Your Spitsbergen small ship expedition itinerary begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island's largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island's rugged, glacier-topped mountains, rising majestically from icy Arctic waters.
Expect a new arctic adventure every day, as you journey around the island of Spitsbergen and explore smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding! Every small ship expedition will be unique, but a few of the favorite landing sites include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsoya, Alkefjellet and Sundneset.
The names may seem strange to you, but they each have their own unique appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to Purple Sandpipers, Common Eiders, Barnacle Geese and Arctic Terns; while Alkefjellet is home to nesting Brunich Guillemots and Thick-billed Murres.
If you want to prove that Reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world – searching for Polar Bears is a constant activity, with Phippsoya and Isbukta being two of their preferred places for hunting – meaning great potential for you to capture them in action.
The walrus sanctuary off Moffen Island is another place often visited, as it can offer you some great opportunities for photographing walrus from the sea.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture, not just how people live today, but how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry here and you will see blubber ovens and other whaling evidence at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.
Add in the potential for spotting Beluga Whales and colorful tundra meadows displays complemented by immense glaciers, and you start to understand just how much there is to see in Spitsbergen.
Your arctic adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here transfer to the airport for your flight home.