Svalbard Explorer: Best of High Arctic Norway in Depth

12 Days | Explore the Arctic on the Ocean Explorer, spot polar bears and discover the magic of Spitsbergen

USD $13,790
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This 12-day northern expedition aboard the Ocean Explorer will take you through the many amazing sights, sounds and snowy landscapes of the Arctic. As you explore icy Spitsbergen – the largest island in Svalbard – and its outlying islands, search for local wildlife like lumbering polar bears, noisy walruses and huge colonies of seabirds. Discover the array of wild, natural landscapes as you hike tundra laced with wildflowers, see the cliffs and shores of Alkefjellet and snowshoe through the abandoned whaling sites of Smeerenburg. Get a unique perspective of the rugged western coast as you pass by untouched fjords, glaciers and many different shades of ice. With an expert Expedition Team by your side, you'll have the best chance to spot local flora and fauna and learn all about the history and geology of this fascinating place along the way.

Trip overview

Map of Svalbard Explorer: Best Of High Arctic Norway In Depth including Finland and Norway
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Polar, Wildlife
Finland, Norway
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 8
Group size
Min 1 - Max 138
Trip code
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Take a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the Arctic aboard the Ocean Explorer and experience the unique 24-hour of sunlight of a Northern summer.
  • Discover some incredible landscapes on Spitsbergen, from the northernmost city of Longyearbyen and the brilliantly blue 14th of July Glacier to the breathtaking fjords and mountain cliffs of the sea.
  • Scour sheets of ice in search of the elusive polar bear – the ruler of the Arctic – with your expert Expedition Team by your side giving you the best tips and opportunities.
  • With endless daylight, there will be endless wildlife-viewing opportunities – elusive Arctic foxes, breaching whales, lounging masses of walruses and colonies of seabirds dot the cliffs of Alkefjellet.
  • Choose to get even closer to this amazing environment with optional activities like hiking and gliding along pristine waters between icebergs in a sea kayak.

Is this trip right for you?
  • As you'd expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka, waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks will be provided, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.
  • Depending on the weather, you’ll be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so ensure you’re dressed appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed to make wet and dry landings from the boat and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if the seas are rough.
  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure, and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.
  • This trip takes place during the time of year when Spitsbergen enjoys 24-hour daylight. Just one of the benefits of this is that incredible wildlife can be seen at any time of the day – be prepared to be awake at any time to not miss out on exciting animal sightings.
  • Polar bears are among the most incredible and appealing animals on the planet but are also powerful predators with little fear of humans. Therefore, it’s necessary to know the guidelines surrounding any contact with Polar bears. Follow your leader’s instructions and do not stray from your group – your leader carries equipment to protect you.


Ocean Adventurer ship in Arctic
Ocean Adventurer
This sturdy expedition ship was built in 1975 and underwent an $8 million refurbishment in 2017 which included new engines and refurbished cabins and public spaces. All her cabins are ensuite with exterior views.
Explore features
Ocean Explorer exterior from a distance with a large iceberg in the foreground
Ocean Explorer
The Ocean Explorer is the new way to see the Polar region in style. Purpose-built for exploration, this ship features a fleet of modern Zodiacs, large windows perfect for spotting Polar wildlife, two outdoor Jacuzzis, modern cabins in Scandinavian design, private verandahs in almost all rooms, a spacious gym and sauna and a two-storey, light-filled library. Coupled with plenty of outdoor viewing areas, this ship is the perfect setting for avid photographers, marine enthusiasts and sustainability-conscious explorers.
Explore features


Map of Svalbard Explorer: Best Of High Arctic Norway In Depth including Finland and Norway



11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners


Expedition cruise ship, Zodiac


Hotel (1 night), Expedition cruise ship (10 nights)

Dates and availability

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Important notes

Your voyage is operated by our partner, Quark Expeditions onboard the Ocean Explorer. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

This trip starts and ends in Helsinki.
Charter flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen are included. Ship embarkation will begin on the afternoon of Day 2 in Longyearbyen
The trip ends on arrival at Helsinki airport on Day 12. We recommend staying an additional night in Helsinki in case of flight delays.

To confirm your reservation, a deposit of 25% (unless indicated otherwise at time of booking) of the total invoice amount is required at time of booking. Balances are due 120 days prior to departure.
Please refer to our "Booking terms and conditions" page on our website for all Quark Expedition terms and conditions.

Kayaking must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. Some previous, recent experience is essential. Hiking is also offered on some itineraries. This activity is at no additional cost and do not need to be pre-booked.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Svalbard Explorer: Best of High Arctic Norway in Depth
USD $13,790