravneset, located in Magdalenafjorden, is home to the remnants of a former whaling station used during the 17th century, as well as the graves of many sailors buried here up until the end of the 18th century. Not far from here, the Gully Glacier offers a magnificent view, a delight for photographers.
Virgohamna, or Virgo Bay, to the north-west of Spitsbergen, was home to a whaling station in the 17th century. Above all, though, it is known as the staging area for many attempts to reach the North Pole by balloon. In 1896, Swedish balloonist Andrée set up camp here and lifted off a year later with two team members on a trip that would cost them their lives. During your visit, you will be able to see a pile of planks, rusty cans, pipes, debris from earthenware and all kinds of waste on the ground. Visitors are asked to respect these historic remnants, in homage to the conquerors of the poles.

Day 5
Sailing Towards the Ice Floes

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 6
Texas Bar, Liefdefjorden & 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.

Day 7
Ny-Ålesund & Kongsbreen, Kongsfjorden

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! We 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. Bearded 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
Pyramiden, Nordenskiöld & Longyearbyen Paris

A real ghost town, Pyramiden was founded by Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century before being sold a few years later to the Soviet Union. Constructed at the foot of a mountain in the form of a pyramid, this former mining town, abandoned in 1998, has conserved all the buildings from its glory days when it lived off coal mining. During your visit, you will be able to walk past a swimming pool, swings, a football pitch and a cinema. Even more unusual: reindeer like to wander the deserted streets of this dead town, the only companions for the handful of men who still live there in summer.
Situated deep inside Isfjorden, the Nordenskiöld Glacier is one of the very beautiful discoveries of your cruise. Its front of ice, nearly 5 km wide, is one of the most spectacular in the Svalbard Archipelago. 30 metres high, the glacier, like a gigantic frozen statue whose sections of ice sometimes come spectacularly loose, is impressive. The polar bear, the king of the Arctic, will perhaps make an appearance in these parts, which are also frequented by reindeer and seals.
Disembarkation is scheduled for 7.00 am. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Paris which is included in your cruise package.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Cabin accommodation on board Le Boreal (*L'Austral)
  • Included Copy 20 All meals whilst on board including snacks
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar (excluding premium brands)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All scheduled landings and excursions
  • Included Copy 20 Expedition jacket provided
  • Included Copy 20 Pair of expedition boots for use during your voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Guiding by experienced expedition leader and team
  • Included Copy 20 Group transfer to/from pier
  • Included Copy 20 All port & landing fees
  • Included Copy 20 Group transfer to/from pier
  • Included Copy 20 Flights from Paris to Longyearbyen / Longyearbyen to Paris
  • Included Copy 7 Pre or post cruise travel expenses
  • Included Copy 7 Optional activities
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew
  • Included Copy 7 Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Included Copy 7 Travel insurance
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses, such as laundry, onboard communication (telephone calls, faxes and email service)
  • Included Copy 7 Airfares from disembarkation city
Le Boréal | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

264 Passengers

L'Austral | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

264 Passengers


  • Included Wildlife Observation
  • Included Kayaking
  • Included Zodiac Expeditions
  • Included Hiking
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8 days

Price from

$12,050 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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