Not only a frozen wilderness, Svalbard is a place of precarious beauty and a stronghold of endangered Arctic wildlife.
This remarkable expedition departs from the far northern settlement of Longyearbyen on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen in the famed Svalbard archipelago. We explore the island’s northwestern coast, home to dramatic mountain scenery, tidewater glaciers, and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities.
On this voyage we also venture to the jumbled edge of the north-polar ice cap in search of polar bears stalking their prey. Here, at the dynamic boundary between implacable ice and bountiful sea, we have a rare opportunity to experience raw nature and incredible events hardly ever seen.
Everything you wanted to know about Svalbard and more: useful travel tips, polar bear safety procedures and human endeavor at the northern realms of our planet. Learn about the glaciers and landscapes of Svalbard and the ways you can actively explore this pristine polar wilderness. The guidebook is complete with a detailed wildlife account and a packing checklist.
The unique Arctic ecosystem of Svalbard is almost entirely protected in a network of nature reserves and national parks. Our voyage takes us to Nordre Isfjorden Nasjonalpark, Forlandet Nasjonalpark, and the spectacular Nordvest-Spitsbergen Nasjonalpark. Each has its own claim to Svalbard’s magnificent natural history.
By land and sea we encounter a wealth of wildlife—including walrus, Arctic fox, reindeer, and a variety of whales and seals—in one of the High Arctic’s most pristine and protected environments. We also encounter a surprising wealth of hardy plant life and striking geology throughout the area.
Svalbard boasts one of the Arctic’s highest concentrations of polar bears. They are the world’s largest land carnivores and have become a symbol of the imperiled Arctic wilderness. This is one of the best places in the world to view polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat: the pack ice.
During our sojourn to the ice edge we hope to come across this majestic creature employing various strategies to catch seals in the ever-shifting labyrinth of the pack ice. But these wide-ranging and opportunistic Arctic nomads can just as well be found at other places and times during our voyage.
Our area of exploration is rich with historical sites including early whaling camps, trappers’ cabins, deserted coal mining operations, and an abandoned polar research station. It also contains the staging areas for many historic expeditions to the North Pole, including those of Roald Amundsen and Walter Wellman.
Modern human endeavor in this area can be experienced at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to a multinational community of Arctic researchers. In addition to a museum, gift shop, and post office, visitors to this extreme northern settlement find a famous bust of Amundsen and a historic airship mast.
Svalbard is the ultimate destination for photographers interested in capturing incredible images of Arctic animals and scenery. Our free photography program gives you the chance to learn and practice your skills alongside an experienced expert.
From polar bears to blue whales, Svalbard boasts a range of wildlife not found in other parts of the Arctic. Snowcapped mountains and blue glaciers provide a dramatic background for portraits of these charismatic Arctic creatures.
With a full itinerary of spellbinding destinations and daylight around the clock, your photo opportunities are seemingly endless. Our expert photographer will be there to help you make the most of this bounty in your viewfinder.
The islands and fjords of Svalbard closely guard some of the world’s most magical and unique paddling opportunities. Join us for unscripted kayaking adventures as we explore remote waters that very few paddlers have experienced before.
This pristine Arctic wilderness rewards kayakers with spectacular scenery, unique marine animals, and a range of incredible paddling locations. Svalbard also offers the possibility of kayaking in the vicinity of tidewater glaciers and icebergs.
The protected and picturesque waters of the archipelago offer some of the best paddling adventures in the Arctic. If you enjoy sea kayaking, then do not miss your chance to participate in this exciting optional activity.