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Pre-departure information


You are about to travel to one of the world’s most scenic places. The Norwegian coast and Svalbard may be a bit cooler holiday destination than most, but it evokes warm feelings and lots of inspiration. Everyone at PolarQuest is truly passionate about the Polar Regions – its pristine nature and fascinating wildlife. Once back home, we hope that you will have the same passion for this amazing wilderness and become a true Polar ambassador.


Everyone working at PolarQuest have been to Svalbard. If you give us a call or send us an email, our enthusiastic travel consultants will answer all your questions regarding your Svalbard trip – clothing, weather, landings or Zodiac cruises – we have all the answers! 


We know that one of the keys to a successful expedition is having knowledgeable and enthusiastic leaders. Many of PolarQuest’s guides have more than ten years’ experience of the Polar Regions and commute between the Arctic and Antarctica every year. A few weeks prior to your voyage, you will receive a short introduction of the guides who will be on your trip.


Don’t forget to follow our blog, Facebook or Instagram and take part of news, images and travel stories. On our website you find several inspirational movies from both Svalbard and other unique destinations.


Please note: The itinerary on your trip works only as a guideline. Factors such as the weather or the ice situation on Svalbard play an important role in where the ship can venture. The daily schedule is decided by the Captain and the Expedition Leader, who both have great experience of the areas we are travelling in. Remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!


Participation on this expedition cruise requires that you are in generally good health and have good mobility. If you have had any major surgery in the past two years or have any medical conditions that are important for the staff and crew on board to be aware of, we kindly ask you to contact PolarQuest so that we can assure that the ship receives all the adequate information. We also ask you to bring a list/description of your medication.

If you occasionally are in need of an extra hand, you must have someone travelling with you. Our guides need to be available to all passengers on board and can unfortunately not provide extra attention to someone in need of special assistance.


It is very important to have full medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage throughout your voyage. Please make sure your insurance covers Covid-19.


All visitors to Norway and Svalbard need a valid passport. Please check with your nearest Norwegian Embassy if you are required to obtain a visa for this trip. You also need to check how many months your passport needs to be valid after the date you plan to leave Norway.


The currency in Norway is Norwegian Krone (NOK). Credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, AmEx) are accepted in the shops in along the norwegian coast and Svalbard.


Lost luggage is beyond our control. In case your luggage do not arrive in time we recommend you take the following precautions:

  • Pack your hand luggage with your essentials, such as medication and valuables
  • Fly with your jacket on/with you on board
  • Avoid travelling in light summer shoes
  • Bring a change of clothes in your hand luggage
  • If you have a travel companion, pack a few items in each other’s luggage. If your luggage goes missing, you will still have some of your items available.



  • There are no street names in Longyearbyen, they only use street numbers.
  • Longyearbyen was named after the American John Munroe Longyear, who founded the Arctic Coal Company in 1906. The settlement was first named Longyear City but was later changed to Longyearbyen.
  • If visiting Ny-Ålesund, you can send a card from the northernmost post office in the world. But please note that it can take weeks before the card arrives at its recipient.
  • Common practice is to leave your shoes at the entrance, traditionally to keep the coal dust out.
  • Longyearbyen’s houses are built on stilts, due to the permafrost.
  • During four months of the year, from around 25th October, the polar night occurs, and the sun never rises.
  • During four months of the year, from around 19th April, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the sun never sets.