Into the untouched wildnerness
Location: Eastern Svalbard Nature Reserves and South Spitsbergen National Park
Eastern Svalbard also boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – we really hope that we’ll get the chance to see one on this journey! Today, we'll explore Sorgfjorden, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve, and was the location of a famous 17th-century battle between whalers. Enjoy the view from on deck as we pass the spectacular bird cliff of Alkefjellet, one of the largest of its kind.
Edgeøya is the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. On its western shores, the landscape is largely un-glaciated, unlike most other places on the east side of Spitsbergen. Kapp Lee is a wonderful site where you will find cultural heritage from all eras of human exploration of Svalbard.
We continue to the southern cape and the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund has large variations in its landscape and geology within short distances. Ice being pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the ice.
Rossøya is less than 620 miles from the North Pole, and when you are here you can be quite sure that there is no one between yourself and 90 North. The barren landscape is considered high Arctic, with very little vegetation due to the extreme weather conditions here for most of the year. Phippsøya is home to a large ivory gull colony, and there are virtually always polar bears here. The question is whether we are able to spot them!