Svalbard Expedition Yacht Charter

Our private Svalbard expedition yacht charter allows a unique opportunity to explore the majestic beauty of the Arctic on our fleet of modern explorer yachts with 12 guests in total comfort. Our Svalbard yacht expeditions are led by our outstanding guide team with decades of experience exploring the polar regions. Choose from a selection of our modern ice-strengthened explorer yachts featuring ensuite cabins, large lounges, on deck hot tub and Sauna and great food prepared by our onboard chef.

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Svalbard Yacht Expeditions

Design your own private expedition to explore Svalbard. Our expeditions are tailor-made around your interests and what you would like to see.

Why Choose Secret Atlas Yacht Expeditions?

  • A large choice of modern ice strengthened explorer yachts built for real polar expeditions.
  • A passionate guide team with decades of experience. Every Svalbard yacht charter has an expedition leader and an assistant expedition leader.
  • 2 Zodiacs used for exploring and shore landings.
  • Flexible expeditions designed around what you would like to see and experience.
  • Outstanding guest experience with great food and onboard service.
  • 100% positive guest feedback on previous expeditions. Read our expedition journals here.

Types of Svalbard Yacht Charter

zodiac cruise arctic photo tours svalbard

Exploring

Our Svalbard yacht expeditions are perfect for explorers looking to see more. Our expeditions are led by an expert guide team who will take you exploring with the Zodiacs on a daily basis.

Polar bear in Svalbard during summer

Wildlife Watching

An expedition yacht charter in Svalbard is ideal for wildlife watching in an intimate way. Our guides are excellent wildlife spotters so you will be guaranteed to get the most sightings.

svalbard photography tour in may

Photography

Svalbard is a perfect destination for photographers looking for a personal experience. We have highly experienced Arctic photo guides available on all our Svalbard yacht expeditions. 

iceland skiing and sailing

Ski & Sail

Our ships are ideal for those looking for a ski and sail experience with a high level of comfort. Our ships are available with or without a ski guide. Find out more here.

Svalbard Pioneer Circumnavigation Cruise Map

Svalbard Yacht Expedition Itinerary

Glaciers, Polar Bears and Sea Ice

Explore the Svalbard archipelago on a private expedition yacht charter. Our flexible itineraries vary between 7 and 15 days and are tailor made to what you would like to experience.

Our recommended length for a Svalbard charter is 10 days or above. This offers enough time to reach the furthest corners of Svalbard and will allow enough time to maximise wildlife sightings.

The expedition leader will plan the route with you around your interests.

 

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Plan Your Svalbard Expedition Yacht Charter

The Secret Atlas blog has a wide variety of articles to help you plan your Svalbard yacht expedition.

When Is the best time to visit Svalbard? A Guide to Polar Bear viewing in Svalbard How to get to Svalbard What to pack on your Svalbard yacht charter

Svalbard Expedition Yacht Charter FAQ

Plan Your Svalbard Yacht Expedition

The charter season in Svalbard starts in late April and finishes in late September / early October. Before April the sea ice restricts the coastline and many places are inaccessible and after September the light hours reduce as the winter approaches.

Each month of the charter season offers something different and depending on when you visit can be a totally different experience.

Choose Late April and early May to encounter Svalbard as it emerges from the winter. Expect lots of sea ice, frozen landscapes and the opportunity to step ashore on snow shoes. Early season is ideal for photographers and those looking for a ski and sail experience. 

Choose June – August to explore the furthest reaches of Svalbard. These months also offer the best possibilities for wildlife viewing. 

Choose September for it’s long sun rises and sun sets. Perfect for photographers.

Read our guide to the season of Svalbard here. 

All our expedition cruises depart from Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Svalbard. Longyearbyen is easily reached by daily flights from Oslo in Norway making it one of the easiest destinations to reach in the High Arctic. To find out more about how to get to Longyearbyen please visit our guide. 

Unlike larger vessels with higher passenger capacities, our Svalbard yacht charters are personal and unique in their approach. Travelling with a small group of guests means more time and flexibility exploring.

Our expedition yachts will get you closer to nature and landscapes that you came than larger ships can due to their smaller size, offering you a great deal more intimacy.

Our Svalbard yacht charter gives you the opportunity to experience the Arctic first hand on a real adventure without the crowds of people on larger ships. Our goal is to make you part of the adventure.

During Your Svalbard Cruise

Svalbard is an untamed Arctic wilderness and on every cruise we do we encounter different wildlife. Svalbard in our opinion is the best place in the High Arctic to see wildlife including polar bears as there are high concentrations surrounding the islands.

The chances of encountering wildlife are very high and on all previous trips, we have seen walruses, whales, Svalbard Reindeer and a variety of birdlife. Whilst we can’t make any guarantees, we have encountered polar bears on the majority of our trips and we cruise areas where they are known to hunt.

If seeing a polar bear is one of your main attractions we would recommend a longer charter of 10 – 14 days.

You can find out more about the wildlife of Svalbard here. 

A part of the adventure of an expedition cruise is to spend time exploring the wilderness which means every trip is different. Our route is decided on the day of boarding and is chosen by the expedition leader and the captain in line with the prevailing weather and ice conditions. Their aim is to ensure that you see the very best that Svalbard has to offer.

On a typical cruise, you can expect daily shore landings to visit sites of historical and natural interest and to undertake short wilderness hikes. Svalbard has over 2000 glaciers and we aim to visit at least 1 calving glacier face which is an incredible sight. On some expeditions, if conditions allow we will attempt to visit the edge of the sea ice. As this is a private expedition the day by day will be based on what you would like to see and experience. 

We will also visit known wildlife sites including beaches where walruses haul out and areas where polar bears are frequently sighted.

Due to the influence of the gulf stream on Svalbard’s climate, it is warmer during the summer than most people would imagine. A summer’s day rarely feels colder than the temperatures experienced in Northern Europe during the winter. It is not uncommon to be out hiking with only a base layer on when the sun is shining.

The temperature varies depending on the month you travel with the months of July and August offering the warmest temperatures.

Average High:

April -9°C,

May -3 °C

June +3°C

July +7°C

August +6°C

September +1°C

Sustainability

That’s a great question and one we want to answer honestly.

The vessels we work with don’t burn heavy fuels which are particularly detrimental to the environment and run on standard marine diesel. As a part of our commitment to the environment, we climate compensate all of our emissions by planting trees with our sustainability partner in Greenland. The cost of this is covered within the fares our guests pay and we don’t charge an additional fee for this.

Secret Atlas don’t sell flights but we are aware our guests have to fly to our destinations to board our cruises. As a part of our climate commitment, we will match the offset costs for any guests who would like to offset their flights with us. This is offered at the time of booking.

During our cruises, we follow very strict guidelines as set out by AECO (Association Of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) to ensure minimal impact on the wildlife and places we visit. This includes following strict rules about not disturbing wildlife in its natural habitat. We employ highly experienced expedition leaders to run our expeditions in accordance with the rules and safety code laid out by AECO. The principal rules are:

  1. Leave no lasting signs of your visit
  2. Do not pick flowers
  3. Do not take anything with you
  4. Do not disturb animals and birds
  5. Leave cultural remains alone Cultural remains are protected by law and a zone of 100 meters around the remains is also considered a protected zone. Watch where you are walking and standing. Walk around and not in between obj
  6. Take the polar bear danger seriously
  7. Respect local culture and local people
  8. Be safe

Our expedition leaders are highly trained in safety and following these rules and brief guests at the beginning of each departure. They ensure the safety of the guests throughout the cruise and that the AECO rules are followed.

As a member of AECO we take great efforts to ensure our trips don’t have any negative impact on the wildlife or environment. You can find out more here. 

Expedition Yachts for Charter in Svalbard

Vikingfjord photo tour expedition ship

MV VIKINGFJORD

The newest addition to the Secret Atlas fleet, MV Vikingfjord is a modern expedition vessel offering cruise ship comfort with all en-suite cabins, large viewing lounge and an on deck hot tub and sauna. There is no single supplement on Vikingfjord. 

See Ship See Cabins
vestland explorer expedition ship in the sea ice svalbard photography tour

MV Explorer

A hi-end expedition yacht that offers cruise ship comfort for 12 on a small ship with ensuite cabins and suites, an open plan lounge with large windows, hot tub, outdoor jacuzzi and a mini gym.

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Polar Front amongst icebergs in Svalbard

MV Polarfront

One of the Arctic’s most elegant small ships, Polarfront offers a feeling of luxury and style. She offers an on deck sauna and hot tub, spacious cabins and a large guest lounge and dining room.

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nanook expedition vessel

MV Nanook

MV Nanook is a small ocean going expedition vessel converted to into an explorer yacht of the highest comfort. She offers cruise ship comfort on a small ship with ensuite cabins and suites.

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motor expedition yacht charter kinfish

MV Kinfish

A former Norwegian research vessel that has been tastefully converted into an expedition vessel for 12 guests that is ideal for exploring the Arctic.

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MV Villa

MV Villa is an ice-strengthened expedition vessel that has been recently converted into a ship for 12 guests for an ultimate polar adventure.

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