True Seal Species Commonly Seen on an Arctic Cruise Svalbard is home to a huge number of seals. With their thick layers of insulating blubber, true seals (otherwise known as earless seals) are better adapted to these icy waters than are sea lions or fur seals, which are not found in the High Arctic. Unlike their Antarctic relatives, Arctic seals are hunted relentlessly by a fearsome land-based predator—the polar bear. Because of this, you will rarely see Arctic seals hauled out on land. Arctic seals prefer to rest on sea ice or icebergs, though they are not safe from polar bears here either. Witnessing a polar bear stalk a seal on the ice is one of the world’s great wildlife experiences. In Svalbard, seals can be found in all waters from the innermost fjords to the polar ice edge. The best way to see a variety of Arctic seals is to join an expedition cruise. Here are some of the seal species you can see on an Arctic cruise to Svalbard and beyond.
Anyone who joins a polar expedition cruise will become quite familiar with Zodiacs*. They are the indispensable inflatable boats used to transport passengers on excursions away from the cruise ship. They allow passengers to go ashore in remote locations and to get closer to nature during their voyage. In these ways, Zodiacs are essential to the expedition cruise experience. They are arguably more important than the cruise ship itself. Read on to learn more about the features and uses of these incredible boats.
Kayakers have many reasons for putting the Polar Regions at the top of their must-do list of paddling destinations. Foremost among them is the chance to paddle with iconic and charismatic polar wildlife. In this first of our “Notes from the Poseidon expedition team” series, we share with you our experiences guiding paddlers around polar wildlife on cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Every story has an ending, and, unfortunately, so does your expedition cruise. Whether you’ve just achieved the North Pole, discovered the wilderness of Antarctica or fallen in love with the courage of early Arctic explorers, disembarkation day will inevitably come. Read on to find out how to finish your cruise on a high note.
As part of our interview series, “Best of the Polar Regions”, we asked members of our experienced expedition team what they think are the best polar destinations for birding and photography, as well as their all-time favorite polar expedition cruise.
We’ve been all around the Polar Regions and have considerable knowledge and stories about these incredible areas. Naturally, we know a lot of facts, but we have opinions and viewpoints, too. Our choices on the top polar destinations for scenery and wildlife, as well as which polar region is our overall favorite, vary considerably. But, for now, you can’t go wrong with these places described below!
Still think polar expedition cruises are a feat of endurance and a battle with the severe nature forces? That may have been true for the brave polar pioneers... But with Poseidon Expeditions' expedition ship m/v Sea Spirit, the far-away Arctic and Antarctica become accessible for traveling in style and comfort.
The Arctic is a diverse and extraordinary travel destination: an expedition cruise to the northernmost reaches of the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Poseidon Expeditions invites you aboard the comfortable Sea Spirit, where you will join our team of experts and esteemed crew in a journey into the icy wilderness. Tidewater glaciers, polar bears and whales, northern lights and majestic scenery are some of the wonders you’ll get to see.
Jan Mayen is a name synonymous with isolation and inaccessibility. This small, lonely island is located in the northernmost reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, 280 miles (450 km) east of Greenland and 340 miles (550 km) north of Iceland. At 71°N, Jan Mayen is inside the Arctic Circle and is very much in the Arctic zone. Though it is an integral part of the Kingdom of Norway and there are people living on the island year round, there is no way for a tourist to get to Jan Mayen other than by cruise ship or yacht. Though the island’s stunning scenery and abundant birdlife would easily place it among the world’s top wilderness tourism destinations, only a few hundred people make it to the island each year because of the infrequency of cruises. Read on to learn about the fascinating natural and human history of one of the most remote islands in the world.
A few species gather in huge numbers at Arctic seabird colonies
One special feature of the High Arctic is the staggering number of seabirds that colonize coastal cliffs during the summer breeding season. Tens of millions of seabirds return to Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Josef Land every summer to take advantage of secure nesting locations near abundant food supplies in these wilderness areas. Some colonies contain over a million birds. Competition for nesting space, piracy of food, and predation of chicks are facts of life in these towering avian cities. An Arctic expedition cruise is the best way to experience seabird colonies and all their spectacular wildlife drama. Look out for these common seabird species on a cruise to Greenland, Svalbard or Franz Josef Land