polar pioneer three arctic islands cruise

Arctic Complete - Spitsbergen, Greenland & Iceland

  • Overview
    Starting on Spitsbergen, you’ll explore its coastline of calving glaciers, towering bird cliffs and pack ice and spot walruses, reindeer and even polar bears! After crossing the Greenland Sea, our ship will follow East Greenland’s coastline filled with the largest fjord system in the world, calving icebergs, friendly native communities and untouched tundra-covered valleys, before reaching its finishing point, Iceland. IMPORTANT: This voyage travels in reverse order to the stated itinerary. The voyage will depart Reykjavik, Iceland and will finish in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.
    Duration: 24 days
    Passengers: 54 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Reykjavik, Iceland
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; Embarkation Day

      Enjoy a tour of Longyearbyen upon arrival, before boarding Polar Pioneer and setting sail along breathtaking Isfjorden, featuring dramatic bird cliffs, sweeping glaciers and gorgeous mountain ranges.

      IMPORTANT: The voyage departing 17 AUG 2019 travels in reverse order to the stated itinerary. The voyage will depart Reykjavik, Iceland and finish in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.

    • Day 2/3 - Spitsbergen

      Awake as our ship sails along Spitsbergen’s west coast and its outstanding aqua-blue ice cliffs. The nutrient-rich Gulf Stream provides us with relatively mild temperatures, a delight for Atlantic puffins and Brünnich’s guillemots that have settled on these cliffs. Embark on a thrilling tundra hike, keep an eye out for reindeer and Arctic fox and gaze at the majestic glaciers from our Zodiacs. We also attempt to explore the remains of the 350-year-old Dutch whaling settlement.

    • Day 4/6 - Woodfjorden

      As we continue our adventure along Spitsbergen’s northwest coast in to the Arctic Ocean, whales, pack ice and maybe even polar bears keep us on alert. As Polar Pioneer continues and turns south into Woodfjorden, we search for ringed, bearded and harp seals and keep an eye out for fascinating walrus haul outs on the beaches. With almost 24-hour daylight, enjoy tundra walks and take the time to observe at the microflora. Depending on ice conditions, we may cross latitude 80° North – a cause for celebration.

    • Day 7/8 - Hinlopen Strait

      Air and sea temperatures start lowering due to the frigid Arctic currents around Spitsbergen’s northeast, creating a landscape eroded by severe frost. Even at summer time, there’s a chance pack ice could bar our way, but our Russian crew and expedition team ensure we reach the highlights of the European Arctic. We’ll attempt to sail through the narrow Hinlopen Strait, where we’ll Zodiac cruise along the busy bird cliffs of Alkefjellt as well as walk along the east coast's polar desert, filled with stunted glaciers and exposed fossil fields.

    • Day 9/10 - Hornsund & Bellsund Fjords

      Ice conditions and weather changes dictate our expedition plans. We may be able to reach South Cape and head north toward Hornsund and Bellsund, two magnificent deep fjords boasting superb glaciers and wildlife. In case ice stops us, we’ll change our itinerary and spend more time exploring the jewels of Spitsbergen’s north and west coasts.

    • Day 11 - Isfjorden

      A midnight cruise of Isfjorden returns us to Longyearbyen, where you’ll enjoy a day dog sledding around Spitsbergen interior before setting off again this afternoon on the next leg of our Arctic adventure.

    • Day 12/13 - Spitsbergen & Greenland Sea

      As we head back north, we enjoy the last moments in Spitsbergen. We cruise past calving glaciers and land ashore to learn about the area’s rich history and observe Spitsbergen’s fascinating wildlife. (Note: as this expedition is a combination of two itineraries, these days may stop at some places already visited on the voyage’s first leg.)

    • Day 14/15 - Greenland Sea

      As Polar Pioneer sails across the Greenland Sea, we search for fin whales, pack ice and sea birds. Our expert naturalists and guest lecturers provide us with great interpretation of the Arctic’s flora and fauna as well as early explorers’ epic adventures through illustrated talks.

    • Day 16/18 - Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord

      When going to Greenland for the first time, seeing ice is often an awe-inspiring moment. Even in summer time, bays and inlets can still be frozen. However our experienced Captain and team of expedition experts know alternative options to keep us busy with exploration! In Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, we enjoy walks across the tundra as we visit old trapper’s huts and observe musk ox, Arctic fox and eider ducks; we spend some time admiring the stunning hanging gardens of Kap Humboldt; Kong Oskar Fjord provides gorgeous glacier-carved mountains as a delightful backdrop.

    • Day 19/21 - Scoresby Sund

      We reach Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest fjord. The huge Greenland icecap continuously sweeps down gigantic glaciers, making it the birth place for some of the world’s largest icebergs! Our Zodiacs take us through an incredible maze of icebergs, as we head to the shores for some exciting tundra hikes, and a visit to Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the rare villages of the East Greenland coast.

    • Day 22 - Blosseville Coast & Rømer Fjord

      Keep watch for musk ox and narwhals as we sail along the breathtaking mountains of the Blosseville Coast, before our attempt to cruise through Rømer Fjord.

    • Day 23 - Greenland & Denmark Strait

      We continue on with our Arctic adventure and cruise across Denmark Strait on our way to Iceland. We take time to reflect on our various experiences, gaze at northern fulmars and black-backed gulls, and spot dolphins and whales from the ship’s bow.

    • Day 24 - Iceland; Disembarkation

      Polar Pioneer docks in Iceland early this morning; after breakfast, there is a group transfer to downtown Reykjavik or the airport to carry one with your further travel arrangements.

    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.

  • Adventure Activities


    The experience of sea kayaking in the humbling wilderness of Antarctica or the European Arctic is guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, skim past penguin rookeries or under soaring bird cliffs, or drift quietly as you watch wildlife unobtrusively, absorbing the majestic scenery.

    USD$ 1,377 per person

    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.

    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.

    Scoresby Sund

    Sailing deep into Scoresby Sund, towering mountains and unforgettable landscape make for a dramatic couple of days. However, it is icebergs on a grand scale that are sure to impress us the most. Scoresby Sund icebergs are often some of the most dramatic and intricately shaped, set against Greenland’s incredible mountains, there are few landscapes like this!

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket and use of gumboots during voyage


    Arrival and departure transfers are provided in Longyearbyen and Reykjavik

    Sightseeing tours

    On arrival there is a sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, we will also enjoy a day dog sledding around Spitsbergen's interior

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Professional produced voyage log
    - Port taxes & entry fees
    - Medical services on board
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - All shore excursions and lectures during the voyage
    - All meals and accommodation during the voyage
    - Dog sledding day in Longyearbyen
    - Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen on arrival
    - Group transfer to/from airport to Polar Pioneer in Longyearbyen

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel


    The legendary MV Polar Pioneer is a strong, capable veteran expedition ship loved by guests and expedition leaders for her capability in ice and her small size with a proven track record exploring the remote polar regions over the last 19 seasons.

    Her new Scandinavian owners are currently doing an extensive refit upgrading her to today’s standards and she will be ready for the 2022 Arctic season. 

    She benefits from taking just 48 guests on an authentic expedition adventure free from the crowds of larger vessels. All guests can fit in the Zodiacs at the same time ensuring there is no waiting to go ashore and all guests can explore at the same time.

    The MV Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1982, and the ship was originally an ice-strengthened research vessel with ice class 1A Super, which is perfect for navigation in polar regions with heavy sea ice.

    She can transit open water crossings with ease and comfort due to the integrated dynamic water ballast system, which guarantees a great reduction of rolling in heavy seas. Her ingenious stability system works marvellously also during the zodiac’s loading/unloading operations or while sitting at anchor. As a result, the Polar Pioneer is one of the most stable vessels currently in operations in the Polar regions.


     Why We Love Polar Pioneer

    • True polar expedition vessel – tough design with highest ice-class capable of exploring in ice (something most ships can’t do)
    • Smallest group size in Antarctica and South Georgia
    • Access landing sites larger ships cannot reach
    • Room for all guests in Zodiacs – No waiting time to go ashore
    • Takes just 48 guests – Intimate experience with the natural environment
      Sauna – Warm up after a day in the cold
    • Newly refurbished vessel – Enjoy comfortable cabins, bar, and saloon
    • Open Bridge – Enjoy the views from the best place on board
    • Authentic Expedition Experience – Only possible on a small ship
    Features & Facilities
    • Basic accommodation
    • Lounge bar
    • Spacious viewing platforms and decks
    • Presentation room
    • Sauna
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 52
    Crew #: 20
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished: 2000
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1982
    Length: 71m
    Width: 13
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 1753
    Registry: Cyprus
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round 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.
polar pioneer triple cabin


17 Aug 2019 - 09 Sep 2019
Triple public cabin, 2 x lower buns and 1 x upper bunk and shared facilities.
USD$ 9,975pp
USD$ 9,975pp
polar pioneer twin public cabin

Twin Public

17 Aug 2019 - 09 Sep 2019
Twin cabin with 2 x lower bunks, shared facilities & a porthole.
USD$ 11,934pp
USD$ 11,322pp
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polar pioneer twin private cabin

Twin Private Economy

17 Aug 2019 - 09 Sep 2019
Twin cabin, with 1 x upper and 1 lower bunk, private facilities and window.
USD$ 13,953pp
USD$ 13,953pp
polar pioneer twin private cabin

Twin Private

17 Aug 2019 - 09 Sep 2019
Twin cabin, with 2 x lower bunks, private facilities and window.
USD$ 14,443pp
USD$ 13,763pp
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polar pioneer mini suite


17 Aug 2019 - 09 Sep 2019
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
USD$ 15,973pp
USD$ 15,973pp
polar pioneer captains suite

Owner's Suite

17 Aug 2019 - 09 Sep 2019
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
USD$ 18,176pp
USD$ 18,176pp