Special-interest holidays worldwide
Arctic and Antarctic Holidays


Summer Arctic expedition cruises

Cruising through Hornsund
Zodiac and Whale - © Rinie van MeursPurple saxifragePolar bear swimmingLittle AukSvalbard Reindeer

From the early days when Island Holidays started to operate to Spitsbergen (Svalbard) there has been significant 'product development' in terms of the tour options available. At first it was Svalbard and Svalbard only - a wonderful destination in anyone's books which remains a firm favourite - especially for Polar Bear, Ivory Gull and Walrus. Here, just 800 miles south of the North Pole, the vibrancy of the Arctic summer can be seen to full effect.

Bird life in Svalbard is wonderful, both for the sheer numbers and for the species which you won't find further south such as Little Auk and Ivory Gull. We'll visit breeding colonies and look out for such tundra species as Grey Phalarope. To top it all there's the lovely Arctic flora. Due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream temperatures are relatively high and there is an amazing variety: in addition to the typical tundra vegetation of mosses and lichens, there are also 250 species of fungi, 7 species of ferns and 164 flowering plants. We don't ignore the man-made aspects of the islands which have a fascinating heritage going back to the days of the whaling ships and the (misguided?) efforts to fly to the North Pole in a hot air balloon.

As you explore Spitsbergen, there will be daily shore excursions along with an excellent programme of lectures from the expedition staff which enhances the experience and adds a gentle educational angle to the holiday. There's also the opportunity of a totally new experience connected with some these voyages - kayaking. What better way to get really close to wild life and experience the majesty of the arctic scenery? It's really worth trying.

Then there's the scenery. Glaciers contrast with tundra, ice with water - and all in that singular light which the extreme north provides. With 24-hour daylight the only problem is when to get some sleep - nobody ever wants to miss anything! All in all, Spitsbergen is considered by many to be the jewel in the Arctic crown.

We work with Oceanwide Expeditions whose experienced guides and crews know just where to go to share with you the very best of this amazing part of the world, not yet ruined by global warming.

Click on the tour titles in the menu above right for detailed itineraries, maps and prices.

2016 Spitsbergen Expedition Cruises

Click on a cruise title or starting price for more information.

Tour code Dates Embark / Disembark Nights Starting Price
Click for details
Route Map
Click to view
North Spitsbergen ‘Polar Bear Special’
OTL0401 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07 £2,360* North Spitsbergen ‘Polar Bear Special’ 2016 Route Map
PLA0509 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
OTL0615 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
PLA0616 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
OTL0722 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
PLA0723 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
PLA0830 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
PLA1530 AugustLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen07
North Spitsbergen ‘Basecamp’
OTL0829 JuneLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09 £3,010* North Spitsbergen ‘Basecamp’ 2016 Route Map
Around Spitsbergen
OTL0908 JulyLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09 £3,010* Around Spitsbergen 2016 Route Map
OTL1017 JulyLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09
OTL1126 JulyLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09
PLA1312 AugustLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09
OTL1422 AugustLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09
Around Spitsbergen ‘Kvitøya’
PLA1421 AugustLongyearbyen – Longyearbyen09 £3,010* Around Spitsbergen ‘Kvitøya’ 2016 Route Map
Spitsbergen – NE Greenland – Iceland (Aurora Borealis)
PLA1606 SeptemberLongyearbyen – Akureyri12 £3,660* Spitsbergen – NE Greenland – Iceland 2016 Route Map
PDF iconSpitsbergen 2016 overview & prices

* All prices quoted are for cruise only. We can arrange flights on request from an airport of your choice (where available) and fares will be confirmed at the time of booking. Most departures will require an overnight stay in either Oslo or Longyearbyen. Please note that we may have to ask for instant payment for flights in addition to your deposit.

Where accommodation is required in Oslo or Longyearbyen the additional cost will be approximately £95 or £65 per person per night in a twin room (£160 or £85 for single occupancy respectively). Rates include breakfast and are subject to change. Trips beginning and/or ending in Iceland are available from London or Glasgow.

Included in the price

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes on Plancius and Ortelius, and of snow shoes on Rembrandt.
  • On Spitsbergen voyages: Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • On Northeast Greenland voyages with Ortelius & Plancius: Transfer and baggage handling between ship in Akureyri and hotels in Reykjavik and v.v. by coach (6 hours).
  • On Rembrandt voyages: Transfers and baggage handling between airport and ship in Greenland harbours on the chartered group flights.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included in the price

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).