Wilderness travel company Aqua-Firma is now offering sailing voyages to Spitsbergen for those who want to experience the Arctice from the water
Aqua-Firma‘s new Spitsbergen voyages give guests the opportunity to explore the polar archipelago alongside wildlife and marine life polar experts on board their small ship and sailing voyages to explore some stunning mountain, glacier and fjord coastline in search of polar bears, whales, walruses and Arctic foxes. In the autumn there will also be opportunities to see the Northern Lights.
600 miles from the North Pole, Spitsbergen is an ideal location for exploring the vast array of Arctic marine and wildlife. With 2-3,000 polar bears, hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, and pods of Blue, Fin, Beluga, Minke and Humpback whales, voyagers can expect exciting opportunities to photograph and observe Arctic animals amongst the polar wilderness.
The Norway to Bear Island Arctic Sailing Voyage is a hands on sailing adventure giving people the chance to play their part in an expedition across the Arctic Ocean. The voyage begins in Northern Norway where the team will search for marine life amongst some of Europe’s most beautiful and wild islands and fjords. The yacht will then head across the Arctic Ocean to Bear Island before reaching south Spitsbergen. This voyage will run in the Arctic Spring when sea ice fringed southern Spitsbergen offers opportunities for polar bear sightings, as well as the chance to see whales and huge waves of migratory birds. Aqua-Firma marine scientist, Charlotte Caffrey, will be on board to provide an insight into whales and other wildlife spotted throughout the voyage.
Voyages such as a Special Polar Bear Voyage are taken onboard larger ice strengthened ships, dedicated to maximising opportunities to observe polar bears. From Spring to early Autumn, Aqua-Firma’s Arctic voyages offer opportunities for sea and land exploration on board expedition cruises, classic tallships and a smaller adventure sailing yacht. Voyages last between 8 and 16 days.
Motor ships benefit from more spacious en suite cabins but tallship and sailing yacht voyages offer a pioneering experience with fewer people; and when winds are favourable, a perhaps closer connection with the Arctic elements.
‘Voyages to Spitsbergen offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences in amongst some of the most dramatic Arctic coastal wilderness,’ says Aqua-Firma marine scientist and expedition leader Charlotte Caffrey. ‘It is a special moment when you come close to a polar bear in its natural environment, or a pod of ghostly white beluga whales break the water’s surface beside you, sea ice to one side, glaciers descending from rocky mountains on the other.’