Hurtigruten – Grand Arctic Expedition Cruise


A 12-day voyage onboard the MS Polar Star featuring expedition guides and Zodiac landings. This cruise may sail around all of Spitsbergen, depending on the ice conditions.

Day 1: Depart the U.S. – Transatlantic flight to Oslo from the U.S.

Day 2: Oslo – Transfer from the airport to downtown. Explore the city’s many sites, like the Vigeland Park.

Day 3: Oslo-Longyearbyen – Breakfast at your hotel. Day on your own before transferring to the airport for your flight to Longyearbyen. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a guide and transfer to the Spitsbergen Hotel. [B]

Part of the Arctic fauna, a polar bear in the water.
Part of the Arctic fauna, a polar bear in the water.

Day 4: Longyearbyen/Embarkation-Barentsburg – Enjoy time on your own in the morning. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen before embarking the MS Polar Star where a welcome meeting will be held. Now your adventure begins-seals, whales, abundant birdlife, unique Arctic flora and, hopefully, polar bears will fill your days. Your journey is enhanced by daily lectures covering each day’s upcoming itinerary. On your way out of the Isfjord, call at Barentsburg, a Russian mining community, and enjoy a guided tour. [B/L/D]

Day 5: NY-Alesund-Magdalenefjord-Smeerenburgfjord – Today you’ll have reached the northern parts of the Prins Karls Forland Island, with its sharply-peaked mountains on all sides surrounded by massive glaciers that will take your breath away. Continue past the majestic Kongsfjord to the international research center of Ny-Alesund, also the starting point for many 1920s expeditions trying for the North Pole, and join the guided tour. Proceed north to the Magdalenefjord, one of the most beautiful fjords in Spitsbergen. Thousands of rare auks can be found here, and whales can be spotted. Then enter into the Smeerenburgfjord, another stunning fjord. In Zodiacs, you’ll cross the narrow sound to Virgohamna. This was the starting point of the ill-fated 1897 Swedish expedition to reach the North Pole by balloon. [B/L/D]

Two rare Auks together.

Day 6: Woodfjord-80° Latitude – The ship continues round the northeastern corner of Spitsbergen, entering the spectacular Woodfjord. Today’s goal is to reach the 80° parallel, sailing by Moffen Island, before heading further east toward the Hinlopen Strait and the remote parts of Spitsbergen. You’ll make a Zodiac landing to personally experience the startling beauty of this High Arctic landscape. [B/L/D]

Day 7-10: Hinlopen Strait-Austfonna Glacier – Winter never truly relaxes his grip on Spitsbergen’s east coast, majestic in its infinite silence. Here are some of Svalbard’s most desolate regions, including Nordaustlandet, the second largest island, almost completely enveloped by two enormous glaciers. The front of the larger one, Austfonna, is 124 miles wide. Weather permitting, you’ll make a Zodiac landing to encounter the glacier ice up close. (Early season route for those eager to see lots of ice and birds: travel north along Nordaustlandet, via Wahlenbergfjord, then on in the direction of Sjuoyane. Later season route: sail via Edgeoya, Storfjord and around the Southern Cape. These cruises go further east, and may perhaps sail around all of Spitsbergen.) [B/L/D]

Day 11: Longyearbyen/Disembarkation-Oslo – After disembarking, transfer with your guide to the airport for your return flight to Oslo. [B]

View of glacier from cruise ship.
View of glacier from cruise ship.

Day 12: Oslo/Return to the U.S. – Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. [B]

A 9-day adventure aboard Hurtigruten’s M/S NORDSJERNEN is also available.

For more information, or to make a reservation, please contact our Arctic Cruise expert, Margreet Pettersen. Margreet may be reached at 206-780-5010 or click to email Margreet.

Itinerary route map for Hurtigruten Arctic Expedition Cruise.
Itinerary route map for Hurtigruten Arctic Expedition Cruise.