Svalbard spring

May 06 - 15 2020



There will never again be a better time to visit this part of the world. Svalbard is changing. The drift ice and fjord ice are melting earlier than ever before. On this expedition we will make sure we can reach the drift ice without spending waiting to reach the drift ice farther north.

May is a wonderful time to experience the Svalbard wilderness. The light is more interesting, the landscapes are still covered by snow after the long winter, and nights can still be very cold with freezing ice. This means we can see wildlife resting and hunting on the ice-covered fjords.

High Arctic nature is constantly changing. On Svalbard, every day is different, and every year is different. The Norwegian-owned company Arctic Wildlife Tours leads this expedition to Svalbard, a remote area they know and love. That’s important, because this is a land where your guides must know how to handle the constantly-changing weather conditions, drift ice, and wildlife on the move 24 hours a day. It’s a good option for polar wildlife enthusiasts.

The expedition ship MS Freya is a ship well-suited to polar explorations. The ship is built in early 1980 and are spacious and comfortable. 6 of the cabins onboard is new. Our Norwegian and Swedish guides that will lead the trip all speak excellent English and have long experience hiking and exploring the environment of Svalbard.

Wondering what to expect? Please get in touch for more information and to talk about what you can expect. Also, you can read about some of our previous trips on our Be Inspired pages.


Dates: May 06 - 15 2020
Duration: 9 nights
Embark: Longyearbyen, May 06 16:00
Disembark: Longyearbyen, May 15 09:00

Superior cabin, private facilities,0 places available
NOK 69 500,- pr. pax

Double cabins, private facilities,0 places available
NOK 59 500,- pr. pax

Triple cabin, private facilities, 0 places available
NOK 53 500,- pr. pax

Available spots might not be updated at all times. Please ask for update on how many cabins still are available and which type of cabins by sending us an inquiry. The cabins are double shared cabins, in case you need a single supplement please ask us.

Ship: MS Freya

Practical information


With a very small population of around 2,000 people, Spitsbergen and the rest of the Svalbard archipelago forms the northernmost part of Norway. But despite the remoteness, those people have some interesting neighbours. Around 3,000 polar bears call the islands their home.

The main cause of this is the harsh weather conditions. In the winter months, thick ice and snow carpets the archipelago. The largest island Spitsbergen was discovered by explorer Willem Barentzs in 1596, while seeking a route to the Far East.

The best time to see polar bears in Svalbard is usually in the summer months, as the ice melts enough for us to navigate the icy waters. At this time, the midnight sun reigns over the dramatic landscapes, casting an ever-glowing, ambient light on the surroundings. In the autumn, the midnight sun is replaced by some fascinating sunsets. The reds from the sunlight shine through the atmosphere creating some stunning light phenomena throughout Svalbard, before the polar night brings months of darkness.


Dramatic landscapes
The unique light conditions found this far north make the stunning landscapes of Svalbard even more dramatic. The low sun tints the mountain tops red in the late evenings, while by day the mountains are still snow-covered and the glaciers still frozen seemingly in the grip of an endless winter.

Polar Bear sightings

This is the best place in the world to find and see the magnificent polar bear in its natural habitat. A truly unique experience for nature enthusiasts and modern polar explorers.

The diversity of wildlife
Aside from polar bears, there is an unbelievable amount of wildlife to encounter on a Svalbard photo expedition. Walruses resting on land or on the ice, blue whales playing around the ship, and swarms of rare birdlife are just some of what to expect.

Estimated travel route during this photo tour


The itinerary for this Svalbard photo expedition will be planned in accordance with the prevailing weather and ice conditions.

In April/May the accessible areas will be more limited than later in summer, but there are usually two options: to the north-west or to the south-east. Either route gives us good possibilities to see wildlife that is dependent on the frozen areas to survive.

Day 0 We always recommend to arrive in Longyearbyen, the biggest settlement on Svalbard, at least 24 hours in advance.

Day 1 Depart from Longyearbyen through the Isfjord heading north or south into the drifting ice.

Day 1-9 We set course for the areas where we know we will meet the drift ice. If we sail north or south this will be the focus. Some of the fjords and islands are interesting to visit and we will search systematically for wildlife wherever we go. The fjords will still be frozen at this time of the year.

The route can, and probably will, be changed based on knowledge gained on previous expeditions and the current weather and drift ice conditions.

Day 10 Leave the ship after breakfast and prepare for the journey home.

Booking Information

Booking Inquiry for Svalbard photo expedition

Registration: You register by sending in the booking forms we send you upon your request and submitting deposit payment of NOK 20.000. This inquiry is not a binding booking.

Please send your tour reservation from the Booking page and we will send you the booking form on email. Send in the completed reservation/booking form together with the payment and your booking will be confirmed. Both booking form and terms form have to be signed. The second payment of NOK 20.000,- have to be made within 6 months before departure. Full payment must be made no later than 30 days prior to departure. A expedition fee of NOK 450 will be added on last payment. You will receive invoices for the last two payments. Private cancellation insurance should be purchased by all participants.

Booking Inquiry

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Blog posts about Svalbard


Svalbard report June 2018

20. July 2018

Arctic Expedition June 2018 Aboard MS Freya we was lucky to explore the waters of Svalbard once again. After over 40 expeditions in the Svalbard area and some thorough examination of the ice maps our…

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Svalbard report May 2018

2. June 2018

Svalbard wildlife photography expedition in May 2018 Once again Arctic Wildlife Tours could bring the Norwegian photographer Audun Rikardsen as one of the photo guides hosting our spring Svalbard expedition onboard the expedition ship MS…

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Svalbard report April 2018

21. May 2018

Arctic Expedition April 2018 This year we decided to do an expedition while we still had some of the winter light conditions. In late April, the sun is still low on the sky, which meant…

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