POLAR bears, grazing reindeer, sleek Arctic foxes, grunting walrus, colonies of rare seabirds, and large pods of whales are all seen while cruising the Arctic Ocean, just 1300 km south of the North Pole.
The window of opportunity in the land of the Midnight Sun is high summer – from now until late August – when the pack ice is receding and there is 24 hours of daylight.
Watch the video below to experience the Arctic’s stunning vistas with guests on the 5-star expedition ship Silver Explorer.
Expedition ships usually sail from Longyearbyen, the world’s most northern city, in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, with up to 150 passengers on board.
Voyages hug the rugged coastline of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the archipelago, taking in narrow fjords, ice covered mountains, and mighty glaciers. Zippy zodiacs leave from the “mother ship” for close-ups of the glaciers, and abandoned whaling stations, while looking out for polar bears on sea ice.
australiancruisingnews.com has found that wildlife is the main attraction for cruise passengers sailing in the Arctic with wonderful photographic opportunities as nature runs free and uninhibited.
Aurora Expeditions’ Polar Pioneer has 11-day cruises from Longyearbyen in July and August, auroraexpeditions.com.au; as does the ice-strengthened Silver Explorer, which is all about 5-star-luxury on board, while cruising the Arctic from Tromso (Norway) to Longyearbyen, silversea.com
Lindblad’s National Geographic Explorer takes in Svalbard’s polar bear habitat on cruises from Longyearbyen with ocean forays by kayak and zodiac. A National Geographic photographer is on board to digitally capture the wildlife encounters, expeditions.com/arctic