Search for bears in Svalbard!

Expedition Svalbard: M/S Quest


Visit Svalbard during the second half of the Arctic summer season. The ice is slowly starting to loosen its grip, which offers good opportunities to explore the seldom visited eastern parts. During this expedition we explore the archipelago, searching for wildlife such as polar bears, walrus and whales. If lucky, we will be able to circumnavigate Spitsbergen or explore spectacular Nordaustlandet

  • Sail on board a modern expedition ship with a small number of fellow travellers
  • See the spectacular mountains of Spitsbergen
  • Sail through amazing fjords and see impressive glaciers
  • Search for wildlife such as polar bears, walrus and whales
  • Incredible birdlife including eiders, vast numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots
  • Explore seldom-visited parts of eastern Svalbard such as White Island.
  • Possible circumnavigation of Spitsbergen.

Stewart's Take

Experience the Svalbard wilderness on board a small expedition ship and with outstanding guides!


Visit Svalbard during the second half of the Arctic summer season. The ice is slowly starting to loosen its grip, which offers good opportunities to explore the seldom visited eastern parts. During this expedition we explore the archipelago, searching for wildlife such as polar bears, walrus and whales. If lucky, we will be able to circumnavigate Spitsbergen or explore spectacular Nordaustlandet.
Day 1: Longyearbyen We arrive in Longyearbyen, embark our expedition ship in the afternoon and sail out through the spectacular Ice Fjord. Day 2 - 10: Svalbard We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. The goal is to make daily landings with our Zodiac crafts. Here are some examples of places we may visit: Northwest Svalbard In the scientific village of Ny Ålesund, Arctic terns nest along the main street. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. On the islands of Danskøya, Amsterdamøya and Ytre Norskøya we find remnants from the bustling activity during the 17th century’s whaling period. Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on Danskøya. Swedish balloonist Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started out with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site. Fantastic fjords Svalbard offers countless spectacular fjords. During our journey we will explore a few of them such as: Liefdefjorden, meaning “the fjord of love”, is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and at its base we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest in the area and if lucky we can see the rare king eider. In Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favourite spot for seals. Hinlopen and Alkefjellet If the ice allows we may enter Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet, a sheer, basaltic cliff, which is the home to an estimated 200 000 Brünnich’s guillemots. We may also continue into the beautiful bay of Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet. Eastern Svalbard The island of Nordaustlandet is covered by an enormous ice cap and fascinates naturalists as well as historians. There are huge glacier fronts here, intersected by hundreds of waterfalls. Even further east is Kvitøya (White Island). In very favourable ice and weather conditions, we may land on this ice-capped island where few people have set foot. Here Andrée and his men were found 33 years after their unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole with a hydrogen balloon. Barentsøya and Edgeøya offer magnificent landscapes and vast tundra. Chances to encounter walrus, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer are good here. Southwest Svalbard The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks. This is a favourite haunt for some of Svalbard’s polar bears. Day 11: Longyearbyen We arrive in the early morning, disembark and begin our journey back home. Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The places mentioned above are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience, but remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition! Photo Credits: Erik Edvardsson, Adam Rheborg, Adrian Nordenborg, Asa Lindner, Lisa Strom, Ronald Visser

Expedition Vessel: Quest

Quest expedition ship Svalbard

The expedition ship Quest (formerly M/S Sea Endurance) was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland`s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished and now has a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. Quest takes 53 passengers in 26 cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers a more relaxed and informal atmosphere and a much greater focus on the destination than is the case with larger vessels.

In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining lectures on the area's flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a well-stocked bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas and search for exciting wildlife.

The triple cabins on deck three have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you also find a desk with chair and storage space for clothes and equipment. The superior cabins on deck three and four are spacious and have a separate sitting area and TV/DVD. The Owner's cabin, next to the Captain`s cabin, on deck four has a double bed, two large picture windows, a small sitting area and TV/DVD.

For full information about this vessel click here:

  • 10 nights on board the Quest
  • all meals
  • an experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides
  • lectures on board and ashore
  • all excursions by Zodiac
  • illustrated post-expedition log
  • Flight to and from Longyearbyen
  • travel and cancellation insurance
  • customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • personal expenses such as bar and shop charges.
Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A secure payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card alternatively bank transfer. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Final payment can be made by bank transfer. Balance payments by credit card are subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. For cancellation received more than 60 days prior to departure there will be a full refund of the program cost less 20%. For cancellation received between 60 days prior to departure and departure date there will be no refund whatsoever. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Polar Quest Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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