Spitsbergen Arctic Expedition Cruise

11-Day Round-Trip Journey from Oslo

Spitsbergen Arctic Expedition CruiseVisit Europe’s largest wilderness, Norway’s Spitsbergen islands. Discover a
wide variety of polar animals, glacial ice, breathtaking fjords and historic

What Makes Your Journey Unique

  • Visit the world’s most northern passenger airport, Longyearbyen, in the islands of Spitsbergen
  • Experience the history of Norway’s extreme north, including mysterious events from World War II
  • Get up close to the immense Monacobreen Glacier and the amazing landscapes that surround it
  • Enjoy your powerful ice class ship, the MS Ortelius, as it breaks through Arctic drift ice to reach the otherworldly atmosphere of the Arctic!


    Info & Booking

    Ramona Schröder
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    Day 1. Oslo

    Welcome to Norway! Your arrival at Oslo airport takes you one step closer to an unforgettable Arctic journey. The Kingdom of Norway in Scandinavia is one of the most northern nations of the world. As you head to your hotel for the night, you think about what lies ahead, knowing that your adventure will take you to the northernmost part of Norway—the Spitsbergen islands, known today as Svalbard—where very few travelers ever reach. The thought gives you chills of excitement.

    Day 2. Longyearbyen and Isfjorden

    Before noon, you fly from Oslo to Longyearbyen—the world’s northernmost passenger airport—situated in the cradle of Isfjorden, the second longest fjord in Spitsbergen. From here it’s just over 800 miles to the North Pole! Once you arrive, you are greeted by rows of colorful wooden houses that sit in front of dark, snow-capped mountains, behind which is the icy north, wide open and mysterious. The feeling that you are at the end of the world—and the beginning of a great adventure—is really taking hold. Your first experience is an informative, guided walk through the city. You learn that the city of Longyearbyen itself is one of the world’s largest laboratories for Arctic research. In the afternoon you board the MS Ortelius, your cozy home in the Arctic for the next eight nights. Once you’re on board, it’s full speed ahead to your next destination: Raudfjorden, also known as the Red Fjord, on Spitsbergen’s northern coast.

    Day 3. Raudfjorden and Moffen Island

    After a delightful breakfast on board, you admire the fascinating natural diversity of Spitsbergen’s west coast: tranquil beaches, green tundra and white-peaked mountains. Once you reach Raudfjorden, you take in the spectacular scenery, where breathtaking glaciers dominate the horizon. You get goosebumps waiting for the chance to see ringed seals, bearded seals and of course, polar bears! In the evening, your journey continues north off the coast toward Moffen, a small island with a wondrous landscape that is an important habitat for walruses and various bird species. The island, a protected nature reserve, is part of the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park. As you head back south toward Woodfjorden and Wijdefjorden, the light of the late summer sun makes every color glitter in warm tones.

    Day 4. Liefdefjorden, Reinsdyrflya and Monacobreen

    You’ve already seen so much Artic beauty from the comfort of your ship in the last two days—now it’s time to go ashore. You cruise through Liefdefjorden, which means the Love Fjord in Dutch, and go ashore to enjoy a walk through the tundra of Reinsdyrflya—the Reindeer Peninsula. You can’t help but be amazed at the otherworldly flowers that grow in this seemingly inhospitable area. Making up the western part of Woodfjorden, Liefdefjorden is situated on the eastern side of the impressive Monacobreen glacier. As you pass this massive, living piece of ice, you are sure to keep an eye out for polar bears, which are known to roam the area. The waters here are a popular feeding ground for thousands of kittiwake seagulls, which soar through the sky and dive into the water for a tasty snack.

    Days 5 and 6. Nordauslandet

    Your expedition cruise continues to the second largest island of the Spitsbergen archipelago, Nordauslandet, via Beverly Sound. The scenery here differs from what you have seen so far—the uninhabited island is dominated by rolling hills and plateaus. You travel through Rijpfjorden, past Scoresby Island, until you reach Wordiebukta, where a historic curiosity awaits—the former World War II era meteorological station Haudegen, where the last German troops surrendered. The soldiers were picked up by a Norwegian sealing ship on September 4th 1945 after regaining radio contact. The station itself is now a protected memorial site and is not open to the public. The landscape that surrounds of the station is startlingly beautiful, and here you have the choice between two easy hiking tours: along the Zorgdragerfjorden on the eastern shore or from Arkvatnet to the Duvefjorden on the northern shore. Both promise to fill your senses with Arctic amazements.

    Days 7 and 8. The Seven Islands

    Today, you visit the Seven Islands, at a latitude of just over 80 degrees. Polar bears, ivory gulls and walruses live in this stunning, remote region. You keep your eyes open for a chance sighting, with your camera at the ready. In the afternoon, weather permitting, you venture deeper into the drift ice to reach the northernmost point of your expedition, where at around the 82nd parallel, the MS Ortelius stops. You are now only 500 nautical miles away from the North Pole, and you feel as though you are on another planet—icy, quiet, and endless. Soon, your ship continues west along the drift ice, and your tour guide advises you to pay attention here—it’s a great place to catch a glimpse of polar bears and the rare bowhead whale. Later, about 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you reach the continental shelf where you hope to see razorback whales, which come here to feed on krill in the late summer. At the entrance to the Kongsfjorden, you know that beautiful minke whales might be surfacing nearby.

    Day 9. Forlandsundet and St. Jonsfjorden

    On your way back to Longyearbyen, your expedition vessel heads for either Forlandsundet, where walruses relax luxuriously on the rocks, or St. Jonsfjorden, where Spitsbergen reindeer graze on lush green pastures. All the while, you stay alert for seabirds, Arctic foxes and other animals found in this remote region. With every sighting, you realize that you will miss the unique wildlife of the remote north. Thoughts of planning another trip to the Arctic cross your mind. That night, your head filled with polar dreams, you sleep one last time aboard the MS Ortelius.

    Day 10. Longyearbyen

    Familiar rows of colorful houses come into sight as you approach the Port of Longyearbyen. Today it’s time to bid farewell to your expedition ship and its lovely crew. After you disembark, you visit the Svalbard Museum and learn more about the area’s history. Soon, it’s time to catch your flight back to Oslo, where you spend your last night in Norway.

    Day 11. Oslo

    On your way to the airport and flight home, you smile, looking through the photos of your Arctic expedition. You know that your friends and family will ask, “How was your trip?” to which you will have to reply, “You’ve got to see it for yourself!”

    (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

    Follow in the footsteps of famous explorers. Sail past imposing glaciers, through drift ice and—with a bit of luck—meet walruses, Arctic foxes and reindeer. Your exclusively chartered expedition vessel, the MS Ortelius, gives you extraordinary access to remote fjords and landscapes that are normally inaccessible to travelers.

    Visit the world’s most northern passenger airport, in Spitsbergen’s main city, Longyearbyen. Walk through the stony, green tundra of the remote and mysterious Reinsdyrflya. Be one of the very few to visit the beautiful, icy beaches and snow-capped mountains of this otherworldly landscape.

    Stunning natural beauty is not the only thing waiting for you in Spitsbergen. There is also a wealth of Arctic history hidden among its waterways and glacial mountainsides. Learn about the foundation of Longyearbyen by the Arctic Coal Company, the former German meteorological station Haudegen, and much more on this frosty, calm and seemingly endless Arctic adventure!

    Highlights of Your Journey

    • Plow through Arctic drift ice on the MS Ortelius, visiting landscapes only few have seen
    • Enjoy easy, refreshing hikes through impressive, remote locations, like Reinsdyrflya
    • Discover the history of Longyearbyen and the Arctic Coal Company, founded by AmericanJohn Munro Longyear
    • Visit the remains of World War II-era German meteorological station Haudegen
    • Take the best photographs of your life thanks to the low-lying sun of the extreme north
    • Encounter wildlife that will take your breath away, including bowhead whales, Arctic foxes and of course—polar bears!

    Rates Include

    • 8 overnights on board the MS Ortelius
    • 2 overnights in hotels
    • English-speaking tour guides and experts
    • Informative lectures on landscapes, wildlife and history
    • All meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Zodiac and land excursions (weather permitting)
    • Round-trip flight between Oslo and Spitsbergen
    • Transportation to and from airport in Longyearbyen
    • Environmental fee for Spitsbergen
    • Doctor on board

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Visa fees
    • Gratuities

    Entry Requirements

    • Passport and visa required
    • No vaccinations required
    • Travel insurance required

    Four-Bed Cabins

    The MS Ortelius’ four-bed cabins are located on Deck 3.


    • 134–150 sq ft/12.5–14 sq m


    • 2 portholes
    • 2 lower beds
    • 2 upper beds
    • Private shower and toilet
    • Table and chair
    • Space to store luggage

    3-person occupancy is available for a supplemental charge.

    Two-Bed Cabins

    The two-bed cabins of the MS Ortelius are located on Decks 3 and 4.


    • 129–161 sq ft/12–15 sq m


    • 2 portholes
    • 2 lower beds
    • Private shower and toilet
    • Table and chair
    • Space to store luggage

    Two-Bed Superior Cabins

    The two-bed Superior cabins are located on Deck 5.


    • 188 sq ft/17.5 sq m


    • 2 windows
    • 2 lower beds
    • Private shower and toilet
    • Table and chair
    • Space to store luggage

    Two-Bed Deluxe Cabins

    The two-bed Deluxe cabins are located on Deck 5.


    • 190–215 sq ft/17.7–20 sq m


    • At least 2 windows
    • 2 single beds or 1 double bed
    • Private shower and toilet
    • Small sofa
    • Table and chair
    • Flat screen TV
    • Refrigerator
    • Tea and coffee station
    • Space to store luggage

    Total price $