Quark Expeditions, Lilliehook Glacier in a Zodiac, Credit David MerronQuark Expeditions, Zodiac Adventure, Credit Acacia JohnsonQuark Expeditions, Kayaking in the Arctic, Credit Acacia JohnsonQuark Expeditions, Birdwatching, Credit Nicky SounessQuark Expeditions Ultramarine

Spitsbergen Highlights – Multi-day Cruise on the Ultramarine

Countries
Best time to visit
May, June

An extraordinary journey, an epic adventure, seven days along Spitsbergen’s west coast through deep ice to 80 degrees north. Think mountains and glaciers, polar bears and a polar plunge, and exploring a netherworld on the Arctic’s most advanced ship.

You will cruise on the Ultramarine, a brand new vessel equipped to provide the widest variety of Arctic activities. Enjoy scenic helicopter flights, sea kayaking and exploring by zodiac. Hike on land and ice and embrace the wild. Then return to contemporary comfort and watch Spitsbergen roll by from your cabin.

This multi-day experience only operates on fixed dates and the Ultramarine has capacity for up to 199 guests. It is possible in May and June, when the midnight sun maximises your time for exploration and adventure in the far north. This experience is also possible on the newly renovated Ocean Adventurer ship as well.

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Day 1 - Oslo Arrival

Spend a day in Norway's awesome capital city and enjoy the late-night sunshine before returning to your hotel.

Day 2 - Fly to Longyearbyen & Embark

Fly by private charter to Svalbard and 24-hour summer sun. You will travel by with your fellow cruise passengers,then set sail, traveling due west.

Quark Expeditions Ultramarine

Cruise Around Spitsbergen in the Ultramarine

Norway

Sail along the shores of majestic Spitsbergen in the Arctic’s most advanced ship, the Ultramarine. Cruise down deep fjords. Gasp as a polar bear wanders across the sea ice. Listen to the growl of glaciers calving. Gaze up at immense mountains and wake up to puffins and walruses. You’ll travel to 80 degrees north and be immersed in a landscape of snow-capped mountains, crystalline waters and staggering glaciers. And you need a good four days to appreciate what there is here, as you traverse the Greenland Sea and Arctic Ocean. Magdalenafjord is an eternal highlight of this region, a place where glaciers meet snow-capped peaks in a single panorama. Along with the reindeer and seabirds you will also venture to the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, another stop on the Ultramarine ship’s Spitsbergen itinerary.

Young man stands in the Glacier lagoon with his arms wide spread. Man wearing only swimming shorts. Ice bergs drifting in the lagoon. Cold temperatures for ice swimming. Calm surface of the water.

Polar Plunge in Arctic Waters

Denmark

A rite of passage, a once only plunge into the freezing waters of the Arctic. Yes, it’s cold, very very cold. But there is such inimitability to making this plunge, to experiencing the waters at the very north of our planet. On the Ocean Adventurer you can jump safely into the bracing Arctic, a rejuvenating moment as you join the lucky few who have briefly swam so far north.

Days 3 - 6 - Exploring Spitsbergen

Now the adventure really kicks in, as you cruise around Spitsbergen and marvel at landscapes in the Arctic Circle. Admire wildlife on land and water, gasp at the glaciers and fjords, and spend each day discovering Spitsbergen in different ways.

Quark Expeditions, Zodiac Crusing in Remote Arctic, Credit David Merron

Zodiac Cruising in the Remote Arctic

Norway

The ice splits and an iceberg calves from the glacier. A great crack echoes across Arctic stillness, followed by a roaring splash that confirms nature’s change. A polar bear wanders across an ice sheet and you safely observe its progress, in awe at its size and elegance. Mesmeric sea birds flutter overhead and you glide in safety, through the crisp blue tones of sea ice and fjords. On an Arctic cruise you can see so much from the ship. But you get closer on a zodiac, a small boat that means you can fully explore the Arctic wilderness.You can reach shorelines and search for wildlife in areas where ships simply can’t access. The brand new Ultramarine ship offers these regular excursions better than any other Arctic vessel. This ship’s water-level hangar quickly deploys up to 20 zodiac boats, enabling passengers to enjoy more spontaneous off-ship adventures. It’s perfect for spotting wildlife and maximises your time on excursions, as you get off and on the ship faster than with other ships.

Quark Expeditions, Spotting Walruses, Credit David Merron

Spot Walruses at Moffen Island

Norway

Moffen Island is a protected sanctuary, a place where great numbers of walrus emerge from the water. To help protect these giant marine mammals, boats must stay 300 metres from the shoreline.So you do need binoculars to spot the big huddles of walrus, but you can also spot walrus swimming past your zodiac boat. And there is nowhere else in the world you can encounter such large populations of such misunderstood animals.

Quark Expeditions, Kayaking in the Arctic, Credit Acacia Johnson

Sea Kayaking in the Arctic

Norway

Paddling slowly amid a sea of icebergs you gasp at the setting. Just the soft sound of paddles break the silence and Arctic enormity creates a feeling of anonymity. Sea kayaking in the Arctic makes you feel small. You really experience the scale of mother nature. And from such an intimate vantage point you can truly delve into nature’s subtlety. Some previous kayaking experience is essential as you will need to do a wet exit.As you paddle you may feel small but back on the Ultramarine ship you feel big inside, grateful for such a personal encounter with nature. Gliding over the surface of remote Arctic bays in a sea kayak is possible as an excursion during a cruise on the Ultramarine or Ocean Adventurer.

Quark Expeditions, Birdwatching, Credit Nicky Souness

Spot Puffins & Seabirds on 14th of July Glacier

Norway

Wildlife abounds on and around the 14th of July Glacier. Atlantic puffins brighten the landscape with their colourful beaks. Purple sandpipers and Arctic terns come here to nest. In the sparkling waters you see drifting ice and two different seals, with bearded and ringed seals swimming past your zodiac boat. Located in the bay of Krossfjord, Spitsbergen, this is actually two glaciers merged into one. To explore such a remote destination is a highlight of a multi-day cruise on the Ultramarine. This brand new ship has a special zodiac hangar system, helping you get into a small boat faster. That means you can enjoy more impromptu wildlife cruising in the zodiac, ideal in a wildlife paradise such as this one.

Quark Expeditions, Lilliehook Glacier in a Zodiac, Credit David Merron

Explore Lilliehook Glacier in a Zodiac

Norway

A maze of icebergs beneath towering sheets of mountain and ice. Bearded seals poking their heads from the water. A white wonderland changing before your eyes, with new icebergs calving and crashing from the Lilliehook Glacier.Lilliehook Glacier is one of Spitsbergen’s great wonders and you will explore on a zodiac boat, as part of a multi-day polar cruise on the Ultramarine or Ocean Adventurer ships. This labyrinth of ice is most impressive when you get close up, when you hear and see its ephemeral powers, aboard a small zodiac boat.

Day 7 - Longyearbyen to Olso & Departure

Return to Longyearbyen and fly back from the frontier settlement, first to Oslo and then back home.

Travel Different

Kated is a members only travel club for creative, luxury travel. We provide our members with the inspiration, tools, connections and trip protection to travel their way.

JOYFUL PLANNING

We give you the connections and support to keep travel planning fresh and exciting.

SIMPLE BOOKING

Plan with as many specialists as you want. Book and pay for complex, tailored trips in one place.

TRIP PROTECTION

Your entire trip is 100% protected, giving you the flexibility to book and travel with confidence.