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QuarkExpeditions_Spitsbergen Highlights

Spitsbergen: Realm of the Ice Bear

See polar bears on this unforgettable expedition cruise aboard the Greg Mortimer

Length

8 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

126 Passengers

Spitsbergen: Realm of the Ice Bear

20 Reviews

Trip highlights

See a polar bear!

Visit spectacular glaciers and icebergs

Stop at the Seven Islands

Photograph magnificient Arctic seabirds

The Polartours experience

Witness iconic Arctic wildlife

Hike on the snow

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Polar experts to answer all your questions

Take part in a unique Arctic experience that few people get to experience in their lifetime, as we venture through the various islands of Spitsbergen. The Arctic will enchant you with its breathtaking scenery, snowy peaks and towering icebergs. Climb a sparkling glacier and enjoy a trip on your Zodiac to photograph the most beautiful polar wildlife. Search for polar bears and make the most of your cruise experience with a wide range of activities available on your Zodiac.

Your ship: Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer deck plan

Welcome aboard the Greg Mortimer, a cruise ship built for expeditions to the most remote places on earth. The first passenger cruise ship to feature the revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW®, allowing the ship to cross polar oceans more comfortably and efficiently. A Greg Mortimer polar cruise is designed for rugged remote areas. The ship accommodates roughly 126 passengers per voyage, and with an expansive observation deck, the ship brings you closer to the incredible secluded environment the Arctic and Antarctic have to offer. With unsurpassed environmental credentials and a perfect base camp for far … Read more about Greg Mortimer

Cabins

Captain’s Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony Stateroom Cat. A

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Balcony Stateroom Cat. B

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Balcony Stateroom Cat. C

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Aurora Stateroom Triple

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

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Aurora Stateroom Twin

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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.

Fjords of Norway
Oslo
Oslo

Having made your way to Oslo, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.

The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodation: The Clarion Hotel Oslo (or similar)

Greg Mortimer
Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for our charter flight to Longyearbyen for embarkation. Any valuables or personal items should be kept on you throughout the day. In Longyearbyen, explore the town on a guided excursion tour.

On the drive to Camp Barentz, located in Advent Valley, your guide will give you an introduction to Longyearbyen’s fascinating history. Once at Camp Barentz we enjoy a presentation in the large ‘lavvo’ - a traditional building common in northern Norway. You will also have the opportunity to meet the friendly huskies and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the Svalbard Museum is included back in town before embarking the vessel in the late afternoon.

After the tour, you will be transferred directly to the pier to embark in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.

Note: the excursion is contingent on the arrival time of our charter flight to Longyearbyen.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Ny Alesund

Cruising Isfjorden

Nordfjorden

Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier.

In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. If you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

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

North coast - Nordaustlandet

Kvitøya

Storøya

Sjuøyane

Lågøya

When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th-century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

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

Torrelneset

Austfonna and Bråsvellbreen

Alkefjellet

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

Whale Watching

Hornsund

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

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

During the early morning we cruise back into Longyearbyen. Farewell your Expedition Team upon disembarkation and enjoy some free time before transferring to the airport for your return charter flight to Oslo to continue your journey.

Note: the arrival time in Oslo is contingent on the approved allocated flight slot of our charter flight to Longyearbyen, which we expect to receive in February 2025.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

16

Jun

2025

23

Jun

2025

- Complimentary Kayaking

Available

From

USD 9,836

USD 11,803

16

Jun

2025

23

Jun

2025

Complimentary Kayaking

Available

From

USD 9,836

USD 11,803

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

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

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary

All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.

All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.

Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.

Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.

Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.

AECO fees and governmental taxes.

Comprehensive pre-departure material.

What's not included

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights

Pre- and post- land arrangements.

Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.

Passport and visa expenses.

Government arrival and departure taxes.

Meals ashore.

Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).

Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.

The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Credit Card charges may apply

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

Reviews

Rashidah A

Greg Mortimer Antarctica and Arctic Cruises

Premium

Es war in der Tat eine ausgezeichnete Reise und sehr gut organisiert. Von dem Moment an, als Frau Natalya Getman mit mir Kontakt aufnahm, bis ich das Schiff für die Kreuzfahrt verließ, hatte ich das Gefühl, dass ein 5-Sterne-Service für mich bereitgestellt wurde. Sie half mir bei allen Formalitäten und beantwortete alle meine Fragen; freundlich und professionell. Die Ocean Explorer ist ein Reiseziel ganz für sich allein. Das unglaubliche Abenteuer zum Nordpol auf einem erstaunlich starken Eisbrecher war natürlich ein einmaliges Erlebnis. Zu sehen, wie das Schiff durch das Eis schneidet, war wirklich erstaunlich. Der Anblick von 8 schönen Eisbären, mehreren Gruppen von Walrossen und Tausenden von Trottellummen auf der Expedition war einfach fantastisch. Bei verschiedenen Zodiacfahrten konnte ich auch die wunderschönen Eisberge und das Kalben der Gletscher beobachten, eine Erfahrung fürs Leben. Natürlich war das Personal außergewöhnlich und wertschöpfend, kenntnisreich und hilfsbereit. Es war wirklich eine atemberaubende Reise und absolut empfehlenswert.

Rashidah A

Greg Mortimer Antarctica and Arctic Cruises

Premium

Ce fut un excellent voyage, très bien organisé. Depuis le moment où Mme Natalya Getman m'a contacté jusqu'à ce que je quitte le navire pour la croisière, j'ai eu l'impression qu'un service 5 étoiles m'avait été fourni. Elle m'a aidée pour toutes les formalités administratives et a répondu à toutes mes questions ; elle était amicale et professionnelle. L'Ocean Explorer est une destination à part entière. L'incroyable aventure jusqu'au pôle Nord à bord d'un brise-glace incroyablement puissant a bien sûr été une expérience unique. Regarder le navire se frayer un chemin à travers la glace était vraiment stupéfiant. L'observation de 8 adorables ours polaires, de plusieurs groupes de morses et de milliers de guillemots au cours de l'expédition était tout simplement impressionnante. Les diverses explorations en zodiac m'ont également permis d'assister au vêlage de magnifiques icebergs et glaciers. Bien entendu, le personnel a été exceptionnel et a apporté une valeur ajoutée ; il était bien informé et serviable. C'était vraiment un voyage époustouflant et je le recommande vivement.

Rashidah A

Greg Mortimer Antarctica and Arctic Cruises

Premium

It was an excellent trip indeed and very well organized. From the moment Ms Natalya Getman contacted me until I left the ship for the cruise, I felt a 5-star service had been provided for me. She helped me with all the paperwork and answered all my queries; friendly and professional. The Ocean Explorer is a destination all on its own. The incredible adventure to the North Pole on an amazingly powerful icebreaker was of course a once in a lifetime experience. Watching the ship cutting through the ice was truly amazing. Witnessing 8 lovely polar bears, several groups of walruses, and thousands of guillemots on the expedition were just awesome. Various zodiac explorations also provided me with a lifetime experience of witnessing the beautiful icebergs and glaciers' calving. Of course, the staff was exceptional and value-added; knowledgeable, and helpful. It was truly a stunning trip and fully recommended.

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
Spitsbergen: Realm of the Ice Bear

5.0

(20)

Premium

From

USD 9,836



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