Crossing the Arctic Circle, Jan Mayen & Svalbard

Crossing the Arctic Circle, Jan Mayen & Svalbard

13 Days From



Crossing the Arctic Circle, Jan Mayen & Svalbard

13 Days Starting in Edinburgh and ending in Longyearbyen

Visiting: Arctic, Scotland, Norway

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:


Group size:

1 - 114

Physical rating:

Discovery and Cruising

From: $7396 $7163 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$233

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This comprehensive voyage takes you from the Scottish highlands, across the Arctic Circle, all the way north to the incredible landscapes of Svalbard. Commencing in Edinburgh we sail north to the historic Orkneys and on to the lush and craggy Faroe Islands, its cliffs teeming with seabirds. We continue north to view the ice-covered slopes of Mount Beerenberg, the world's northernmost active volcanic, located on the island of Jan Mayen island and cruise the island's northern coast where we search for whales and dolphins. From here we sail to Svalbard's northwest coast with an aim to cross 80 degrees north. We will keep our eyes out for Polar Bear and walrus on the pack ice and hope to zodiac cruise some of the dramatic bird cliffs, looking for puffins nesting on ledges. Here we can marvel at the archipelago's volcanic geology, cruise through impressive glacier-filled fjords or strike out on tundra hikes. This journey ticks all the boxes- whether your passion is wildlife, wilderness or history.


  • Explore Skara Brae, a 5000 year old Neolithic village

  • The birdwatching paradise of Fair Island

  • Visit Torshavn the capital of the Faroe Islands

  • Experience the Majestic beauty of Spitsbergen

  • Possible Polar Bear & Beluga Whale sightings


Expand All

Day 1 : Arrive Edinburgh, Scotland

Welcome to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and starting point of our expedition. To provide you with more time to enjoy this metropolis rich in history and culture, we’ve arranged pre-cruise hotel accommodations. Relax and take a stroll through town, enjoying both medieval and classic 18th-century architecture. The famous Edinburgh Castle rises majestically above it all.

Day 2 : In Edinburgh, Embark Ship At Port Of Leith

Enjoy the morning and early afternoon at leisure. Each corner of Edinburgh’s old streets opens beautiful unexpected vistas of green hills or a blue flash of the distant sea. In the afternoon, you will be transferred from the hotel to the ship in the nearby Port of Leith. Before dinner, there’s time to explore the Sea Spirit, your home-away-from home for the next days.

Day 3 : Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Kirkwall is a small, quiet town, with a gentle pace of life. The town is the capital of the remote and amazing Orkney archipelago. Kirkwall is first mentioned in Orkneyinga saga in 1046. Such a long history has left a rich heritage that we explore today. The most famous are the sandstone St Magnus Cathedral, considered the finest medieval building in the north of Scotland, the Bishop’s Palace and the Earl’s Palace. We head into the west of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island, passing through the gentle rolling landscape and into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney; an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Passing the Standing Stones of Stenness, we will stop at the Ring of Brodgar; a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5000 years. We then continue on to the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae, beautifully interpreted in the visitor centre. See the remarkable dwellings revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago. Hear some of the stories from your guide today en route back to Kirkwall. Once back in the island capital we will take a tour of St Magnus Cathedral, built by the Vikings during their 500 year reign over the islands.

Day 4 : Fair Isle, Shetland Islands

Fair Isle is a real paradise for birdwatchers. Huge number of birds inhabits the lush grasslands and spectacular cliffs. Over 345 species have been recorded here – more than anywhere else in Britain. During our walk across the island, we hope to see northern fulmars, kittiwakes, northern gannets, puffins, and great and arctic skuas.

Day 5 : Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

National Geographic Traveler had designated Faroe Islands as “authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so”. It seems that the Nature spares no colours in “painting” the islands. Deep-green hills, bright blue sea, colourful houses and boats, orange-red puffins’ beaks make the sceneries unforgettable, meanwhile traditional wooden dwellings with turf roofs look like they belong in a fairy tale. The rugged Faroese are proud of their Viking heritage and their love of the sea. Today we will explore Tórshavn, the capital and largest city of Faroe Islands. Tórshavn is a unique city, where history meets modernity, where picturesque old turfed houses and modern buildings stand side by side

Day 6 : At Sea Toward Jan Mayen

Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.

Day 7 : Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen plays host to landscapes of breathtaking beauty and the northernmost subaerial active volcano on the planet – the Beerenberg. The island is wild and uninhabited, not including members of Norwegian weather station. The signboard at the entrance door says (translated from Norwegian): “Theory is when you understand everything but nothing works. Practice is when everything works but nobody understands why. On this station, we combine theory and practice in a way that nothing works and nobody understands why”. Northern fulmars, Kittiwakes, and Brünich’s guillemots breeding on steep cliffs and slopes represent the birdlife of Jan Mayen.

Day 8 : At Sea

Lectures prepare us for the unique Arctic wildlife and awesome landscapes of Spitsbergen, which we will spend coming days exploring.

Day 9 : Spitsbergen

This is a real expedition in a true High Arctic wilderness. As such, our route and exploration opportunities here are heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions we encounter. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic. Polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard. We exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, to discover incredible scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of the historic polar expeditions that came before us. We anticipate exploring the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands in the western part of Svalbard. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including numerous rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight. To complete the Arctic experience we also explore places rich with history. Our area of exploration contains the historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and even an abandoned polar research station. The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough stunning scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.

Day 13 : Disembark In Longyearbyen

After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. We provide transfers to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar worlds!

What's Included

  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 12 dinners

  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Edinburgh on a triple or twin share basis (depending on ship berth configuration chosen)

  • Specialist expedition staff

  • Comfortable cabin accommodation on cruise

  • All activities while on cruise including zodiac excursions, lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services

  • Use of all ship facilities and public areas

  • Medical services. There is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board (charges may apply)

  • Port taxes, port charges, entry and landing fees

  • Complimentary Polar Expedition Parka

  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise

show more


11 nights aboard Sea Spirit
There are a variety of cabins available on the ship. Please ask us for more details.


Although there is no commitment to extended walking on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect.


Infertile and wasteland are two words one often hears in connection with the polar regions. Yet over 800 species of flowering plant flourish in the Arctic, though by contrast there are only two species of flowering plants on the Antarctic mainland since it is a long way from the next continent, a fact which reduces the chances of new plant species becoming established. The major part of Antarctica is also covered by eternal ice and the climate is much harsher than in most parts of the Arctic. In the few places where plants can grow, mosses and lichens play a bigger role than flowering plants. Some lichens even grow in the polar desert areas in the interior of Antarctica where the conditions are truly extreme. Arctic plants have to be very small to survive. A tall plant would be helplessly exposed to the sharp ice crystals with which the wind would constantly batter it.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

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

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

1 Select your preferred date

tourhub Discount Available - Sign In

Tuesday - Sunday

May 27, 2025 - Jun 08, 2025
$7396 $7163

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$233

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

Why book with tourhub?

Safe & Secure

Your money is protected in an external trust until you travel.

pts logo

100% Guaranteed Refunds if your trip is cancelled.

The safest way to make overseas, multi-currency payments.

Guaranteed Best Value

Industry leading discounts, we won't be beaten on price.

No cancellation or amendment fees from tourhub.

(Operator terms may apply)

Expert Knowledge

Reliable & unbiased advice from travel experts.

Direct contact with the tour operator via our messaging service.

Inspiration & advice from a community of 6000+ real travellers, influencers & content creators.

Trusted Service

Official partners & licensed agents of 1000+ tour operators worldwide.

Don't just take our word for it...

"Tourhub: Friendliness, Professionalism & Integrity I would happily give tourhub a 6* review if I could..."

Similar Tours

Travel Guru Features

Our Reviews