Waterproof Cruises
  • © Rayann Elzein
  • © Rayann Elzein

Signature Expedition Svalbard

Join our special Waterproof Signature Expedition Cruise to Svalbard with maximum 16 guests! A quest for polar bears and the best photographic opportunities in the Arctic!

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Svalbard Nature & Wildlife Expedition Cruise

Our Svalbard Yacht Expeditions are especially designed to escape the crowds and experience nature in a unique way. You will be travelling with a small group of like-minded guests with whom you will uncover the wilderness of Svalbard. We intend to reach places far removed from where most expedition vessels are sailing, like the pack ice in the northeast of Svalbard. The flexibility of our small expediton yacht makes it possible to optimize every opportunity to show you the best of Svalbard. This is true expedition style traveling!
During our voyage we hope to see many different polar animals and bird species. Early in the season there is still a lot of snow and ice to be found in Svalbar. Seal pups start to explore their surroundings while hungry polar bears go in search for food. Birds will migrate from the south to make their nests, walruses lay on ice floes and whales return to the Arctic. The 24 hours of daylight will give you plenty of time to explore and photograph the beautiful nature and polar animals. Later in the season, most of the sea ice will have melted, opening up the fjords and making wildlife more easily accessible. To the north and east of Svalbard the drift ice will start breaking up, offering chances for a circumnavigation of the archipelago.

Polar Bears

On board our small yacht Polarfront, expedition leader Rinie van Meurs will take you on a search for polar bears and the best photographic opportunites. Rinie is one of the most experienced guides in Svalbard and has been fortunate to photograph and study countless Polar Bears throughout his 31-year career. It's his goal to provide you with as many spectacular polar bear encounters as possible, without disturbing them. You will also be provied with expert advice on photography in this unique environment. Polarfront has several great deck spaces, both on the front and aft of the ship. This way, everyone can have a good spot to take pictures, without being in eachothers way. The ship is also very stable, which is very important when shooting images. Rinie:"Each voyage is a new quest for wildlife and incredible moments. Observing wildlife up close, undisturbed in their natural environment. Never taking them for granted, is what makes these trips so rewarding."

Shore landings on Svalbard

Shore landings are the essence of expedition cruising and being on a small yacht offers a richer experience. All guests can do a landing at the same time as there is space in the zodiacs for everyone. So instead of waiting your turn you can spend more time exploring and photographing the beauty of Svalbard. Our expert guide Rinie van Meurs will accompany you to explain about the natural environment and history of Svalbard. Your voyage will not only be an adventure, but also a great learning experience.

Boutique yacht

In expedition style travel, the luxury is in the experience. Stepping ashore with a small group means you can fully immerse yourself in the destination. You will make new friends and create life-long memories with the people you meet on board.

When cruising on a small polar yacht, the luxury can also be found on board. Our spacious, refurbished vessels offer the most comfortable and refined small ship cruising experience in the Arctic. Inside, there's a cozy lounge area with comfortable seating where you can relax and attend our guides' lectures. A gym room, sauna, and jacuzzi are also available for you to unwind after your exciting polar outings. The large observation decks offer plenty of opportunites to photograph the incredible scenery while on the ship. Or you can choose to spend some time on the bridge, the perfect place to scan the horizon looking for wildlife. The experienced staff will accomodate your every need and chef-prepared meals give you the energy to get up early and explore.

Highlights of this Svalbard Expedition Cruise

• Maximum 16 guests!
• Luxury boutique yacht Explorer or Polarfront
• True expedition style travel
• Good chances to see wildlife
• Great photography
• Accompanied by expert guides
• Selected voyages with photographer & guide Rinie van Meurs

Each yacht expedition is different, depending on the ship and departure of your choice. A unique and personal experience you share only with a small group of fellow guests. 
This itinerary is an example of what a yacht expedition to Svalbard could look like. All expeditions are subject to change depending on the ice, weather, and wildlife.

  • Departure from Longyearbyen

    For your expedition cruise around Svalbard, you fly to Longyearbyen where the expedition yacht will be waiting in port. Boarding takes place at the end of the afternoon. You will have some time to get comfortable and meet the crew and your fellow guests. As soon as the yacht leaves the port of Longyearbyen you find yourself in the middle of the Arctic wilderness. Peaky mountains, glaciers and ice will soon appear on the horizon, your yacht expedition cruise has begun!

    Depending on the ship and voyage of your choice, you might explore the North, West and South coasts of Svalbard. Some ships even take you on an extensive exploration around the archipelageo. These are the most in depth expeditions, reaching the least visited locations of Svalbard if the ice conditions are good.

  • Places you might visit in Svalbard:


    Departing from Longyearbyen the yacht will sail through Isfjorden, the gateway to the west coast of Svalbard. Almost the full spectrum of Svalbard's history, geology and biology can be found in this area. You will see wide coastal plains, steep glaciers and characteristic plateau-shaped mountains that are so unique to Svalbard.


    On the other side of Isfjorden, just before you enter the open ocean, we pass a steep mountain called Alkhornet. You might go ashore at the base of this enormous bird cliff. Besides many birds we often see Arctic Foxes hunting for birds and eggs, and possibly some grazing Svalbard reindeer. From here you might sail into Trygghamna, a bay with remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Russian hunting station.

  • Prins Karls Forland & Poolepynten

    A unique location we hope to visit during this expedition cruise is Poolepynten, a 1.5 kilometer long headland on the eastern coast of the island Prins Karls Forland. This location is famous for the large walrus colonies that often come ashore here, making it easy to admire them from close range. It's a spectacular sight to see these huge animals in their natural environment.

    Kongsfjorden & Ny Ålesund

    We might make our way into Kongsfjorden where you will find Ny Ålesund on the southern coast and the Kronebreen glacier at the end of the inlet. Ny Ålesund is one of Svalbard's four permanent settlements, situated on the southern shore of Kongsfjorden. This former mining town was also the starting point for several Arctic expeditions by the famous polar explorer Roald Amundsen. There are many cultural and historical remains for you to explore, as well as a museum, post office and gift shop.

  • Smeerenburg on Amsterdamøya

    Of the northwest coast of Svalbard there's an uninhabitat island with some remnants of Dutch history. In 1614, the island was occupied by a Dutch group of whalers on a mission to explore the whaling potential around Spitsbergen. They named it Amsterdam Island and founded the settlement Smeerenburg (Blubber Town) where they built ovens to turn blubber into whale oil which was then shipped back to Europe. In its heyday the town consisted of 17 houses and had approximately 200 inhabitants during the summer seasons. Today, pieces of wooden structures and the bases of the blubber pots are all that remains.


    The yacht will navigate through the ice floe in search of polar bears on the north coast. Monacobreen is an immense glacier reaching down into Liefdefjorden. The landscape and icebergs provide some of the most spectacular views in the whole archipelago. Continuing in Northeast directing, towards 80 degrees north, we hope to see more whales, walruses, and polar bears!

  • Nordaustlandet

    Ice permitting, we’ll resume our search for polar bears as we continue northeast to Nordaustlandet. The large island is covered by two enormous ice caps that run towards the sea with huge icebergs calving from the glacier. You might be able to take a zodiac ride along the face of the icecap that stretches for miles. Dividing the Svalbard islands of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet is the Hinlopen Strait, often difficult to pass due to its thick pack ice. Depending on the weather and ice you might continue south through Hinlopen Strait or turn back towards the North-west of Svalbard.


    Murchisonfjorden is a small fjord in the Hinlopen Strait. It holds some of Svalbard’s oldest fossils and unique historical sites, but is also famous for its walrus colonies. One of the largest and most remarkable bird colonies on the archipelago is nestled among the steep basalt and limestone cliffs.

  • Kvitøya - North East Svalbard

    Our 12-day Circumnavigation of Svalbard Expedition Cruise will take you even further to the north east of Svalbard. Our objective is to reach Kvitøya which is almost completely covered by an ice cap. The island is inaccessible to non-polar ships or those carrying more than 200 passengers. It is the easternmost island of the Svalbard archipelago and can only be reached 1 to 2 months a year due to the ice pack that surrounds it. Polar bears and walruses are the most regular visitors of Kvitøya, combined with its history of polar exploration and whaling make this island a secret, remote and mythical place.

  • Disembarkation

    On the last day of our voyage you disembark in the morning after breakfast and say farewell to the crew and guides. You will be able to fly back home or extend your stay in Longyearbyen.

More dates and voyages available upon request.

Dates & Rates

  • MS Polarfront Svalbard Nature & Wildlife Expedition

    • 25th May - 3rd Jun 2024
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices per person from
    Executive Suite
    11,500 EUR
    Superior Suite
    10,200 EUR
    Deluxe Suite
    9,800 EUR

    with photographer & guide Rinie van Meurs

  • MS Polarfront Svalbard Nature & Wildlife Expedition

    • 3rd Jun - 13th Jun 2024
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices per person from
    Executive Suite
    12,000 EUR
    Superior Suite
    10,800 EUR
    Deluxe Suite
    10,400 EUR

    with photographer & guide Rinie van Meurs

  • Ocean Albatros Svalbard Nature & Wildlife Expedition

    • 16th Jun - 26th Jun 2024
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices per person from
    8,990 USD
  • MS Polarfront Svalbard Nature & Wildlife Expedition

    • 22nd Jun - 1st Jul 2024
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices per person from
    9,800 EUR

    with photographer & guide Rinie van Meurs


Call us today on +31 (0) 858 771 583

Download our brochure: Svalbard & Greenland voyages 2024 on board Polarfront
Svalbard on board Polarfront Brochure

Photography - with Rinie van Meurs

On selected voyages

You will be accompanied on your journey by expert photographer and expedition leader Rinie van Meurs. He is the only person who spent 31 consecutive years as expedition leader in Svalbard, and locked more than 250 cruises in his seafarers book. Rinie: "The vast wilderness and the animals are the main reasons why I keep coming back to the Arctic. Each voyage is a new search for wildlife, and this ‘chase’ is what makes it so much fun. I look at the weather forecast, the ice charts, the locations of other ships and take into account my experiences from previous trips to make a plan. It's my goal to provide guests with as many spectacular sightings as possible, without disturbing the wildlife. I myself have been an avid photographer for 40 years, so I know what people want. For example, I take the light into account and inform them in advance what (not) to do during a ‘close’ encounter with a Polar Bear in the pack ice to maintain the encounter for as long as possible." Read the entire interview with Rinie here.

Svalbard with Rinie van Meurs:
• 06 Jun - 20 Jun 2023 (15 days) - FULL
• 25 May - 03 Jun 2024 (10 days)
• 03 Jun - 13 Jun 2024 (11 days)
• 22 Jun - 01 Jul 2024 (10 days) - FULL

Greenland with Rinie van Meurs:
• 11 Aug - 20 Aug 2024

Contact us to book now  »