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Norway & Spitsbergen - The Route of the Polar Pioneers with Viva Expeditions

12 days

Norway & Spitsbergen - The Route of the Polar Pioneers with Viva Expeditions

Your overall experience

Fly from Oslo then navigate this historic route from Longyearbyen to Tromsø, first pioneered in 1896! Explore Spitsbergen and be amazed at the vast wilderness of unspoilt nature, search for polar bear and other wildlife on Bjørnøya. Voyage to the North Cape, the northern-most point in Europe before visiting colourful Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic and historic Ølhallen, once the meeting point for all the hardy explorers.


  • Cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • One hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast and lunch
  • Free tea and coffee
  • All meals aboard
  • Economy flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
  • All transfers in Longyearbyen including an excursion before the voyage
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanying landings
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Scheduled landings & excursions


Day 1

Oslo - Longyearbyen

Before your flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, check out the urban pleasures of Norway´s capital. Your arrival in Longyearbyen reveals an entirely different world; a colourful town perched on the edge of the Arctic wilderness. Enjoy the museum and choose among several bars and restaurants.

Transfer to your hotel for overnight.

Day 2

Embarkation in Longyearbyen

After an overnight stay in one of our hotels, join after lunch an excursion to get to know Longyearbyen, a prime destination for adventure travellers around the world. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of this colourful frontier outpost before boarding your ship, MS Spitsbergen.

Day 3-7

North West Spitsbergen National Park

The North West Corner of Spitsbergen 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 to 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, now an international centre for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings.
In the Magdalenafjorden and Gravneset areas, you may have the chance to swim and earn a rare Arctic swimming certificate. There will be exciting landings and optional scenic kayaking opportunities.

Day 8-9


We 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, 1,431 m above sea level.

This area was popular with polar bear hunters until 1973. The old Hurtigruten steamer D/S Lyngen had scheduled stops here in past to serve trappers in the area. We hope to see a polar bear here too!

Day 10


This isolated island is said to host the largest concentration of sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as a strong population of polar bears. In the North of the island, Bjørnøya weather station provides vital data to scientists. The wind and weather conditions will decide what we can do today.

Day 11

Hornvika, Skarsvåg & Gjesvær

In the early morning, we sail past the North Cape, and offer the chance to enjoy a steep hike 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 on board again. Next, we sail past Gjesværstappan, a bird cliff which is home to one of the largest seabird colonies in Norway.

Day 12

Disembarkation in Tromsø

Your expedition cruise will end in colourful Tromsø, often referred to as the Gateway to the Arctic. In early days, the town was full outfitters, hunters and dreamers who left their loved ones here to seek their fortune in the far north, and much of that pioneer spirit remains.


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