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Spitsbergen In Depth: Big Islands, Big Adventure

13 or 14 days

Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, and on this voyage we’ll attempt a circumnavigation of the island. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing arctic wildlife, Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations.

The island and surrounding area offers one of the best opportunities to view polar bears, and with luck you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will also entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, and you may catch a sighting of reindeer or fox when taking Zodiac excursions to shore.

New: Complimentary Airfare on 2019 Departures!

Effective December 1, 2018 receive free one-way charter airfare on select 2019 departures. Subject to availability; new bookings only.

  • June 17 to June 29, 2019 — Free one-way charter flight from Longyearbyen (LYR) to Oslo (OSL), valued at $400 USD.
  • June 29 to July 11, 2019 — Free one-way charter flight from Olso (OSL) to Longyearbyen (LYR), valued at $400 USD.
 

Interested to see more of this voyage? Explore Spitsbergen in 360° Virtual Reality!

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Encounter iconic arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, walrus and reindeer
  • View numerous arctic bird species, like puffins, arctic terns and purple sandpipers
  • Take advantage of continuous daylight
  • Explore glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more with included Zodiac cruising
  • Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic with optional kayaking adventures
  • Hike the tundra and polar desert

Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway

Your Spitsbergen arctic voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains, rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 2 to 12 — Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding. We plan to circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, including the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.

Day 13 — Depart Longyearbyen

Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
View complete itinerary »

Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Arctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises and hiking. We also offer kayaking on most of our voyages; a great way to experience the beauty of the Arctic in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.  
 
Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. 

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 

Pre- and Post-Trip Options Extend Your Stay

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

Enjoy an extra night in Norway’s vibrant capital city where you will get a guided tour of this modern, beautifully situated town. Extend the package to five days and take the unforgettable Flåm Railway past picturesque fjords and snow-capped mountains on your way to Bergen.