Spitsbergen’s coastline is magnificent. The area (also known as Svalbard) is located at the southernmost tip of Hornsund, where fourteen glaciers flow into the sea and create a haven for wildlife. Some of the wildlife, such as seabirds and seals, can be found here in huge numbers.
This remarkable archipelago, offers exceptional opportunities to watch wildlife, from the impressive Monaco Glacier, a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, to the spectacular cliffs that are home to more than 200,000 little auks. Opportunistic Arctic foxes patrol the base of the cliffs in the hope of chicks falling from ledges, distinctive reindeer browse of the mossy tundra, while bearded seals cruise the fjords.
Spitsbergen and the surrounding area is also home to the world's highest population of polar bears, numbering around 3,000. Each year when the pack ice starts to break up, bears head to the mainland to spend the summer on shore. Individuals are often seen from aboard expedition cruise vessels, and we offer departures which are specifically designed as polar bear trips. If you are fortunate, they may even approach the vessel - seemingly out of sheer curiosity.
While sailing, sighting various species of whale such as blue whale, narwhal and beluga is a distinct and exciting possibility.
Some departures are also designed to combine the wildlife viewing with the chance to see the extraordinary phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
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