sea spirit spitsbergen polar bear cruise

In-Depth Exploration in the Land of the Polar Bear

  • Overview

    These extended circumnavigations – which include the rarely visited northern islands and picturesque straits of the Svalbard Archipelago – provide the Sea Spirit and its guests more time to seek out Ursus maritimus in its natural habitat.

    On this in-depth Arctic wildlife cruise, we’ll also venture to the jumbled, ever-shifting southern edge of the polar ice cap. Here, at the dynamic boundary between implacable ice and bountiful sea, we’ll search for polar bears stalking their prey. Whether it’s of a calving iceberg along the jagged, mountainous coastline or the otherworldly hush of a land where man is an infrequent visitor, your memories of this Svalbard expedition cruise will last a lifetime.

    Duration: 14 days
    Passengers: 114 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Disembarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Oslo, Norway | Arrival Day

      Welcome to Oslo, which in 2019 was awarded the prestigious title “Green Capital of Europe”. We’ve arranged a comfortable stay for you at an Oslo Airport hotel so that you’re conveniently close for your flight to Longyearbyen on Day 2.

      If you’re adventurous and have the time, take the handy airport train into central Oslo – it’s a 20-minute ride and trains depart and arrive frequently during the day. Near Oslo Central Station are shops, cafes, the Botanical Garden, cultural attractions and the attractive waterfront area.

    • Day 2 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Embarkation Day

      Today you have a flight to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of our Arctic expedition! At the Longyearbyen airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard our expedition vessel, the M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. Once underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in endless evening light as we pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard.

    • Day 3/5 - Northwest Spitsbergen

      The goal of this voyage is a circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago. We will make an attempt to go to the northeastern most part of the archipelago – the island of Kvitøya, famous for its polar bears. Along the way, we hope to experience the many facets of this incredible High Arctic territory.

      Much of the pristine nature of Spitsbergen is protected by a system of national parks, and the first one on our way will be the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, which is the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. This area is well-known for its deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain ranges and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The skies are filled with millions of murres, guillemots and little auks, whose eggs are just now hatching at countless breeding colonies located on small islands, mountainsides and sea cliffs within the park. This is also a great chance to encounter marine mammals, including beluga whales and various Arctic seals.

      This wildly beautiful area contains many enchanting locations like Signehamna Bay and Kongsbreen Glacier (“Kings Glacier”). Human habitation – rare along our route – can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements where you can find a museum, gift shop and post office.

    • Day 6 - Towards the Polar Edge

      The Svalbard Archipelago is located halfway between the top of Norway and the North Pole, which means the Polar Ice Edge can be found to the north of the islands! This corner of Svalbard is full of stunning scenery and wildlife as well as rich history from the age of exploration. Our plan is to navigate along the ice edge towards the island of Nordaustlandet and further to the east towards Kvitøya (White Island). However, remember, our route and research opportunities are heavily dependent on the weather. But rest assured, we’ll take the best possible advantage of the circumstances presented to us by nature in this wild and remote corner of the world.

    • Day 7/11 - Svalbard Archipelago

      On this part of the journey, we will make an attempt to go to the eastern and northern regions of the Svalbard Archipelago – infrequently visited aboard expedition ships – experiencing the isolation and beautiful remoteness of Svalbard’s Arctic wilderness areas. Kvitøya (White Island) is one of the most rarely visited and closest islands to Franz Josef Land. This place, almost completely covered by ice, became the final resting place of the balloon expedition of the Swedish polar explorer Salomon August Andrée. Kvitøya is not always accessible to expedition ships, but it may provide another opportunity to observe polar bears in their natural habitat. Another impressive location in this area is Karl XII Öya, which is the northernmost part of Svalbard. Polar explorers Alfred Gabriel Nathorst and Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld visited this remote island in the 19th century, and if we are lucky enough, we will be able to follow their trails.

      During this voyage, we expect to encounter significant sea ice concentrations in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve, which covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and the entirety of Nordaustlandet, the second largest island in Svalbard. In this remote and isolated region, ice can persist very late into the summer. The massive Austfonna ice cap rises above the stunning landscapes of the High Arctic. Part of it meets the sea along the 45-kilometer ice cliff known as Bråsvellbreen—one of the great wonders of the Arctic world. The polar desert environment supports little in the way of vegetation, but hosts a prodigious number of seabirds. The cliffs of Alkefjellet are home to thousands of pink-footed geese, glaucous gulls, little auks, black-guillemots, snow buntings and (probably) barnacle geese. Historically, this icy wilderness has proven a good location for spotting polar bear and walrus.

      The Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve is a truly pristine and rarely visited wilderness containing hundreds of uninhabited islands. On the large islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, broad tundra valleys support the territory’s densest population of endemic Svalbard reindeer. The valleys are also important breeding areas for ground-nesting birds such as geese, eiders and sandpipers. Arctic foxes prowl the vast landscape, seeking to provide food for their young cubs, who are just now emerging from their dens. Shallow, murky seas are ideal feeding grounds for walruses resting in large numbers on gently sloping beaches. Historical sites throughout the islands provide glimpses into the region’s bygone era of trapping and hunting.

      South Spitsbergen National Park is a vast region of varied landscapes, including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay where the remains of historical whaling operations can be found, including wooden boats, cabins and thousands of whale bones — a scene from the distant past, literally frozen in time. Throughout the park, there is always a high probability of wildlife sightings. Wildflowers will be at their peak during this time.

      Because of its extended length, this ambitious and in-depth Svalbard circumnavigation expedition cruise is a great chance to get a comprehensive view of the Arctic’s many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. We will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, witness incredible polar scenery and walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions

    • Day 12/13 - Back to the West Coast

      Our circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago is coming to an end. We are back to the West Coast of the Spitsbergen archipelago, with its beautiful locations like Alkhornet Mountain (which is also known as bird heaven because its cliffs support over 10,000 breeding pairs of seabirds).

    • Day 14 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Disembarkation Day

      After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. We provide transfers to the airport and flight to Oslo. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar world!

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Photography

    The Polar Regions are perhaps the most photogenic on earth, with countless beautiful scenes presenting themselves every day. Endless expanses of ice, beaches crowded with seals or penguins, sunsets over unbroken horizons, starlit skies, and even the majestic northern lights – they all present fantastic photographic opportunities – and in order to make sure that you come home with some spectacular images we offer you the chance to learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional.

    Included

    Kayaking

    The islands and fjords of the High Arctic closely guard some of the world’s most unique and magical sea kayaking opportunities. Experience calving glaciers in Svalbard, cathedral-like icebergs in Greenland, or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from our sturdy and stealthy sea kayaks. Join us for an unscripted kayaking adventure as we explore rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have ever paddled.

    Sea Kayak Club is typically offered on voyages that include High Arctic destinations such as Greenland, Svalbard (Spitsbergen), Franz Josef Land, or a combination of these thrilling places.

    USD$ 432 per person

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

    Endless Arctic nights

    Svalbard is the Arctic North as you always dreamed it existed. This wondrous archipelago is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast icefields and forbidding icebergs, an elemental place where the seemingly endless Arctic night and the perpetual sunlight of summer carry a deeper kind of magic. One of Europe's last great wildernesses, this is also the domain of more polar bears than people, a terrain rich in epic legends of polar exploration.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    Expedition boots and a custom designed polar expedition jacket are provide on your voyage.

    Transfers & Accommodation

    Transfers to the ship on the day of your embarkation are included to your pre-cruise hotel. Transfers at the end of your voyage are provided to a central location.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All excursions and lectures (subject to weather conditions)
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum of USD$150
    - Digital voyage log
    - Port fees
    - Welcome and farewell cocktails
    - Hot beverages
    - All accommodation and meals on board
    - 000 per person

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Poseidon searching for pb
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    SEA SPIRIT

    Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries – a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen. Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal – to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations. Providing spacious suite accommodation of 114 passengers the Sea Spirit at the same time features maneuverability and friendly atmosphere of small ships. The vessel has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiacs, and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smoother sailing.

    Features & Facilities
    • Luxury accommodation
    • Bar
    • Lounge
    • Presentation Lounge
    • Open Bridge Policy
    • Gym.
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 114
    Crew #: 72
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished: 2017
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1991
    Length: 90m
    Width: 15
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 4200
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 110V / 2 Flat Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
sea spirit triple suite

Triple Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
A generous Suite with 3 x lower berths and private facilities. This suite is open to single travellers who would like share. All share cabins are gender specific.
USD$ 10,490pp
USD$ 10,490pp
sea spirit main deck suite

Main Deck Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
A generous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilities.
USD$ 14,516pp
USD$ 14,516pp
sea spirit classic suite

Classic Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
A generous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilities.
USD$ 15,440pp
USD$ 15,440pp
sea spirit superior suite

Superior Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
A generous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilities.
USD$ 15,770pp
USD$ 15,770pp
sea spirit deluxe suite

Deluxe Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
An extremely comfortable Suite with twin or king bedding, private facilities and a balcony.
USD$ 17,750pp
USD$ 17,750pp
sea spirit premium suite

Premium Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
An extremely comfortable Suite with twin or king bedding, private facilities and a balcony.
USD$ 19,400pp
USD$ 19,400pp
sea spirit owner's suite

Owners Suite

28 Jul 2023 - 10 Aug 2023
Among the most sought-after Owner's Suites due to its unique forward position above the bridge.
USD$ 24,878pp
USD$ 24,878pp