Before embarking on your Arctic wildlife voyage, be sure to spend some time exploring Longyearbyen, which has a frontier-town atmosphere.
This itinerary focuses on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will be highlighted by encounters with colonies of rare seabirds, hauled-out walrus and hunting Polar Bears. You’ll explore a large part of western Spitsbergen, which is also home to huge glaciers and impressive fjords.
Weather and ice conditions are highly changeable and thus dictate the daily itinerary of each small ship polar expedition. There are some favorite destinations that you may visit, including 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg and Alkhornet. The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar Bear viewing is almost guaranteed.
Coming across a Walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget either, these boisterous beasts can eat as much as 110 pounds (50 kilos) of shellfish every day. The Svalbard Reindeer, unique to these islands, is another animal you’ll likely encounter. They are often seen grazing near the rugged Alkhornet coastline.
If you’re itching to get a little closer to the action, then hiking amongst the colorful wildflowers found at the 14th of July Glacier is sure to be a highlight. Or, perhaps, the surreal feeling of standing in the presence of the giant Monaco Glacier will help put the scale of the Arctic into perspective.
At Smeerenburg, you can visit a historical site built more than 100 years ago to commemorate the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. Each day you’ll see something new!
Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home.