Svalbard Cruise in Arctic Spring, 2023

with Snowshoeing

Spitzbergen Cape Race

Arctic spring is a special time in Spitsbergen. The months of darkness of the Arctic winter have ended and the sun shines again on tundras and glaciers.

The Nordic landscape is still largely snow-covered at this time and the side bays of the fjords are often still covered in ice. The further north a journey takes you along the west coast of Spitsbergen, the more likely you are to encounter sea ice. Larger and smaller ice floes form a bizarre and ever-changing ice landscape – roamed by polar bears in search of their prey, the great bearded and ringed seals.

In the Arctic Spring, we offer three Spitsbergen Nature Cruises with the expedition ship „Cape Race“ from mid-May to early June 2022, where snowshoeing is offered and you can experience the magical combination of light and ice.

The focus of these journeys is to experience the wildlife and the Nordic primeval landscapes of Spitsbergen. In search of polar bears, walruses and whales, we explore the great fjords of West Spitsbergen – all the way up to the high north, where the pack ice will probably dictate our route.

Experience Spitsbergen actively:
The special feature of these programmes is the exploration of the landscape with the help of snowshoes. Moving around on frozen and snow-covered surfaces is much easier with snowshoes than hiking in midsummer (where muddy ground often makes hiking difficult and limits the range of excursions). The lightweight snowshoes prevent sinking into the snow. Hiking with snowshoes is simple and easy to learn – and allows you to choose destinations that would be inaccessible in summer.

Travel time and expedition ship offer these special opportunities:

  • At travel time in the Arctic spring, the sun shines for 24 hours – the long period without any darkness has already begun.
  • The tundras are still covered in snow and the ground is frozen. Hikes with snowshoes lead through a snow and ice landscape bathed in glistening light.
  • The Spitsbergen cruise with snowshoeing is an ideal programme for nature lovers who want to actively experience the beautiful light and snow conditions in the Arctic spring.
  • A maximum of 12 guests can take part in the nature cruises with the expedition ship „Cape Race“. This small group is supervised by 2 experienced expedition leaders – guaranteeing maximum use of time and flexibility.
  • The stylish and comfortable furnishings of the „Cape Race“ make the Spitsbergen Cruise with Snowshoeing programme an unforgettable experience.
  • For our Zodiac excursions and also for longer stays on deck when it is cold, we provide full body suits, so-called flotation suits, for all travellers.

A programme for travellers with an interest in activity and the desire to penetrate far into the arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen on snowshoe hikes – and high demands on the style and comfort of the expedition ship.

Day 1: Arrival in Oslo
You fly from your home airport in Germany, Switzerland or Austria to Oslo. Once here, you will spend the first night at the Hotel Radisson SAS Oslo Airport.

Day 2: Onward flight to Longyearbyen | Start of the cruise
In the morning, you will fly on to Longyearbyen, the starting port of our North Spitsbergen cruise with the “Cape Race” and the administrative centre of Spitsbergen. Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to explore the interesting little settlement (and for example the Svalbard Museum) before embarkation. If you approach the outskirts of the town, signs will inform you that polar bears are to be expected everywhere and at all times in Spitsbergen (outside the town of Longyearbyen).

In the afternoon, the itinerary begins with the “Cape Race”.
After greeting the crew, captain and fellow passengers and checking into your cabin, the “Cape Race” sets sail and we cross the Adventfjord and enter the large Isfjord.

Days 3 – 7: Nature cruise in the Spitsbergen Archipelago
Depending on the ice and weather conditions, we will land at many attractive destinations on the following days and undertake hikes with the snowshoes provided on board.
Here are some of the possible destinations we could visit during this trip:

Isfjorden (Alkhornet)
A first landing could be at Alkhornet, where we hike to a bird cliff. If we are lucky, we may see arctic foxes searching the slopes below the bird rock for eggs. Reindeer also graze here frequently.

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden
We head north along the west coast of Spitsbergen and plan to call at the large sea bays of Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. Here, the late-winter landscape with spectacular snow-covered peaks is particularly impressive. In the extensive fjord landscape there are a variety of opportunities for hiking with our snowshoes.
Depending on prevailing conditions, we plan to visit places of historical interest such as Ny London (with the remains of marble mining in the early 20th century) and the world’s northernmost town, Ny Ålesund. Here you will find research stations with scientists from all over the world, as well as the famous anchor mast of the dirigible airship Norge, with which Amundsen, Nobile and Ellsworth succeeded in the first flight over the North Pole to Nome (Alaska) in 1926.
Krossfjorden offers spectacular views of surrounding glaciers and mountain peaks.

Magdalenen Fjord and Dansköya
The current ice conditions are crucial for our planned onward journey north. We hope to enter the beautiful Magdalenen Fjord and land on the island of Dansköya. Most likely we will encounter sea ice in these waters. This may hinder our onward journey – but the drifting ice masses with their bizarre shapes and colours are really impressive. We keep a lookout for walruses and polar bears roaming this icy landscape.

Prins Karls Forlanded and St. Johnsfjord
Our journey now takes us south between the main island of West Spitsbergen and the island of Prins Karls Forlanded. Here we can encounter walruses in Poolepynten, a popular resting place for the large seals. St. Johnsfjorden is also worth a detour – here there is a fantastic view of the Gaffelbreen glacier. Bearded seals and ringed seals are common in these waters.

We re-enter the large Isfjorden and can go snowshoeing in Ymerbukta if conditions are good. Bohemanflya is a vast tundra area with spectacular geological formations along the coast. Northeast of Ekmanfjorden and the dramatic Mount Colosseum is another attractive excursion destination. Typical for this area are numerous glaciers that end here close to or in the sea.
Furthermore, a hike at Gipsvika deep in the inner Isfjorden is a good idea. Here it is worth landing near the majestic cliff of Templet. It is a breathtaking area with spectacular mountains of sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period some 290 million years ago.

Day 8: Isfjord | Longyearbyen
On the morning of the last day of our cruise we plan further landings in the large Isfjorden (ice fjord). In the late evening, the “Cape Race” will enter the harbour of Longyearbyen, where we will spend the last night moored at the quay.

Day 9: Disembarkation in Longyearbyen | Return journey to Oslo
In the morning we say goodbye to our fellow passengers and the crew of the “Cape Race”.
Depending on the time of your return flight, there may be some time left for Longyearbyen before you start your return journey to Oslo from Svalbard Airport. Here you will again have a room reserved for you at the Radisson SAS Airport Hotel.

Day 10: Onward flight from Oslo to your home airport.
In the morning, onward flight from Oslo to your home airport in Germany, Switzerland or Austria, where your Spitsbergen itinerary ends upon arrival.

Polar Ship Voyages Plus:
We are happy to offer you an individual arrival and return programme for this cruise – and additional services (overnight stays) in Longyearbyen and / or Oslo on request.

Important note on the itinerary
Our exact itinerary depends on ice conditions, current weather conditions and where the wildlife will be staying. Therefore, the destinations mentioned are only examples of some of the many possible sights this trip has to offer. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

DATES 2023
Time on board:
8 days / 7 nights
Triple cabin shower/WC Double cabin
double bed
Double cabin
twin bed
Single cabin
18.5.2023 – 27.5.2023
(MARE 06-23)
booked up booked up € 7.195,- € 8.195,-
25.5.2023 – 3.6.2023
(MARE 07-23)
booked up € 7.195,- booked up € 8.195,-
1.6.2023 – 10.6.2023
(MARE 08-23)
€ 6.979,- booked up € 7.195,- € 8.195,-

Services included in the travel price

  • Nature cruise on board the „Cape Race“ (8 days / 7 nights), as described
  • One night in a good middle class hotel in Tromsø (Radisson Blu or similar) before the nature cruise, including breakfast
  • Full board on board incl. soft drinks
  • Flights from / to Germany, Switzerland or Austria in economy class to Tromsø and back
  • All shore excursions and trips during the cruise
  • German speaking tour guide on board
  • Corona- additional protection: travel interruption insurance (comprehensive insurance coverage including epidemic / pandemic), travel health insurance (incl. repatriation) and travel assistance (for security, mobility, money and authorities, home and family)

Services not included in the price of the cruise

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Any costs for medical tests (for example COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a government agency or by the operator before, during or after the trip.

All scheduled landings are subject to local weather and ice conditions. The itinerary and program are expressly subject to change.
Completion of various questionnaires is mandatory.

Mobility information
We are obliged to point out that this trip is generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us in individual cases.

Inquire now
Spitzbergen Cape Race
  • German-speaking guided nature cruise
  • Travel time: May / June 2023
  • Embarkation: Longyearbyen
  • Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
  • Duration of stay on board: 7 nights
  • Maximum number of participants: 12