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Inaugural Voyages: Expeditions

  • Text
  • Viking
  • Expedition
  • Nordic
  • Explore
  • Arctic
  • Polar
  • Svalbard
  • Antarctica
  • Wildlife
  • Advisor
  • Inaugural
  • Expeditions

THE ARCTIC EXPERIENCE

THE ARCTIC EXPERIENCE THE STARK BEAUTY of the polar north. With over half the land covered by glaciers and sea ice extending from the North Pole to the surrounding continents, the Arctic may appear too harsh for life to exist. Yet within this remote ice-sculpted landscape lies a thriving ecosystem, fueled by months of a never-setting sun. DISCOVER THE NORTH OF LEGENDSin Svalbard, an archipelago located only 650 miles from the North Pole and accessible thanks to a branch of the warm Gulf Stream. While much of the Arctic remains trapped in ice year-round, Svalbard offers navigable seas and relatively warm weather in summer. Along Svalbard’s fjords, visit the world’s northernmost city along with remnants of the whaling and coal mining industries. NEXT, JOURNEY NEAR THE TOP OF THE WORLDwhere the horizon is interrupted only by passing ice and rocky isles rising from the sea. Travel by zodiac through Arctic waters and you may come face-to-face with a giant walrus. Or witness white beluga whales busily feeding. On shore, spot an arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer—or even the king himself, the majestic polar bear—moving across shifting sea ice. AN ADVENTURE FOR THE MIND AS WELL.Fill your days with extraordinary activities. You might collect ice samples for research on board your vessel. Or wake to a gorgeous polar sunrise on an optional overnight camping excursion. Observe whale movements by RIB or explore aquatic wildlife by submarine. You can even experience a polar rite of passage: a plunge into the icy water. AS MEMBERS OF AECO,we abide by all their regulations to ensure safe, responsible visits to the Arctic. ARCTIC GLACIERS, SVALBARD 48 VIKING.COM

THE WILDLIFE OF SVALBARD & THE ARCTIC Explore an ecosystem adapted to extreme cold THE WILDLIFE OF THE ARCTIC.Encounter some of nature’s most elusive wildlife north of the Arctic Circle. Located halfway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is one of the most remote regions on Earth, offering a nearly untouched wilderness with native and migratory animals uniquely adapted to life in the extreme cold. Learn more about the flora and fauna of the Arctic at viking.com/expeditionvideos. POLAR BEARS Apex predators and proficient swimmers, as many as 3,000 polar bears live on Svalbard, where seals—their main food source—abound. WALRUSES Strong tusks help walruses climb onto and break ice, while sensitive whiskers enable them to locate food on the ocean floor. WHALES After centuries of hunting, whale populations have recovered around Svalbard and include beluga, minke and white whales as well as tusked narwhals. SVALBARD REINDEER This Svalbard native is shorter and stouter than other reindeer, with a thick coat that changes from summer-brown to winter-white. ARCTIC FOX With short extremities and a thick coat to withstand extreme cold, the arctic fox can scavenge polar bear prey when food is scarce. RINGED SEALS Among the smallest pinnipeds, ringed seals have claws so strong they can scrape breathing holes through ice over four feet thick. CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR 49