North Svalbard Sailing Expedition

Truly escape the modern world and explore Svalbard onboard a schooner. Sail north through the melting spring ice, spot wildlife and learn about the archipelago’s rich history. Highlights include the Monaco Glacier, 17th century whaling settlements, close encounters with megafauna and the sound of the wind in the sails.
8 or 11 Days

North Svalbard Sailing Expedition - 8 or 11 Days - $3,100

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • A choice of departures
  • Departures from May to July
  • Sail onboard a schooner with capacity for 33 people
  • Hiking & snowshoeing
  • Opportunity to be hands-on and help with the sailing of the ship

Start from Longyearbyen and end at Longyearbyen

Landmarks potentially visited on North Svalbard Sailing Expedition

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Longyearbyen

After arriving in Longyearbyen, the 'capital' (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the early evening, you'll set sail out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of the voyage. Into the evening you'll set course for Trygghamna, seeing the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Pomor hunting station, both of which you will visit the next morning.

Day 2: Alkhornet

From Trygghamna you walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding spots. Below the cliffs is a common place to catch a glimpse of Arctic foxes, and you may also see reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow.

Day 3: Ytre Norskøya

You'll sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta you can see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The next aim is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout. Here you can still follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.

Day 4: Raudfjorden and Ermaktangen

You'll reach Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen. It's a fine place for gazing over the glaciers and also a favourite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale. Ermaktangen, at the fjord coast of Spitsbergen, presents further great views of the vast land.

Day 5: Reindyrsflya

If ice conditions permit, you may land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. This vast and rolling plain is a popular grazing area for reindeer, and several species of waders also breed here. Similarly, the lakes afford you a good chance of spotting red-throated divers and king eiders.

Day 6: Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Day 7: Fuglesangen and Magdalenafjorden

In the morning you land at Fuglesangen, where you can observe spirited communities of little auks. You then sail south to Magdalenafjorden, one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen. A shore visit shows you the remains of 17th-century English whaling, and you can also see more large colonies of little auks.

Day 8: Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden

You head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. We aim to visit places of historic interest: Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ã…lesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926. Krossfjorden offers views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, but ultimately the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary here.

Day 9: Fuglehuken

On your journey south, the goal is a landing at Fuglehuken. Here you see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting. There are also large seabird colonies and a haul-out spot for harbour seals. Alternatively you could land on the coast of Forlandsundet, at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Walruses are occasionally seen here, and the tundra is a fine place for a walk.

Day 10: Bohemanfiya and Gipsvika

The next stop is Bohemanflya, an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika you can go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.

Day 11: Disembark

Disembark in Longyearbyen, as the adventure reaches it's end.

NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.

Customer review background image

What our customers think of North Svalbard Sailing Expedition

We saw so many insane things! Six polar bears, adult and baby foxes and reindeer, blue whales, walruses up close, curious seals. It was perfect. We even started to get into the birding aspect of the trip (we saw 28 species).

Travelled: June 2022

Angela Wyse - USA

Polar bears, walruses, seals, foxes, reindeer and birds galore.

Travelled: June 2022

Pamela White - UK

It was just wonderful. The small ship, the guides, the food, excursions, scenery. Magical.

Travelled: June 2022

Pamela White - UK


Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.

Additional Notes

Trip lengths:


Departures up to and including 22nd May 2023 are 8 days / 7 nights

Departures from 29th May 2023 onwards are 11 days / 10 nights

The 18-Jun-2023 departure is a special Summer Solstice voyage

Single Supplement And Child Policy

Single supplement: There is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin. For those who want their own cabin, the single supplement in a twin cabin is 1.7 times the cost of sharing with another passenger.


  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites


  • Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Any additional services before and after your voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?