The plan is to explore the island of Edgeøya. There are remnants here of the first Pomors who came to the area in the 1600s. These Russian trappers came here to hunt polar bears, seals and reindeer. Later, Edgeøya became the most important hunting ground of the Norwegian trappers, who came here solely to hunt polar bears. Edgeøya offers a landscape of Arctic tundra, where have good chances to see walrus, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer.
During this time of the year there is often ice in the vast Storfjorden between the islands of Edgeøya and Spitsbergen. Your crew will try to get as far north as possible along Spitsbergen’s east coast. Certainly keep your eyes open for polar bears.
Isbukta & Vasil’evbreen
In the southern part of Spitsbergen lies Isbukta. In this spectacular bay head out in Zodiacs to enjoy the stunning views of the snow covered mountain peaks and the front of the impressive glacier Vasil’evbreen. The bay is also a popular spot for Sabine’s gulls, Arctic skuas and bearded seals. And where there are seals, there is also a good chance of spotting bear.
Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where enormous glaciers let go of shimmering blue ice floes. On the southern side of the fjord pass one of the highest mountains in Svalbard, Hornsundstinden. This is one of the favorite haunts for some of Svalbard’s many polar bears.
At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. Go ashore and walk across the tundra to take a closer look at the mountain, where barnacle geese and Brünnich’s guillemots nest.
At the entrance of Isfjorden is the giant cliff Alkhornet, several hundred meters high. Go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife with barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Some Arctic foxes live in the rock crevices around the mountain and with some luck you might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.