Discover the Best Ways to Reach Spitsbergen: Ultimate Travel Guide

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Are you dreaming of a travel adventure to the extremes of the North, in a remote place where few others have ventured? A place that only the brave and most adventurous dare visit? Look no further than Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, located halfway between Norway and the North Pole. In this guide, we’ll answer the question of How do you get to Spitsbergen? and provide insights into the best ways to reach this polar paradise.

Getting to Spitsbergen by Air

The easiest and most common way to reach Spitsbergen is by air. Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on the island, has a small airport that is well-connected with the Norwegian mainland. Several airlines operate flights from Oslo or Tromsø to Spitsbergen, including SAS, Norwegian, and Widerøe.

The flight time from Oslo to Longyearbyen is approximately 3.5 hours. However, it’s important to note that flights to and from Spitsbergen are subject to weather conditions and can be affected by frequent cancellations or delays. We recommend planning your trip well in advance and being prepared with contingency plans in case of any issues.

Getting to Spitsbergen by Sea

If you’re looking for a more unique and adventurous way to reach Spitsbergen, consider traveling by sea. Hurtigruten, a Norwegian coastal voyage company, offers a variety of expedition cruises to the Arctic, with Spitsbergen as one of the key destinations. Other cruise operators such as Ponant and Quark Expeditions also offer trips to Spitsbergen.

Most of these expeditions depart from Tromsø, Norway, and typically last from 10 to 14 days, allowing visitors to experience the stunning landscapes, wildlife, and unique culture of the Arctic. Keep in mind that the weather and sea conditions in the Arctic can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack accordingly and follow the recommendations of your cruise operator.

Getting to Spitsbergen by Land

While it’s not possible to reach Spitsbergen by car or train, it is possible to travel through Norway and Sweden via public transportation, taking a combination of trains, buses, and ferries. From Stockholm, take the train to Narvik, then transfer to a bus to Harstad, and finally a ferry to Tromsø. From Tromsø, as previously mentioned, you can take a flight or join an Arctic expedition cruise to reach Spitsbergen.

Getting Around Spitsbergen

Once you’ve reached Spitsbergen, there are several ways to get around and explore the island. Longyearbyen has a local bus service that operates on a regular schedule throughout the day. Taxis are also available, but can be quite expensive due to the remote location of the island.

For a more adventurous and immersive experience, consider joining a dog sled or snowmobile tour. These tours are highly popular among visitors to Spitsbergen and offer unique views of the Arctic landscapes and wildlife.


In conclusion, although Spitsbergen may seem like a remote and difficult place to reach, it’s actually quite accessible by air or sea, with many options for getting to the island. By following our suggestions and planning your trip in advance, you’ll be able to enjoy a unique and unforgettable travel adventure in one of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth.

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