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Ocean Albatros

Arctic Odyssey - From Norway To Svalbard

Sail to the polar bear's realm on this 8-day expedition cruise aboard the Ocean Albatros

Length

8 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Large Ship

Capacity

189 Passengers

Arctic Odyssey - From Norway To Svalbard

2 Reviews

Trip highlights

Reach 80 degrees north

Witness hundreds of thousands of birds

Zodiac cruise the stunning fjords

Keep watch for a polar bear sighting

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Expert guides & naturalists to answer questions

Learn fascinating polar history

Take home a digital voyage log

Embark on an exceptional journey from Norway's Arctic capital of Tromsø, and leave Europe behind as you sail to Svalbard, the realm of the polar bear!

This exciting voyage begins in the Captial of the Arctic, the Norwegian city of Tromsø. Bathed in the midnight sun throughout the brief Arctic summer, Tromsø is a vibrant metropolis in miniature, and has been the gateway to the Scandinavian Arctic for generations of explorers. Marvel at the city's stunning natural setting nestled deep in the calm fjords of Troms County, explore the city's bustling high street, lined with boutique shops, cozy cafes and historical gems, and explore the city's many monuments and landmarks such as the Arctic Cathedral and the Polar Museum.

From Tromsø, we will sail to Norway's northernmost point, where we will spend time searching for wildife at the islands of Gjesværstappan, and stand at the end of the European mainland at legendary Nordkapp. Leaving civilisation behind, we will venture even further north to Bjørnøya (Bear Island), a lonely isle between Svalbard and mainland Norway, home to some of the most spectacular bird colonies on Earth.

Our next stop will be the majestic islands of Svalbard, the kingdom of the polar bear. Experience jaw-dropping natural beauty, keep watch for charismatic Arctic wildlife, and discover the fascinating history of this incredible archipelago. Exploring on land, we will aim to experience the Arctic up close and personal, while our fleet of Zodiacs also allow us to explore on the water.

During the short summer, wildlife such as reindeer and polar foxes are busy amassing energy for the icy polar winter. The cliffs shimmer with life as every surface is populated with countless birds, and in a few months, a new generation of Arctic sea birds are ready to leave their nests. Arctic guillemots, black guillemots and razorbills can be observed fishing in our ship's wake. On the sandy shores, huge walruses enjoy the short Arctic summer, and many whales and seals forage along the edge of the pack ice and the coasts.

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

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

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

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

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Victory/Albatros Junior Suite
Category A - Junior 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

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

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

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

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

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

Balcony C albatros/victory
Category C - Balcony Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

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

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

5.0

(1)

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

Ocean Victory
Tromso
Tromso

Tromso

Arrive in Tromsø, the majestic 'Capital of the Arctic'. Situated deep in the maze of fjords for which Norway is famous, Tromsø sits on an island surrounded by steep mountains and plunging seas.

Known worldwide as Norway's Arctic capital, Tromsø is the largest city in the European Arctic with around 80,000 residents, and is the hub for transport, industry and tourism throughout the region. Visitors from all ober the world come to experience this vibrant city, as well as explore the stunning nature which surrounds it, or to simply bask in the midnight summer sun.

Ocean Albatros awaits in the calm waters of the city harbour, ready to take our guests on a spectacular journey, leaving Europe behind and heading into the wild north beyond. After the mandatory safety drill, relax on the outer decks sipping a carefully crafted cocktail as Ocean Albatros sets sail through the fjords of northern Norway.

Skarsvåg
Gjesvarstappan, Norway

Gjesvarstappan Islands

In the early morning of the first full day of our expedition, we will arrive at Gjesværstappan, a maze of rugged islands and skerries off the coast of the small village of Gjesvær. These islands were designated a nature reserve in 1983, and exploring on the nearby waters cleary shows why! These islands hold an incredible amount of life, with vast colonies of kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, puffins and gannets all nesting in the area - one of Norway's greatest natural wonders!

Ocean Albatros will reposition over lunchtime to the tiny village of Skarsvåg. Skarsvåg holds the distinction of being the most northerly fishing village in the world, and many residents work harvesting the rich chilly waters at the top of Scandinavia. From Skarsvåg, we will join an excursion to Nordkapp, the monument which marks the northernmost tip of mainland Norway and the European continent. This famed landmark beckons us to the next part of our journey, as we leave civilisation behind in the evening, and strike out towards the wild Arctic islands of Svalbard.

Bjørnøya

Situated in the middle of the Barents Sea between northern Norway and southern Svalbard lies Bjønøya, known in English as Bear Island. This rugged island marks the start of the High Arctic, as the peaks of the island loom on the horizon.

Small, isolated and rarely visited, Bear Island was once heavily exploited by whalers and sealers, who flocked to the island from across Europe to harvest oil-bearing marine mammals. Thankfully, the island and surrounding waters are now protected as a nature reserve, and the island is returning to natural abundance. Despite the name, polar bears are almost unknown here, but whales and seals are common in these rich waters, and the steep cliffs of the isalnd are home to literally millions of seabirds. Guillemots, razorbills, puffins and gannets all crowd for space on tiny rock ledges, while hungry gulls and skuas cruise overhead in a never-ending search for prey.

If conditions permit, we will aim to offer a Zodiac cruise with our expert expedition team to experience the incredible wildife of this remote island - a true bucket-list experience!

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

The southwest coast of Svalbard is washed by warmer water coming up through the Atlantic, so winter ice generally retreats first from this reagion. This allows us to enter the southern fjords of the area, even at the start of the summer - easily some of the most spectacular regions of this stunning archipelago. Throughout this maze of fjords and islands, birds cluster together on high cliffs and reindeer graze on the fertile slopes below, while icebergs drift by from the various large glaciers in the area. Tiny calico snow buntings flit between crags, while perfectly camouflaged purple sandpipers scamper along the shore. Look higher up on the vegetated slopes, and there - greyish white 'boulders' move and resolve themselves into sheep-sized reindeer: the unique subspecies native to Svalbard. A flash of bluish-black, and the screeches of nearby birds herald the arrival of the Arctic fox, the only native land predator on Svalbard (the polar bear being classified as a marine mammal).

The mountaintops are most often covered by dense clouds and the East-Spitsbergen current often leads pack ice into the mouths of the fjords. With a huge variety of landing sites to explore, this region is without doubt one of the most exciting and diverse regions of Svallbard! Options to explore in the area include the huge bird cliffs of Alkhjornet and Vårsolbukta, and the historical sites of Calypsobyen and Bambsebu, where prospectors, trappers and a range of other adventurers attempted to make their fortunes.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Raudfjorden

Magdalenefjorden

Smeerenburgfjorden

Woodfjorden

Kongsvegen and Kongsbreen

Krossfjorden

Fjortende Julibukta

Ny London

Ny Alesund

Fuglesongen

One of the largest protected wilderness areas in Europe, North West Svalbard was declared a national park in 1973. The area is famed for its history, which documents some of the earliest human arrivals on Svalbard. While Norse explorers may have sighted these icy shores during the Viking Age, the first definite arrival was the expedition of William Barents, the legendary Dutch explorer for whom the Barents Sea is named. While now protected from human distruption, when Barents arrived in 1596, he noted the vast numbers of whales and seals which were soon prey to English and Dutch whalers, who arrived within a decade of Barents to pillage the area's wildlife. The area occupies the triple point between land, sea and ice, and as such was the perfect location from which to harvest the gentle giants of the oceans. Sites used to dismember whale carcasses and render them for their precious oil include the Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg, where the remains of 16th Century blubber ovens and building foundations can still be seen. Other sites such as nearby Ytre Norskøya record the darker side of this industrialised slaughter, where hundreds of young men who hoped to make their fortunes are buried thousands of miles from home.

Today, all that remains from this period of history are bones and the scant remnants of human habitation. Slowly reclaimed by creeping Arctic nature, the region is now a nature lovers paradise. Tiny Arctic poppies and purple saxifrage defy the brutal conditions to flower in the brief summer, while geese, eider ducks and other seabirds return to the island to raise their young. Walrus can be found hauled out on beaches, and we must always be on careful lookout for wandering polar bears in this now again wild region.

A haven of wildlife, fascinating history and jaw-dropping scenery, northwest Svalbard is surely one of the most spectacular areas of the Arctic, if not 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.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

30

May

2025

6

Jun

2025

- 30% Discount

Available

From

EUR 4,623

EUR 6,605

30

May

2025

6

Jun

2025

30% Discount

Available

From

EUR 4,623

EUR 6,605

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

8-day/7-night cruise in a shared outside/inside double stateroom with private bathroom/toilet in the category chosen

English-speaking expedition team

Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary

Guided walk in Ny Ålesund

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

client

Genesis Alberto Guerrero Martinez

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic cruises

Premium

June 2024

From start to finish, their organization was impeccable, ensuring every moment aboard our sturdy ship, with its exceptional hotel team, was filled with excitement and wonder. My favorite moment was witnessing polar bears and walruses against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes. I have to highlight, the expedition team's deep insights into the region's history and culture enriched our journey profoundly. Their passion for adventure, respect for wildlife, and commitment to climate awareness made the experience unforgettable. I can't wait to embark on another adventure with them. Highly recommended for anyone craving an enriching Arctic experience aboard a ship that felt like home.

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
Arctic Odyssey - From Norway To Svalbard

5.0

(2)

Premium

From

EUR 4,623



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