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Where to stay in Svalbard

Kinfish Svalbard By Christopher Michel

Where to stay in Svalbard

A sample of our Svalbard stays

Exploring the harsh, frozen north is ideally suited to expedition ships that have the necessary equipment to safely navigate the frozen waters and cope with the extreme conditions of the region. Thanks to the smaller size of the ships we use, they are able to enter some of the more untouched and inaccessible areas of Svalbard, and combined with their smaller Zodiac boats you can gain closer access to some of the area’s best natural attractions.

MV Kinfish

Built in 1958, the M/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 M/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. Kinfish has an expansive deck space spread across multiple levels, two spacious lounges, and a fantastic presentation room. Cruising aboard the M/V 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 M/V 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. There are two zodiacs on board for small group onshore excursions, each carrying up to six passengers.

MS Polarfront

Built in Norway in 1976, Polarfront was originally used as a research vessel by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute - she used to take readings of CO2 in the atmosphere and measured the convergence of masses of polar and tropical air, hence the name Polarfront. She was recommissioned in 2017 to become an expedition ship, with a full interior refit in 2018. Small in size, Polarfront can easily weave its way through the fjords, uncovering well-kept secrets of the Far North not typically explored. Her design lends itself to navigating through the ice, while her previous life as a weather ship left her with an advanced stabilisation system; unusual in a ship of this size. Two Mark V Zodiacs on-board offer polar explorers versatility and space for off-ship excursions. Despite carrying only a few passengers, there are all the amenities you would normally only find on a much bigger ship, such as an on-board gym, outdoor hot tub and windowed sauna offering views of the polar landscape while you stay in the warm.

Sea Spirit

Spacious and beautiful, the M/V Sea Spirit has space for just 114 passengers during its voyages to the far south, Antarctica. All cabins are suites on-board, and you will also find a wonderful hot tub and outdoor bistro. You can expect smooth sailing; the hull is ice-strengthened and the ship also has retractable fin stabilisers. With seven different suite types to choose from; from triple classic to the owner’s suite, there is a variety to choose from when it comes to space and price. To ensure no one misses out on sightings and spectacular scenery, all suites (all cabins!) have a porthole, picture window or a private balcony. On-board you will find a gym, hot tub, indoor restaurant and an outdoor bistro. There is also a club lounge and a bar, presentation lounge and library. So there are plenty of spaces to meet and mingle with your travel companions, or spend time with a book if you so choose.

MS Quest

A refurbished ship, which originally served as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast, accommodating up to 53 passengers, with a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The cabins themselves are either doubles or triples, clean and comfortable, yet kept fairly basic. The triple cabins on deck 3 have upper and lower berths whereas all other cabins either have two lower berths or a double bed. Within each cabin for your comfort you will also have ample storage space for your luggage and a desk and a chair. There is also the choice of superior cabins (on payment of supplement) on decks 3 and 4 which are more spacious and have a separate sitting area and TV/DVD. The observation decks are a great place to spend your time, watching the ocean and searching for seabirds, polar bears and whales. The panorama lounge is home to some interesting seminars on the local history, fauna and flora as well as breathtaking views out onto the icy ocean. There is also a bar and a small library.

M/V Polar Pioneer

The Polar Pioneer is no stranger to the icy waters of the Southern Ocean and the Arctic north, with a long track record of exploring the remote polar regions. The ship is a true expedition vessel with a tough design; large enough to reach remote destinations, but small enough to access places bigger ships simply can’t get to. Sporting the highest ice class - 1ASuper - she has no problem venturing into ice with her strong ice-strengthened hull. She is now back on the water, benefitting from an extensive refit and all cabins have been refreshed in a functional Scandinavian style. She offers a large deck space with raised areas making her perfect for photography, and features a large updated passenger saloon with bar, and an onboard sauna to warm up in after a day in the cold. With only 53 passengers on-board you’ll be able to maximise your time on shore; she has five zodiacs for shore landings, allowing all guests to shore together.


OceanSky flies at altitudes of up to 6,000ft (approx 2000m) and therefore there is no need for a pressurized cabin. It will normally fly between 1,000ft and 3,000ft, and the only reason to climb higher is to catch a more favourable wind, as the wind turns clockwise when ascending. Ideally we will be flying ‘low and slow’ so our guests can enjoy the view better. The lower the better, maybe even as low as 300 feet, equivalent to being on the 25th floor of a high-rise building.

Isfjord Radio

Isfjord Radio is a former satellite communication station between Norway and Svalbard which has been converted into a unique boutique hotel. Here you can experience the true wilderness of Svalbard in a place very few will have the opportunity to experience.

Svalbard Hotell Polfareren

With a choice of self-catered apartments or plush hotel rooms, you can chose how you want to spend your stay here, but wherever you end up laying your head you’ll be able to make the most of the fantastic central location in Longyearbyen while having a wonderfully elegant base to explore from, with all the modern amenities. There'll also be fantastic views of Svalbard’s polar landscapes right outside your window.

Basecamp Hotel

Nestled in the centre of the capital of Svalbard, Longyearbyen, this unique hotel is one of the most authentic in this former mining town. Formally known as Trapper’s hotel, it reflects the traditional style of the trapper industry with driftwood, sealskin and slate making up much of its decoration. Authentic and relaxing, it is a great place to return hotel after a day of exploring.

Funken Lodge

Funken Lodge is a boutique hotel on Svalbard, with unique views over Longyearbyen and the nearby glaciers. Here you can unwind after thrilling nature experiences, and enjoy exclusive food and drinks from an international cuisine in a relaxed and luxurious atmosphere. From the moment you step into the elegant lobby, you will provided with everything that makes up a first-class stay. Restore your energy in spacious rooms and suites, featuring deluxe amenities and heavenly beds. Unwind with a perfectly handcrafted cocktail and innovative cuisine in Funken Bar. The connected lounge area offers a tranquil setting with an open fireplace, an extensive library of polar literature, and plenty of workspace.Treat your body with a visit in our gym and sauna after a cold day outside. Explore an extensive selection of bottles in the wine cellar and champagne cellar at a private tasting with one of our highly knowledgeable sommeliers.