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.
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.
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!
From icy castles of the Antarctic Peninsula to nimble penguins of South Georgia, the White Continent is worth the time and effort to get here. The remote wilderness of Antarctica rewards intrepid travelers with vast landscapes, cascading glaciers and towering icebergs. This is perfect the place for intimate encounters with the charismatic wildlife, thriving in the seemingly lifeless polar world.
The polar bear is often called the king of the Arctic. Within the frozen realm of this renowned monarch, there lives another powerful Arctic denizen who does not readily submit to ursine rule—the mighty walrus. A few of our expedition team members weighed on the subject of these two fearsome creatures to give their views on who really rules whom.
Largely undiscovered and untouched by tourism, this inhospitable continent attracts only the bravest and hardiest of travelers. However, the lucky few that make it to Antarctica are in for one of the most unforgettable trips of a lifetime.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 7 of the coolest things you can strike off your bucket list by visiting Antarctica, and hopefully we’ll give you a better idea of how to plan your trip to the White Continent!
There are few wildlife experiences as exhilarating as a close encounter with a whale. Even more incredible is meeting a whale at eye level from a kayak. Now add the beauty of the pristine Antarctic environment and you have something truly amazing. To enjoy an exceptional experience like this, you first need to book an Antarctic expedition cruise with kayaking. Whale encounters from a kayak are not necessarily closer than whale encounters from a Zodiac or the ship itself, but being down at sea level in your own kayak with a gigantic whale is a much more intimate and humbling experience. Read on to learn more about kayaking with whales in Antarctica.
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.
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
The Subantarctic Island Where Monsters Still Exist
You are in a Zodiac and the highly anticipated moment of your first step ashore on South Georgia is fast approaching. As the objects on land become clearer in your view, you realize they are moving. The landscape is alive. Your Zodiac pulls up to a sandy beach and you disembark. Before you is a phalanx of restless animal bodies, some rotund and blubbery, some sleek and furry. Your eye is drawn to a gigantic figure looming commandingly over the throng. A sonorous, gurgling bellow is heard above the din of groans and howls. “That’s the beachmaster,” the expedition leader says. “Stay clear of him!” This imposing fellow is the first of many huge elephant seals you will see on your Antarctic cruise to South Georgia.