Arctic expedition cruise, circumnavigation of Spitsbergen

“11 day cruise around Spitsbergen on a small expedition ship (max 130 passengers). Experience life on land and at sea as part of an unbelievable Arctic adventure.”


Eleven days cruising around Spitsbergen | Trek, snowshoe or watch wildlife, on land | Seabird-filled cliffs of Alkefjellet | Zodiac cruises | 14th of July Glacier | Worsleyneset tundra | search for polar bears around Phippsoya and Isbukta | watch out for walruses on Moffen Island | explore the former whale station at Smeerenburg on Amsterdam Island | Optional dog sledding in Longyearbyen |

Description of Arctic expedition cruise, circumnavigation of Spitsbergen

Circumnavigating Spitsbergen is an experience, an expedition, about as far from a run of the mill holiday as you can hope to imagine.

This two week cruise onboard the Ocean Nova invites you to become part of an expedition exploring in the Arctic, alongside around 100 other passengers, crew members and Arctic experts. For eleven days you’ll be allowed to let your senses swing into overdrive as you zip across the water by zodiac before you hike or snowshoe over land or watch wildlife at closer quarters – weather permitting, of course.

As the largest island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen provides the perfect introduction to life in the Arctic with an abundance of rocky coastlines and dramatic glaciers conjuring up a whole host of reasons to stay awake and take it all in. Experiencing Arctic animals in their natural habitat is often one of the most memorable moments of any Spitsbergen expedition with polar bears, Arctic foxes, seals and walruses all, hopefully, appearing.

From vast plains of ice and glistening frozen fjords to rarely glimpsed wildlife and screeching colonies of sea birds, this is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities that actually exceeds all expectations. There’s beauty in the blankets of flowers thrown over the tundra and more than a little emotion held within the vast wilderness, untouched by man.

This is your chance to visit a part of the world that few can claim to have seen and many have wished that they could.

Travel Team

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Check dates

2021: 30 Jun
2022: 7 Jul
Holiday type

Expedition cruising

What is Expedition Cruising?
This is the name we give to cruising holidays which visit the Polar regions of Antarctica and the Arctic. Your small vessel will usually carry around 100 - 130 passengers, accompanied by a crew and Expedition Team consisting of experts in the local landscapes, wildlife and history of the islands you will be visiting. How does it work?
Your trip will consist of a combination of cruising and land based discovery. Days at sea will be spent admiring the view, photographing the sea birds and marine wildlife that you may encounter, cruising past stunning icebergs and attending the talks that your Expedition Team will be conducting.

Shore landings will be scheduled to take place weather permitting throughout your trip. Please be aware that due to adverse weather conditions all scheduled shore visits may not be possible, but travelling in the summer months increases our chances of favourable weather.

You will travel ashore in rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) known as zodiacs; a degree of physical mobility will be required for passengers to climb in and out.

What ship will I be travelling on?
Travelling with us to explore the Polar regions, you will be on one of two ships, more details about your particular vessel can be given by our travel consultants when you enquire about your particular date.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

As a global tour operator, we are committed to travelling responsibly and endeavour to practise sustainable tourism wherever we visit. We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their culture, economy and the environment.

We are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip.

Throughout your trip you will be encouraged to take steps to ensure that your journey is environmentally responsible as possible. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route, recycling wherever possible and we encourage all our travellers to use refillable water bottles with purification tablets rather than contributing to the rapidly escalating problem caused by the copious number of plastic bottles discarded globally on a daily basis.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our tours are designed to give travellers real life experiences, so on this itinerary you’ll head off to the Wadi Rum to camp under the stars with our Bedouin hosts, and explore Petra in the company of a local Bedouin guide. Our team ‘on the ground’ in Jordan will all be local people, from your driver to your group leader. We believe that recruiting in country provides benefits not just to the local economy, providing steady work for local people, but is also the best way of giving our travellers unique insights into the country being visited. Travelling with our Jordanian team will give plenty of opportunity to learn about the culture, history and day to day life in this fascinating country.

You’ll stay in a variety of small, comfortable, locally owned hotels, and of course overnight in a traditional style Bedouin camp in the desert. Your group will tend to dine in traditional, locally owned restaurants, and during the day we will purchase food en route from local vendors and small cafes. For the nights where you may want to explore independently your group leader will be on hand to recommend the places the locals eat and where to get the best regional specialities.

We encourage our travellers to respect local culture but also integrate themselves in tradition and customs. In Jordan, the dress code is conservative and care should be taken especially when visiting the timeless temples, tombs, amphitheatres and monasteries in the surrounding area of Petra. We suggest loose, lightweight clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Information can be accessed on our website prior to travel to help ensure travellers are able to follow appropriate dress codes and behaviours at these locations and your group leader will be on hand to assist throughout.


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