We asked our expedition leaders to share what they love most about Svalbard. Here is what they said:
‘Compared to size, Svalbard is surely the arctic territory with the biggest variety both of sceneries and regarding ecology: pointy alpine mountain ranges with crevassed glaciers in the West, sharply cut plateau mountains in the centre, lower landscape with huge ice caps in the East.
The glaciers of the ice ages have sculptured an often breath-taking landscape like with a huge knife. It has a reason, that Spitsbergen was the first high arctic territory visited regularly by touristic cruises.
Svalbard’s pointy mountains captured by Chase Teron. Join a photo tour of Svalbard with Chase here.
For wildlife, the situation is similar: Spitsbergen has an amazing variety of species, some in huge numbers, compared to its size. Greenland may have more species in total, but for seeing them there, big luck is needed – not least because there is hardly any hunting in Spitsbergen. So there are good chances for the really arctic big mammals on your cruise: whales (including blue whale), walruses, polar bears.
Svalbard has an abundance of wildlife including walruses.
A less known plus of Spitsbergen is its varied and very international 400 years old history: first the whalers and hunters, then exploration and mining, even a bit of war history, and the special political status of Spitsbergen between East and West. Traces of this long history are often surprisingly well-preserved and a touching sign of the smallness of man within this huge wilderness.’
Join Andreas on our most in-depth expedition Svalbard Pioneer: 15-day exploration of Svalbard
‘It’s easy to come to Svalbard and have a great nature experience. The landscape is very different, depending on the area you are in. Means you don’t have to go very far to see very different things!
In summer the best way to experience Svalbard is on a small expedition ship. You will get a much better nature and group experience than a larger ship, and you’ll feel more like a part of nature, instead as just a visitor.
Visiting a glacier by Zodiac on one of our Svalbard cruises.
Svalbard has lots of interesting places to visit such as the secret weather stations on Svalbard during the world war II to forecast the weather in the Bering strait better.
Don’t just come to see the wildlife, also come because of the landscape and nature experience you can make. The landscape and history, also adds to giving you an amazing experience.’
‘What I love most about Svalbard is the diversity and the fact that even after many years, there are always experiences in Svalbard, that surprise and amaze.
Svalbard is “the Arctic in a nutshell” … there is no other place that I know of in the northern hemisphere, that is more diverse and has more things to see and experience.
Christian points out polar bear tracks on the sea ice to the north of Svalbard
Every expedition, every trip is different. Every journey brings back great memories and experiences and the individual experiences are hardly comparable. At the moment my most beautiful memory is that I had the privilege to work and live there.
Christian leading guests on a shore landing in Svalbard
In summer it is worthwhile to explore Spitsbergen by boat. Many of the most fascinating and beautiful places in Svalbard are then only accessible in this way.
It is the high arctic, the northernmost place in Europe but it is far less cold then people think. In the summer, a stable plus degree temperature allows a big variety of flowers, mosses and lichens to grow and bloom.
If you are thinking of visiting Svalbard, do it! It is an amazing place and it will move you deeply and long-lasting.’
Christian leading a group of guests ashore in Svalbard with MV Togo in the background
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