Encounter a pristine landscape of glaciers and fjords, see amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and learn about the environmental challenges to the Arctic while cruising Norway’s Svalbard aboard the L'Austral. 

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 Polar bears in Svalbard. Credit: Dominic Barrington  Polar bears in Norway's arctic landscape  Traffic sign in Svalbard. Credit: Tori Hogan  Travelers exploring Svalbard  Picturesque scenery around Norway's Svalbard  Colorful houses in Svalbard's Longyearbyen

An Arctic Cruise of Norway’s Svalbard

Home of the Polar Bear, "King of the Arctic"

11 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Encounter a pristine landscape of glaciers and fjords, see amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and learn about the environmental challenges to the Arctic while cruising Norway’s Svalbard aboard the L'Austral. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Voyage through the otherworldly Arctic Circle on this unique 11-day itinerary featuring an extraordinary seven-night cruise on the eco-friendly L’Austral, exclusively chartered for your expedition. Visit during the region’s most enchanting season, when shimmering ice basks in the midnight sun’s ceaseless glow.

Sail the shores of secluded Spitsbergen, the jewel of Norway’s rarely visited Svalbard archipelago; see glaciers crease and calve in luminous blues; and look for the enigmatic polar bear, who reigns as king. Survey an ethereal topography of red sandstone mountain ranges, lush green tundra, and awe-inspiring ice formations and enjoy Zodiac excursions led by a team of expert naturalists in diverse, serene terrains, where remarkable wildlife—including whales, walruses, seals, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, northern fulmars and Arctic terns—roam freely.

Highlights Include:

  • Wildlife: Throughout your cruise, watch for the majestic polar bear in its native habitat (one of the very few places in the world). View marine wildlife such as herds of walrus hauled out on scoured granite beaches, bearded and ring seals lazing about, and some of the world’s largest whales. Along the shores, you may also spot an Arctic fox scurrying across the snow and iconic reindeer grazing the tundra. And you’re sure to see teeming bird colonies nesting amid the sea cliffs.
  • Active Adventure: Cruise down icy fjords, paddle in kayaks amid brilliantly blue icebergs, hike across tundra punctuated by clusters of vibrant wildflowers, and even traverse a glacier with an experienced expedition team. You’ll also take small craft excursions that bring you up close to geological formations or to the shore to observe wildlife.
  • The L'Austral: The highly acclaimed L'Austral, launched in 2011, represents the newest generation of five-star small ships, featuring state-of-the-art design, distinctive sophistication, and only 110 staterooms. The state-of-the-art propulsion system and custom-built stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable voyage by minimizing vibration and engine noise. The ship’s Clean Ship status offers an extreme rarity among ocean cruising vessels, showcasing the paramount importance of and commitment to energy efficiency and environmental protection of marine ecosystems.

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. / Paris, France

Depart the U.S. for Paris, France, the “City of Lights.” Stay for one night in centrally located, downtown hotel.

Day 3 — Paris / Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Norway / Embark L'Austral

Fly to scenic Longyearbyen and board the exclusively chartered, L'Austral to embark on your seven-night expedition. Cruise through an ethereal gallery of rare wilderness, secluded fjords and glittering ice—an unforgettable landscape enchanted by the midnight sun’s glow.

Meet your expert naturalist team, who will be aboard for the duration of the cruise, and enjoy the Captain’s welcome reception that evening. (B,R,D)

Day 4 — Hornsund for Burgerbukta / Samarin Glacier

Wind through pristine bays nestled in the Arctic’s recesses as you survey the stunning scenery for its king—the elusive polar bear. Navigate slow-drifting ice floes and snow-stripped cliffs by Zodiac in Burgerbukta; here, mountain ranges tower and glaciers crystallize to a bright-blue.

A shore excursion to the remote tidewater Samarin Glacier reveals a dramatic terrain of otherworldly ice frequented by seabirds such as kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Bellsund for Calypsobyen / Camp Millar

Anchor off the remote, former coal mining settlement of Calypsobyen—now populated with Arctic foxes and terns, this cultural heritage site is part of Sør-Spitsbergen, Norway’s largest National Park.

Continue to Camp Millar, once the gold mining base in Vårsolbukta and a favored grazing spot for endemic Svalbard reindeer. Watch for the deer ambling through the lush green tundra, where the tawny-green grass, richly fertilized by the large colony of hawks, contrasts with the frostily serene backdrop. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Cruise the Arctic Ice Pack / Polar Bear Search

Approach the Arctic Ice Pack at the approximate latitude of 80° north. The sheets of sea ice spanning the Arctic Ocean and its vicinity are home to the increasingly rare polar bear. Sea ice wanes in the warmer seasons and forms again as the winds chill, however, the dwindling midwinter ice causes polar bears to return later each season and travel further to their ice habitats, crucial zones for hunting, resting and breeding.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to look for these majestic, ivory-furred creatures in their native Arctic-dwelling. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Woodfjorden for Makeoyane / Monaco Glacier

Woodfjorden appears as the paragon of winter wonder—glacier-fronted shores lead to alpine summits and red sandstone mountains, and ice glints in pale, striking blue.

Sail through Woodfjorden to Monaco Glacier, an actively calving ice sheet. Found at the end of the scenic Liefdefjorden, the tidewater glacier cleaves into a jagged topography of breathtaking snow-white and deep-sapphire. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Raudfjorden / Smeerenburg

Hike along the shores of awe-inspiring Raudfjorden and admire rust-hued cliffs and unspoiled waters.

Enjoy an excursion to a prized resting shore for walruses, the former Dutch-Danish whaling station of Smeerenburg, which translates to “blubber town” in Dutch. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Ny-Alesund / Kongsfjorden for Kings Glacier

On your walking tour of Ny-Alesund, one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities, learn about this research town’s rich history and scientific importance. Cruise by Zodiac through the spectacular inlet of Kongsfjorden to the impressive tidewater Kongsbreen, or King’s Glacier.

The glacial fjord’s protected islands and islets are a fertile environment for pink-footed and barnacle geese, common and king elders, long-tailed ducks, purple sandpipers, glaucous gulls, Atlantic puffins and snow buntings. Look for ringed and bearded seals sunbathing on ice floes. (B,L,R,D)

Day 10 — Longyearbyen / Paris, France

Disembark L’Austral in Longyearbyen and fly to Paris, France.

Spend one night in the deluxe, conveniently located Hilton Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport Hotel. (B)

Day 11 — Paris / Return to U.S.

Board your return flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)