To be clear - we went directly through the cruise line. I do recommend that people take this cruise by flying to Spitbergen. Our cruise was actually the cruise that takes the ship TO the Svaalbard Archipelago. We spent a lot of time crossing the North Sea.
I am sure the experience in Svaalbard itself is very good, however.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.