Grand Arctic Circumnavigation

Grand Arctic Circumnavigation

from $8,438 per person

This expedition is one of a kind, with a multitude of landing sites and exciting experiences in the Arctic


  • Circumnavigate Spitsbergen
  • Fascinating lectures from the Expedition Team
  • Try ‘brevandring’, the Norwegian way to traverse a glacier
  • Opportunity to see polar bears

We will sail above 80° N to take you to the ice edge of the Arctic Ocean. The adventure will include several excursions including hiking, kayaking, and other activities on land and on the water.

Try What the Norwegians Call ‘Brevandring’

In Norway we have a special kind of activity that we call brevandring – this means to traverse a glacier. Don’t mistake this for ice climbing. Brevandring is on relatively flat ice, but on some occasions we may have to navigate around small crevasses. You can expect an exceptional experience on the ice. Glaciers cover 60% of the landmass of Svalbard, so stepping out onto the ice is an essential part of your Svalbard experience.

More Polar Bears than People

Within the Svalbard Archipelago there are approximately 3,000 polar bears and 2,500 humans. Polar bears are solitary animals with no established territory – they simply roam wherever they can expect to find food. As polar bears are marine mammals, we are more likely to see one close to the water or even in the water, especially around drift ice, which they like to use as a platform. The more eyes scouting for polar bears through binoculars, the higher the chance of seeing the King of the Arctic in the flesh!

Voyage Itinerary


Day 1:Oslo/Longyearbyen

This Grand Arctic Circumnavigation starts with an evening flight from Oslo. Norway’s capital is often called ‘The blue, the green and the city in between’ because of its location between the fjord and the forest. Spend a day discovering the many museums, parks, and varied architecture, or relax in a café or bar. The contrast will be significant when you arrive in Longyearbyen a couple of hours later. Still, Longyearbyen is a modern town with first-class facilities, charming architecture, an internationally renowned museum, and several bars and restaurants – all in the midst of the untouched Arctic wilderness.

Day 2:Longyearbyen and Barentsburg

After an overnight stay in a Longyearbyen hotel, you can join an exciting excursion in the unique little town of Longyearbyen and its surrounding areas. The influence of the Arctic environment is obvious, but it is also surprisingly cosmopolitan with art galleries, pubs, long wine lists at restaurants, shops, and a small shopping center.

While the town is often called an antidote to modern-day life and is a prime destination for adventure travelers, the history and heritage of coal miners is evident everywhere. 

Barentsburg is a Russian settlement, known for its coal mines and Soviet architecture, and is very different from Longyearbyen. The museum, library, and newly opened brewery function as meeting points and a research station is under construction. See a colorful folklore show and visit the hotel and museum. Experience a different side of Svalbard, a little piece of Russia in the Arctic.

Day 3:North West Spitsbergen National Park

Kongsfjord is considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by characteristic mountain formations.

Day 4:North West Spitsbergen National Park

As we sail northwest we reach Krossfjord and Mitrahalvøya, where you can see cultural remains from the whaling period, beautiful alpine flora, bird cliffs, and quite often Svalbard reindeer. Try traversing a glacier with our Expedition Team. We also visit the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international center for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings.

Day 5:North West Spitsbergen National Park

The North West Corner of Spitsbergen offers the largest concentration of graves, blubber ovens, and other cultural treasures from when Svalbard was first inhabited. Raudfjordn offers plenty of opportunities for great hikes. Hamiltonbukta is too shallow for our ship to navigate, but it’s perfect to explore by kayak. We will also see the enormous Monaco Glacier in Liefdefjord.

Day 6:Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park

Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears in the archipelago – providing us a great opportunity to see one on this journey! Today, we’ll explore Sorgfjord, the location of a famous 17th-century battle between the whalers, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve. Enjoy the view from on deck as we pass the spectacular bird cliff of Alkefjellet, one of the largest of its kind.

Day 7:Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park

Edgeøya is the third-largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago. On its western shores the landscape is largely un-glaciated, unlike most other places on the east side of Spitsbergen. Kapp Lee is a wonderful site where you will find cultural heritage from all eras of human exploration of Svalbard.

Day 8:Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park

We continue to the South Cape – the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen. Hornsund has large variations in its landscape and geology within short distances. Ice being pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the ice.

Day 9:Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park

Rossøya is less than 620 miles from the North Pole, and when you are here you can be quite sure that there is no one between yourself and 90° North. The barren landscape is considered high Arctic, with very little vegetation due to the extreme weather conditions here for most of the year. Phippsøya is home to a large ivory gull colony, and there are many opportunities to see polar bears here.

Day 10:Bellsund

Bellsund is the third-largest fjord system on Spitsbergen. We will pass the majestic Klokkefjellet Mountain while sailing the southern entrance of the sound. Enjoy landings where we will explore old trapping stations, wonderful Artic flora and fauna, and fantastic views toward the vast expanse of this impressive fjord.

Day 11:The Isfjord

We will spend the day exploring the Isfjord, the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. Isfjord is the most extensive fjord system in Svalbard. We will spend the day exploring both the outer and the inner parts of the fjord. One of the most striking features of the outer part is the Alkehornet peak, where thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots nest during the summer season. In the inner parts of Isfjorden, the landscape changes. The immense U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago, are home to large populations of the endemic Svalbard Reindeer. Later on we’ll find a scenic fjord arm and arrange a farewell barbecue in the most beautiful Arctic surroundings.

Day 12:Longyearbyen/Oslo

Every good explorer’s voyage comes to an end. You will probably sense that time has passed faster than expected. Lingering is the subtle exhilaration of having spent time on top of the globe, just a few hundred miles from the Geographic North Pole. An early morning transfer brings you to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.