Svalbard Cruise Costs: A Detailed Guide

Svalbard cruise cost

Planning your Svalbard cruise is such an exciting venture. At some point though, our budget must take top consideration and Svalbard cruise costs can vary considerably. 

Because Svalbard is a remote archipelago in the Arctic, cruise costs tend to be high. Saying that, seeing polar bears in the wild is worth it!

Whilst the cruise itself is the major budget factor, many people often forget the other associated costs that come with booking a Svalbard cruise.

To help you unlock those hidden costs, we have written this page. We try to be as transparent as possible so that you don't get any nasty surprises when booking your Svalbard cruise.

Because there are so many Svalbard cruise itineraries on offer, cruise costs vary considerably. This is especially true when you consider cabin options and ship options. However, we have done our best to give a rough estimate of your cruise cost below.

We always advise people looking to book a Svalbard cruise not to base everything on price. Sometimes, if you spend a little more, you'll get a much better experience.

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​Svalbard Cruise Costs

The main element of your Svalbard cruise cost is the cruise itself. As mentioned above, Svalbard cruise are not cheap and you will need to factor this in.

One factor to keep in mind when looking at prices is that accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks are all included in the price. Once you actually board your Svalbard cruise, there are very few costs involved.

The best way to choose which itinerary you want is to ask yourself what you wish to get out of your cruise. Do you want to see polar bear? Epic landscapes? Icebergs? Deciding this will often narrow your search considerably and allow you to get some price options.

The next thing to decide is what type of ship you wish to travel on. Do you have the budget to splash out on a luxury vessel? Or do you need the cheapest option available? Below we discuss each type in a little more detail.

For a detailed article on choosing the right cruise, please click here

Research vessels

Research vessels are the cheapest option for Svalbard cruising. These ships offer basic facilities and limited food choices. Saying that, you get a real feeling of expedition cruising and research vessels are often the safest in the waters. Research vessels are often quite small which allows them to make numerous shore landings and navigate small channels that some bigger, luxury ships cannot.

Prices start around $2,000 and go upwards to about $7,000 depending on which Svalbard itinerary you choose. The average price is around $4,000.

Expedition ships

Expedition ships are extremely popular in Svalbard. You essentially get very well-appointed accommodation, great facilities and numerous shore landings at a good price. Although not as luxurious as the higher-end options, expedition ships are small and offer a number of activities such as kayaking.

Prices start around $3,000 and go upwards to about $10,000 depending on the itinerary. The average price is around $6,000.

Luxury cruis​​​​e

Luxury Svalbard cruises are the gold standard. Expect restaurant options, large rooms, gyms, jacuzzis and excellent deck space. If you want to travel Svalbard in stye then look no further. Bare in mind though that luxury vessels are often very large and cannot make as many shore landings because of this.

Prices start around $7,000 and go upwards to about $30,000 depending on your chosen itinerary. The average price is around $10,000.

Svalbard cruise cost 2

​Flight Costs

Behind the cruise itself, flights are probably the biggest factor when thinking about your svalbard cruise cost.

Although many cruises depart in Longyearbyen, many depart from neighbouring countries such as Iceland, Scotland and mainland Norway.

Your flight costs will also vary considerably depending on where and when you are flying from. People in the US will no doubt pay far more than people living within Europe. For example, flights to Longyearbyen from the UK cost around $500, whereas, from New York you should expect to pay around $1500.

Iceland's capital  - Reykjavik - is a popular departure point for Svalbard cruises because of it''s accessibility. People from the UK should expect to pay around $200-300, while people from the US should aim for around $600-800. Many Svalbard cruises also depart from Tromsø, Norway. Prices from the UK start around $300, whilst from the US you should expect to pay over $850.

Always make sure of your embarkation and disembarkation points. Svalbard is known for non-round trips. This means you may board your vessel in Tromso and disembark at Reykjavik. If this is the case you will need to book 2 one-way flights. This is often a little more expensive.

In general, we recommend budgeting at least a $1,000 for your Svalbard cruise flights per person. Because you will have to fly in conjunction with the cruise dates, this gives you even less flexibility in selecting flights. It may be cheaper to get a flight a day or two earlier than required and stay in a hotel.

Remember, after booking your Svalbard cruise, your specialist or operator should be able to give you detailed information on the best flights, times and prices available.

Svalbard cruise cost

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​Gear and Clothing

Being part of the Arctic, Svalbard cruise are cold and often windy. The summer is know for fog and drizzle and you need to be properly prepared. Having the right clothing is paramount to your enjoyment.

The key to clothing in Svalbard is layers. This allows you to add or remove layers depending on how old the temperature and wind gets during your cruise.

We would always recommend bringing base layers, shirts, fleece, waterproof jacket and a parka. Even more important is bringing the right boots. Because you'll be making wet landings for your shore excursions, you'll want a god pair of muck boots and some thermal socks.

Although it's not a requirement, bringing a good pair of binoculars is high recommend as the wildlife is often not super close. Most people also bring a good camera and tripod.

Budgeting for clothing is not easy as it really depends on how much gear you already own. If you live in cold climate then you probably own all the necessary gear. However, for warmer-climate dwellers, purchasing the required gear may cost a significant amount. We suggest budgeting around $500 for clothing.

For a full Arctic packing list, please click here

​​Extra Activites

Another element of your Svalbard cruse cost is activities. Most Svalbard cruises will offer some added activity. Often this is sea kayaking. However, on certain cruises you can camp, dive, dog sled or ski.

Shore landings, zodiac trips, hiking and lectures are covered as standard in the ticket price. Each added activity is not and the price varies depending on the activity you wish to do.

Make sure you book your activity prior to departure to avoid disappointment. Kayaking is generally around $600 extra, whilst paddle boarding is considerably cheaper.

We advise to set budget around $750 per person for an optional activity. Although it sounds high, the experience is often the highlight of the trip!

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Expedition Cruise do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended specialist click Get a Quote.


Because of the high costs involved to rescue people on a remote cruise, travel insurance is mandatory on all Svalbard expedition cruises. Your safety should be your highest priority, so make sure get the right policy.

Most operators will cover you for emergency evacuation up to $500,000 per paying passenger. This does not cover trip delay or cancellation though. It also does not cover, lost or stolen baggage or, more importantly, repatriation. You operator will also not cover you for anything prior or post-cruise.

Therefore, travel insurance is a key consideration for your Svalbard cruise cost budget. Expect to pay $250 per person for a good policy. Always read the fine print - some insurers don't actually cover you on shore landings or for certain activities such as kayaking.

Travel insurance is therefor another budget consideration that cannot be ignored. You should expect to pay in the region of $250 per person. Once again, this depends on where you sail and for how long.

Click here for our detailed page on Arctic cruise insurance. 

Svalbard cruise cost

​Miscellaneous costs

Like all travel, there are of miscellaneous expenses to consider prior to booking your svalbard cruise. Cruise companies do try to be as transparent as possible, but there are always little costs that many people forget.

Below we have budgeted each cost per person.

Passport and visa expenses: There is actually no visa required for Svalbard.  Depending where you are flying through though, you may need a waiver fee. Budget $50

Transportation: Cost to and from the airport are generally not covered in your Svalbard cruise price. Budget $50.

Hotel costs: If you arrive earlier or later than your cruise departure dates, perhaps to get a cheaper flight, then budget for a hotel. we recommend budgeting $100 per person.

Drinks: Water, tea, coffee will always be included as standard on a Svalbard cruise. However, if you want soft drinks or alcoholic drinks of any kind then you should expect to pay. This does vary, particularly on luxury cruises. Budget $200.

Laundry: Laundry costs will not be included. Budget $10.

Tips: It is customary on Svalbard cruises to tip the staff after the trip. The general rule to follow is around $20 per day. This gets dispersed between all the staff. For a standard 12 day trip budget $250.

​​Total Budget

​The below budgets are an average only and include 1 activity.

Remember, the earlier you book your Svalbard cruise, the cheaper your flights will be and the more time you will have to search for good-priced clothing, travel insurance and extras.

Lowest Possible Budget


Research Ship Budget


Expedition Ship Budget


​Luxury Cruise Budget


Get a Cruise Quote!

Expedition Cruise do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended specialist click Get a Quote.


If you have any queries or questions regarding Svalbard cruise costs, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Thank you and happy travels!

​Expedition Cruise Team

Tags: Svalbard cruise cost, cruise cost Svalbard, how much does an Svalbard cruise cost, is an Svalbard cruise expensive

About the Author Burnham Arlidge

Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has cruised to some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet.

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