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Albatros Expedition through north atlantic

Svalbard Circumnavigation

The beauty of Svalbard in a 10-day expedition cruise

Length

10 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Large Ship

Capacity

189 Passengers

Svalbard Circumnavigation

2 Reviews

Trip highlights

Cruise among whales and walrus

Witness hundreds of thousands of birds

Zodiac cruise the stunning fjords

Keep watch for a polar bear sighting

The Polartours experience

Ship equipped to reach the North Pole

Expert guides to answer questions

Included flights from Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo

Take home a digital voyage log

The goal of this Albatros Expeditions cruise is to circumnavigate Svalbard, a bucket list item for many of us!

During the adventure you will enjoy the immense beauty of Svalbard on this high Arctic voyage among whales, walruses, polar bears and millions of sea birds. You'll approach the polar bear´s favorite summer residence, as we cruise to 80 degrees north, getting as close as possible to the pack ice north of Svalbard. How far north we reach, and the exact route will depend on the ice conditions, while the many amazing locations along the coasts of Svalbard’s islands are kept navigable by the warm Gulf Stream. Onboard Ocean Albatros you will experience areas of Svalbard not easily accessible by other ships. But you'll not only cruise in the far north, you will also visit some extraordinary locations in the eastern part of Svalbard with Edgeøya and in the south part of Spitsbergen like Bellsund and Hornsund.

During the short summer, wildlife such as reindeer is busy amassing energy for the icy polar winter. The cliffs shimmer with life as every surface is populated with countless birds - in a few months, the new generation of arctic sea birds is ready to leave their nests. The prolific bird life can be further witnessed in the form of arctic guillemots, black guillemots and razorbills fishing in the wake of your ship. On several shores, the huge walruses enjoy the short Arctic summer as well as many whales and seals foraging along the edge of the pack ice and the coasts. In the fleet of Zodiac dinghy boats, you are able to view wildlife at close proximity. The Zodiacs allow you to have frequent shore landings and embark on exploratory mini cruises in the fjords and glacial landscapes.

Your ship: Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros Exterior
Ocean Albatross Deck Plan
Ocean Albatros Exterior

Welcome aboard the brand new Ocean Albatros. This stunning, purpose-built polar cruise ship will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, and a variety of exciting new destinations in between.

Ocean Albatros offers a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, and most with their own balcony. Like her sistership, the Ocean Victory, her amenities include two restaurants, a wellness area, the “Albatros Nordic Bar”, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenitie … Read more about Ocean Albatros

Cabins

french balcony suite/ albatros/ victory
Category E - French Balcony Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Cat B Balcony Suite Albatros/Victory
Category B - Balcony Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Premium suite albatros/victory
Two Bedroom Suite (Brynhilde Suite)

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Ocean Victory/Albatros Junior Suite
Category A - Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Ocean Victory/Albatros Junior Suite
Premium Suite (Freydis Suite)

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

single porthole cabin albatros/victory
Category G - Single Porthole Stateroom

Type:

Single

Max. occupancy:

1

More about this cabin

Cat D/ Porthole Stateroom/ Albatros Victory
Category D - Porthole Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony C albatros/victory
Category C - Balcony Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

triple porthole cabin/ albatros/ victory
Category F - Triple Porthole Stateroom

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Polar snowshoeing

0 Days

Polar Snowshoeing

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Snowshoeing makes walking up gentle slopes and across Antarctica’s soft, powdery snow easy and fun, allowing you to visit places others struggle to reach in boots alone. You’ll have your very own set of snowshoes and ski poles, and the expert guides will provide you with all the instruction you need. Snowshoeing is an excellent way to summit to some of Antarctica’s best viewpoints, stretch the legs and take in the most spectacular scenery on the planet. Snowshoeing is the perfect activity for everyone, with no previous experience required. Join in on the fun and discover a different slice of Antarctica! The minimum age for this activity is 14. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Arrival at Longyearbyen

Arrival to Longyearbyen, Capital of Svalbard – possibly the northernmost 'real' town in the world.

The Ocean Albatros is docked close to the town center. After embarking and enjoying a welcome drink, the Expedition Leader will provide information about the cruise, the ship's daily routines and the various security and safety procedures. Before sailing, there will be a mandatory safety drill. The Captain then sails out of Advent Fjord and your Arctic adventure commences.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Ny Alesund

Ny London

Krossfjorden

A trip along the northwestern coast of Svalbard is always worth with the wildlife, the scenery, and the history. As far back as the 1600s his part of Svalbard was a huge center for whaling, including "Blubber Town" - with the main target being the oil-rich bowhead whale, the Arctic's only full-time resident baleen whale species.

The "town" of New Ålesund is on the shore of King's Bay ("Kongsfjorden") and well worth a visit. With a summer population of 120 and a hardy winter population of about 35, this is the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the world. Originally the coal mining town of King's Bay, it played a key role in the history of arctic exploitation and exploration, especially flight.

Today it is at the center of Arctic and atmospheric research, and is one of the most northerly communities in the World. Don't miss the chance to send a postcard from the world's most northerly Post Office.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Smeerenburgfjorden

A trip along the northwestern coast of Svalbard is always worth with the wildlife, the scenery, and the history. As far back as the 1600s his part of Svalbard was a huge center for whaling, including "Blubber Town" - with the main target being the oil-rich bowhead whale, the Arctic's only full-time resident baleen whale species.

The "town" of New Ålesund is on the shore of King's Bay ("Kongsfjorden") and well worth a visit. With a summer population of 120 and a hardy winter population of about 35, this is the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the world. Originally the coal mining town of King's Bay, it played a key role in the history of arctic exploitation and exploration, especially flight.

Today it is at the center of Arctic and atmospheric research, and is one of the most northerly communities in the World. Don't miss the chance to send a postcard from the world's most northerly Post Office.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Magdalenefjorden

Woodfjorden

A trip along the northwestern coast of Svalbard is always worth with the wildlife, the scenery, and the history. As far back as the 1600s his part of Svalbard was a huge center for whaling, including "Blubber Town" - with the main target being the oil-rich bowhead whale, the Arctic's only full-time resident baleen whale species.

The "town" of New Ålesund is on the shore of King's Bay ("Kongsfjorden") and well worth a visit. With a summer population of 120 and a hardy winter population of about 35, this is the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the world. Originally the coal mining town of King's Bay, it played a key role in the history of arctic exploitation and exploration, especially flight.

Today it is at the center of Arctic and atmospheric research, and is one of the most northerly communities in the World. Don't miss the chance to send a postcard from the world's most northerly Post Office.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Exploring the pack ice

If you can venture this far north and east, you're very much in the high arctic. Closed to exploration for parts of the season due to the density of the pack ice, that often lingers here, the northern and north east areas of the Svalbard archipelago are some of the least visited.

Here the terrain gives way to the so-called "polar desert" - permanent ice caps cover much of the land, and where it does melt, very little vegetation grows on a landscape that has been hewn by ice over millions of years.

Despite the lack of cover, this part of Svalbard is well-worth exploring if you can, as there is plenty of remarkable wildlife. Arctic ducks and geese nest here, and some of the biggest concentrations of walrus in the arctic gather on the shores. Polar bears and ringed seals are also common sights, as are minke and beluga whales.

The group of islands known as Sjuøyane are the most northerly in Svalbard and always a good location for Polar Bears.

Later in the season ships often head up to the pack ice edge from the north coast of Spitsbergen.

English: The bizarre basalt rocks at the western coast of Hinlopen strait host approximately 120,000 Brünnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia) who come here in summer for breeding. Very often the rocks are covered in fog providing an eery atmosphere. The air is filled with a large flock of birds. The birds noise and the smell are overwhelming
Hinlopen Strait, Polartours
Hinlopen Strait, Polartours

Hinlopenstretet

Hinlopen Strait (or "Hinlopenstretet" in Norwegian) is a narrow channel between Spitsbergen and the Svalbard island of Nordaustlandet, often accessed via Freemansundet. At only 6 miles wide in places, the channel is often filled with pack ice and is impossible to navigate in the early parts of the season.

When ice at the north end of Hinlopenstretet still hinders the complete circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, longer Svalbard cruises will attempt to the explore the mid and southern section of the strait before heading back around the southern end of Spitsbergen. Many expedition leaders are keen to get into the strait that has tow of the highlights in the whole of Svalbard.

The ice cliff of Bråsvellbreen and the bird cliff at Alkefjellet. Both featured in the opening credits of the BBC Frozen Planet series. When it does clear, it opens up the possibility for cruise ships to circumnavigate Spitsbergen and the neighboring island of Nordaustlandet. This is uninhabited, and part of the Svalbard Nature reserve. Heavily glaciated, and with permanent ice cover in parts all year round, it's a beautiful landscape eroded by moving ice over millions of years.

The areas that do melt are classic arctic tundra and are home to roaming herds of reindeer. The shores of Nordaustlandet and north-east Spitsbergen are also used by walrus, and it's a highlight of trips here to observe them hauled out on the beaches.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Whale Watching

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard Peninsula, and the only one to have a permanent population.

The southwestern part of Spitsbergen benefits from facing the warmer waters that the Gulf Stream carries into this part of the Greenland Sea. This means that the shores and waters here remain ice-free for much of the year except the coldest winter months. The one area that tends to retain 'fast ice' the longest (sea ice attached to the land) happens to be the most southerly fjord, Hornsund.

As well as a warmer arctic climate than many other places on the same latitude, Spitsbergen benefits from long months of the arctic "midnight sun", when the sun doesn't set at all between the 20th of April and the 22nd of August.

The combination of long daylight hours and a warmer climate means that Spitsbergen is a haven for birdlife with the chance to sail into the heart of this part of the island surrounded by glaciers, offering stunning and rugged vistas, with some amazing geology. There is tendency to try for landings in Bellsund, and combine landings and ship cruising and Zodiac cruises in Hornsund, with some impressive glacial fronts.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Vårsolbukta

Whale Watching

Akseløya

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard Peninsula, and the only one to have a permanent population.

The southwestern part of Spitsbergen benefits from facing the warmer waters that the Gulf Stream carries into this part of the Greenland Sea. This means that the shores and waters here remain ice-free for much of the year except the coldest winter months. The one area that tends to retain 'fast ice' the longest (sea ice attached to the land) happens to be the most southerly fjord, Hornsund.

As well as a warmer arctic climate than many other places on the same latitude, Spitsbergen benefits from long months of the arctic "midnight sun", when the sun doesn't set at all between the 20th of April and the 22nd of August.

The combination of long daylight hours and a warmer climate means that Spitsbergen is a haven for birdlife with the chance to sail into the heart of this part of the island surrounded by glaciers, offering stunning and rugged vistas, with some amazing geology. There is tendency to try for landings in Bellsund, and combine landings and ship cruising and Zodiac cruises in Hornsund, with some impressive glacial fronts.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Poolepynten

Cruising Isfjorden

Isfjorden is the second-largest fjord in Svalbard at 66 miles long. An important anchorage and shelter from the earliest times of human habitation here, most of the largest settlements on Spitsbergen have grown up along its shore. The largest is Longyearbyen, that started as a mining town and is the transport hub for those flying in and out of Svalbard, and the Russian mining town of Barentsburg.

Another key attribute of this fjord is that it very rarely ices up, thanks to the warm current of the Gulf Stream that is able to enter the fjord from the west. This not only makes it attractive to human settlers, but also for the wildlife that can't feed under fast ice.

Zodiac trips over the calm waters are a highlight, exploring the glacier fronts, and landings to explore the tundra and the chance to visit some spectacular bird cliffs. Do bear in mind that many cruise ships spend less time in the fjord (often sailing out the first evening and doing landings and exploration of the are on the last full day).

Therefore, for those that spend some extra time in Longyearbyen, it is highly recommended to spend more time exploring the area around the town, and activities like dog sledging, and also to visit other parts of Isfjorden fjord system, from day tris to camping. If you did not visit it on the cruise (and quite a few chose not to), a real highlight is to visit to the eerie and disused Russian mining town of Pyramiden. It used to be the biggest settlement in Svalbard and it feels like it belongs in Siberia, having the most northerly bust of Lenin in the World!

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Disembark in Longyearbyen

Early in the morning the ship has returned to our starting point in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation will take place. Transfer is arranged to the airport.

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Charter flight Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo

10-day/9-night cruise with Ocean Albatros in a shared outside double stateroom with private bathroom/toilet in the category chosen

English-speaking expedition team

Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary

Near-port town walks with expedition team

Information briefings and lectures by expedition team

Full board on ship

Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship

Welcome and farewell cocktails

Taxes, tariffs and AECO fees

Special photo workshop

Welcome and farewell cocktails

Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!

What's not included

Hotel accommodation in Oslo.

Travel insurance.

Cancellation insurance.

Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary.

Single room supplement.

Meals not on board the ship.

Beverages (other than coffee and tea).

Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day).

Personal expenses.

Anything not mentioned under 'Price includes'.

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

Reviews

Polar Latitudes Antarctica

Kaustav M.

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic cruises

Premium

I reached out to Polartours while researching options for an expedition cruise to Antarctica. I was impressed with their prompt and attentive follow-up! Natalya scheduled a video call immediately and while on the call took the time to carefully listen to my family's requirements and constraints. She then came back as promised within two days with a host of options for our consideration. Her follow through was terrific with relevant added details as needed and, of course, gentle reminders on looming deadlines. If the entire Polartours team is like her, you can do a lot worse than reaching out to them to plan out a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Aurora Expeditions Greg Mortimer Antarctic Explorer

Elsa

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic cruises

Premium

Great holiday (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Svalbard Circumnavigation

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Price

Upon Request



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