11 Days$7650USD

  • 9 days expedition cruising, optional kayaking & photography
  • 1 night hotel Lomgyearbyen
  • 9 nights aboard Polar Pioneer
  • 9 Dinners
  • 8 Lunches
  • 10 Breakfasts
Discovery and Cruising

Trip highlights

  • The most wildlife-rich part of the Arctic
  • Spectacular glaciers and fjords
  • 24 hours of sunshine
  • Above the Arctic Circle– only 600 miles from the North Pole

This voyage aboard the Polar Pioneer offers the opportunity to explore Spitsbergen, the largest of the Svalbard Islands - a spectacular ice-covered archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Famous for dramatic frozen landscapes and iconic wildlife, this remains a virtually unspoiled wilderness; a breathtaking world of pack ice and sweeping tundra, glacier-covered mountains, deep fjords and milky-blue icebergs. The region's abundant wildlife was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers, but the archipelago now provides safe haven for the huge seabird colonies, walrus, reindeer, Arctic foxes and polar bears that we'll be keeping watch for. Summer this far north of the Arctic Circle means ample daylight hours, providing many opportunities to explore this pristine environment on foot, by sea kayak and zodiac.

Trip Code: SPW

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel for your overnight stay. This evening you’ll meet your expedition leaders and other members of the group for a trip briefing.

Meals:  Nil

Today is yours to explore Longyearbyen. Recommendations include The North Pole Expedition Museum, the local brewery and a reindeer burger in one of the local restaurants. Board the Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon. Cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, we’ll be escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. The sea kayakers will attend a briefing to distribute dry suits, poggies (paddling mitts for your hands), lifejackets and dry bag.

Meals:  B,D

Over the next eight days we will explore the amazing wilderness of Svalbard. Our aim is to experience as much time as possible outside, be it zodiac cruising, paddling, hiking or wildlife viewing or all four! Our experienced Arctic team will use their know-how to design a day-to-day itinerary that makes the best use of the weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Following are locations that we will potentially visit and should be understood as a guide only. NORTH WEST AND THE PACK ICE Our journey takes us to the spectacular north west coast of Spitsbergen where we spend hours out and about in the wild Arctic scenery. We’ll explore the protected waters of the glacier filled Kongsfjorden or Krossfjorden, either by zodiac cruising, kayaking or walking the gentle tundra, where we take extra care not to disturb delicate wildflowers. Venturing further north, we may visit an old Dutch whaling station settled in the early 1600s, aptly named Smeerenburg (blubber town). Heading further north, right to the top of Svalbard, we’ll encounter amazing vistas in places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden, where magnificent glaciers end their journey to the sea. Paddlers and zodiac cruisers will wind their way through ice floes while walkers will take to the slopes, on the lookout for reindeer and even encountering rustic huts and remains from the bygone trappers’ era. We will always be on alert for polar bear sightings on the pack ice and on land! On board we may experience the pack ice of the Arctic Ocean and a favourite occupation is to stand at the bow and look below at the ice being parted by our sturdy ship. A highlight for all is the sight of a bobbing walrus feeding on clams or wallowing, slug like, on shore. At our northernmost point it’s time for the polar plunge, where hardy souls will shed their winter woolies, strip down to their bathing suits and dive (or jump) into the freezing Polar waters. A hot shower and a shot of vodka awaits! BELLSUND AND HORNSUND Heading south takes us first to Bellsund, a 20 kilometre sound situated on the south west coast of Spitsbergen and named after a nearby bell-shaped mountain. Bellsund was once a lucrative whaling site, used in the 1600s by the Dutch and the English. There are many opportunities for history buffs as we explore old trapping huts and an old cabin once used for whaling. Continuing the journey south, we plan to visit Hornsund, a stunning fjord that marks the southwestern corner of Spitsbergen. The English explorer, Jonas Poole, visited “Horn Sound” in 1610, giving the fjord its name after his men had brought back a reindeer antler. We hope to land at Gnalodden, and its adjacent bird cliff of Gnalberget, translating to ‘Nagging Mountain’ in honour of the continual cry of resident seabirds. This dramatic towering face of rock is home to one of the biggest kittiwake colonies in Spitsbergen (as well as a significant number of Brünnich’s guillemots). Facing south and close to the water’s edge, the stupendous peak rises from nutrient rich permafrost on shore, to a needle-like pinnacle. Below Gnalberget, there is an old trapper’s cabin used the 1930s by Wanny Woldstad, Svalbard’s first female trapper, and her working partner Anders Sæterdal. ISFJORDEN Heading closer to home, we spend our final day in Isfjorden, the second longest fjord in the Svalbard Archipelago. We continue our search for polar bear, Arctic fox and pods of whales, such as Beluga and the occasional Minke, all from the ship’s numerous viewing points, during zodiac outings and for those paddling, from their trusty kayaks. High on the slopes, reindeer graze, intent on getting their fill on mosses, herbs and grasses. Our last full day of exploring is often in Ekmanfjorden, an 18 km long fjord branching north from inner Isfjorden. Lying within Nordre Isfjorden National Park, we’ll cruise it’s often mirror waters, broken only by shards of brash ice, creating a picturesque, natural mosaic across the water surface. We spend our last night on board the Polar Pioneer reliving each special moment of the trip and reflect on our collective experiences of awe-inspiring scenery, majestic wildlife and the rich history and culture of the Svalbard archipelago.

Meals:  B,L,D

During the early morning we cruise back towards the docks in Longyearbyen. After a hearty breakfast, it is time to say your farewells to the crew and expedition leaders before a transfer to the airport.

Meals:  B


  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
  • 1 night twin share accommodation in Longyearbyen
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
  • Specialist expedition staff
  • All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
  • Use of gumboots on the voyage free of charge (various sizes available)
  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
  • Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre-departure information

  • Air transport and airport transfers before and after the cruises (other than group transfers to and from the ship)
  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes
  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls
  • Emergency evacuation charges
  • Customary end of voyage tips

About Your Leader

Robyn Mundy and Gary Miller are lifelong polar professionals with decades of experience working in Svalbard.

Robyn is an acclaimed author of several books including her most recent, Cold Coast, a novel set in Svalbard, about the remarkable Wanny Woldstad, Svalbard's first female trapper. Robyn is an expert guide, historian and storyteller and a pleasure to travel with. According to Robyn, Svalbard is special because:

"To witness Arctic wildlife in its natural habitat is one of life’s great privileges—reindeer grazing on tundra, a family of Arctic fox kits romping in the sun, a polar bear mother and her young one tracking across pack ice in the hunt for seal. Nature doesn’t get any more elemental."

Gary, an acclaimed naturalist and expedition leader, is one of the most knowledgeable guides working in the industry to date. Gary has over 30 years of experience as a biologist and polar guide and was a consultant on penguin behaviour on the well-know movie Happy Feet. According to Gary, Svalbard is special because:

"It's the excitement of cruising the glaciers, which can be quite active and unpredictable, and the chance to see Arctic fox, reindeer and of course polar bears. You are always alert in Svalbard for the unexpected and that just keeps me coming back."


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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Twin PublicUSD$8450
  • Twin PrivateUSD$9450
  • Mini SuiteUSD$11975
  • SuiteUSD$13750
  • PhotographyUSD$750
  • KayakingUSD$950
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Spitsbergen Expedition trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

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Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

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 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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