Svalbard in May

May Weather and WheN To Go

May’s temperatures creep up slowly with lows of -7°C and highs of around -3°C throughout the month. Plenty of layers will still be necessary but it will be much more pleasant than earlier months. April and May actually have the highest chance of sunshine too (even though other months have more daylight hours sunshine is often obscured by clouds). Rainfall levels are the lowest of the whole year with only 13mm during the month. 

The colder temperatures often mean clearer skies, and less chance of clouds and fog, meaning white ice and blue skies

Towards the end of May, the polar bear season for Svalbard begins as spring turns to summer, and ships are able to start navigating the frozen seas. For those travelling in May, it's important to pick a ship with a high ice class (such as our May departure on the fabulous 1A ice class M/S Freya), as the pack ice is thicker, and getting closer to the bears requires a strong and sturdy ship. If you are willing to brave the slightly colder temperatures, then you'll be rewarded with stunning ice formations calved from magnificent glaciers, picture perfect valleys with snow topped mountains, and fantastic opportunities to witness polar bears as they pad across the pack ice on the hunt for seals.

This is the perfect month to do our High Arctic Husky Safari venturing out across the snow with your husky team leading the way. Look out for Arctic birds on your journey or the Svalbard reindeer - the only land mammal native to this part of the Arctic Circle.

Our clients have seen up to 37 bears in a single trip when travelling with us.

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our may svalbard trips

2018 Departures

Date   Trip Length  Price From  Ship  Max Passengers  Specialist Guide 
May 12 - 20
9 Days £6,695 M/S Freya
18 Shannon Wild and Russ MacLaughlin

May 20 - 27

8 Days £6,795 M/V Kinfish 12
May 26 - Jun 3 9 Days £6,595 M/S Malmo 12  TBC

May 27 - Jun 4

9 Days £7,495 M/V Kinfish 12

2019 Departures

Date   Trip Length  Price From  Ship  Max Passengers  Specialist Guide 
April 25 - May 3
 9 Days  £9,495 M/S Freya 16 David Yarrow   
May 7 - 17
11 Days  £8,695 M/S Malmo

May 25 - Jun 4

11 Days  £8,695 M/S Malmo
12 TBC
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The end of May sees Svalbard come into ‘polar day’ and the month on average has 23.12 hours of daylight. This gives you an abundance of time to explore and more expeditions will become available from May onwards.

Depending on weather and ice conditions, you may be able to reach North Spitsbergen and sail along ice floes in the hope of spotting polar bears and guillemots.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey.

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