Floating on the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole, you’ll find Svalbard – a Norwegian archipelago that belongs to polar bears more than people (after all, there are more of them there than us). Spitsbergen - Svalbard’s largest island and one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas - is a land full of mystery, once reserved for trappers and whale hunters, explorers and scientists
and laden with legends of the intrepid polar expeditions that led to its discovery. Enter this snowy outpost and you’ll leave civilisation as you know it behind. A white wilderness that’s crisp in its beauty, embark on an exhilarating dog sled or snowmobile guided tour from the island’s only settlement, Longyearbyen to see treeless tundras, powdery mountains and gargantuan glaciers aplenty on your Spitsbergen holidays. Bound to the sun and season, Spitsbergen offers front row seats to the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun during the summer months - where the sun doesn’t drop below the horizon, casting a perpetual orange glow across the land. Meanwhile, the so-called polar night sees the sun cast its final rays across the island from November to January, when the only light emitted comes from the stars and the Northern Lights. Populated by spectacular wildlife - including polar bears, reindeer, seals and whales - the opportunity for animal adventures are bountiful during your stay; head on out into the unknown and you’ll experience a serenity and sense of remoteness like nothing else, where the only sound you’ll hear is the crunch of snow underfoot.
Contact one of our Norway specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Just home from the most incredible trip to Northern Norway. We had it all from clear skies and bright sunshine to full snowstorms, and saw plenty of the northern lights.
Thank you again to The Voyageurs Collection for organising such an incredible experience for us.
What can you find in Spitsbergen that you won’t find elsewhere?
A wondrous triumph of nature where you’ll experience amazing wildlife and the truest sense of escapism, Spitsbergen is often referred to as the final frontier before the North Pole. Get in touch with your inner explorer as you embark on a polar expedition by boat, which will split water and ice for you to view bears, walruses and seals from the deck. Average summer temperatures in Spitsbergen are mild which enable you to get closer to the almost untouched nature more than ever with a day-long hike into the powdery snow, or a kayaking adventure to view the icy dreamscape from the water. While you’re in Spitsbergen, don’t miss the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vast storage space that holds a global treasure: a sample of each seed of life on earth – the guarantor of our biodiversity. You can’t go in, but such an important place is surely worth a pit-stop with a sneaky selfie at the building's front.
Who are Spitsbergen holidays best for?
Aficionados of polar odysseys and explorers - like the legendary French explorer Paul-Emile Victor - will be elated at the chance to walk in the footsteps of the many great figures who have ventured into this wintry wilderness. Spitsbergen suits anyone who wants to push the boundaries of modern adventure, those who don’t fear the cold or the odd polar bear. If you want to truly go against the crowd on your summer holiday, you’d be hard-pushed to find a more extreme place to do so than Spitsbergen.
Experiences in Spitsbergen
The most compelling way to discover Spitsbergen is on a polar cruise with daily landings so you can retrace the footsteps and experience the sights of the daredevil pioneers who once bravely conquered the region. This secluded corner of Norway belongs to Mother Nature, but invites those who dare to experience the thrill of a lifetime. Travel to the uninhabited island of Nordaustlandet, the second-largest in the Svalbard archipelago, and rediscover a childhood sense of wonder as you traverse the Arctic landscape and spot wildlife at every turn.
Special things to do in Spitsbergen
Forget the Maldives, real romance is found in absolute abundance in the remote, crisp Arctic wonderland of Spitsbergen, which would make a delightfully daring choice for a honeymoon. Spotting all manner of wildlife and standing in awe beneath the awesome icebergs and snow-drenched mountains in front of you, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled to the ends of the earth and back again with your partner – what better way to start married life?