Highlights of Spitsbergen and Norway's North Cape
The Historic Sportsman´s Route
Hurtigruten´s history of Svalbard expedition cruises dates back to 1896. On this voyage we follow what became known as “The Sportsman’s Route” over a century ago to explore the scenery and wildlife of Svalbard.
Vast, Pristine Natural Beauty
We sail the northwestern coast of Spitsbergen, a vast wilderness of unspoiled nature and amazing Svalbard geology. Turning south, we encounter Bellsund, site of English whaling in the 18th century, and mountainous Hornsund.
The Island of Bears and the North Cape
Bjørnøya, isolated in the middle of the Barents Sea, is waiting for us next. Scan for birds and polar bears here. Next, we get our first view of the North Cape plateau on the Norwegian mainland and the northernmost point in Europe. Once we reach the cape, you can choose to walk the steep path up to the North Cape monument, or relax and let a comfortable bus do the work!
Gateway to the Arctic
The voyage ends in Tromsø, Gateway to the Arctic. Visit the historic Ølhallen, once the meeting point for all the hardy explorers and trappers who returned after a winter hunting polar bears on Svalbard.
- Sail Hurtigruten´s historic pioneering route from 1896
- Watch for polar bears and wildlife on Bjørnøya
- Hike to the North Cape like the early explorers
- Explore lovely and historic Tromsø
- Hurtigruten expedition cruise in the cabin grade of your choice
- Coach-class flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
- One hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast and lunch
- All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the voyage
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR AN ADVENTURE
- A rich program of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the expedition team
- Professional English-speaking expedition team - an international, handpicked team of highly educated experts in various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in
- Complimentary wind and water-resistant jacket
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities
ENGAGING ONBOARD ACTIVITIES AND EDUCATION
- In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience
- Explorer Science program, with educational and Citizen Science activities that inform you about the sights you’ll see, while contributing to research
- Introductory photo lecture, including camera adjustments and tips and tricks
- Photos and film/video footage from the voyage shared in the Expedition Logbook
- Casual opportunities to engage with the expedition team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
- Opportunities to dine and interact with the expedition team and officers
- Destination-focused onboard library
- Port presentations providing destination insight
- A farewell event
PREMIUM ONBOARD COMFORT
- All meals including beverages (beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all ship restaurants)
- Coffee and tea included throughout the day
- Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Gym, outdoor hot tubs and sauna with windows
- Free Wi-fi on board for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- No gratuities expected
- International flights
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group adventures with our expedition team such as kayaking (availability pending weather conditions and safety)
- Travel protection plan
- Luggage handling
- All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
From 59º N to 78º N - Oslo / Longyearbyen - Flight & Overnight - Hotel
Before your flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, check out the urban amenities of Norway´s capital. Your arrival in Longyearbyen reveals an entirely different world, a colorful small town perched on the edge of Arctic wilderness. Enjoy the museum and choose among several bars and restaurants. Transfer to your hotel and overnight.
The Norwegian Stronghold in the High Arctic - Longyearbyen - Embarkation
After an overnight stay in one of our hotels, join a post-lunch excursion to get to know Longyearbyen, a prime destination for adventure travelers worldwide. Enjoy the singular atmosphere of this colorful frontier outpost before boarding your ship, MS Spitsbergen.
Exploring Amazing Fjords with Fascinating History - North West Spitsbergen National Park
Spitsbergen’s northwest corner is scattered with islands, fjords and beaches. Pioneering explorers and hardy whalers were the first to set foot here. Today, we respect the power of nature and work with the elements to ensure a safe and exciting itinerary.
We hope to land and see whaling settlements, or visit Kongsfjorden, considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea. The former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund is another possible destination. It is now an international research center with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings.
In the Magdalenafjorden and Gravneset areas, you may get the chance to bathe in the sea and earn a rare Arctic swimming certificate. There will also be exciting landings and optional scenic kayaking opportunities.
Heading South - Bellsund & South Spitsbergen National Park
We now head south to the Bellsund area, followed by Hornsund with its wonderful varied landscape and geology. On a clear day, we might even see the amazing Hornsundtind, 4,700 ft above sea level. This area was popular with polar bear hunters until 1973. We hope to see a polar bear here too!
Sea Bird and Bear Island - Bjørnøya
This isolated island is said to host the largest concentration of sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as polar bears. In the north part of the island is Bjørnøya weather station, which provides vital data to scientists worldwide. The wind and weather conditions will determine what we can do today.
North Cape and Bird Cliff - Hornvika, Skarsvåg & Gjesvær
In the early morning, we sail past the North Cape. Here we offer you the chance to make the steep hike up to the cape starting in Hornvika, or to visit the cape by bus from Skarsvåg. The ship will continue to Gjesvær, where the excursion participants will come back onboard. Next, we sail past Gjesværstappan, a bird cliff which is home to one of the largest seabird colonies in Norway.
North Cape (3 hrs 30)
Cross the 71st parallel and enjoy magnificent landscapes on a trip to North Cape, one of the most northernmost points in Europe. North Cape cliff rises 307 meters above the Arctic Ocean. See an impressive 180° panoramic film about the region in North Cape Hall, where you can also visit a souvenir shop, small chapel and a Thai Museum.
Day 12 - Tromsø
Your expedition cruise will end in colorful Tromsø, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Arctic.” In the early days, the town was full outfitters, hunters and dreamers who left their loved ones behind to seek their fortune in the far north, and much of that pioneer spirit remains.