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The Svalbard archipelago extends between 74 and 81° north, about halfway between Tromso in Norway and the North Pole. It is the northernmost place in Europe and is the farthest north you can travel by scheduled flight. The island is rich in minerals, particularly coal, and visitors can travel to settlements rich in mining history and still involved today. The fishing and whaling industry of the past have also left their mark and remnants make for interesting photographic subjects in many locations.
Together with the other islands that comprise Svalbard’s archipelago, Spitsbergen has the greatest variation of natural features found at such high latitudes. Boasting a mixture of rugged mountains, sweeping glaciers, vast icecaps, endless open tundra and beautiful fjord indented coastlines Spitsbergen is, quite simply, spectacular.
With no trees, the dramatic landscape can sometimes be stark, though a wide variety of Arctic wildflowers, lichen and moss offer patches of colour among the breathtaking scenery. Offshore, drift ice and shimmering icebergs float in impossibly dark cobalt waters.
There are no roads outside of the main settlements which help to maintain the 'unspoilt' quality. It isn’t difficult to discover that the lure of the landscapes is irresistible.
There are only three species of large mammal on Spitsbergen – polar bear, reindeer and Arctic fox. The chance of a sighting of any of these species is good but can never be guaranteed. However, marine species are more plentiful and include walrus, ring and bearded seal, white-nose dolphin, narwhal and orca. Belugas, fin and other whale species are also commonly sighted in the waters around Svalbard. In addition, over 100 types of birds, such as guillemots, kittiwakes and little auks thrive here, despite the high latitude.
Our Spitsbergen holidays focus on small ship cruising along the dramatic coastline, which are complemented by active adventures and land-based itineraries allowing you to explore at your own pace.
Voyage along the Spitsbergen coast in search of polar bears…
Experience three Arctic islands with magnificent scenery an…
Maximize time spent with wildlife with shore landings and Z…
Follow in the wake of the Vikings as you cruise north past …
Search for polar bears and whales along the ruggedly beauti…
Sail north into the midnight sun from Tromso to the wildlif…
Dawn & Sean Collins
Mr & Mrs Dewey
Spitsbergen to East Greenland
Spitsbergen in Depth
Judy & David Charlton
Tony & Jo Skerl