Your Expedition.

Join Our Experienced Expedition Team On an Epic Journey to

Svalbard, Norway

August 2-10, 2020

Welcome to Svalbard

Svalbard is the Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. It was discovered by Willem Barentsz in 1596 and is approximately 600 mi / 965 km from the North Pole and 400 mi / 644 km north of Norway. With a land area of 24,721 sq mi / 39,784 sq km, and 60% of the land covered in ice, Svalbard is considered the largest wilderness area in Europe. Spread across four settlements (Longyearbyen being the largest), it has a population of 2,600.

The expedition mode kicks in as soon as we depart Longyearbyen and your Expedition Leader and Captain will decide the route based on wildlife, weather, and ice conditions. MS Villa serves as an excellent platform for photographing the scenery as we sail towards the pack ice in search of seabirds, seals, whales and of course the King of the Arctic… the Polar Bear in their natural habitat.

Join your experienced Expedition Guides for Zodiac cruises, landing with hikes to discover wildlife and visit historic sites. With only 12 guests, you can be sure to spend plenty of time on land and in the Zodiacs maximizing your Svalbard experience!

About Our Yacht.

MS Villa was built 1975 on order from Norwegian Coastal Administration where her mission was to maintain lighthouses and buoys along the rough Norwegian coast. Being owned by the government until February 2019 she has been very well taken care of, and is still in mint condition.

All cabins are above deck, spacious and refurbished winter 2019/2020.

Her crew of 8 and your Expedition guides will ensure you have a memorable expedition in comfort.

Expedition Itinerary

Day 1

Aug 2nd, 2020

Embark Upon ms villa

We meet at the dock in Longyearbyen at 16:00hrs, where we will embark and meet the fantastic crew. After you have settled in your cabins, we will conduct the mandatory safety briefing before a welcome dinner is being served as we sail out from Longyearbyen through Isfjorden. Your adventure has just begun!

Day 2-7

Aug 3-9, 2020

explore the archipelago

In expedition mode, exploring the fantastic archipelago that Svalbard offers. Weather and ice conditions will determine the route and your Expedition Leader will keep you updated on the plan throughout the days. On the final day we return to Longyearbyen and dock for the night.

Day 8

Aug 10th, 2020

disembark the ms villa

Enjoy a final breakfast at 09:00hrs as we say goodbye for this time and disembark at Longyearbyen’s dock.



Per Person


  • Expedition activities (Zodiac Cruises, Landings, Hikes)
  • Professional guides with lectures and hands-on tutorials in the field
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (First day: Dinner only – Last day: Breakfast only)
  • Welcome Cocktail; Wine with the Farewell Dinner
  • Laundry facilities
  • Daily cabin cleaning & turndown service


  • Tip for the crew
  • Travel to and from agreed starting point in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
  • Taxes, levies, insurance, VISA fee, immigration duties or other travel services where applicable
  • Personal items such as expedition clothing
  • Alcoholic beverages

Logistical Information

Due to high demands during the summer, we advise to book your flights to and from Longyearbyen as far in advance as possible.

SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle offer connecting flights from Oslo International Airport (OSL) to Longyearbyen (LYR). We strongly recommend flying in one day before departure on MS Villa as weather may impact your flights and to ensure your luggage is arriving with you.

We recommend accommodation at Svalbard Adventures (

Driving in and around Longyearbyen is very easy, and if you want to hire your own car Arctic Auto Rent is the provider of rental cars in Longyearbyen. You can collect the car at the airport and inform them you will leave it at the dock on departure date.
If you want to book transport please contact Svalbard Adventures


Nansen Polar Expeditions is a part of Sail Racing Test Team ( When you have completed the booking, you will receive an offer to purchase a kit of outdoor gear customized by our experienced guide team. If you bring your own clothing, we strongly recommend you dress in layers starting with layer in wool closest to the body, adding another layer with normal outdoor trousers, sweater, thin jacket or fleece, and a final layer of waterproof trousers and jacket. Warm wool socks, waterproof mittens and a good hat is strongly recommended.

For footwear we recommend warm waterproof boots, such as Muck Arctic boots. They will keep you warm on long Zodiac Cruises, and will keep your feet dry when doing landings.

Travel Requirements

All guests are required to carry a valid passport, and some nationalities require a visa in advance. Please check visa and immigration requirements for the countries you will be visiting.

We recommend you to carry personal travel insurance. Due to the remote areas it is important that adequate emergency evacuation coverage is included.

Nansen Polar Expeditions are proud to be affiliated with Bertie Travel ( who offers First class, Business Class, VIP travel, whole film crews, special requests, dietary requirements, private air charter airport assistance… and lots more.

Expedition Guides

Our Guides are carefully chosen to share their extensive knowledge and show you all the hidden gems while taking care of you in a safe and fun way.

Informative lectures and recaps will be facilitated on board, in addition to talks and hands-on tutorials when out in the field. With hundreds of expeditions of experience, holding all certificates required meeting local authorities; safety is our Guides number one priority!

Zodiac Landings

Two Zodiacs equipped with new eco-friendly outboard engines with low noise- and pollution standards serves as the perfect platform to get close to wildlife. Expedition Guides and crew will assist you getting in and out of them, don’t worry… It will all be covered in the mandatory safety brief before departure! All guests are required to wear waterproof outer gear and knee-high waterproof boots as you will be required to step into a few inches of water on landings, and some sea spray can be expected in the Zodiac pending weather and sea conditions.


Summer in the Arctic means four seasons in a day at times!

Expect sunny days that quickly change into cold winds and snow flurries.

Average temperatures range from -1°-6°C (30°-43°F).

Equipment & Gear

Proper gear is essential for an enjoyable expedition.
A typical packing list of gear for a Svalbard landing would include:

Thermal Wear

  • One full set of thermal or silk long underwear
  • Three or four pairs of tall thick socks (wool) for wearing with rubber boots. Bring several pairs in case your feet get wet.
  • T-shirts, polo shirts, jeans/pants and other casual clothes for layering and on board the ship.
  • Two or three warm, long-sleeved shirts for casual wear and layering (turtlenecks are a good option).
  • Two or three wool or polar fleece sweaters in a combination of light and heavy (fleece is lighter and dries faster than wool).
  • Two pairs of warm, comfortable pants (heavy cotton, wool or synthetic hiking style) to wear under your waterproof pants.
  • A bathing suit (for a polar plunge!)


  • One pair of fully waterproof rubber boots with sturdy, high-traction soles. Bogs Zodiac Classic High Boots are a good choice as they provide warmth, comfort and good traction. We stress the importance of completely waterproof knee-high boots for zodiac landings. Boots should have good traction because you are likely to encounter poor footing on ice and rough terrain. Comfort is important; if your boots are too heavy or bulky, your footing will be awkward. 
  • If you intend to do hiking, you may wish to bring a pair of waterproof hiking boots. Leather or Gore-Tex are good choices.


  • One waterproof parka/shell jacket for rainy or windy weather. You will be wearing this on all landings; so do not skimp on quality! 
  • One pair of waterproof (Gore-Tex or similar), breathable pants that are loose enough to wear over a regular pair of trousers. You will need these for all landings. 
  • One or two pairs of waterproof mittens or gloves. Bring an extra pair in case one gets wet. You might bring a pair of thin, polypropylene gloves that fit underneath to wear when using a camera. 
  • One or two warm hats and a scarf or neck gaiter (wool, fleece, or wind-stopper fabric). 
  • One or two pairs of sturdy sunglasses with good UV and wind protection. The brightness of the sun reflected off the ice can be dangerous to under-protected eyes. We recommend bringing a spare pair in case one breaks or is lost. Those who wear contacts may wish to wear glasses while in the zodiacs due to wind and salt spray.


  • Camera, lenses and plenty of memory cards. 
  • Extra camera batteries or battery charger. 
  • A good pair of binoculars (see guidelines below). 
  • A lightweight, collapsible, walking staff (trekking pole). Single staffs provide a sense of security, increased balance and confidence when walking on ice, snow and rugged terrain. Some prefer to walk with a pole in each hand for more stability. 
  • Water-resistant backpack or similar for carrying cameras and equipment during landings. Alternatively, a waterproof liner or plastic bag inside a traditional backpack can be used. 
  • Sun block, lotion, and lip balm.


  • Quality binoculars are essential for viewing distant wildlife and birds. 
  • Binoculars are described by two numbers, 10 x 50 for instance. The first number is the magnification and the second is the diameter of the front lens in millimeters. A front lens diameter of 50mm is common, but the binoculars will be bulky. Lens under 50mm are considered compact. A magnification of 10 or 12 can be handheld without shaking and is generally most useful. More powerful will require a tripod. 8 x 40 or 10 x 40 are popular choices. 
  • Image-stabilized binoculars are available, but are expensive and sometimes heavy. These have an electronic method of eliminating shake and reducing curvature of field.