The Southern Ocean is one of the most biologically rich bodies of water in the world. Constantly stirred up by wind and currents, a steady supply of nutrients contributes to prolific blooms of microscopic plankton, which become so thick in summer they can be seen from space. The plankton is food for prodigious swarms of Antarctic krill (small, shrimp-like creatures), which can reach densities of 30,000 individuals per cubic meter. These, in turn, are hunted by a diversity of marine mammals, including some of the largest predators on Earth.
Arctic whale-watching on a cruise around Spitsbergen
Now enjoying protection after centuries of relentless hunting, whales are returning to the waters of Svalbard. Whales found feeding in the beautiful fjords and rich polar seas around Spitsbergen provide some of the best whale-watching to be had anywhere. Long polar days afford cruise passengers the chance to spot whales during excursions and from the deck of the ship anytime. Here are some whale species to look for during your Spitsbergen cruise.
People worldwide have been captivated by the sound of humpback whales singing, and whether members of this species sing as a means of communication with each other or some other purpose. Our Greenland expedition cruise participants often ask this very question. Interestingly, scientists have recently discovered that an important purpose of the humpback whale's song is to help them locate their next meal.