Once a whaling colony and mining town, Svalbard’s awe-inspiring wildlife has remained unchanged by the region’s storied history.
Described as the ‘Realm of the Polar Bear’, Svalbard is famous for spectacular array of biodiversity – from kittiwakes to bearded seals and reindeer. Cruise on ice-strengthened ships through the archipelago’s stunning fjords, stopping to explore former trapping sites and preparing for wildlife at every turn. Make the most of opportunities to hike mountains on shore and always keep one eye on the lookout for the elusive, and powerful, polar bear.
Polar bears depend on the sea ice for their survival, meaning the best way to find them is out on the ocean. Join your expedition team on the bridge and try your hand at spotting these elusive creatures with binoculars. Locking eyes with these incredible creatures is a moment you’ll treasure long after the trip has ended.
Svalbard was originally discovered by traders looking for a spice route to Asia, but instead they found the equally lucrative whaling opportunities of the Arctic Ocean. While commercial whaling has long since ended, you can still get up close with this fascinating, and sometimes grim, chapter in Svalbard’s history during a hiking excursion.
When the sun is shining, cruising across the smooth waters of Lilliehookfjorden feels like gliding across a plate of glass. The surreal landscape is made more memorable by the distinctive thunder and crack of glaciers calving close to the ship. Watch as the ice crashes into the sea, revealing a new sheet of blue ice waiting just behind.
Each of our tailored itineraries offer what we call ‘Peregrine Moments’. These experiences are shared yet highly personal, reflecting the candid style of our trips. Here are a few moments from a polar expedition to the Canadian Arctic.
Cruise through the remarkable west coast of Spitsbergen, a region made up of six national parks, three nature reserves, one geotopical protected area and 15 bird sanctuaries.
See polar bears in Phippsoya – a popular hunting ground for the elusive creature.
Witness the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another major iceberg producer in the region.
Learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history and how it has turned around as a whale sanctuary with many frequenting the waters.
The Peregrine difference
We know you want to be as comfortable as possible while onboard, which is why we’ve chosen vessels equipped with modern conveniences like LED televisions and internet connectivity, along with luxurious touches that make each voyage a true pleasure. Each ship boasts onboard chefs to prepare a range of hearty, quality meals, and onboard experts to ensure you spend more time seeing the sights and less time thumbing through a guidebook.
There's only so much you can read in a guidebook, especially when it comes to such rare and extraordinary locations. That's why we have a range of specialists onboard for every polar journey, from historians to marine biologists and hiking guides. With experts at hand, you can be assured that no question will be left unanswered.
Annie – Marine biologist
"I love my job because everyday you don’t quite know what’s going to unfold. For me, a big part of it is about being able to educate and shift people's understanding of wildlife, and to give them an experience that will last in their memories for a lifetime"
Todd – Naturalist
"I’m a firm believer in conservation and creating awareness through education and sharing our experience. I love sharing the polar regions with guests, connecting people to the environment and using my job as a platform to teach people."
Wayne – Expedition guide
"The most important piece of advice I can give is to come here with an open mind and open heart. Take the wholeexperience in, from thevast landscapes, to the glaciers and the incredible wildlife that lives here."
Each day brings the possibility of new wildlife sightings including thousands of nesting birds such as puffin; land-dwelling caribou and Arctic fox; humpback, minke and fin whales; bearded, harp and ring seals; and, of course, the mighty polar bear.