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Springtime in Svalbard with M/S Quest 2025

Join us for an unforgettable Arctic cruise through the land of the polar bear and the midnight sun - Svalbard! During the month of May, Svalbard is characterised by a wonderful purity and spectacular scenery. The fairytale winter landscape is dominated by glittering ice formations, snow-capped mountains, fjord ice and pastel-coloured skies.

It's spring in Svalbard, and it's an awe-inspiring experience to be there when the archipelago comes to life: the Arctic fox and the Svalbard reindeer still wear their winter coats, walruses are often seen resting on the ice floes, and if we're lucky, we might see the polar bear hunting for seals. Birdlife is beginning to return to Svalbard, and it's a good time to see king eiders and rock ptarmigans. The fairytale winter landscape is dominated by glittering ice formations, snow-capped mountains, fjord ice, and pastel-coloured skies.

  • Experience the Arctic spring
  • Stunning winter landscapes
  • Magical midnight sun
  • True expedition cruising
  • 5 experienced guides
Accommodation: Cabin on board M/S Quest, hotel. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Quest. Passengers: 50 passengers. Languages: English & Swedish. Length: 9 days, 7 nights on ship. Price: From USD 6 090. Departures: 19 May 2025, 26 May 2025

Itinerary

With our sturdy Zodiacs we explore this winter wonderland, heading for some of Svalbard’s most magnificent fjords. We also try to go ashore whenever the ice and snow allow.

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

We arrive in Longyearbyen and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2 - 8: Expedition cruising

We start our Svalbard adventure by exploring Longyearbyen. In the afternoon we embark our expedition ship M/S Quest and head out through Isfjorden - our Arctic adventure has started! We are now in a part of the world where we are completely dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary will depend on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. We may make a first excursion before heading south or north, depending on the weather and ice conditions. Here are some examples of places we may visit:

Alkhornet

At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff of Alkhornet. We go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife, including barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Arctic foxes are sometimes seen in the rock crevices around the mountain and with a bit of luck we might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.

Prins Karls Forland

This narrow strip of land is covered by a magnificent and snow-covered mountain chain. The island is also home to many seabirds and harbour seals 

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden

The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is located in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. In the nearby Krossfjorden we can admire the beautifully sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier and listen to the sounds of the many kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots that nest on the nearby cliffs.

Raudfjorden

Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by magnificent glaciers. It is also a favourite haunt of seals, and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.

Virgohamna, Danskøya

Danskøya was the starting point for two of the most daring attempts to reach the North Pole. The Swedish explorer Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. Interesting remnants of these Arctic expeditions can still be seen here.

Bellsund

At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. We go ashore and walk across the tundra to get a closer look at these charming birds.

 

Hornsund

The majestic Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where huge glaciers calve out shimmering blue ice. This is one of the favourite haunts of some of Svalbard's polar bears, and we may be lucky enough to spot one on the fjord ice.

Day 9: Longyearbyen

In the morning we leave the ship in Longyearbyen and begin our journey home.

Please note: All itineraries are for guidance only. Our exact route will depend on the ice, weather conditions, wildlife and government regulations. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

Snowshoeing

For the active there is a chance to explore the areas we visit with snowshoes. This is an extra option that requires a good level of fitness. Please note: this activity is always dependent on weather, wind and other safety precautions.

Flights
We offer group flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen and return (limited availability). Contact us for more information!

The ship M/S Quest

  • Helbild.se
  • Johnny Van Vliet
  • Johnny Van Vliet
  • Johnny Van Vliet
  • Svalbard in May
    Mattias Henningsson
  • Olle Carlsson
  • Dining room
    Jonas Sundquist
  • Jett Britnell
  • Owner's Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin Superior
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin Superior
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Twin Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Triple Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Johnny Van Vliet
  • Johnny Van Vliet
  • Only 50 passengers
  • 5 Zodiacs & 5 guides
  • Beautiful panorama lounge
  • Spacious outer decks, free from crowds
  • Small ship with a relaxed atmosphere
  • Several cabin categories
Johnny van Vliet
PolarQuest
Jett Britnell

A COMFORTABLE EXPEDITION SHIP WITH A WONDERFUL CREW

The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry along the west coast of Greenland. In 2004-2005, it was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship, and in 2018, the passenger areas underwent further renovation. M/S Quest can accommodate 50 passengers, with all 24 cabins being outside cabins equipped with private facilities. The triple cabins feature upper and lower berths, while all other cabins have either two lower berths or a double bed. Each cabin includes a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious, featuring armchairs and a TV. The owner’s cabin offers a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area, and a TV.

In the dining room, you enjoy delicious meals between landings, while the panorama lounge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This lounge serves as the venue for entertaining talks about the area's flora, fauna, and history. It also features a bar and a small library. The ship boasts spacious observation decks for you to enjoy the stunning vistas. The bridge welcomes you around the clock, and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew, and the atmosphere on board is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on M/S Quest.

It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

Cabins & prices

Cabin category Price per person
Triple cabin upper/lower beds USD 6 090
Twin cabin 2 twin beds USD 7 090
Twin cabin Plus 2 twin beds USD 7 490
Double cabin double bed USD 7 490
Double cabin Superior large double bed* USD 8 590
Owner’s cabin large double bed USD 9 290
Twin cabin for single use USD 11 390

Please note: It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

*The double bed in the Superior cabins is separable.

Price includes

  • 1 night in a hotel in Longyearbyen
  • 7 nights on board M/S Quest
  • Lunch day 2
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee and tea
  • An experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides
  • Guiding ashore and talks on board
  • All excursions and activities

Not included

  • Flight to/from Longyearbyen
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges

Departures & booking

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make a reservation.

Booking request
We are glad that you are interested in travelling with PolarQuest! Please enter your details below, and let us know if you have any specific preferences such as cabin category. Your request is non-binding.

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Departure Return
19 May 2025 27 May 2025
26 May 2025 3 June 2025

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Our travelers' experiences

We have been home a few days now, but are still ‘blown away’ by our holiday in Svalbard. We will remember our time in the Arctic forever. The hospitality and the food on the ship were excellent, and the guides were 5 star plus. This has proved to have been one of our best holidays ever, and one which we would hope to repeat. David & Maureen Macleod
In my experience, a wonderful thing about your company, i.e. all the staff and crew, is that everyone tries their very best, and they are so well selected for the jobs they are doing. Intelligence, personality, experience… it made the trip a charmed cruise from planning to completion. The support I got from you in the office was excellent – everything went as planned and all details were correct! Yvonne Higgs McHugh & Tony Brake
Our trip was faultless, everything was so well organised, and every person so pleasant. We have travelled a lot, to over 80 countries in the world, with different companies, but yours “PolarQuest” certainly came out the top, yes you are our no. 1 company. Janet & Eddie Brown
To say that everything was great would be an understatement... The ship, the people, the food (tons of it) the scenery and the wildlife were all magnificent. The level of professionalism and the quality of the whole product was of the very highest standard... absolutely first class! Ian Salisbury
The expedition was absolutely fabulous, with a very efficient and friendly crew, and delicious food. The Zodiac outings and landings were awe-inspiring with five exceptional, highly professional and enthusiastic guides, giving excellent and captivating explanations on the Arctic fauna and flora, as well as on their environment and on different explorers. Marit & Don Meredith
I am still in a dreamlike state after my wonderful trip to Svalbard on M/S Quest. Thank you to all your multitalented guides who could not have done more to make the trip a fantastic experience. Thanks to all of you in the office too who made it all work from afar! Many thanks. Doreen McBarnet
We have returned from our wonderful journey and wanted to thank you, and especially everyone on the ship itself. Every single day that we had on board was a great experience. The flexibility and inventiveness of the Expedition Leader and the ship’s Captain and First Mate in ensuring that we made the best of our time considering the ice conditions as well as the care taken not to disturb the native animal life and respect the distance needed, so as not to overstress them, was much appreciated. The ship’s crew, the restaurant staff who served our cheerful and tasty ”yummi yummi” meals, our cabin, were all excellent. Trevor Soames & Camilla Permin
We have just finished our magnificent Svalbard cruise with PolarQuest and M/S Quest. What a fantastic experience. Our trip was really great and your guides superb. They went out of our way to help at all times, and the Captain also was magnificent, entering the true “expedition” spirit and steering the ship into the ice for our convenience, and participating in all manner of events. All-in-all we have had a fantastic time with the PolarQuest people, and would certainly look for further adventures sometime in the future. Richard Boweb