Svalbard in May

Hardly any rainfall and almost 24 hour daylight makes May a great time to travel to Svalbard. Find out more.

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.


• Browse our Svalbard holidays
• Download our free polar bear travel guide
• Contact our Svalbard Destination Specialist for advice

Request details on our Svalbard holidays

Trip Details

Small Group Trip

Our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer trip is a small group wildlife expedition. The M/V Kinfish is a small, intimate ship perfect for exploring the icy shores of the Svalbard Archipelago, ensuring your proximity to wildlife-rich areas of interest. Carrying 12 passengers, it creates unique and enchanting wildlife experiences with unrivalled up-close encounters of Arctic wildlife, including the mighty polar bear.

Trip Logs

To download trip logs from previous departures, please click the following links:

M/V Kinfish Trip Log 2019 | April 25-03 May  
M/V Kinfish Trip Log 2018 | May 27-04 June

M/S Freya Trip Log 2016 | July 5-15
M/S Freya Trip Log 2016 | August 2-12  
M/S Freya Trip Log 2017 | June 19-29
M/S Freya Trip Log 2018 | June 14-24
M/S Freya Trip Log 2018 | July 03-13

M/S Malmo Trip Log 2016 | July 15-24   
M/S Malmo Trip Log 2017 | June 3 -11 
M/S Malmo Trip Log 2017 | August 22-01 September
M/S Malmo Trip Log 2018 | August 12-22

M/S Sjoveien Trip Log 2017 | August 4-14

Dates and prices

2020 Departures

Date  Trip Length Price From Ship Max Passengers Specialist Guide
Apr 24 - May 4 11 Days £9,495 M/V Kinfish 12 Chris Michel
May 4 - 12 9 Days SOLD OUT M/V Kinfish 12 Martin Hartley
May 12 - 20 9 Days £7,195 M/V Kinfish 12  
May 20 - 28 9 Days £7,195 M/V Kinfish 12  
May 28 - Jun 5 9 Days £8,495 M/V Kinfish 12 Andy Mann
Jun 11 - 20 10 Days £7,895 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jun 20 - 30 11 Days £9,495 M/V Kinfish 12 Andrew James
Jun 30 - Jul 10 11 Days £8,295 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jul 10 - 20 11 Days SOLD OUT M/V Kinfish 12  
Jul 20 - 30 11 Days £8,295 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jul 30 - Aug 8 10 Days £7,895 M/V Kinfish 12  
Aug 8 - 18 11 Days £9,495 M/V Kinfish 12 Chase Teron
Request a detailed itinerary

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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