Svalbard is a remote and spectacular archipelago of immense glaciers, narrow fjords and abundant wildlife. Let our small but comfortable expedition ships, theMV Quest/Ocean Nova, take you on amemorable journey into the realmof the polar bear. In Spitsbergen there are twice asmany polar bears and walrus as there are people. The polar bear population is estimated at over 3000 and we hope to encounter some of themduring our summer voyages.
We will witness a vast geological spectacle of soaring mountains and immense glaciers. A photographer’s paradise unfolds before us: black basaltic islands rise from shimmering waters punctuated with gleaming ice sculptures, and lush tundra blazes with purple saxifrage and moss campion. Within this dramatic landscape resides a wealth of wildlife: seals, walrus, whales, Arctic foxes, and our ultimate goal, polar bears. The area is also home to hundreds of thousands of breeding seabirds, including kittiwakes, murres, dovekies, puffins, and rare ivory gulls. We will take full advantage of the long daylight hours and embark on numerous Zodiac excursions to view the profuse wildlife up close.
In the beginning of the season Spitsbergen’s flowers are in full bloom and the bird colonies are bustling with life. In the latter part of the season we have very good possibilities of exploring the eastern parts of the archipelago when the ice is slowly starting to lose its grip. Our expedition ships have the highest ice class and can carefully break through the pack ice, home to seals, walrus and the king of the Arctic, the polar bear.
Our goal of this expedition is to explore the eastern and least visited parts of the archipelago. We will go ashore on beaches covered by massive walrus and with some good fortune we will also encounter whales. Seabirds, such as ivory gulls, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes, will be our constant companions during the trip and we will also look out for puffins and little auks, which nest here in millions.