Svalbard Explorer: Best of High Arctic Norway in Depth

Svalbard Explorer: Best of High Arctic Norway in Depth

12 Days From



Svalbard Explorer: Best of High Arctic Norway in Depth

12 Days Starting and ending in Helsinki

Visiting: Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki, Finland to Longyearbyen for embarkation, Exploring Spitsbergen, Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:


Group size:

1 - 138

Physical rating:


Age range:

8-99 years



$13411 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$379

NB: Prices correct on 18-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

This 12-day northern expedition aboard the Ocean Explorer will take you through the many amazing sights, sounds and snowy landscapes of the Arctic. As you explore icy Spitsbergen – the largest island in Svalbard – and its outlying islands, search for local wildlife like lumbering polar bears, noisy walruses and huge colonies of seabirds. Discover the array of wild, natural landscapes as you hike tundra laced with wildflowers, see the cliffs and shores of Alkefjellet and snowshoe through the abandoned whaling sites of Smeerenburg. Get a unique perspective of the rugged western coast as you pass by untouched fjords, glaciers and many different shades of ice. With an expert Expedition Team by your side, you'll have the best chance to spot local flora and fauna and learn all about the history and geology of this fascinating place along the way.


  • Take a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the Arctic aboard the Ocean Adventurer and experience the unique 24-hour of sunlight of a Northern summer.

  • Discover some incredible landscapes on Spitsbergen, from the northernmost city of Longyearbyen and the brilliantly blue 14th of July Glacier to the breathtaking fjords and mountain cliffs of the sea.

  • Scour sheets of ice in search of the elusive polar bear – the ruler of the Arctic – with your expert Expedition Team by your side giving you the best tips and opportunities.

  • With endless daylight, there will be endless wildlife-viewing opportunities – elusive Arctic foxes, breaching whales, lounging masses of walruses and colonies of seabirds dot the cliffs of Alkefjellet.

  • Choose to get even closer to this amazing environment with optional activities like hiking and gliding along pristine waters between icebergs in a sea kayak.

  • Take a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the Arctic aboard the Ocean Explorer and experience the unique 24-hour of sunlight of a Northern summer.


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Day 1: Helsinki, Finland

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Accommodation: Hotel

Tervetuloa! Welcome to Finland. Your arctic adventure begins in Helsinki. Known for its extraordinary architecture, Helsinki is a great place to spend time exploring the many museums, galleries and restaurants. If you arrive with time to spare, maybe relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring to your hotel.

Day 2: Helsinki, Finland To Longyearbyen For Embarkation

Location: Helsinki, Finland to Longyearbyen for embarkation

Accommodation: Expedition Cruise Ship

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

This morning, you'll meet your group and transfer to the airport to board your private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. Enjoy some free time to explore before climbing aboard the Ocean Explorer, your home for the next 11 days. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains that rise majestically from frigid waters. This is also the perfect evening to get to know your group over a drink, play some games or explore the ship's many fun amenities.

Day 3-11: Exploring Spitsbergen

Location: Exploring Spitsbergen

Accommodation: Expedition Cruise Ship

Over the next few days, you'll cruise around this magical island in a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.

In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colourful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it's an ever- changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago. Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary. However, some of the places you may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait.

The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since most of Svalbard’s Arctic ecosystem is uninhabited and well-protected, this remote archipelago is one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears against stunning natural backdrops of mountains and ice.

The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brunnich's guillemots (thick-billed murres). You also may come across a walrus haul-out, which is a moment you won’t soon forget. 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 also opt to book sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventures.

Day 12: Disembark In Longyearbyen And Fly To Helsinki

Location: Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki

Meals Included: breaksfast

It's time to say goodbye to your Expedition Team and shipmates today as your adventure has come to an end. Your adventure finishes in the historic frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen after breakfast. From here, transfer to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki. If you'd like to extend your stay, just speak to your booking agent ahead of time.


  • Expedition cruise ship , Zodiac


  • Hotel (1 night), Expedition cruise ship (10 nights)

Important Information

  • Your voyage is operated by our partner, Quark Expeditions onboard the Ocean Explorer. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.
  • This trip starts and ends in Helsinki.
  • Charter flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen are included. Ship embarkation will begin on the afternoon of Day 2 in Longyearbyen
  • The trip ends on arrival at Helsinki airport on Day 12. We recommend staying an additional night in Helsinki in case of flight delays.
  • To confirm your reservation, a deposit of 25% (unless indicated otherwise at time of booking) of the total invoice amount is required at time of booking. Balances are due 120 days prior to departure.
  • Please refer to our "Booking terms and conditions" page on our website for all Quark Expedition terms and conditions.
  • Kayaking must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. Some previous, recent experience is essential. Hiking is also offered on some itineraries. This activity is at no additional cost and do not need to be pre-booked.

Check out our Q&As

  • Is this trip right for you

    As you'd expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka, waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks will be provided, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.

    Depending on the weather, you’ll be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so ensure you’re dressed appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed to make wet and dry landings from the boat and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if the seas are rough.

    The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure, and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.

    This trip takes place during the time of year when Spitsbergen enjoys 24-hour daylight. Just one of the benefits of this is that incredible wildlife can be seen at any time of the day – be prepared to be awake at any time to not miss out on exciting animal sightings.

    Polar bears are among the most incredible and appealing animals on the planet but are also powerful predators with little fear of humans. Therefore, it’s necessary to know the guidelines surrounding any contact with Polar bears. Follow your leader’s instructions and do not stray from your group – your leader carries equipment to protect you.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?


  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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1 Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Thursday

Aug 03, 2025 - Aug 14, 2025
$13790 $13411

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$379

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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