Svalbard and Jan Mayen Tours

Our most recommended Svalbard and Jan Mayen Tours

Longyearbyen: Historic Coal Mine Tour at Gruve 3

1. Longyearbyen: Historic Coal Mine Tour at Gruve 3

Start with pickup at the hotels and guesthouses in town before a short drive to the outside facility of Mine Number 3. On the way there, you will pass the world-renowned Global Seed Vault where over 1 million seeds from around the world are stored. The first seed bank on Svalbard was opened in Mine no. 3 in 1984. This is where the ideas to build the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard started — by storing seeds in the permafrost with no need for electricity.  Enter the facility and explore maps over Longyearbyen and Svalbard. Enjoy a historic coal mine and listen to the stories and anecdotes of what was the last mine in town where thin-seam production was applied. Expect in-depth information about the town’s history and why some men decided to settle here some 100 years ago. A model of the mine is used to illustrate how the coal was extracted using thin-seam techniques. Walk through the workshops and see machines and equipment that was left behind when the mine was shut down in 1996. Put on a miner’s overall and crawl through a replica of a mining shaft and get a feeling of how a miner spent his days. Towards the end of the tour, discover the mine itself by walking 300 meters in and entering two different side tunnels.

Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Snowcat

2. Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Snowcat

This northern lights hunt by snowcat is the perfect way to get off the beaten track and look for the aurora in comfort, as your guide drives you over the frozen, snow-covered tundra. Tracked vehicles, such as the specially built snowcat, can visit areas that are otherwise only accessible by snowmobile, dogsled, or skis. The snowcat will pick you up at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen, conveniently located in central Longyearbyen. After a quick safety briefing from the guide, your adventure begins as the snowcat makes its way straight out of town, away from the light pollution from the street lights and houses, and into the Advent Valley. Did you know that between mid November and January, you can catch the northern lights at any time of day? Svalbard is the only place in the world you can easily visit to experience the Polar Night, when the day is as dark as night. This means amazing chances for aurora viewings, no matter what the time. Before and after this period, the sky is lighter, but the long night still offers exceptional chances for catching the northernmost northern lights. Your guide will look for the best viewing locations and make stops to tell you about the area, the aurora, and why Svalbard is an important base for researching the northern lights. Feel free to ask questions about the northern lights, or Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, and Svalbard. Hot drinks and biscuits will be served during the tour. At the end of the tour, the snowcat will turn back to Longyearbyen, where you will be dropped off at the Polar Hotel.

Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Evening with Dinner

3. Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Evening with Dinner

This tour combines a delicious rustic dinner with knowledgeable local hosts, an informative presentation on the aurora borealis and an excellent location for spotting the lights for yourself. This tour begins with a bus transfer from the hotel, taking you out into the Advent Valley to Camp Barentz, which is literally located at the end of the road. Your host for the evening will meet you at the bus, rifle over their shoulder, and provide a quick safety briefing before you head to the cabin. A shot of akevitt will be offered to warm you up as you enter, and the crackling open fire place will ensure you are comfortable in no time. The evening will begin with a little introduction to Svalbard and the discovery of the archipelago in 1596 by Willem Barentz, the namesake of the camp. One of the cabins here is actually a replica of the cabin he and his crew built on Novaya Zemlaya when they got stuck in the ice there after visiting Svalbard. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be served, and you may start to notice a delicious aroma in the cabin, coming from the pot bubbling over the open fire. This pot contains Bidos, a traditional Sami soup consisting of reindeer and root vegetables. The hosts will serve this at your table—and feel free to ask for seconds! A presentation about the northern lights will follow, including how they are formed and why, as well as local information on research that has taken place in this area. During the evening the hosts will be keeping an eye on the night sky, so don't be surprised if the evening is disrupted by a call to head outside and enjoy the show. A delicious chocolate brownie will be served for dessert, together with campfire coffee. The bus will arrive to collect you at about 9:30 PM, at which point you will return to civilization full of delicious food, interesting facts, and incredible local stories.

Longyearbyen: Wilderness Evening Experience with Dinner

4. Longyearbyen: Wilderness Evening Experience with Dinner

Your Arctic adventure begins with pickup from Longyearbyen and travels out into the Advent Valley to Camp Barentz, in the midst of the tundra. Upon arrival, meet your friendly guide and listen to a brief safety induction about the camp before heading inside the cozy log cabin where an open fire creates the most blissful atmosphere. Enjoy a delicious welcome drink, then settle in for story time as you listen to your hosts share unique tales and anecdotes about life in the Arctic. Learn about the discoverer of Svalbard, Willem Barentz, then watch an informative and interesting presentation about the King of the Arctic, the polar bear. Throughout the evening, the smells of a traditional reindeer and root vegetable soup will fill the cabin as its cooked over an open fire. When it’s ready, tuck into this hearty dish and don’t be afraid to ask for second servings! Beer, wine, and soft drinks are also served, as well as a delicious chocolate dessert and bonfire coffee. At the end of the evening, the bus takes you back to civilization, bursting with new knowledge and a full belly.

Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Electric Snowmobile

5. Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Electric Snowmobile

Venture out into the darkness on a 3-hour snowmobile exploration from Longyearbyen. Leave civilization behind and follow the light from your snowmobile to see the path ahead.  Witness the nuances in the polar night, and sense the mystical darkness suddenly change as the glow of the aurora borealis is revealed. Begin your tour with pickup from your hotel and drive to the Expedition Center, where you'll receive a full introduction to the tour. Here, in the modern briefing rooms, see a snowmobile and understand how to drive it, while also receiving information on where the tour will take you and what to expect. After this, kit yourself out in a warm snowmobile suit, boots, mittens, balaclava, and helmet, and off you go! In complete silence, speed through the wilderness on the first electric snowmobile tours in Scandinavia. An environmentally friendly way to explore, the batteries are charged by wind and solar power. After a short drive, the guide will make a stop to check how the participants are doing and to share a Svalbard story or two. Watch the starlight and moonlight glitter in the snow, or make patterns in the clouds, then continue on your snowmobiles as your guide scours the skies for nature's own fireworks. Biscuits and hot drinks will be shared during the tour. The tour concludes with drop-off back at your hotel.

Svalbard: Isfjord Cruise in a Hybrid-Electric Catamaran

6. Svalbard: Isfjord Cruise in a Hybrid-Electric Catamaran

Discover stunning views of Isfjord and look for local wildlife on this cruise aboard an eco-friendly hybrid-electric catamaran. Spread out on two indoor decks with panoramic windows or brave the elements on one of the three outdoor decks. Be picked up from the comfort of selected hotels in Svalbard and hop aboard a climate-controlled van. Take in views of the countryside as you transfer to the charming town of Longyearbyen. Hop aboard the ship MS Bard and begin your fjord adventure.  Listen to a short safety briefing from your guide. Sail along with no set destination on a trip that is always unique. Look for fulmar birds, whales, and seals. Have the chance to watch the captain at work on the above deck.  Lave Longyearbyen behind and head into the Isfjord and the captain will decide the destination based on wind, waves, and wildlife. Keep your energy up with the option to purchase a selection of snacks and drinks from the onboard café and bar.  Head back to Longyearbyen at the end of your cruise and board the bus which will return you to your pickup point. 

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What people are saying about Svalbard and Jan Mayen

A fun evening in a strange little shack with a big fire dinner and plenty to drink. Make sure to tell them if you are vegetarian otherwise its Reindeer stew cooked on the fire. A really interesting story as well and chance to chat with other travellers from all around the world.

Thanks! Very good experience with a VERY dedicated and kind “guide”! Even though we didn’t see Aurora, we had a good evening with some very good stories.

A very nice guide who explains the history of the mine well. It was very interesting !

The visit is great, the place is well preserved and the guide very friendly!

Very interesting visit with guide who gives many explanations