Arctic Expedition Wildlife Sightings

Humpback Whales in Antarctica

Arctic Expedition Wildlife Sightings

The Arctic is an exotic region of the globe located around the North Pole and within the Arctic Circle. It is cold, windy and often snowy there and yet communities of people and an abundance of wildlife have called the Arctic home for centuries.

One of the ways to explore the wondrous landscapes and wildlife of this area is an Arctic expedition cruise to Northern Norway, Greenland or Svalbard. The Arctic cruise season covers the summer months between April and September. At the peak of the summer season temperatures range between 14 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit with sunlight 24 hours per day.

Wildlife sightings on an Arctic Expedition

Arctic animals

There are many animals who call the Arctic home, whether they are year-round or seasonal residents. The animals have adapted to the region’s cold temperatures in different ways. Some, like the Arctic Fox, grow a thick, white winter coat to keep them warm and camouflage themselves from predators. Other animals like the chipmunks and some bears hibernate in pits or underground burrows to escape the worst of the cold. Still others, like the Arctic Tern, only live in the area during the summer months and then migrate to warmer areas when the weather turns cold and food becomes limited.

Wildlife that may be seen during the Arctic cruise season on an Arctic expedition includes:

  • Whales
  • Polar Bears
  • Arctic Fox
  • Birds
  • Walrus
  • Svalbard Reindeer
  • Puffins

Northern Norway

In addition to viewing mountainous Atlantic coast lines and high-Arctic landscapes, cruising to Northern Norway brings the opportunity to see some of the world’s most wondrous wildlife.

A trip to Northern Norway may yield the following wildlife sightings (some may require day trips to National Parks):

  • Whales: Humpbacks, Minkes, Orcas, Pilots and Sperm
  • Eurasion Lynx and Wolverine
  • Seals
  • Moose/Elk
  • Brown bear


Greenland has the distinction of being the largest island on Earth with the smallest population of any country. Most of the island is covered by the Northern Ice Cap but that doesn’t stop wildlife from inhabiting the island.

Depending on the trip and time of year, some of the wildlife you may see includes:

  • Whales: belugas, blues, fins, Greenland whales (a.k.a. Bowhead whales), Minkes, Narwhals, Humpback and Sperm
  • Svalbard reindeer
  • High Arctic bird species such as Long-tailed Skua, Turnstone and Grey Phalarop
  • Musk Oxen
  • White-tailed eagles


If your dream is to see Polar bears, then a trip to Svalbard is what you need. Located 600 miles south of the North Pole, it is the largest wilderness area in Europe. The region features rugged mountains and rolling tundra that offer plenty of opportunities for hiking and snowshoeing.

Depending on the tour, travelers may see:

  • Whales: Bow and Beluga
  • Polar Bears
  • Reindeer
  • Arctic fox
  • Walruses
  • Seals
  • Ivory Gull

Polar Holidays has been traveling and booking expedition cruises to the polar regions for almost 20 years. We are familiar with the seasons, the destinations and the environments. We love to share our deep passion for the polar regions with travelers and explorers. You can expect to be enriched by our in-depth knowledge of the Arctic and Antarctic regions and dazzled by the incredible landscapes and wildlife unique to the area on one of our luxurious cruise ships. Our experienced operators are here to help you choose the best tour for your needs and interests. We offer door-to-door service, taking care of the details so you can enjoy the cruise of a lifetime. Contact us today to get started!

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