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Spitsbergen Cruises

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It’s been more than a decade since we began offering Spitsbergen cruises on expedition ships. At that time, many clients predicted that Spitsbergen tours would soon be on par with such venerated nature and wildlife vacations as safaris in East Africa and cruises to Antarctica and the Galápagos. Clearly they were impressed with the spectacular arctic scenery and Spitsbergen wildlife!

Years have passed since that first Spitsbergen cruise, and it seems those early predictions have come true—many people have learned about the joy of traveling to arctic Norway’s polar wonderland! There are so many compelling reasons to visit this incredible unspoiled wilderness.

Map of Spitsbergen
Map of Spitsbergen

For starters, Spitsbergen cruises offer one of the best opportunities—if not the best opportunity—to view polar bears in the wild. On many of our Spitsbergen cruises, we’ve watched polar bears hunting seals on the pack ice, swimming between ice floes, traveling with cubs and sparring with rivals over freshly caught prey. As they roam their crystalline kingdom, they do so amid a backdrop of rugged coastal mountains, expansive calving glaciers and open water leads. Overall, polar bear trips don’t get any better than this!

While the polar bear viewing is reason enough to join one of our Spitsbergen cruises, there is much, much more to see and do! Walruses, reindeer, arctic foxes, bearded, ringed and harp seals, Minke and, occasionally, humpback whales are among some of the Arctic wildlife you’re likely to see—often at very close range.

We’ll board inflatable Zodiac boats and cruise along the foot of towering sea cliffs, home to tens of thousands of raucous seabirds. Commonly-seen bird species in Spitsbergen include Arctic terns, Arctic skuas, Atlantic puffins, thick-billed murres, dovekies, northern fulmars, long-tailed jaegers, little auks and more. All of these wildlife sightings are made in the relatively benign weather (and calm seas) of Spitsbergen’s summer.

There is no better way to experience the pristine beauty of the Arctic than on one of our Spitsbergen cruises. Be among the few lucky travelers to visit this spectacular realm of the polar bear!

Polar bear pouncing
Polar bear pouncing
14th of July Glacier
14th of July Glacier
Walruses hauled out
Walruses hauled out
Arctic wildflowers in Spitsbergen
Arctic wildflowers
 
Glacier beach
Beach walk near the
mouth of a glacier
Polar bear cubs with mother
Polar bear cubs
with mother
Northern fulmars take flight at mouth of glacier
Black-legged kittiwakes
take flight
Polar bears fighting over seal kill
Polar bears fighting
over seal kill
Bearded seal on ice floe
Bearded seal on ice floe
 

 

Video: Polar bears fighting over seal in Spitsbergen

Video: Polar bear seal kill in Spitsbergen

 
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