Spitsbergen Arctic Expedition Cruise

Exclusive Charter of the Expedition Vessel MS Ortelius

Spitsbergen Arctic Expedition CruiseSpitsbergen is by far the biggest wilderness in Europe. It is home to whales,
seals and polar bears which actually outnumber Spitsbergen’s human
inhabitants. Join us for a unique expedition cruise through the western and
northern regions of the Spitsbergen archipelago.

What Makes Your Journey Unique

  • Exclusive charter of the comfortable expedition vessel MS Ortelius on a unique route to the Acrtic drift ice at 81 degrees latitude
  • Ideal traveling season for watching whales and polar bears
  • Low-lying sun, creating the perfect atmosphere for photographers
  • Authentic journey far from the hectic bustle and entertainment programs of big cruise ships
  • Impressive hiking tours and zodiac excursions


  • 20 Aug 20 - 30 Aug 20 (11 days)
  • 23 Aug 21 - 02 Sep 21 (11 days)

Info & Booking

Ramona Schröder
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Day 1. Welcome to Norway!

Arrival at Oslo airport and hotel overnight. Overnight: Radisson BLU Airport Hotel (or similar)

Day 2. Of Whalers and Trappers

In the morning, you fly from Oslo across Scandinavia to the world’s most northern passenger airport, located on the Spitsbergen archipelago. From here it’s only 1,300 kilometers to the North Pole! Colorful wooden houses in front of snow-capped mountains and the wide open countryside—in the small main city of Longyearbyen you feel like you are at the end of the world and at the beginning of a great adventure. Enjoy a guided walk through the city which is home to numerous climate and polar researchers who made Spitsbergen the world’s largest laboratory for Arctic research. In the afternoon, you board the MS Ortelius, your floating home for the next seven nights, and depart for Isfjorden. Overnight on board. Meals included: Breakfast (B) and dinner (D)

Day 3. Polar Bears in Spitsbergen’s North

Today you enjoy the Arctic natural diversity on your northbound passage along the west coast: deserted beaches, green tundra and snow-capped mountain peaks. Your first destination for today is the Red Fjord on Spitsbergen’s north coast. Spectacular glaciers dominate the breathtaking scenery, home to seals and sometimes even polar bears! In the evening, your journey continues towards Moffen Island, where—with a bit of luck—you will see walruses. Overnight on board (BLD)

Day 4. Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen

Today you go ashore in the Liefdefjorden and enjoy a walk through the tundra of Reinsdyrflya. The floral biodiversity in these climes is amazing! When entering the fjord, you cruise close to the impressive Monacobreen glacier. The waters on the glacier front are a popular feeding place for thousands of kittiwakes and every now and then even polar bears are spotted on the glacier. Overnight on board (BLD)

Day 5. Nordauslandet Island

The cruise continues to the second largest island of the Spitsbergen archipelago, Nordauslandet. The scenery there differs from what you have seen before: the uninhabited island features rolling hills and table mountains. Your tour eastbound leads you to the Rijpfjorden, where you encounter a historical curiosity: the former German meteorological station Haudegen. The group based there were the last German troops to surrender after the Second World War. The soldiers were picked up by a Norwegian seal hunting vessel on September 4, 1945. The station itself is under monumental protection and cannot be entered, but the surroundings of the fjord are just beautiful. You have the choice between two hiking tours: through the Zorgdragerfjorden on the eastern shore or on the northern shore of the island from Arkvatnet to the entry of the Duvefjorden. Overnight on board (BLD)

Days 6 and 7. The Northernmost Point of Your Cruise

Today you head for the Seven Islands, located north of Nordauslandet and just over 80 degrees latitude. Polar bears live in this region as do ivory gulls and walruses. In the afternoon—and if weather conditions—you sail deeper into the drift ice to reach the northernmost point of your journey. From here the North Pole is only 500 nautical miles away. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is the highlight of your Spitsbergen expedition! Your cruise continues westbound along the drift ice. Look out for polar bears and the rare bowhead whale. Later, about 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you reach the continental shelf where you might see razorback and minke whales. Overnights on board (BLD)

Day 8. Walruses, Seabirds, White Foxes and Reindeer

Your expedition vessel heads for the Kongsfjorden where you might see reindeers and polar foxes. Your captain tries to make an additional stop in Ny-Alesund, one of the northernmost settlements in the world. In the night you reach Longyearbyen. Overnight on board (BLD)

Day 9. Bye-Bye, Longyearbyen

Today it’s time to bid farewell to the MS Ortelius and its crew. After you disembark you visit the Svalbard Museum then board your flight to Oslo. Overnight: Radisson BLU Airport Hotel (or similar) (B)

Day 10. End of Journey

Return flight from Oslo. (B)

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

Spitsbergen is by far the biggest wilderness in Europe. It is home to whales, seals and polar bears which actually outnumber Spitsbergen’s human inhabitants. Join us for a unique expedition cruise through the western and northern regions of the Spitsbergen archipelago. Following in the footsteps of famous explorers, you travel along imposing glaciers, trough drift ice and—with a bit of luck—meet walruses, Arctic foxes and reindeer. Your exclusively chartered expedition vessel MS Ortelius has the highest ice class, 1A. This compact ship features only 53 cabins and hence, can reach narrow fjords and remote bays. Immerse yourself in another world: frosty, calm and seemingly endless!

Rates Include

  • Return flight from Oslo to Spitsbergen
  • 7 nights on board the MS Ortelius in an outside cabin with private shower and toilet in the category booked
  • 2 nights in a high-end hotel in Oslo
  • English-speaking tour guides and experts on board the vessel
  • All zodiac and shore excursions (depending on weather conditions)
  • Meals according to itinerary
  • Airport transfers in Longyearbyen
  • Environmental fee for Spitsbergen
  • Informative lectures on flora, wildlife and history

Hotels Planned

Oslo: 2 nights, Radisson BLU Airport Hotel

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Gratuities

Entry Requirements

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

Important Notes

  • Flexibility is a premise for this expedition—the final itinerary depends on weather conditions and opportunities for animal watching. We regret that changes to the itinerary are sometimes unavoidable
  • This journey is generally not for guests with limited mobility or who depend on CPAP machines. Please contact us for more information about your specific requirements before booking
  • Minimum number of tour participants: 70
  • Maximum number of tour participants: 110
  • For groups with a minimum of 15 guests only

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

  • Guaranteed
  • Available
  • Limited
  • Waiting List
  • Excursions and lectures conducted in: EN=English


Dates Four-Berth CabinTwo-Berth CabinTwo-Berth Superior CabinTwo-Berth Deluxe Cabin
Price $
20 Aug 20 - 30 Aug 20ENExcursions and lectures conducted in: English | Groups only
23 Aug 21 - 02 Sep 21ENExcursions and lectures conducted in: English | Groups only
Total price $