A cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

On a cruise under the midnight sun to Norway’s remote Svalbard archipelago, watch for polar bears, walruses, and other polar flora and fauna amid magnificent ice floes, fjords, and glaciers. 

Starting at: $10,330 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Polar bears in Norway's arctic landscape  Longyearbyen skyline Credit: James Padolsey  Colorful houses in Spitsbergen Credit: Eirik Hodne  Sailing through Hornsund Credit: StudioPONANT/Olivier Blaud  Iconic Arctic reindeer Credit: Studio PONANT/Morgane Monneret  Explore among the ice floes on excursions by Zodiac Credit: StudioPONANT/Nathalie Michel  Arctic landscape in Norway  Polar bear in Svalbard  Monaco Glacier  Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park Credit: Studio PONANT/Noemie Watel  Former mining town Ny-Ålesund Credit: StudioPONANT/Olivier Blaud

Cruising Arctic Norway: Glaciers, Ice Floes, and Polar Bears

Round-trip from Longyearbyen Aboard the 264-guest Le Boréal (2022) / L'Austral (2023)

8-10 days from $10,330

A cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

On a cruise under the midnight sun to Norway’s remote Svalbard archipelago, watch for polar bears, walruses, and other polar flora and fauna amid magnificent ice floes, fjords, and glaciers. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

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Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active

Cruising Arctic Norway is truly an "expedition" program meant for healthy, able-bodied participants. When embarking and disembarking the ship itself, passengers need to be able to walk up/down the gangway. Zodiacs are used for shore excursions and travelers need to be able to get in and out of the Zodiacs unassisted, which requires a large step over the side of the zodiac. This typically takes flexibility, agility, and balance. Also, passengers will need to be prepared to step from the Zodiac directly into ankle high water (passengers can rent boots on board for this), and step from the Zodiac onto sometimes icy surfaces. On land, passengers may encounter uneven and slick surfaces during walking and nature tours, and some excursions may require extensive standing. Our naturalist guides will find a place to rest if necessary and if feasible. However, passengers can choose to stay aboard ship the entire time and take in the views from the ship itself (the ship does get close to land, so there are views from the ship). There is an elevator aboard the ship. All passengers are required to complete a Required Health Statement, signed by their doctor. This mandatory form is required by the ship company and will be reviewed by the ship doctor before the passenger has clearance to participate on the program.   

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Itinerary - 2022

Day 1 — Paris, France

Arrive in Paris and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 — Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

This morning, fly to Longyearbyen, the capital of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Located on the main island of Spitsbergen, at 78 degrees north, this picturesque city is perched on the water and surrounded by glaciers and mountains. Board the ship after lunch and cruise north along the spectacular fjord-carved coast. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Hornsund

Venture into Hornsund, one of the first fjords discovered by whalers in the 17th century. See its large population of little auks, and take in views of the eight glaciers that surround the fjord’s end. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Bellsund

Follow the path of early explorers into Bellsund, where evidence of whaling and hunting stations can be found on the shore. Amid its lush valleys and tundra, seek out wildlife such as reindeer and arctic foxes. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Sailing to the Ice Floe

Sail up to the edge of the ice floe, and, conditions permitting, ride a Zodiac amid these slabs of ice, which can harbor seabirds, seals, and polar bears. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Måkeøyane & Monaco Glacier

Cruise south to explore the Måkeøyane Archipelago. Continue to majestic Monaco Glacier, and watch for ice calving off its towering, blue-tinged wall. Polar bears and whales can often be spotted here. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park

The Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park was established in the early 1970s to protect this exceptional environment against the growing interest of the mining industry. Glaciers, large bays, and nunatuks make up this mystical landscape, as well as stretches of arctic tundra scattered with moss and lichen in shades of silver and gold. Many of Svalbard’s historic remains lie here as well—from the vestiges of 17th-century whaling stations to the camp of an unlucky 19th-century adventurer. In this pristine environment, you will be able to observe arctic terns and seals hauled out on the rocks that emerge at low tide.

Admire the spectacular ice formations of Raudfjorden. Then visit Smeerenburg, a former Dutch whaling colony that is one of Spitsbergen’s most important archaeological sites. (B,L,D)

Day 8 —Ny-Ålesund & Kongsfjorden

Stop by the museum and post office in Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town from which Roald Amundsen’s Arctic expeditions departed. Then sail into one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden, “the fjord of the King.” Here, snowcapped mountains cast their reflections in water scattered with superb icebergs. Keep your eye out for reindeer, barnacle geese, black guillemots, and a variety of duck species, as well as ringed and bearded seals sunbathing on the ice.  At the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three rocky points, named after three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark), and Nora (Norway). (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Longyearbyen & Paris, France

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark this morning. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Paris. Check into your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 10 - Paris, France / Return Home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Itinerary Notes

Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

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

Itinerary - 2023

Day 1 — Paris, France | Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

This morning, fly to Longyearbyen, the capital of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Located on the main island of Spitsbergen, at 78 degrees north, this picturesque city is perched on the water and surrounded by glaciers and mountains. Board the ship after lunch and cruise north along the spectacular fjord-carved coast. (L,D)

Day 2 — Hornsund

Venture into Hornsund, one of the first fjords discovered by whalers in the 17th century. See its large population of little auks, and take in views of the eight glaciers that surround the fjord’s end. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Bellsund

Follow the path of early explorers into Bellsund, where evidence of whaling and hunting stations can be found on the shore. Amid its lush valleys and tundra, seek out wildlife such as reindeer and arctic foxes. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Sailing to the Ice Floe

Sail up to the edge of the ice floe, and, conditions permitting, ride a Zodiac amid these slabs of ice, which can harbor seabirds, seals, and polar bears. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Måkeøyane & Monaco Glacier

Cruise south to explore the Måkeøyane Archipelago. Continue to majestic Monaco Glacier, and watch for ice calving off its towering, blue-tinged wall. Polar bears and whales can often be spotted here. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park

The Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park was established in the early 1970s to protect this exceptional environment against the growing interest of the mining industry. Glaciers, large bays, and nunatuks make up this mystical landscape, as well as stretches of arctic tundra scattered with moss and lichen in shades of silver and gold. Many of Svalbard’s historic remains lie here as well—from the vestiges of 17th-century whaling stations to the camp of an unlucky 19th-century adventurer. In this pristine environment, you will be able to observe arctic terns and seals hauled out on the rocks that emerge at low tide. 

Admire the spectacular ice formations of Raudfjorden. Then visit Smeerenburg, a former Dutch whaling colony that is one of Spitsbergen’s most important archaeological sites. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Ny-Ålesund & Kongsfjorden

Stop by the museum and post office in Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town from which Roald Amundsen’s Arctic expeditions departed. Then sail into one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden, “the fjord of the King.” Here, snowcapped mountains cast their reflections in water scattered with superb icebergs. Keep your eye out for reindeer, barnacle geese, black guillemots, and a variety of duck species, as well as ringed and bearded seals sunbathing on the ice.  At the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three rocky points, named after three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark), and Nora (Norway). (B,L,D) 

Day 8 — Longyearbyen & Paris, France

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark this morning. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Paris. (B,L) 

Itinerary Notes

Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

We highly recommend arriving in Paris the day before the flight from Paris to Longyearbyen, and departing from Paris the day after the flight from Longyearbyen to Paris, to ensure that your international flights to/from Paris accommodate the charter flights between Paris and Longyearbyen. Flight times between Paris and Longyearbyen will only be confirmed close to depature.

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