Wildlife locations

2 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

North East Greenland National Park

North East Greenland NP is the world’s largest (almost 1m sqkm). Though the park is part of the Greenland Ice Sheet, there are large ice-free areas of green mountains with beautiful wild flowers, long fjords, precipitous cliffs and hot springs. Off shore, huge icebergs in fantastic shapes float on the deep blue sea.

  • Ideal for viewing: Bearded seal, Musk ox, Ringed seal, Walrus, Polar bear
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching


High above the Arctic Circle lies the remarkable archipelago known in Norwegian as Svalbard. Spitsbergen, the main island, means “jagged peaks” and befits this remarkable land with its spectacular coastline, littered with glaciers flowing into the sea, and high cliffs with endless opportunities for viewing wildlife.

  • Ideal for viewing: Arctic tern, Bearded seal, Beluga whale, Narwal, Polar bear
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Polar bear watching

Wildlife trips

The Arctic is one of earth’s last pristine regions. Bordered by North America and Eurasia, with Greenland and Baffin Islands, the frozen Arctic Ocean is an expanse of fjords, jagged peaks, glaciers and icebergs. This is the realm of the polar bear and a few other species that have adapted to the extreme conditions.

7 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Across the Arctic Circle

Follow the Vikings’ journey from northeast Scotland to the land of the midnight sun on this fascinating voyage. Discover the beauty of the Orkney and Shetlands Islands, encounter spectacular birdlife and migrating whales along Norway’s dramatic coast, before reaching the polar bears of Spitsbergen.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 14 days

East Greenland

Sailing north from Reykjavik, this voyage explores Greenland and its surrounding waters, home to an impressive array of wildlife – you will undoubtedly be accompanied by fulmars, kittiwakes and rafts of guillemots. The autumn scenery is dramatic, with vivid colours by day and the spectacular northern lights by night.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

South Spitsbergen

This one week voyage combines Spitsbergen’s rich wildlife and impressive glaciers. Some trips depart during the onset of winter, when you can observe the extraordinary phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis, when the night skies glow green and red with one of Mother Nature's finest displays.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

Greenland - Disko Bay Whale Safari

Explore the largest and newest of Greenland's islands, Disko Bay. Its coastline is gouged with numerous fjords, glaciers and high cliffs which are home to several bird species such as gyrfalcon, snowy owl and pink-footed goose. The surrounding waters sustain fin, minke and humpback whales, narwhals and belugas.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

North Spitsbergen

This one week voyage provides an intoxicating mix of astonishing landscapes, stunning coastline and spectacular wildlife, including huge colonies of seabirds, walruses, whales, Arctic foxes and polar bears. The long daylight hours offer maximum time to appreciate this breathtaking land of ice to the full.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

Spitsbergen, Greenland & Iceland

Sailing amid awe inspiring scenery of fjords and glaciers, this comprehensive itinerary starts in Spitsbergen, home to the world's highest population of polar bears. Continuing across the Greenland Sea, orcas and dolphins follow in your wake, and there are chances to see walrus, Arctic hare and musk ox.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 14 days

Around Spitsbergen

Sail through a wonderland of mountain and glacial scenery and enjoy spectacular wildlife encounters in this polar bear and birdwatchers paradise. Highlights include an exhilarating ride along the spectacular 14th of July Glacier, where large numbers of kittiwakes and Brunnichs guillemots nest on the nearby cliffs.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 10 days

When to go

There are two seasons in the Arctic, but summer (not winter), falling between the spring and autumn equinoxes, when daylight virtually round the clock, is the best for visiting.


  • Summer

    Apr to Sep: Truly the land of the midnight sun – the further north, the longer the light
  • Winter

    Oct to Apr: The sun disappears for months at a time, and the icy cold returns

Wildlife events

  • May to Sep: Arrival of the Arctic summer
  • Jul: Beluga whales in estuaries around Churchill
  • Sep to Feb: Northern Lights visible
  • Oct to Nov: Polar bears wait for pack ice to form

Wildlife cruise vessels

7 recommended wildlife cruise vessels.

Akademik Ioffe

Designed originally for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. Carrying around 100 passengers, facilities include a fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool. Kayaking, camping, hiking, snowshoeing and skiing are available on most voyages.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov is an ice-strengthened vessel which started life in Finland as a scientific research vessel, and has since been refitted and refurbished to sail the Polar seas. The ship’s bridge is an excellent place from which to view wildlife, and the on board hot tub is a great addition!


Noorderlicht has a well-balanced two-masted schooner rig and accommodation for 20 passengers in comfortable twin cabins, with ceiling glass. While sailing, passengers are actively encouraged to participate in handling the sails, taking the helm, and being on night watch.


The ice-strengthened Ortelius is an excellent vessel for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. With the highest ice-class notation, it offers possibilities to travel to remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.


The Plancius accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in cabins ranging from triple to superior, all with outside view and private facilities. She offers a range of itineraries in Antarctica and the Arctic, and the large open deck spaces offer excellent opportunities to watch wildlife.

Polar Pioneer

Small and manoeuvrable, the Polar Pioneer is an ice-strengthened vessel, capable of venturing into remote corners of the world that many larger ships cannot reach. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and you will be in the company of an experienced team of expedition experts and crew.

Rembrandt van Rijn

The Rembrandt van Rijn is a three-masted passenger sailing schooner, well suited for expedition cruising among small islands in the Arctic. She has an experienced crew of seven with two Zodiac inflatables used for shore landings and wildlife viewing in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.


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