Storstappen Island, Norway
Tall, crags of rock standing like sentries off the coast of Arctic Norway are a signal feature of the region. In summer, the grass-thatched cliffs of these crags are inhabited by millions of nesting seabirds. The island group of Gjesvaerstappan, just off the North Cape, is an outstanding example and a designated nature reserve. To witness this overwhelming extravagance of nature is an awe-inspiring experience. Puffins, auks, razorbills and guillemots pack the crenelated ledges of the cliffs of 928-foot tall Storstappan, flying back and forth between their nests and the sea with rapid, buzz-bomb wing-beats. Higher up, white kittiwakes line the cliffs, and on smaller Staurspira, elegant, ivory-tinged gannets circle and dive from their ranked regiments. The rocks near the sea are lined with platoons of long-necked cormorants, and the sea’s surface is flocked with bobbing puffins, fulmars and gulls. Above them all, one can sometimes glimpse regal white-tailed sea eagles effortlessly circling in search of an unwary prey. The sight and sound is something no visitor will ever forget. Your Seabourn Ventures expedition team will lead Zodiac excursions around the cliffs, and interpret this astonishing abundance of natural splendor for those on deck.