Spitsbergen Spring Voyages

A landscape cloaked in snow and ice is symbolic of the Arctic. If it is the tranquillity and sparkling backdrop of a winter wonderland you seek, then May is the month to visit Spitsbergen. The scenery is truly spectacular.

Wildlife awakens to both feed and breed in the Springtime. Although males are ever present, female polar bears and cubs begin to emerge from winter denning sites around May.  In order to stay camouflaged, Arctic foxes will still be mostly white, as will be Svalbard reindeer who, eager for the Spring melt, survive on lichens and mosses attached to exposed rocks.

Hiking in Spitsbergen in the Spring - Mattias Horntrich

Many of the migratory birds have yet to reach these latitudes. The air is pure and still, broken only by the optimistic Springtime song of the snow bunting. The Svalbard Rock Ptarmigan, resident year round, is still in its Winter coat; and King Eiders are a welcome colourful spectacle.

Walruses haul out on the west coast of Spitsbergen, so you can hope to see these in noisy groups, as well as alone on a bed of drifting ice. Seal pups are being born onto the ice and if lucky you might spot early season migratory whales or resident beluga whales.

Walrus hauled out on ice - Spitsbergen in May - Adam Rheborg

There is a true sea change taking place during this period with a lovely combination of Midnight Sun, yet the crisp chill of Winter.  Fewer ships are exploring the area and passage to the North may sometimes still be hindered by sea ice; but from our start point in Longyearbyen the Gulf Stream will be forging a warm water way through.

MS Nordstjernen in Kongsfjorden - Spitsbergen in the Spring - Hurtigruten Expeditions

On some departures there will be the opportunity for snowshoeing for walking on deep and slushy snow. Snowshoes are very easy to use and will be provided free of charge onboard. We aim to maximise time off the ship and exploring on land and in rigid inflatable boats (RIBs or Zodiacs as often referred to). You can expect to make some fairly easy guided hikes, gentle walks on wide tundra; as well as more challenging hikes to try and climb some accessible peaks to enjoy the breath-taking views of mountains and fjords.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Explore the Arctic Spring with Doug Allen:
Wildlife Cinematographer, Biologist and Research Diver

One of our Special May 2025 departures will be led by cameraman  Doug Allen, best known for bringing us iconic polar vistas and stunning wildlife portrayed in many BBC documentaries  including Life in the Freezer, Wildlife Special: Polar Bear, The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Frozen Planet

Doug has won eight Emmys (including for the Blue Planet and for Planet Earth) and four BAFTAs. He is also a scientific research diver, biologist, and former station commander at two of the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) bases. His passion for polar environments is contagious.

Join us is onboard one of the smallest ice-strengthened ships in the high arctic (max 50 passengers) perfect for photographers and those looking for a privileged insight into Arctic in the company of true polar experts.

Date: 12th - 20th May 2025

Price from: US$5,980pp 

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Itinerary

Sample 9 Day Itinerary

Please note: All itineraries are for guidance only. Your exact route will depend on the ice, weather conditions, wildlife and government regulations. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

Route Map - Spitsbergen Spring Voyage - May

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

You can arrive into Longyearbyen at any time today, a transfer will be provided to your included hotel.

Day 2 - 8: Expedition cruising

You will start your Svalbard adventure by exploring the town of Longyearbyen this morning. In the afternoon you embark your expedition ship and head out through Isfjorden - your Arctic adventure has started! You are now in a part of the world where you and your Expedition Team are completely dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Your exact itinerary will depend on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. You may make a first excursion before heading south or north, depending on the weather and ice conditions. Here are some examples of places you may visit:

Alkhornet
At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff of Alkhornet. You may go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife, including barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Arctic foxes are sometimes seen in the rock crevices around the mountain and with a bit of luck you might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.

Prins Karls Forland
This narrow strip of land is covered by a magnificent and snow-covered mountain chain. The island is also home to many seabirds and harbour seals

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden
The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is located in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. In the nearby Krossfjorden you can admire the beautifully sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier and listen to the sounds of the many kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots that nest on the nearby cliffs.

Raudfjorden
Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by magnificent glaciers. It is also a favourite haunt of seals, and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.

Virgohamna, Danskøya
Danskøya was the starting point for two of the most daring attempts to reach the North Pole. The Swedish explorer Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. Interesting remnants of these Arctic expeditions can still be seen here.

Bellsund
At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. You may go ashore and walk across the tundra to get a closer look at these charming birds.

Day 9: Longyearbyen

In the morning you will disembark in Longyearbyen and begin your journey home.

Dates

Enquire / Book 07 - 16 May 2025 - from £ 8,150 £ 5,900

Save up to 30% on new bookings!
Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (10 Days)
Modern x-bow expedition ship: 138 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Twin Porthole cabin (Deck 3)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Limited offer - contact us for details

Enquire / Book 11 - 19 May 2025 - from US$ 9,440

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (9 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night
From price per person in a Twin Cabin
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Enquire / Book 11 - 19 May 2025 - from US$ 8,940

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (9 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night
From price per person in a Twin Porthole Cabin
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Enquire / Book 11 - 20 May 2025 - from £ 8,850 £ 6,800

Save up to 25% on new bookings!
Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 199 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Triple Porthole cabin (Deck 3)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Limited offer - contact us for details

Enquire / Book 12 - 20 May 2025 - from US$ 5,980

Special Guest Photographer: Doug Allen
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (9 Days)
Small expedition ship: 50 passengers
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Triple Cabin
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Enquire / Book 15 - 24 May 2025 - from £ 9,450 £ 7,250

Save up to 25% on new bookings!
Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (10 Days)
Modern x-bow expedition ship: 138 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Twin Porthole cabin (Deck 3)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Limited offer - contact us for details

Enquire / Book 18 - 26 May 2025 - from US$ 8,940

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (9 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night
From price per person in a Twin Porthole Cabin
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Enquire / Book 19 - 25 May 2025 - from £ 5,990 £ 4,665

Save up to 25% on new bookings!
Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (7 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 199 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Triple Porthole cabin (Deck 3)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Limited offer - contact us for details

Enquire / Book 19 - 27 May 2025 - from US$ 5,980 US$ 5,580

Save $400 on new bookings!
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (9 Days)
Small expedition ship: 50 passengers
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Triple Cabin
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Offer expires 31 May 2024

Enquire / Book 20 - 27 May 2025 - from £ 4,995 £ 4,450

Save up to 25% on new bookings!
Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo (8 Days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 180 passengers
Includes: return flights Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo, 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Oslo
From price per person in an I2D Polar Inside Cabin (Double)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Offer expires 30 June 2024

Enquire / Book 23 May - 01 Jun 2025 - from £ 9,450 £ 7,250

Save up to 25% on new bookings!
Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (10 Days)
Modern x-bow expedition ship: 138 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Twin Porthole cabin (Deck 3)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Limited offer - contact us for details

Enquire / Book 24 May - 02 Jun 2025 - from £ 7,850 £ 6,770

Save up to 15% on new bookings!
Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 199 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Triple Porthole cabin (Deck 3)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Limited offer - contact us for details

Enquire / Book 26 May - 02 Jun 2025 - from £ 4,995 £ 4,450

Save up to 25% on new bookings!
Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo (8 Days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 180 passengers
Includes: return flights Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo, 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Oslo
From price per person in an I2D Polar Inside Cabin (Double)
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Offer expires 30 June 2024

Enquire / Book 26 May - 03 Jun 2025 - from US$ 5,980

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (9 Days)
Small expedition ship: 50 passengers
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Longyearbyen
From price per person in a Triple Cabin
Contact Us for all cabin prices & availability

Notes

Included:
- Voyage as indicated in draft itinerary
- All meals, snacks, coffee and tea onboard
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced
  expedition staff
- All miscellaneous services taxes and port charges throughout the programme
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Aqua-Firma automatically addresses the Carbon Emissions of your polar
  voyage and flights booked through us in getting to and from your voyage.

Voyages on MS Quest include:
- 1 pre-voyage night in Longyearbyen

Voyages on Ocean Explorer & Ultramarine include:
- 1 pre-voyage night in Helsinki
- Return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen-Helsinki
- House beer, wine and spirits at meals and evenings
- Expedition jacket
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000
  per person
- Use of waterproof boots onboard (loan)

Voyages on MS Spitsbergen include:
- Return flights Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo
- 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Oslo
- House beer, wine and spirits at meals and evenings
- Expedition jacket
- Gratuities
- Use of waterproof boots onboard (loan)

Excluded:
- International flights (please enquire)
- Fuel surcharge where applicable**
- Pre and post land arrangements (please enquire)
- Optional activities (e.g. kayaking) unless stated
- Travel insurance
- Fuel surcharge if applicable**
- Passports and visas
- Arrival and departure tax where applicable
- Meals ashore
- Items of a personal nature (alcohol, laundry etc)
- Tips

Activity Level: Low to Medium

Single supplement: There is no single supplement to pay if you are willing to share your cabin with someone of the same gender. For a cabin to yourself the supplement is between 1.5x - 2x the per person rate. Single cabins are available on Ocean Explorer and Ultramarine for those who prefer a cabin to themselves.

**Fuel surcharge: The cost of fuel is currently volatile, so a fuel surcharge may be applied by the ship without notice. We will let you know if this applies to your booking and send you an updated invoice.

Small Ship Voyages to Spitsbergen (Svalbard)

  • Spitsbergen in Spring - Adam Rheborg
  • Svalbard Reindeer in Spring - Ronald Visser
  • Snowshoeing in Spitsbergen - Adrian Nordenborg
  • Svalbard Ptarmigan - Niklas Nilsson
  • Polar Bear on the Sea Ice - Manda Lundstrom
  • Eider Duck - Magnus Lundgren
  • Burgerbukta - Spitsbergen in Spring - Hurtigruten Expeditions - Espen Mills
  • Walrus in Spitsbergen - Hurtigruten Expeditions - Rinie van Meurs

Arctic

Svalbard (Spitsbergen)

  • Arctic Fox in Spring
  • Zodiac Cruising in Spitsbergen - Johanna Vakkila
  • Seal Pup in Spitsbergen
  • Spitsbergen in Spring - Mattias Horntrich
  • Polar Bear in Spitsbergen - Hurtigruten Expeditions - Dominic Barrington
  • Zodiac cruising near glacier front - Hurtigruten Expeditions - Jan Hvizdal
  • Spitsbergen in Spring - Zet Freiburghaus
  • Hiking in Spitsbergen - Maria Nordvall
Array
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