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Svalbard

Svalbard holidays and cruises

Introduction

The Svalbard islands are Norway's Arctic Ocean outpost, a hostile but breathtaking wilderness of ice caps and glaciers, mountains and coalmines. Polar bears outnumber humans in this untamed landscape 650 kilometres from the mainland and seeing these powerful creatures in their natural habitat, surrounded by snow and ice, is the main draw for visitors.

The archipelago is reached via a flight into the frontier town of Longyearbyen, the capital, or by sea on an Artic expedition cruise. Svalbard cruises are especially recommended for travellers interested in wildlife - with exceptional opportunities for seeing polar bears and other animals at a close, but safe distance. Sightings of reindeers, Arctic foxes, walrus, whales, seals and seabirds birds can often be had when exploring Svalbard by cruise ship, and talks by expert guides and naturalists make the experience even more rewarding.

Some cruises continue on to Greenland and Iceland, while shorter cruises concentrate purely on Svalbard itself. These typically take in parts of the main island of Spitsbergen and a few outlying islands such as Nordaustlandet, which is dominated by the immense hulk of Austfonna, the world's third largest icecap.

Boat tours operate during the summer months, while the winter season is a time for guided snow mobile safaris, skiing and dog sled tours amid the frozen Svalbard terrain, and witnessing the spectacular Northern Lights.

Top itineraries in Svalbard

Winter in Svalbard

5-day tailor-made journey from £1,090 pp incl. flights

Spitsbergen is the largest and only permanently populated island in Norway's remote Svalbard archipelago. Lying just 620 miles from the North Pole, it's one of the most isolated places on earth and ideal for spotting bears and the Northern Lights.

Svalbard Expedition Cruise

12-day cruise

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov – designed for polar research – has been transformed into a modern, safe and supremely comfortable Arctic cruise ship and it's onboard this ice-strengethened vessel that you'll undertake this brand new Svalbard cruise.

Svalbard & Tromso

6-day itinerary

Spitsbergen – the main island of the Svalbard archipelago – lies just a few hundred miles north of the Norwegian mainland and deep within the Arctic Circle. The archipelago

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Top places to stay in Svalbard

Basecamp Trappers Hotel, Spitsbergen

Small & intimate lodge

Soak up the atmosphere of staying in the centre of the Arctic Circle, in a traditional trapper’s lodge style property

Radisson Blu Polar, Longyearbyen

Contemporary hotel

Situated on Longyearbyen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago (with a smidgen over 2,000 inhabitants), the Radisson Blu Polar has sweeping vistas of the dramatic Arctic coastline, including the Isfjorden and Adventdalen valley

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Where to go in Svalbard

Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen, with a population of around two thousand, is Svalbard's main town, with colourful wooden houses and a distinctly frontier feel. Accommodation is in cosy guesthouses and former trapper lodges full of furs and Arctic memorabilia, or upmarket hotels with modern comforts.

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Svalbard articles

Best Places to see the Midnight Sun

If you want to bask in 24-hour sunlight, follow our guide to the best places to experience the Midnight Sun around the world.

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Meet our Svalbard experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0637

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0637 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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