Svalbard holidays and cruises
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.
Special offers in Svalbard
Special tailor-made fares
This spectacular expedition voyage discovers the remote reaches of Norway's isolated and unspoiled north, from Svalbard's polar bears to Bear Island's rugged bird cliffs. You'll spot an abundance of wildlife that thrives among these mountains, glacial fjords and dominating icy expanses.
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Book by: 31 January 2019
Discover the staggering beauty of Iceland’s Westfjords, remote and seldom-visited Jan Mayen island – the world’s northernmost active volcanic island, and Svalbard’s northwest coast.
Top itineraries in Svalbard
Explore the wilds of Svalbard's Polar Night on this tailor-made break, which includes a half-day husky safari and a stay at the stunning Funken Lodge, Longyearbyen's finest hotel.
This twin-centre break is a superb introduction to the Arctic region, pairing the fun of a stay in Tromso with high adventure in Svalbard, just a short hop from the North Pole.
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.
Top places to stay in Svalbard
Soak up the atmosphere of staying in the centre of the Arctic Circle, in a traditional trapper’s lodge style property
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
Silversea’s inaugural ship, recently fully refurbished, is the most spacious and comfortable ice-class vessel in expedition cruising.
Where to go in Svalbard
Follow Wexas Scandinavia specialist Becky Theriault on her first luxury cruise expedition, learning what to expect from an expedition sailing with industry favourites Silversea.
Meet our Svalbard experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0637