An extended expedition encompasing Spitsbergen and smaller outlying islands
Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, and this voyage will attempt a circumnavigation of the island. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife, Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations.
The island and surrounding area offers one of the best opportunities to view Polar bears, and with luck we'll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will also entertain during the sailing portions of the expedition, and we may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to shore.
Extended expedition covers more of the Svalbard Archipelago
Greater exploration of the smaller, outlying islands and remote wilderness
Polar bear hunting sites of Phippsoya and Isbukta
24 hour daylight enhances wildlife viewing in this captivating land of peaks and glaciers
12 nights on the ship
Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions
Countries visited: Spitsbergen
All meals while on the ship
Beer and house wine during dinner
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
Mandatory transfer package including return flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen
We can include flights from the UK. Please contact us for a quote.
Whats Not Included
Single accommodation (available on request)
Visas or vaccinations
People, Places & Planet
We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. To read more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice, click here, and to find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation click here.
Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:
How this trip helps improve life for local communities.
We are extremely conscious of our presence in the Polar regions. Often seeing whales, Polar bears, seals and seabirds can be a very moving experience and clients either donate to related charities or develop a lifelong interest in conservation of these species. There is not much contact with local communities on these remote voyages, although we do encourage clients to explore and use local business before embarkation. There are some small businesses which benefit greatly from tourism commerce and plenty of locals to engage with. By supporting locally owned shops and using various other services and facilities, money goes towards an increase of employment opportunities and growth of the local economy.
We have developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our staff is fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our team of lecturers, specialists and crew are able to pass vital information on to clients in briefings.
We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) of which our operator is a full member.
Our onboard gift shop only sells items which have been thoroughly researched as to where an item has come from, whether it has been produced fairly, what it is made of and distance it has had to travel.
How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.
All of our Arctic expeditions are designed to operate in line with The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) which has guidelines in place to protect the fragile environment of this Polar region.
We emphasise that the protection of this pristine, yet fragile, environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do. This is driven by our ‘leave no trace’ policy, which includes being vigilant with litter disposal and avoiding approaching animals any closer than 5 metres.
We strictly adhere to all international policies regarding disposal of waste at sea and only use recycled and acid free paper on board. Clients are also encouraged to recycle and reduce waste throughout and are provided with a re-usable water bottle for the trip. Cabins are fitted with eco-friendly amenities and the laundry is done with green detergents.
We are on board with the Clean-up Svalbard initiative, during which every summer volunteers from our vessels are invited to join the office of The Governor of Svalbard and the local population to remove debris from the beaches. The vast expanses of pristine, white landscape which people travel a long way to see are being jeopardised by waste which drifts to the area on ocean currents. As awful as this is, the problem is not just superficial- birds and other arctic animals eat the littler or become tangled in stray fishnets. This creates a massive challenge for Arctic wildlife, which already faces the harsh effects of global warming, so this is a hugely important project.
How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.
Read about Exodus Travels’ Planet Promise here, including our rewilding and carbon compensation commitments for every customer who travels.
We do our best to take advantage of local products as a means of boosting the local economy and reducing our carbon footprint as a whole. This is evident in the meals provided, which are created with sustainability in mind. Seafood, for example, will always be fresh and purchased based on the responsible management of the fishery for each particular species and will observe guidelines similar to the MSC and Audubon Society.
We make a collective effort to minimise excess waste on board and offer a carbon offsetting option for clients.
Our small Zodiac landing crafts are lightweight and nimble and they are powered by low-emission engines.
Activities include sea kayaking and guided photography which have a minimal impact on the environment.
Our eco-conscious approach means we travel to remote and pristine destinations differently than others in the industry. Most of our vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) – a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor- and despite being far more expensive, it is the only fuel we consider using. We also reduce consumption and emissions by tailoring our itinerary to operate at a more leisurely pace.
Tips for sustainable travel on this trip
Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
2022 Departures Start in Oslo, Norway
Our Arctic voyage begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.
2023 Departures Start in 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.
Embarkation Day 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 theship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.
Meals Included: Dinner
Days 3 - 13
Exploring Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favourable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colourful tundra meadows are complemented by immense glaciers. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to puffins, Purple sandpipers, Common eiders, Barnacle geese and Arctic terns, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (Thick-billed murres).
Always on the lookout for wildlife, be sure to have your camera ready to capture reindeer when we visit sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. Searching for the iconic Polar bear is a constant activity for the Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred places for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to view and capture them in action.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture—not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of outposts from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
2022 Departures: Disembark in Longyearbyen and fly to Oslo
The time to say goodbye has come. Our Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.
Meals Included: Breakfast
2023 Departures: Disembark in Longyearbyen and fly to 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 included return group charter flight to Helsinki.
The Ocean Adventurer takes a maximum capacity of 128 passengers. The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with Quark Expeditions and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.
No visa required for British passport holders.
There are no specific health risks.
Eating and Drinking
All meals while on the ship included.
The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.
Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.
Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.
Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.
Vegetarians and vegans can be well catered for on this holiday - please do inform us before departure of any special dietary requests so that our local team can be well prepared.
Spitsbergen has a short season from mid June to mid August; and there is 24 hour daylight in all three months. There may be more sea ice in the earlier months and some more flowers, but in reality with the capricious nature of the weather and wildlife there is not much to choose between them.
Is this trip for you?
The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable.
On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are ‘wet’ which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).
There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.
Sea kayaking option:
Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit.
Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.
Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.
Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.
Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.
All Polar itineraries should be treated as a guide only - it is possible that, amongst other things, the capricious nature of wind, visibility and ice, intelligence from previous sailings, changes in local landing regulations or the expert opinion of the crew onboard may lead to adjustments to the route published.
Please note that, as with all Polar holidays and voyages, the booking conditions for this trip differ from our standard conditions.
The required deposit is 25% per person of your selected travel arrangements (minimum £1000 per person or equivalent in booking currency) and the balance of the price of your travel arrangements must be paid at least 133 days before your departure date. The deposit is non-refundable, and at 133 days before departure date, our cancellation penalties are 100% of the holiday cost.
COVID-19 Vaccination: Please note that as a condition of travel on any of our Polar voyages, clients must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Clients must provide proof of their vaccination status to Quark staff before boarding the ship. For full terms and conditions please refer to our Quark Book and Travel with Confidence Policy, found here: https://www.exodus.co.uk/quark-book-and-travel-confidence
If you have any questions, please contact our specialist Polar sales team on 020 8003 9957 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.
The Spitsbergen In Depth: Big Island, Big Adventure is offered on the Ocean Adventurer which is a Polar Adventure Ship. One night in a standard hotel in Oslo is included. Full board accommodation on the ship, generally on a twin share basis in a variety of cabin types, all with en suite facilities.
Polar Adventure Ships
These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are superb and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.
The Ocean Adventurer is a comfortable vessel with spacious cabins, which all have private bathroom facilities and exterior views. Designed to carry travellers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world, Ocean Adventurer was built in 1976, and underwent extensive upgrades in 2017. This multi-million dollar investment included renovations to the interior of the ship, significant technical upgrades, and the addition of a new cabin category, the Owner’s Suites. The refurbishment gave the ship new bathrooms in every cabin, and upgrades to the Lounge, Dining Room, gym, and suites. Technical enhancements – including two new engines, generators, gear boxes, drive systems, and re-bladed propellers – resulted in increased fuel efficiency, and a minimized carbon footprint.
TRIPLE: From 145 sq. ft. (13.5 sq. m), a Triple Cabin is equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
LOWER DECK TWIN: From 115 sq. ft. (11 sq. m), a Lower Deck Twin Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
MAIN DECK TWIN PORTHOLE: From 115 sq. ft. (11 sq. m), a Main Deck Twin Porthole Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
MAIN DECK TWIN WINDOW: From 115 sq. ft. (11 sq. m), a Main Deck Twin Window Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a window with exterior views.
SUPERIOR: From 132 sq. ft. (12 sq. m), a Superior Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
DELUXE: From 144 sq. ft. (13 sq. m), a Deluxe Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
SUITE: From 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m), a Suite is equipped with one double bed made up of two twin berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities.
OWNER’S SUITE: From 208 sq. ft. (19 sq. m), an Owner’s Suite Cabin is equipped with one double bed made up of two twin berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views. Cabin 403 has a bathtub and shower; other Owner’s Suites have showers.
Covid-19 refund commitment
You will get a refund if you have to cancel your trip due to COVID-19.
Adult Price From
07 Jul 2023 07 Jul 2023
20 Jul 2023 20 Jul 2023
AvailabilityGuaranteed (On Request)
Adult Price From$ 17,450$ 17,450
This departure is guaranteed to go ahead and can be booked, although some components will need to be requested. Please click Continue to proceed with booking or contact our Sales team for assistance.