Research and tourist vessels available for charter

There are a range of vessels that routinely operate in the waters around Svalbard and may be available for charter by researchers. This page gives an overview of some of the vessels for information. 

If you are the owner or operator of a vessel and you would like it to be included in this overview, please contact the SIOS access and logistics officer.

Larger vessels (10+ passengers)

The H2020 projects ARICE and EUROFLEETS+ maintain overviews of icebreakers and other large research vessels, respectively. Some of the vessels may be available for charter or transnational access. Refer to the overviews on the project websites for more information. Remote transnational access to research vessels is offered by EUROFLEETS - click here for more information.

RV Helmer Hansen


R/V «Helmer Hanssen» (earlier R/V «Jan Mayen») was designed by Skipsteknisk A/S and built at Danyard a/s in 1988. R/V «Helmer Hanssen» is a stern trawler with a hull built to top ice class (DnV Ice 1A). During 1992 she was redesigned by Skipsteknisk a/s and refurbished at Båtbygg a/s as a research vessel. Since June 17, 2011 The University of Tromsø is the owner of  R/V «Helmer Hanssen». Tromsø Offshore is hired for management of the ship. Various departments representing The University of Tromsø, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen and the Univerity Center in Svalbard (UNIS) are the main users of the vessel. Other national and international organisations or groups are welcome to charter the vessel.


MV Ulla Rinman


The vessel MV Ulla Rinman, with home port in Longyearbyen, has been re-furbished by the new owners Norlengs. This vessel is now ready to be chartered by researchers wishing to operate in the waters around Svalbard and beyond. The vessel is fitted with a hydraulic (1,5t/7mtr) and an electric crane (0,3t/2mtr), a 4m3 cargo hold and 14 foot dinghy with outboard engine.



MS Quest, MS Stronstad, MS Leone


Arctic Expeditions offers six vessels for charter in Svalbard, but the following three are used most often:

  • Large vessel: "MS Quest" has space for 54 passengers. This high ice class expedition vessel is in Svalbard every summer season. Often available in April, September and October. Usually booked by Polar Quest during the other months.
  • Medium vessel: "MS Stronstad" has space for 12 passengers when sailing in Svalbard. This vessel is usually located in Svalbard during the summer season.
  • Small vessel: "MS Leone" has space for 10 passengers and is usually located in TOS, but can be sailed up to Svalbard on request. 
  • Full details:
  • Contact:Christian Kruse /


MV Togo and MV Balto


Secret Atlas Travel offer their expedition motor yacht MV Togo with ice-strengthened hull for scientific research cruises. In 2021 they introduced their most robust and adventurous expedition vessel yet, the ex-Finnish government icebreaker MV Balto. The vessels are 31m and 40m respectively and each is equipped with two Zodiacs for landings. 


Small vessels (up to 10 passengers)

MS Farm


MS Farm is a multifunctional expedition vessel and marine workplatform lisenced for passengers in coastal traffic in Svalbard. MS Farm is ideal for smaller groups, transportation, diving, research, film crews, expeditions and documentary logging. Its well acquainted local crew has extensive Svalbard experience and knowledge. MS Farm is a flexible and mobile fieldbase for both on land and on water activities.

Henningsen Transport and Guiding can also offer the Princess Lea, a 46 foot yacht.

Suitable for:

  • Fast transfer between LYB and destinations in Svalbard as well as field drop off and pickup
  • Cargo transfer between LYB/NyAlesund (and other locations)

Operating: May-September




RV Clione is a motor sail yacht that serves as research vessel as well as logistic support for the Czech Arctic Research Station in Svalbard. The interior consists of 3 cabins, a kitchen, a top salon, a toilet, a separate engine room, a front collision space with a chain and rear collision space with a storage compartment. All safety and rescue equipment is provided.


MS Teisten


The research vessel MS Teisten may be hired by all scientists visiting Ny-Ålesund, curtesy of Kings Bay AS. The boat is 10.3m long and equipped to do smaller scientific operations, transportation and surveys in Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. Safety equipment is available on board (life raft, life belts and survival suits). Five passengers in addition to the skipper onboard is maximum capacity for sightseeing and transport. For scientific work the maximum number of passengers on board is restricted to four. It is also possible to hire a technician for extra assistance on board.


Daytrips and transport to field sites

A number of tour companies in Longyearbyen offer regular trips between settlements and custom trips on request. 

Longyearbyen - Pyramiden & Barentsburg
Longyearbyen - Isfjord Radio
Longyearbyen - Ny-Ålesund
Custom Charter