Day 11-14 | Spitsbergen and Svalbard
Spend four days exploring the rugged coastline, spectacular narrow fjords, and offshore islands of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago. The primary goal is to locate wildlife, which is found here in abundance during the short summer season. The nature of polar expeditions requires flexibility regarding the daily schedule of activities, and landings may be weather and tide dependent. This list serves as a guideline for the places you may experience:
Hornsund: Spitsbergen’s southernmost fjord, Hornsund, is backdropped by soaring mountain peaks and rolling tundra which bursts into bloom during the summer. The Polish research station, established here in 1957, is a base for international research and exploration. Numerous seabirds soar overhead and Arctic foxes and groups of reindeer are often spotted in the vicinity.
Raudfjorden: This seldom-visited and spectacular waterway with its tidewater glaciers are surrounded by soaring mountain peaks. Watch for foraging reindeer on land, while dovekies busily tend to their cliffside nests, hidden among the rocks.
Moffen Island: A small, atoll-like island just a few feet above sea level, Moffen is a protected walrus sanctuary. Photographic opportunities abound with these massive creatures hauled out on the gravel shores. Polar bears and the rare Sabine’s gulls may also be found on this island.
Liefdefjorden: A dramatically scenic fjord, rugged mountains rise from the permanent ice cap and the Monaco Glacier spills into the sea, a favored feeding ground for thousands of kittiwakes. Whales and seals are common sights.