Svalbard: An Introduction

Home to 2,000 glaciers, remote Arctic wilderness and an abundance of wildlife including polar bears, walruses, whales and an array of birds.

The name Svalbard translates as ‘cold shores’ from its origins in old Norse. It is one of the best places in the world to see polar bears in their natural home.

Visit the most northerly town in the world and witness some of the Arctic’s most beautiful scenery and an abundance of rare wildlife.

An Expedition to Svalbard is a life-changing experience.

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small ship cruises to svalbard

What Can I See in Svalbard?

polar bear photo tour in svalbard


Svalbard is home to a fantastic abundance of wildlife. On our expeditions we regularly see polar bears, walruses, whales, seals, Arctic foxes, reindeer and an array of birds.

glaciers in Svalbard in Norway


Svalbard is home to over 2,000 glaciers. If you are interested in glaciers, Svalbard is one of the best places on earth to witness their raw beauty.

Zodiac cruise between sea ice in Svalbard

Sea Ice

The sea ice to the north of Svalbard extends all the way to the North Pole. In calm conditions, it is possible to explore it by Zodiac landing craft.

spitzbergen in norway


Svalbard is full of interesting human history from the world’s most northerly scientific settlement to the remains of early expeditions to the North Pole.

Why Svalbard with Secret Atlas?

  • Intimate Group Experience | We believe in the value of intimate Arctic encounters. Unlike large expedition cruise ships that accommodate hundreds of passengers, we limit our groups to just 12 guests, offering you a more personal and immersive adventure.
  • World-Class Expedition Leaders & Guides I Our knowledgeable guides have a deep passion for the polar regions and bring years of exploration experience to ensure you have an exceptional trip. With the highest guide-to-guest ratio, they are dedicated to maximizing your experience.
  • Comfortable Accommodations | Our ships are designed to offer optimal comfort during your voyage. Featuring a variety of twin, double, and single ensuite cabins, along with modern amenities and spacious viewing platforms, you can relax and enjoy a comfortable journey.
  • Exciting Zodiac Shore Landings | Embark on daily shore landings using our specialized vessel’s landing craft, providing you with the opportunity to explore remote beaches and immerse yourself in the untamed wilderness firsthand.
  • Witness the Marvels of Wildlife | Encounter reindeer and Arctic foxes on land, marvel at the majestic presence of whales and other marine creatures, and explore the captivating coastal areas where polar bears roam.
  • Breathtaking Natural Landscapes | Immerse yourself in the serenity of steep-sided fjords, massive glaciers, and pristine wilderness.

Explore Svalbard

Exploring Svalbard onboard Kinfish

Videographer: Denis Barbas

How to get to Svalbard

Our departure port of Longyearbyen is connected by daily flights (2 hours 55 minutes) from Oslo, the capital of Norway. Oslo has great connections to Europe and North America making Svalbard one of the most accessible destinations in the Arctic.

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expedition cruise in Svalbard

2 Hr 55 M flight

from Oslo

The most northerly

airport on Earth

Easily accessible

Arctic destination

Svalbard Wildlife

Svalbard is home to diverse Arctic wildlife. It is one of the best places on Earth to see polar bears, walruses, whales, Arctic foxes, a wide array of birds and Svalbard reindeer in their natural home.

A Guide to Viewing Polar Bears in Svalbard The Wildlife of Svalbard: Read More

Where is Svalbard?

Svalbard is an archipelago of islands located between mainland Norway and the North Pole. We are often asked is Svalbard in Norway? Svalbard is over 400 miles to the north of mainland Norway. The sovereignty of Svalbard falls under Norway but is under the terms laid out in the Svalbard Treaty.

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svalbard in Norway

800 miles

from North Pole

450 Miles

from Northern Norway

1167 Miles

from Oslo

Did You Know?

Svalbard is so far north it would be permanently locked in by ice without the Gulf Stream or that one night in Svalbard lasts for three months during the winter?

Learn more about Svalbard with our 50 facts about Svalbard page.

Read 50 Facts about Svalbard
svalbard north pole



Join Secret Atlas on an authentic expedition to Svalbard. Choose between a 12 guest Micro Cruise or a 48 guest Small Ship Expedition.

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Svalbard Travel Information


Norwegian krone (NOK).

Calling Code


Time Zone

UTC+01:00 (CET)

Driving Side



Norwegian (official) English (widely spoken)