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Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

Duration
12 days
Departing From
  • Helsinki, Finland
Starting Price
$8,116 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Adventure Options
Paddling
Hiking
Zodiac

The largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen is known as the “wildlife capital of the Arctic,” and on this unforgettable 12-day voyage, you will discover why. Building on our Spitsbergen Highlights and Intro to Spitsbergen itineraries, this longer journey has been designed to maximize time on the west and northern/southern tips of the island, providing you optimal chances to witness the remarkable array of creatures who call this spectacular yet forbidding environment home—including whales, walruses, Svalbard reindeer, seabirds by the thousands, and that most iconic of Arctic residents, the polar bear.

In addition to giving you opportunities to observe this unique parade of wildlife, the longer itinerary also allows you more time to explore the vast tundra, appreciate the natural beauty of the surprisingly colorful Arctic wilderness, and benefit from our range of on-board lectures and educational programs. Come aboard with the most knowledgeable, experienced and passionate team in the industry for an extraordinary High Arctic adventure.

Available Itineraries

2023 Arctic Season
12Days
Starting inHelsinki, Finland
Prices from (per person) $8,116 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
2024 Arctic Season
12Days
Starting inHelsinki, Finland
Prices from (per person) $8,479 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Day 1
Arrive in Helsinki, Finland

Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, a true frontier town, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from frigid waters.

Days 3 to 11
Exploring Spitsbergen

Explore western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. As you cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, your Expedition Team will constantly be searching for animals.

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so we have no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we mayvisit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.

The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since Svalbard’s legendary wildlife habitat is well-protected and almost entirely uninhabited, it’s one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears in their natural landscapes of ice, Arctic deserts and mountain scenery. The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can prebook the sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventure options.

In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever-changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago.

Day 12
Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki

The time to say goodbye has come. Your Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.

Reminder

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Due to local regulations in Svalbard, flightseeing and other helicopter-supported adventure options are not available on these voyages.

  • Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day
Inclusion / Exclusion Category
  • Mandatory Transfer Package*
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
Inclusion / Exclusion Category

Departure Dates and Cabins

Showing 1 - 3 of 3 Departures
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jun 4 – 15, 2023

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ocean Adventurer

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$8,116 USD
$10,990 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 14%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jun 7 – 18, 2023

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$11,440 USD
$11,990 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 23%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jun 22 – Jul 3, 2023

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ocean Adventurer

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$9,351 USD
$11,990 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Day 1
Arrive in Helsinki, Finland

Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from frigid waters.

Days 3 to 11
Exploring Spitsbergen

Explore western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. As you cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, your Expedition Team will constantly be searching for animals.

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so we have no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait.

The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.

The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since Svalbard’s legendary wildlife habitat is well-protected and almost entirely uninhabited, it’s one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears in their natural landscapes of ice, Arctic deserts and mountain scenery.

The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. Get a chance to witness the intimate gatherings of giant pinnipeds as they haul out together on small coastal strips.

If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can prebook the sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventure options.

In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever-changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago.

Day 12
Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki

The time to say goodbye has come. Your Arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.

Reminder

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Due to local regulations in Svalbard, flightseeing and other helicopter-supported adventure options are not available on these voyages.

  • Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day
Inclusion / Exclusion Category
  • Mandatory Transfer Package*
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
Inclusion / Exclusion Category

Departure Dates and Cabins

Showing 1 - 6 of 6 Departures
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    May 22 – Jun 2, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$11,250 USD
$12,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    May 28 – Jun 8, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ocean Adventurer

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$8,479 USD
$11,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jun 9 – 20, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$11,250 USD
$12,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jun 15 – 26, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ocean Adventurer

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$8,911 USD
$11,990 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jun 30 – Jul 11, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ocean Adventurer

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$9,199 USD
$12,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Quark Protection Promise
Save up to 27%

Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

  • Departure Date

    Jul 30 – Aug 10, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Helsinki, Finland

  • Ship

    Ocean Adventurer

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
Quark Protection Promise Eligible for Risk-free Cancellation
Starting from
$9,199 USD
$12,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)

Adventure Options

Passengers enjoying the paddling excursion experience
Passengers enjoying the paddling excursion experience
Paddling Excursion

Every sweep of the paddle as your craft glides through the pristine polar waters creates an incredible soundtrack: the jostle of glacial ice, the lapping of waves against the rocky shore, the perpetual drip from your paddle, the call of seabirds, and the occasional splash as wildlife break the surface of the water.

Passengers kayaking with whale
Passengers kayaking near Norwegian Coast
Sea Kayaking

Positioning yourself in the seat of a kayak is one of the most intimate ways travelers can connect with the polar regions—at water level, up close, where you can touch and feel every polar sensation imaginable. The Sea Kayak Program enables a small group of like-minded individuals to forge bonds as they explore fjords, glacial faces or mazes of sea ice.

Pre- and Post-Trip Options

Getting to the Arctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark Expeditions offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Arctic adventure.
The streets of Olso, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Green spaces. Viking heritage. Classic museums. Accessible fjords. What more could you ask for in a capital city? Oslo is situated on Norway’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. The city proper has a population of 672,061 (with 1.3 million in the greater metropolitan area).

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland

Not only is Reykjavík the social and cultural hub of Iceland, but it’s also one of the most walkable capitals in the world. Most of the city’s main attractions and venues can be reached on foot, which is not surprising for a capital with only 230,000 inhabitants.

Passenger Reviews