9 nights onboard SH Vega

Heart of Svalbard

21
Leaving from: Tromsø
Cruise ship: SH Vega
Visiting: Tromsø Skarsvåg Bear Island Svalbard Archipelago
Swan Hellenic Logo
Swan Hellenic

Swan Hellenic cruise line takes pride in providing elegant cruises that sail their guests to far-flung destinations across the world such as New Zealand and the Arctic. With over 70 years of experience, enjoy a sophisticated and comfortable atmosphere onboard Swan Hellenic cruises, with some truly remarkable visits to less-accessible polar regions and plenty of lesser-visited ports worth seeing.

152
Passengers
120
Crew
2022
Launched
10500t
Tonnage
115m
Length
23m
Width
15kts
Speed
9
Decks
USD
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Day 1
Tromsø, Norway
Day 2
Skarsvåg, Norway
Day 2
River travel
Day 3
Bear Island, Norway
Days 4 - 9
Svalbard Archipelago, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Day 10
Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Tromsø, Norway image
Day 1
Tromsø, Norway
With its centre located on the island of Tromsø, the municipality of Tromsø is more than five times the size of Norway’s capital, Oslo, and is the world’s northernmost university city. Lying 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, it is known as the 'Gateway to the Arctic' because it was used as a starting point for hunters looking for Arctic foxes, polar bears and seals. In the 19th century it was a base for explorers on Arctic expeditions – a history that is remembered in the city’s Polar Museum, which you can visit on an excursion. Also commemorated in the area is the history of Norway’s indigenous people, the Sami. Visitors can learn about the traditions, heritage and modern preservation of the Sami culture at the Tromsø Museum. Nowadays, Tromsø is a charming mix of old and new, with wooden buildings sitting alongside contemporary architecture such as the impressive glacier-like Arctic Cathedral, which features one of the largest stained glass windows in Europe. Looking down on the city is Mount Storsteinen, and a cable car runs to the top, giving wonderful views over the surrounding countryside of forested peaks and reindeer pastures.
Skarsvåg, Norway image
Day 2
Skarsvåg, Norway
River travel image
Day 2
River travel
Bear Island, Norway image
Day 3
Bear Island, Norway
Almost half way between Tromsø and Svalbard is isolated Bear Island – considered the southernmost island of the Svalbard Archipelago. The unglaciated island is an impressive Nature Reserve of steep, high cliffs that are frequented by seabirds, specifically at the southern tip. Brünnich’s Guillemots, Common Guillemots, Black Guillemots, Razorbills, Little Auks, Northern Fulmars, Glaucous Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and even Atlantic Puffins and Northern Gannets nest along the cliffs south of Sørhamna. Because of the large numbers of birds and the isolated location, Bear Island has been recognized as an Important Bird Area. It was once a hotspot for whaling and walrus hunting, and at one stage even mining. Bear Island received its name because of a polar bear encountered by early explorer Willem Barentsz. Today polar bears rarely visit the island and its only settlement is a meteorological station manned all-year round on the north side.
Svalbard Archipelago, Svalbard and Jan Mayen image
Days 4 - 9
Svalbard Archipelago, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favorable ice and weather conditions to travel through the northern stretches of Svalbard to points visited by famous polar explorers such as Andrée, Amundsen and Nobile. Destinations might include the narrow waterways and striking mountains of Krossfjord and Raudfjord. The ship may visit the historic settings of Ny Alesund, Ny London or Amsterdamoya. And of course, we hope to see distinctly Arctic wildlife from walrus hauled out in noisy groups on remote shorelines, to reindeer grazing alpine slopes, and from ptarmigan in their camouflaged hiding places, to mighty polar bears striding the shores in search of their next meal.
Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen image
Day 10
Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Longyearbyen is the biggest settlement in Svalbard. Seat of the Norwegian administration, it also has the best services and infrastructure in the archipelago. Located deep in the Adventfjord, a sidearm of the Isfjorden (Icefjord), Longyearbyen’s airport can be used all-year round, but its harbor is blocked by ice in winter. Most shops, hotels, restaurants and a hospital are within easy walking distance of the port. One of the most prominent buildings in town is the UNIS center, where several Norwegian universities have joined forces to operate and offer the northernmost higher education to both Norwegian and international students. Adjacent to UNIS, and well worth a visit, is the Svalbard Museum, covering the natural history and exploitation of Svalbard. Remnants of the former mining activity can be seen all around Longyearbyen and even in town.
Ship Details
Swan Hellenic
SH Vega

Making her maiden voyage in July 2022, our 5 star elegant Scandi-design boutique ship offers you an intimate setting from which you will be fully immersed in all the sights and scenery of your voyage.

For now, sit back, relax and take a moment to get to know your expedition ship.

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