Cruise only (Please call for flight options)
Setting sail from Longyearbyen
This is the world's northernmost city and the base for tourism in Svalbard. A bit quirky, as you would expect from somewhere that spends four months of the year in near darkness, Longyearbyen doesn't take long to explore. Its brightly coloured wooden houses are built on stilts, as the ground in Svalbard is permafrost. When you enter a building, you are normally asked to remove your shoes, and leave your gun at the door. Gun carrying is more or less essential for the locals, as with 3,000 local hungry polar bears, it is said that you never know when you might need protection. That said, we visited safely without a gun!
At the so called heart of the city, Huset has long been the centre for culture and community. Go there for great food and to sample one of the largest wine cellars in Europe!
The Svalbard archipelago is a true wilderness, a land of snowy peaks, frozen tundra and glassy seas. You’ll likely have no fixed itinerary here, due to the unpredictable nature of an Arctic expedition; be prepared to drop everything and rush up to the top deck for the chance of a polar bear sighting!
Bjørnøya, or Bear Island, is the most southerly island in the Svalbard archipelago, marooned in the Barents Sea halfway between Spitsbergen and the Norwegian mainland. Despite the name there are no polar bears permanently resident, and the island’s most impressive sight is the huge bird colonies nesting on the cliffs.
Just ten miles from the Russian border, Kirkenes has the feel of a frontier town, with signs in both Norwegian and Russian, and this is the end of the line for the Hurtigruten coastal service. The town itself is fairly nondescript, but activities on offer nearby include snowmobiling and husky sledding.
Arriving in Tromsø
Tromsø is often referred to as the Gateway to the Arctic. Its beauty astonishes new visitors with its magnificent views over the Tromsø strait. Tromsø's location, well within the Arctic Circle, means the summer months are lit by the Midnight Sun, a compensation for some rather long, dark winters. It is a wonderful city to explore on foot, wandering along the streets with their multi-coloured wooden houses. A must see is the amazing architecture of the Arctic cathedral, or perhaps take the cable car up to Mount Storsteinen (1382ft) for a fantastic view.
Visit during June or July to see the Midnight Sun - take the cable car for a better view (we were impressed that it runs until past midnight, but do check).
Your home from home
The intimate and popular Silver Cloud is reborn as a stylish expedition ship, following an extensive refurbishment in August 2017.
What we love
The lovely Silver Cloud joins Silversea's Expeditions fleet from November 2017, with a reduced capacity, an ice-strengthened hull and 18 zodiacs making this one of the most luxurious expedition ships at sea.
|Capacity||260 guests (200 guests in polar regions)|
|Crew||208 International Staff|
|Style||Cosy, welcoming, stimulating, exciting - this ship has it all! If you enjoy the finer things in life but have an adventurous spirit, you will find yourself in congenial company on board.|
|Cruising speed||18 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Longyearbyen
There’s really not much choice! Go for the Radisson Blu.
Travel out of Longyearbyen by snow scooter or dog sled to take a look at the amazing scenery and hunt for wildlife.
Our favourite hotel in Tromsø
The Scandic Ishavshotel has a great location on the quay so nearly all the rooms have magnificent views.
Take a tour by RIB to see the beautiful islands and beaches of this remote region, lapped by Gulf Stream waters.