♥ Valentine's Special: Up to 35% off on selected polar cruises ➞

Poseidon Expeditions - your polar cruise operator

Arctic / West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge / West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge

Not only a frozen wilderness, Svalbard is a place of precarious beauty and a stronghold of endangered Arctic wildlife.

Our Svalbard expedition departs from the far northern settlement of Longyearbyen on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen in the famed Svalbard archipelago. We explore the island’s northwestern coast, home to dramatic mountain scenery, tidewater glaciers and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities.

On this Arctic wildlife cruise, we also venture to the jumbled edge of the north-polar ice cap in search of polar bears stalking their prey. Here, at the dynamic boundary between implacable ice and bountiful sea, the wildlife cruise presents the rare opportunity to experience raw nature and incredible events hardly ever seen. Whether it’s a calving iceberg, an incomparable sunrise or the otherworldly hush of a land where man is an infrequent visitor, a Svalbard cruise is one that you’ll remember — and savor — for a lifetime.

Poseidon Expeditions specializes in cruise trips to the polar regions. Our goal is to take you to places few people will ever see and provide you with a unique perspective on the majestic beauty of this region — all while you enjoy personalized service in comfortable accommodations. Our experienced expedition guides and the rest of our staff ensure that your Arctic trip exceeds all your expectations.

Contact us to get a quote for this amazing adventure.

Why travel with Poseidon Expeditions?

Poseidon Expeditions is one of the leading operators of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. Since 1999, we’ve offered voyages that combine the spirit of adventure with a generous measure of onboard comfort and well-being, along with educational enrichment.

Why travel with us?
M/V Sea Spirit – Tiny but Mighty

M/V Sea Spirit – Tiny but Mighty

With a maximum capacity of just 114 passengers, we usually operate with 100 guests off the ship. It maximizes our travelers' time ashore because there is no need for splitting passengers into groups for landing rotations as required on larger ships.

A real polar expedition

A real polar expedition

Experience active exploration of the polar regions through a variety of activities. Weather permitting, we schedule up to 3 excursions per day and offer optional kayaking and, in Antarctica, camping. Enrich your polar knowledge in an engaging and interactive way through Poseidon’s edutainment program.

25 years of polar cruising

25 years of polar cruising

Polar cruising is our passion and expertise and over the past 24 years, we’ve gained tremendous experience building a strong team of enthusiastic polar professionals who are all experts in their field. Each cruise is a thoughtfully crafted expedition voyage.

Thank you for choosing poseidon expeditions

Guidebook

Svalbard Travel Guide

Everything you wanted to know about Svalbard and more: useful travel tips, polar bear safety procedures and human endeavor at the northern realms of our planet. Learn about the glaciers and landscapes of Svalbard and the ways you can actively explore this pristine polar wilderness. The guidebook is complete with a detailed wildlife account and a packing checklist.

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Highlights

ARCTIC WILDERNESS

ARCTIC WILDERNESS

The unique Arctic ecosystem of Svalbard is almost entirely protected in a network of nature reserves and national parks. Our voyage takes us to Nordre Isfjorden Nasjonalpark, Forlandet Nasjonalpark, and the spectacular Nordvest-Spitsbergen Nasjonalpark. Each has its own claim to Svalbard’s magnificent natural history.

By land and sea we encounter a wealth of wildlife—including walrus, Arctic fox, reindeer, and a variety of whales and seals—in one of the High Arctic’s most pristine and protected environments. We also encounter a surprising wealth of hardy plant life and striking geology throughout the area.

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POLAR BEARS

POLAR BEARS

Svalbard boasts one of the Arctic’s highest concentrations of polar bears. They are the world’s largest land carnivores and have become a symbol of the imperiled Arctic wilderness. This is one of the best places in the world to view polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat: the pack ice.

During our sojourn to the ice edge we hope to come across this majestic creature employing various strategies to catch seals in the ever-shifting labyrinth of the pack ice. But these wide-ranging and opportunistic Arctic nomads can just as well be found at other places and times during our voyage.

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HUMAN ENDEAVOR

HUMAN ENDEAVOR

Our area of exploration is rich with historical sites including early whaling camps, trappers’ cabins, deserted coal mining operations, and an abandoned polar research station. It also contains the staging areas for many historic expeditions to the North Pole, including those of Roald Amundsen and Walter Wellman.

Modern human endeavor in this area can be experienced at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to a multinational community of Arctic researchers. In addition to a museum, gift shop, and post office, visitors to this extreme northern settlement find a famous bust of Amundsen and a historic airship mast.

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Departures

Itinerary Dates Days Activities Special Offer Rates from
West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge
West Svalbard
09 Jun - 18 Jun 2024 10 Sea Kayaking Photography FLIGHTS OSLO ↔ LONGYEARBYEN INCLUDED
US$ 7 895
per person
West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge
West Svalbard
17 Jun - 26 Jun 2024 10 Sea Kayaking Photography Valentine's Special 35% OFF FLIGHTS OSLO ↔ LONGYEARBYEN INCLUDED
US$ 7 895
US$ 5 132
per person
West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge
West Svalbard
07 Jun - 16 Jun 2025 10 Sea Kayaking Photography SUPER EARLY BIRD SAVINGS UP TO 20% OFF*
US$ 7 495
US$ 6 371
per person

Itinerary

Through the Viewfinder

Activities

PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY

Svalbard is the ultimate destination for photographers interested in capturing incredible images of Arctic animals and scenery. Our free photography program gives you the chance to learn and practice your skills alongside an experienced expert.

From polar bears to blue whales, Svalbard boasts a range of wildlife not found in other parts of the Arctic. Snowcapped mountains and blue glaciers provide a dramatic background for portraits of these charismatic Arctic creatures.

With a full itinerary of spellbinding destinations and daylight around the clock, your photo opportunities are seemingly endless. Our expert photographer will be there to help you make the most of this bounty in your viewfinder.

SEA KAYAK CLUB

The islands and fjords of Svalbard closely guard some of the world’s most magical and unique paddling opportunities. Join us for unscripted kayaking adventures as we explore remote waters that very few paddlers have experienced before.

This pristine Arctic wilderness rewards kayakers with spectacular scenery, unique marine animals, and a range of incredible paddling locations. Svalbard also offers the possibility of kayaking in the vicinity of tidewater glaciers and icebergs.

The protected and picturesque waters of the archipelago offer some of the best paddling adventures in the Arctic. If you enjoy sea kayaking, then do not miss your chance to participate in this exciting optional activity.

SEA KAYAK CLUB

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FAQs

When is the best time to visit Spitsbergen?

Summer is the best time for a Svalbard expedition. If you plan a circumnavigating Spitsbergen cruise, summer is the only time sea ice in the Arctic Ocean recedes enough for ships to pass. The midnight sun gives you plenty of daylight to explore the beautiful Arctic tundra. Cruising aboard a small expedition ship lets you see the most of the island archipelago, and there are even combined cruises that cross the Greenland Sea to explore East Greenland.

Is Spitsbergen the same as Svalbard?

Svalbard is the name for the entire Norwegian archipelago, while Spitsbergen is its largest island.

Is Svalbard a safe place to visit?

Yes, a Svalbard expedition cruise is perfectly safe if you go with professional guides. The archipelago is located above the Arctic Circle, around 1,800km from northern Norway and ca. 1,400km south of the North Pole. While this place is very remote, there are people permanently living on Svalbard.

How do I get to Spitsbergen?

You can take a plane from mainland Norway to Longyearbyen (the capital of Svalbard), or, for intrepid explorers, there are small ship cruises embarking from southern ports (e.g. Edinburgh). There are many ways to visit, but trips aboard expedition ships are the best way to reach Svalbard’s most remote spots. What are the best things to see in Svalbard? Svalbard is famous for its beautiful landscapes and scenic islands, such as Bear Island (the archipelago’s southernmost island) and Kvitøya (in the north). See calving glaciers and polar bears, especially around the polar ice cap (with a little bit of luck you may see a polar bear hunting for seals). Other iconic wildlife include Arctic foxes, the Svalbard reindeer and birds such as Arctic terns and Northern fulmars (you can spot them at Bird Mountain).

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