©Kerstin LangenbergerKerstin Langenberger
The charming walrusMattias Horntich
Zodiac cruisingMattias Henningsson
Magical MayMaria Nordvall
Svalbard offers many magnificent glaciersZet Freiburghaus
Yoga in Svalbard with M/S Quest 2024
Are you looking for a unique trip where you can combine amazing nature experiences with yoga? Then this adventure might be perfect for you! In May, you have the chance to join PolarQuest and yoga teacher Isabel Holmquist on an unforgettable expedition cruise in the realm of the midnight sun and the polar bear - Svalbard. Here we experience exciting Zodiac cruises and explore the magnificent nature up close. As an added value to the trip, Isabel will lead yoga and meditation sessions whenever an opportunity arises. Practicing yoga in this awe-inspiring environment, far from the constant noise of civilization and the demands of everyday life, is an unparalleled experience
During the month of May, Svalbard is characterised by a wonderful purity and offers spectacular sceneries. The fairytale winter landscape is dominated by sparkling ice formations, snow covered mountains, fjord ice and pastel coloured skies. It is spring in the Arctic and it is an indescribable experience to be there and witness the archipelago come to life. The Arctic foxes and the Svalbard reindeers still wear their winter fur and walruses can often be seen resting on the fjord ice and if we are lucky we might see a polar bear hunting for seals.
- Experience the Arctic spring
- Stunning winter landscapes
- Magical midnight sun
- True expedition cruising
- 5 experienced guides
- Yoga teacher on this voyage
With our sturdy Zodiacs we explore this winter wonderland, heading for some of Svalbard’s most magnificent fjords. We also try to go ashore when the opportunity arises and ice and snow allows us.
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. Perhaps we could make a first outing before we continue either south or north – all depending on the weather and the current ice situation. Here are some examples of places we may visit:
At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff Alkhornet. We go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife with 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 some 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 situated in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. In the nearby Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large number of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs.
Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favourite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.
Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskøya. Swedish explorer Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these Arctic expeditions left on this site.
At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. We go ashore and walk across the tundra to take a closer look at these charming birds.
The majestic Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where enormous glaciers calve out shimmering blue ice. This is one of the favourite haunts for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and if lucky we can spot one of them on the fjord ice.
Day 9: Longyearbyen
In the morning we leave the ship in Longyearbyen and begin our journey home.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Our exact route will depend on 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!
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.
We offer group flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen with return (limited availability). Contact us for more information!
Unique to this trip
Yoga and Meditation with Isabel Holmquist
It's hard to imagine anything more relaxing than practicing yoga on a sun-warmed rock, overlooking snow-capped peaks and a crystal-clear fjord where the sky paints the world upside down. This is exactly what you have the chance to do during our yoga trip in Svalbard.
Experienced yoga teacher Isabel Holmquist will be joining us on this trip. She will lead yoga and meditation sessions for a group of 10 - 15 people. This is a yoga experience beyond the ordinary and not a typical yoga retreat where exercises are done in a group indoors. Instead, you will practice yoga on a rocky beach wearing outdoor clothing, meditate with your eyes open not to miss the breathtaking views, and perhaps rise early to do some yoga exercises on the deck before breakfast. Isabel is also open to offering private consultations about the body, nutrition, and exercise.
We want to make it clear that we cannot provide you with a schedule in advance or tell you what exercises will take place. The itinerary is flexible, as is the yoga and Isabel. There is no large studio on board M/S Quest, so the yoga sessions on board will take place on the deck, on chairs in the lounge, in the corridor, etc., and will be announced daily. Isabel adapts the yoga sessions to the participants and adjusts them daily based on the weather, landings, and the day's schedule in consultation with the expedition leader. You will also have the opportunity to participate in all landings, hikes, and lectures with other passengers on board.
Being part of the yoga group does not cost anything extra, but when you book your trip, you need to express your interest in joining the yoga group to PolarQuest and bring your own mat.
Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experienced practitioners. There are 10-15 spots in the yoga group. Additionally, simpler yoga and meditation exercises will be organized on board and on land for all passengers who wish to participate.
Isabel joined us as a yoga teacher on a Svalbard expedition with M/S Quest during the same period in 2022. She organized yoga and meditation sessions on several occasions, for both her group of yoga travellers and other guests on board. This took place in the lounge, on deck, and on land, with breathtaking views that left all participants in awe. Isabel is highly inspiring, inclusive, inventive and flexible. She will adapt and adjust the exercises daily throughout the trip.
“Being in nature nourished our senses and our souls with a symphony of stimulus that grounded us firmly in the present moment. Doing yoga also brought people closer together. It is much easier to take a seat next to someone during dinner who you recently practiced odd poses next to. Yoga is disarming and attracts a few laughs.”
- Isabel about her trip with M/S Quest 2022.
More about Isabel Holmquist
For almost 30 years, Isabel has been practicing yoga, and for the past 15 years, she has been teaching and sharing her knowledge full-time. Isabel finds it fantastic to see her students discover yoga. To her, it's like a physical, more creative form of physiotherapy. She focuses on body alignment and aims to help you understand how your body works, become friends with it, and cultivate a positive relationship with yourself on the mat.
Isabel has been a yoga teacher for 15 years. She attended the Gothenburg School of Business, and her initial plan was to follow the typical career path. However, when she had her first child, she chose to step off the hamster wheel and open her own yoga studio in Gothenburg. She wanted to try life as an entrepreneur and dedicate herself to yoga full-time. Since then, she has run several yoga studios, and today, Isabel lives with her family in Åre, where she teaches yoga in her own studio.
Comments from previous yoga travellers:
"The yoga trip in 2022 with Isabel and Polarquest's amazing team to Svalbard was absolutely fantastic. Sun salutation under the midnight sun and Isabel's guided meditation in a nature that is so unrealistically beautiful. A memory for life!"
– Karolina Nilo Bengtsson
"To do yoga with Isabel and have the spectacular nature of Svalbard as a backdrop is magical in every sense."
– Kristina Harmsen Hogendoorn
"Being part of the yoga trip in Svalbard was fantastic. To be in this incredibly beautiful and magnificent nature, to experience a completely windless day, feel the warmth from the sun spreading through the body, look out over the fjord with its snow and ice-covered peaks, while turning your focus inward, being within yourself, is a breathtaking feeling that I will never forget."
– Kerstin Zimmerman-Lindh
Read the interview with Isabel about her 2022 Svalbard trip here!
The Package Travel Directive – protects the traveller’s rights
When you have booked a trip with PolarQuest, you are protected by the Package Travel Directive. This includes that you have the right to rebook your trip or cancel and receive a full refund, if your Government, or other relevant authorities, have implemented restrictions against travelling. This includes documented quarantine requirements in the country you are travelling to. However, free cancellation is only possible when it is less than 30 days to departure, provided the travel restrictions are still in place and clearly will affect your trip. You are also entitled to a full refund, should PolarQuest cancel the trip for any reason whatsoever.
The ship M/S Quest
The ship offers spacious observation decksOlle Carlsson
Dining roomJonas Sundquist
It's easy to access the ZodiacsAdrian Nordenborg
Owner's CabinEirik Grønningsæter
Double Cabin SuperiorEirik Grønningsæter
Double Cabin SuperiorEirik Grønningsæter
Double CabinEirik Grønningsæter
Double CabinEirik Grønningsæter
Twin CabinEirik Grønningsæter
Triple CabinEirik Grønningsæter
A COMFORTABLE EXPEDITION SHIP WITH A WONDERFUL CREW
The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship and in 2018 she underwent a renovation of the passenger areas. M/S Quest takes 50 passengers and all 24 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV. The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV.
In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on board 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 5 790|
|Twin cabin||2 twin beds||USD 6 690|
|Twin cabin Plus||2 twin beds||USD 7 090|
|Double cabin||double bed||USD 7 090|
|Double cabin Superior||large double bed*||USD 8 190|
|Owner’s cabin||large double bed||USD 8 790|
|Twin cabin for single use||USD 10 890|
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.
- 7 nights on board M/S Quest
- 1 night in a hotel in Longyearbyen
- 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
- Comprehensive information material before the expedition
- Yoga teacher Isabel Holmquist on this voyage
- Flight to/from Longyearbyen
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- Gratuity to the ship’s crew
- Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges
Related blog posts
The magical polar night of Svalbard
In Svalbard, the dark season lasts for several months, from the end of October to the middle of February. However, between 14 November and 29 January, we enter the most enchanting and cozy phase of the dark season known as the polar night. During this time, the sun is never visible above the horizon, yet it's not entirely dark. The light from the hidden sun provides a few hours of daylight, and the significant turning point occurs around the winter solstice on 22 December. In this article, our expedition guide Olivier, who previously lived in Svalbard for six years, shares his unique experiences of the darkest of all dark seasons.Read more
Mattias Klum about his trip to Svalbard: "A hard-to-beat place"
For many years, the internationally recognised photographer, filmmaker and artist Mattias Klum has explored unique environments around the world. Svalbard is a place he has returned to several times, experiencing all seasons and the dramatic changes in nature. However, in August, when he travelled with our expedition ship M/S Quest, it was the first time he participated as a fellow traveller and inspirer. In this interview with Mattias, you gain a deeper insight into his trip and why he considers Svalbard one of the world's most unique destinations.Read more