Svalbard Islands (Arctic Norway)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Svalbard Islands cruise port

Arctic - Antarctica

Local Time
2021-04-18 11:16

min: 30 °F (-1 °C) / max: 35 °F (2 °C) 34°F
Wind: 221°/ 4.7 m/s  Gust: 9.2 m/sWind: 221°/ 4.7 m/s  Gust: 9.2 m/sGentle breeze
4.7 m/s
Min / Max Temperature35 °F / 2 °C
30 °F / -1 °C
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Svalbard (formerly Spitsbergen) is a Norwegian archipelago (island group) in the Arctic Ocean. Svalbard is located north of mainland Europe, about midway between North Pole and mainland Norway. Svalbard has land area approx 61000 km2 (23560 mi2) and is dominated by Spitsbergen Island (over half of the archipelago's land), followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeoya. All settlements are on Spitsbergen, except two meteo outposts on Bjornoya and Hopen. Archipelago's total population is ~3000 (including 439 Russians and Ukrainian, 10 Polish, 322 other/non-Norwegians). Longyearbyen is Svalbard's administrative center and largest settlement.

Svalbard (Norway)

Administratively, Svalbard is not a part of any Norwegian county. However, it forms an unincorporated region administered by a Governor appointed by Norway's Government. Since 2002, Svalbard's main settlement (Longyearbyen) has a local government, similarly to mainland municipalities. Svalbard is the world's northernmost settlement with a permanent civilian population. Other settlements located farther north are populated only by groups of rotating scientists/researchers.

Next map of Svalbard Islands shows all cruise ports/destinations in the archipelago.

Svalbard map of cruise ports

The archipelago has Arctic climate, though with higher temperatures than other regions at the same latitude. Its flora takes advantage of the midnight sun to compensate for polar nights. Svalbard is the breeding ground for plenty of seabirds, and also features reindeer, Arctic fox, polar bears, and certain marine mammals. 23 nature reserves and 7 national parks cover 2/3 of the archipelago, protecting the untouched, natural environment. Nearly 60% of the Svalbard Archipelago is covered with glaciers. The islands feature many fjords and mountains. No roads connect Svalbard's settlements. Snowmobiles, boats and aircraft serve inter-community transport. Longyear, Svalbard Airport, serves as the archipelago's main gateway.

Jan Mayen Island and Svalbard are assigned ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code SJ. These areas are administered by Norway, even though they are separated by over 500 nautical miles distance (950 km / 600 mi) and have different administrative structures.

Cruising season runs late-April through late-September. For season 2019, Svalbard was visited by cruise ships ~300 times, with nearly 20,000 tourists. Most vessels are smaller-sized expedition ships, among which MS Expedition (G-Adventures), MS Fram, MS Spitsbergen and MS Fridtjof Nansen (Hurtigruten), L'Austral and Le Boreal (Ponant), Scenic Eclipse (Scenic), Hanseatic Nature (Hapag-Lloyd), Silver Cloud and Silver Explorer (Silversea). Season's largest liner was MSC Preziosa (at Longyearbyen on June 23, port stay 8 am-10 pm). For Longyearbyen is planned the construction of a new floating pier.

Effective January 1, 2020, NMA (Norwegian Maritime Authority) has new rules for passenger shipping in Svalbard. The regulations require all vessels to comply with IMO's Polar Code (January 2017-enforced, for polar water shipping) which is mandatory under both SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) maritime conventions. NMA's new rules apply to both Norway- and foreign-flagged vessels navigating in Svalbard's waters. Ships without SOLAS-issued "Passenger Ship Safety Certificate" were granted a 5-year period for the shipowner companies to schedule drydock refits for necessary vessel conversions and machinery modifications.

In 2020, due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, Norway implemented border closure (March 15 through August 20). The policy effectively canceled most Arctic cruise expeditions, also banning international tourists from entering the Svalbard Archipelago which season runs in June-July-August. For domestic tourism, Svalbard was reopened on June 1 (for domestic tourists) and June 15 (Baltic countries residents). Following Svalbard's reopening for cruising, Norway's Government announced new regulations for expedition cruise ship operations. The new rules include ships carrying 50% of their max passenger capacity, employing additional med staff and requiring health certificates from all travelers. Each cruise shipping company was required to develop and apply infection control plans approved by Svalbard's Governor.

Statistics show that the Svalbard Islands are visited by more and more cruisers. In 2008, 28 cruise liners brought ~29,000 tourists. In 2018, 15 liners brought ~46,000 tourists. Smaller-sized expedition ships in 2008 were 24 (with ~10,000 tourists) and in 2018 - 59 (with 21,000 tourists).

Port Svalbard Islands cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Svalbard Islands, Arctic Norway. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

18 May, 2021
Quark Expeditions Cruises cruise lineOcean Adventurer
19 May, 2021
Hurtigruten Cruises cruise lineMS Nordstjernen
23 May, 2021
Quark Expeditions Cruises cruise lineOcean Adventurer
23 May, 2021
Hurtigruten Cruises cruise lineMS Nordstjernen
26 May, 2021
Hurtigruten Cruises cruise lineMS Nordstjernen
27 May, 2021
Lindblad Expeditions Cruises cruise lineNational Geographic Endurance
28 May, 2021
Quark Expeditions Cruises cruise lineOcean Adventurer
30 May, 2021
Hurtigruten Cruises cruise lineMS Nordstjernen

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