- Flights: return flights from London to Longyearbyen (flight routes subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers and transfers to and from activities
- Accommodation: 6 nights at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel
- Meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
- The following activities are included in the holiday: Longyearbyen sightseeing, Arctic Wilderness Evening, Esmark Glacier and Barentsburg boat trip, dogsledding on wheels, Nordenskiöld Glacier and Pyramiden boat trip (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
Largest of the islands in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Spitsbergen is a wonderfully scenic destination for an Arctic summer holiday, shedding its winter coat for pleasantly cool temperatures and glorious Midnight Sun.
This six-night holiday transports you to the town of Longyearbyen, tucked away in its own bay next to the sublime Isfjorden. There will be two one-day trips by boat over its tranquil waters. The first goes to the staggering Esmark Glacier before stopping at the Russian town of Barentsburg and continuing past the cliffs of Fuglefjella, which are lined with seabird nests. The second heads to Nordenskiöld Glacier and the ghost town of Pyramiden, where Soviet buildings stand in silence.
It will be possible to take in the Isfjorden from the coast when participating in a fantastic session of dog sledding on wheels. Abandoning winter snow sleds for specially designed wagons, you can sit back and look at the water as you speed by on land.
Our itinerary also features a guided tour of the surrounding Longyear Valley, which is vast and largely untouched. You will also look around the peninsula of Hotellneset and visit the amazing Global Seed Vault. This is an intriguing facility built inside a mountain to store samples of the world’s crop seeds as a safety reserve in the face of war and natural disasters.
On top of this, there will be an Arctic Wilderness Evening at a Camp Barentz, located several miles out of town. Get a taste of local hospitality inside a traditional cabin building – appropriately named ‘Gammen’, or ‘Enjoyment’ – and tuck into a dish of reindeer by firelight.Read more
We have included a free day in the itinerary for you to explore Longyearbyen at your own pace. It is possible to book the ‘Experience a miner’s life’ activity, which will give you an authentic look into the island’s mining history with a visit to the Gruve 3 shaft. Wearing proper miner’s clothes, you will be guided through, looking at equipment that still remains underground and learning about the past.
© Frank Andreassen, Marcela Cardenas, Jarle Roessland, Roy Mangersnes/wildphoto.no, Visit Svalbard, www.nordnorge.com, Jens Henrik Nybo & Visitnorway.com, Spitsbergen Travel & Hanne Feyling, Douglas Bardwell (client)
Arrival and Welcome
Having touched down at Svalbard Airport, you will be collected and transferred to Spitsbergen Hotel, which is only ten minutes away. After unpacking and getting comfortable in your cosy room, you might like to try the on-site Funktionærmessen Restaurant for dinner, which offers a lovely view of the town. It is an elegant place to eat with a menu that combines French-style cooking and local ingredients.Included Meals: None
Longyearbyen Sightseeing and Arctic Wilderness Evening
After breakfast, you will get a two-hour introduction to Longyearbyen on an expert-led sightseeing tour. After being picked up from Spitsbergen Hotel, you can look forward to a drive through the open and unspoilt Longyear Valley. Here, in the summer months, you can see a host of birds which have returned from their winter migration.
As you head along, your guide will point out the fascinating coal mines of Adventalen. You will then explore the Hotellneset Peninsula and the area around the airport – look out across the Isfjorden and admire its calm waters.
A visit will then be made to the Global Seed Vault. Built inside a mountain like some sort of futuristic fortress, it is the world’s largest facility for storing seeds of every kind of crop imaginable (there is space for some 4.5 million different types of seed). This provides an essential back-up in the face of wars, natural disasters, and plant extinction. The Vault’s official website describes it as the ‘ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply’.
Throughout the tour, your guide will inform you about the flora, fauna, and other highlights of each location. There will also be plenty of stops for taking photos.
The day will close with an Arctic Wilderness Evening at Camp Barentz, situated in the Advent Valley, around six or seven miles from Longyearbyen. Trade the lights of the town for a roaring fire in a traditional cabin-like building which has been affectionately titled ‘Gammen’ – appropriately, this translates as ‘Enjoyment’. Tuck into a delicious reindeer dinner followed by cake while your hosts tell tales about Spitsbergen and its famous polar bears. While you will be based indoors, you may wish to go outside to catch a glimpse of the Midnight Sun. We recommend, therefore, keeping extra warm layers to hand as outside temperatures can still be a little on the cool side during the summer.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Esmark Glacier and Barentsburg Boat Trip
Following breakfast, you will embark on a day-long boat trip featuring natural sights and local culture. Leaving Longyearbyen, the boat will travel across the grand Isfjorden – keep an eye out for sea birds winging their way through the air, and take in the refreshing fjord breeze. Stopping before the incredible Esmark Glacier – an immense wall of ice – you can tuck into a tasty on-board lunch.
The boat will then travel south to Barentsburg. The main section of this Russian mining town can be reached by walking up around 200 steps. These are very accessible, with full railings and easy inclines. If you don’t wish to take the stairs, the guides can arrange a bus which can be paid for locally.
At the top, you will be shown the town’s sports centre, hotel, and school – inspiring signs of how people have made a living in this part of the world. There will also be time to go shopping for some souvenirs before returning to the boat. Your journey back to Longyearbyen will take you past the pleasant bay of Colesbukta. You will also pass the cliffs of Fuglefjella, which are rich in bird-life.
The boat has a kiosk with drinks, waffles, and other snacks on offer. The crew will be there to help you and answer any questions you may have about the trip. On arriving back in Longyearbyen, you may wish to explore the local restaurants for dinner options, or to eat at the Funktionærmessen Restaurant.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Today is a free day, including breakfast at the hotel. You might like to stroll around Longyearbyen or head to the harbour for a walk along the coast. Alternatively, you might prefer treating yourself to a spa and sauna session in the hotel.
You can also book an activity which will take you into Longyearbyen’s past as a mining town. Experience the life of a miner with a trip to the Gruve 3 shaft, where light from head-torches will reveal old equipment left just as it was back in the day, waiting for a shift to begin. See the ‘Personalise’ tab for more details.
Have fun trying out the local cuisine in town and be sure to look out for the Midnight Sun as the day comes to an end.Included Meals: Breakfast
Dogsledding on Wheels
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before the day’s high-speed activity: dog sledding on wheels. Our winter trips would have you driving a normal sled over the snow. This activity features sleds which have been specially adapted with wheels to make wagons for fast-paced summer rides.
You will be taken to meet the dogs at a centre close to the town. Choosing the pack to carry you along, you will then be transferred to the starting point at Taubanesentralen, the central cableway station in Longyearbyen. There will be a driver to control the fourteen dogs pulling the wagon, so you can sit back as the journey unfolds. Passing structures from the town’s industrial history, you will also catch beautiful vistas of the fjords and mountains nearby. The route will go along the coast to the pristine area of Vestpynten and back. It is worth keeping some extra layers in case you get chilly.Included Meals: Breakfast
Nordenskiöld Glacier and Pyramiden Boat Trip
After breakfast comes the second day-long boat trip on this holiday, which is just as enchanting as the first. You will travel north into Billefjord, making your way to the magnificent Nordenskiöld Glacier. Stopping here, you will be served a mouth-watering lunch on board.
A trip to the ghost town of Pyramiden will follow. Wander around buildings left intact from the Soviet Era and purchase souvenirs from Hotel Tulipan. You will feel like you have travelled back in time.
During the cruise, your guide will explain the natural history and cultural heritage of the areas being visited. Once again, there will be a kiosk with waffles, drinks, and other snacks. It will also be possible to hire binoculars from here.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Eat your last Longyearbyen breakfast before being transferred to the airport for your journey home, taking back memories of the splendour and soothing silence of Spitsbergen Island. You might like to extend your holiday by staying in the city of Tromsø or Oslo in mainland Norway.
Please see the ‘Personalise’ tab for more information and speak to one of our Travel Experts.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Experience a miner's life
Add this activity to your itinerary for a subterranean contrast to the outdoor Spitsbergen environment, taking you into the island’s mining past.
A guide in a bus will collect you from your hotel, just as miners were picked up from stops many years ago. Reaching the Gruve 3 shaft, you will don typical working clothes and a helmet before stamping yourself in for a shift. You will then be led through part of the mine by your guide, where equipment can still be seen in position, illuminated by the light of your head-torches.Read more
Hear stories about the people who worked here and admire their endurance and dedication. On finishing the mine tour, you will sign out and return to your normal clothes, going back to the world on the surface. It is worth wearing warm clothes for the visit.
Availability: Every day, all year
Duration: 3 hours
Start times: 09:00 or 15:00
Price: £65 per person
Extend your stay in Oslo
Svalbard is part of Norway, so why not add a few nights in the capital to your holiday? Oslo is a splendid city sat at the top of its very own fjord. Here, you can lose yourself in Norway’s Viking past when visiting the Viking Ship Museum, or pick a more modern maritime experience and head to the Kon-Tiki Museum, dedicated to Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his Atlantic expedition in a native-style craft.Read more about this activity
You might like to learn about Norway’s monarchy and take a guided tour around the Royal Palace. You might also like to look around the many world-class art galleries which can be found here. What’s more, you can get a dose of present-day culture in the wide selection of bars and cafés that can be found in this city.
Contact one of our helpful Travel Experts to arrange the best Oslo extension for you.
Extend your stay in Tromsø
Staying in the Norwegian city of Tromsø adds a nice urban contrast to your Svalbard stay. Popularly referred to as the ‘Capital of the Arctic’, Tromsø offers excellent nightlife and a tempting food scene, as well as beautiful fjord scenery and lovely architecture.Read more about this activity
There is much that you can get up to here – we highly recommend the cable car and Polar Museum. Another attraction which is especially worth visiting is the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, which is the world’s most northerly botanical garden.
Two nights or more on either side of your holiday can certainly be arranged – please speak to one of our Travel Experts for further advice.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-reservation by paying only £50pp. The provisional departure dates, prices and itineraries remain subject to change. We will contact you when the final dates, prices and itineraries are confirmed and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. Should you wish to proceed then a further deposit (typically of £250pp) will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation.
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Please note: Our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 people
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Artisan holiday is typically 8 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
Medical history and advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our Travel Experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
Experience and fitness
Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition are provided for all activities and you do not need to have any previous experience. For example, you need never have set foot on a pair of skis of any kind before a cross-country ski tour. We have adults of all ages and fitness levels taking part in our holidays.
We do highlight certain itineraries where an increased level of fitness is required. If you have any questions at all with regards to fitness levels please get in touch and talk to one of our experts. You can find further details in our trip preparation section online. You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.
Guides and safety
It is essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided. Nobody knows the environment better than our activity providers who work here almost every day.
Consequently, their knowledge and experience are unsurpassed. If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides, please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.
There may be rare occasions when our guides consider local conditions unsuitable for a certain activity. Hence, your itinerary may be subject to change at short notice, but we will always endeavour to firstly find a replacement on the day and secondly, to provide the cancelled activity later in your stay whenever possible. Very occasionally it proves impossible to provide the activity in which case you will be refunded when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
You must inform us of any medical conditions that may affect your participation in an activity at the time of booking.
Booking activities locally and equipment hire
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
Travel Safety and Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/ The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.