Svalbard is a remote, vast and wild place, largely untouched by the human presence. In visiting this destination, our plans and itinerary are not set, as we allow the weather, conditions and wildlife to dictate each day. Should a polar bear appear on the horizon we might stop the ship or the Zodiacs in order to get a better look at it. Should ice choke the waters in front of us, we might slow down and explore the edge of this ice while admiring its colors and forms while searching for wildlife, or else turn and choose another destination. Should storms lash against the site we want to visit, we may opt to find a more protected bay and explore a different spot. Whatever we do Svalbard holds many beauties and mysteries and exciting discoveries are always available for those whose eyes and hearts are open.
Some of the highlights in visiting Svalbard include:
Tundra landscapes – Hike across stark, seemingly barren landscapes with Expedition Staff who will show you the delightful small plants and flowers that thrive in this hostile environment. Admire rock formations and landscapes created by frost and water over time. There is always a chance to encounter arctic foxes, reindeer and interesting bird species while exploring out on the tundra.
Polar bears – This iconic species, the King of the Arctic, is a magical creature to encounter. Whether seen as a tiny white speck in the distance, or ambling slowly along a shoreline, a glimpse of this special species is always awe-inspiring. We will never pursue polar bears or allow our encounters to have any adverse impacts on them, so we manage our activities carefully. Always on shore our walks are carefully monitored by our Bear Guards who work to maintain the safety of both visitors as well as the bears.
Historic remains – Although the history of human endeavors in Svalbard is minimal, some historic huts and remains from whaling eras linger on shore to remind us of the hardy souls who ventures before us into this hostile land and scraped a living from the resources they found here. Trappers huts stand as lonely sentinels in this vast landscape and provide visitors with the opportunity to contemplate a life of hardship and beautiful isolation for those who inhabited them in the past.
Zodiac cruises – To admire icebergs and glacier fronts a Zodiac cruise often provides the best vantage. The blue color of the ice is mesmerizing and the shapes the ice forms is captivating. While in the Zodiacs there is always the chance to encounter fascinating marine life such as beluga whales, humpback whales or elusive seals and walrus.
Optional Expeditions will take place where possible. Join your Kayak Team to paddle in the high Arctic along the shores of any of our expedition stops around the Svalbard archipelago. Depending on where we go you can anticipate huge open vistas, big terrain, glaciers, variety of wildlife and overall impressive arctic scenery. You will explore the rugged topography and coastline of this spectacular & magical area from a unique water level perspective.