The Svalbard archipelago is clustered with pyramid-shaped mountains and glaciers. This means you will inevitably be immersed in adventure every day, from active exploration to witnessing astonishing Arctic natural history and wildlife. You'll be surprised to find sculptural arrangements of whale bones on rocky beaches and the ghostly remnants of hunters’ huts. Cruises and kayak expeditions are ideal for experiencing the wonders of the archipelago with all of your senses.
Here in Svalbard, you are surrounded by the most varied polar landscapes. The sense of wilderness and remoteness is palpable as soon as you embark the ship at Longyearbyen. This is where you’ll witness the tundra: vast areas of land free from snow and ice and brindled rock in shades of pewter and russet.
The majority of expedition cruises strive to circumnavigate the Svalbard archipelago, but it's always provisional. Sometimes vessels will divert to see the local wildlife. Take the time to admire Arctic wildlife such as giant polar bears during an ice cruising experience. Svalbard has the most significant polar bear population in the world. During 24-hour daylight, these swimmers spend their winters hunting on the ice around the archipelago. During the ice retreat, many bears stay on land and close to coastal waters. This area is also a home to many species of whales, colonies of walruses and seals, migratory seabirds, and Arctic reindeer and foxes.
Svalbard Polar Expeditions normally run from May to early September when the water is not too frozen for a vessel to reach the most remote parts of the archipelago. Cruise schedules may change due to weather conditions. The most secure time to embark is from June through August.
When is the best time to see unique wildlife during a polar cruise in Svalbard?
Polar expeditions in Svalbard typically run from May to early September due to waters not being frozen at this time, but weather conditions may impact schedules. The best time to spot unique Arctic wildlife is from June to August because of the 24-hour daylight. Polar bears, the largest population globally, are among the wildlife you’d see on a glacier cruise, as well as several types of whales, walruses, seals and migratory seabirds. Arctic foxes, reindeer, and indigenous wildlife are also exclusive to the polar region. Show more
What Arctic species can we observe on a polar cruise in Svalbard?
A polar cruise in Svalbard offers close encounters with Arctic wildlife. Enthusiasts may anticipate sighting polar bears, the world's largest population, during a glacier cruise. Other marine life to spot includes several whale species, walruses, seals, and migratory seabirds. Additionally, you will encounter Arctic foxes, reindeer, and other fauna indigenous to the polar region on land while taking a polar cruise in Svalbard. Show more
What unique experiences does Svalbard offer visitors?
Svalbard presents unique natural features and experiences for tourists. Whales' bone sculptures adorn rocky beaches, and ghost towns, deserted mining settlements with towering structures, rumored with hauntings, are available for tourists. The archipelago has hunters' cabins and huts with ghostly artefacts and evidence of remains, revealing the culture and life of the region's inhabitants. These fascinating sites offer insight and a cultural experience that is sure to leave a memorable impact on visitors. Show more
When is the most favorable period to embark on a polar cruise in Svalbard?
Polar expeditions in Svalbard run between May to early September. However, schedules depend on weather conditions, which are highly unpredictable. To minimize risks, travelers are advised to embark on a polar cruise between June to August, when more favorable weather conditions such as the 24-hour daylight provide great opportunities for sighting unique wildlife. Despite greater predictability, tourists must be flexible since unexpected weather, snowstorms and ice accumulation may disrupt schedules. Cruise operators prioritize the safety and experience of tourists at all times. Show more
What impact does weather have on polar expeditions' schedules in Svalbard?
Polar expeditions in Svalbard are reliant on specific weather patterns and schedules can be disrupted by unexpected changes in climate conditions. This is despite the most reliable period for a polar cruise is between June to August when weather conditions tend to be more manageable. Persistent snowstorms and the accumulation of ice can impact schedules abruptly. Nevertheless, cruise schedules are adaptable, and contingency plans are in place to ensure tourists' safety. To ensure tourist satisfaction, cruise operators prioritize visitors' safety and enjoyment of the polar experience. Show more