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R/V Kinfish

Kinfish In Fjord

About the R/V Kinfish

Built in 1958, the R/V Kinfish has recently been transformed from a Norwegian research vessel to a classic passenger ship, ready to explore the icy waters of the Spitsbergen archipelago. The bridge has been fitted out with advanced safety equipment, allowing the R/V Kinfish to safely navigate the calm Svalbard waters. With room on board for just 12 passengers, the ship has an intimate atmosphere, and her small size allows her to access some of the smaller fjords and coves along the coastline.

A Brief History

The Kinfish story began back in 1958 when the U.S. Ambassador in Norway ordered her construction. She was donated to the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue and according to official record, assisted a total of 571 vessels and rescued 57 men. In 1985, she was used as a hydrographic survey vessel in the oil and gas industry. In 1994, under ownership of the Norwegian government, she had a major upgrade and was used for the mapping of the Norweigan coastline seabed and was part of the pioneering project of mapping the uncharted waters around Svalbard. Since 2018, Kinfish is currently in service under ownership and management of Northern Expeditions.

Why travel on the R/V Kinfish?

  • One of the nicest looking small ships, the Kinfish is a vessel with history and character that is usefully purposed during the winter months embarking on exciting research quests such as uncovering the history of Norway scouring the seabed to find Viking remains.
  • Fantastic stabilisation system for comfortable cruising, superior to that normally found in vessels of this size, Kinfish is Ice Class 1C with an ice strengthened 1A hull.
  • State of the art navigational equipment in the bridge; passengers able to sit in comfort and see three dimensional scans of the seabed.
  • Beautifully refitted interior with multiple comfortable spaces for passengers to relax and socialise. With 360 degree views from all levels, no other small ship has this number of varied accessible viewing platforms.
  • Small and manoeuvrable. In the words of her owner, "this ship can dance". Perfect for navigating the most inaccessible reaches of the Svalbard archipelago.
  • When her engine is running idle it generates minimal vibrations - great for photography when parked in fast ice.

A Look Inside

The Cabins

The newly refurbished six en-suite guest cabins have comfortable beds with proper duvets and crisp white linen. There is also a small desk, shelves and under bed storage.


There are two bright and spacious lounges, a dining area and bar, as well as an open bridge and ample deck space from which to admire the stunning Arctic landscapes. The ship's mudroom has an additional bathroom, allowing guests to clean up following onshore excursions.


All meals are included throughout your time on the RV Kinfish, enjoy delicious Nordic-inspired cuisine and European dishes served by the fantastic on-board chef. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate, soft drinks and alcohol are also included on board. Any special dietary requirements can be catered for with sufficient notice.

Activities on R/V Kinfish

Wildlife Watching & Photography

Cruising aboard the RV Kinfish you will witness the incredible rugged landscapes of Svalbard and encounter wildlife such as the polar bear, the undisputed ‘King of the Arctic’. The small size of the ship allows you to explore even the smallest and most secluded fjords, and provides opportunities for up close wildlife photography. The deck space of the RV Kinfish is spread over different levels, which is perfect for active travellers and avid photographers who want to capture the wildlife and scenery from different perspectives.

Zodiac Cruising

There are two zodiacs on board, each carrying up to six passengers, and allowing closer access to some of the area’s best natural attractions - sail past icebergs and watch as huge chunks of ice calve off the face of mighty glaciers. The zodiacs are also perfect for small group onshore excursions, on shore you may come across Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer and the impressive Arctic flora.

Swimming with Whales

On our Swimming with Killer Whales and Humpbacks safari, track the movement of the orca pods as they hunt for huge shoals of herring. When you find the whales, you will head out in zodiacs to get closer to the water and, weather conditions permitting, you'll be able to take to the water in small groups and swim alongside these magnificent mammals. Be one of the very few people in the world that will have got this close to the orcas in the wild.

Charter This Arctic Expedition Ship

As well as joining our Specialist-led trips, you can also charter the M/V Kinfish for exclusive use. By fully chartering an Arctic expedition ship, we can offer the flexibility to tailor a trip to suit your exact requirements, whether your focus is photography, wildlife, history, or simply seeing the best that the Arctic has to offer.


Will Bolsover

Founder & Ceo

Will Bolsover

Founder & Ceo

"The RV Kinfish delivers like no other vessel up there. With comfy cabins, multiple relaxing communal areas and some great viewing decks, the Kinfish really is a great little ship. A maximum of 12 clients makes any expedition aboard the Kinfish an intimate one, but with enough space to find your own corner if required. A huge bridge, open 24 hours a day, means there is plenty of room for everyone to be up there at the same time, either chatting to the Captain, spotting for bears, or watching the ship calve through the ice as you venture into the frozen realms of the north. With stabilisers (few other ships of this size have these!) and state-of-the-art positioning technology, the Kinfish provides both the flexibility for exploration and the versatility to access where few others can."