Eastern Svalbard boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – we have high hopes of seeing one on this journey!
If conditions allow, we will to sail to Isflakbukta on Phippsøya, part of Sjuøyane (Seven Islands), which are located at the far north of the Svalbard archipelago. Thousands upon thousands of seabirds mate here, while walrus dive for clams in the bays.
We also aim to cruise in Sorgfjorden, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve, and was the site of a famous 17th-century battle between whalers. If the weather is favourable here, we can hike in beautiful Eolsneset or enjoy tender boat cruising in the Hinlopen Strait area.
Another part of our journey may be a visit to Torellneset, which is an excellent place to spot walruses sunning themselves on the flat beach.
We continue on to Edgeøya, 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 make our way to the southern cape and the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund hosts a wonderfully varied landscape and geology. Ice being pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the floes, so with a bit of luck, we may spot some of these magnificent predators.