As one of the world’s most extreme and captivating environments, Svalbard is the destination of a lifetime. Located between mainland Norway and the North Pole, this Norwegian archipelago is rugged and diverse, showcasing nature’s rich and varied landscapes – from icy fjords and glittering glaciers to harsh polar deserts.
Katie from our UK team was lucky enough to be able to explore Svalbard on our 12-day Svalbard Odyssey expedition, which showcases the best of this fascinating winter wonderland. Read on to discover her top 10 experiences that embraced, enchanted and contributed to her education about this untouched paradise in the High Arctic.
1. Seeing a polar bear
The thrill of spotting the elusive polar bear has no comparison, end of story (but please, read on!).
2. Witnessing the sheer scale of Svalbard's bird cliffs
Being surrounded by thousands of guillemots, kittiwakes and puffins amongst the sheer cliffs and the cacophony of bird chatter.
3. Sailing through sea ice
4. Learning about the history of the archipelago
From exploration, mining, hunting and natural history, there is so much to learn about this fascinating archipelago from Aurora’s Expedition Team, which includes Historians, Geologists and Naturalists.
Happywhale is one of seven Citizen Science programs we support. Passengers participate in destinations we visit around the world by taking identification photographs of whales and other marine mammals. Happywhale uses these photos to track marine life which, over time, helps scientists better understand, conserve and protect whales.
You can submit photos from anywhere in the world, or even images you’ve taken from previous expeditions with us. Once your whales have been identified, you can follow them across the globe in your Happywhale account. Pretty cool, right?
5. Take part in Aurora's Citizen Science Program
6. Stay up to witness the Midnight Sun
7. Stepping foot on sea ice
8. Feeling dwarfed by glaciers
9. Visiting Pyramiden
10. Watching out for wildlife
Business Development Manager for the UK
Katie has firsthand experience of remote nature travel, having worked onboard cruise ships sailing around the Arctic to destinations like Greenland and Iceland. This sparked an appreciation for experiencing the natural world at its most pristine. Her passion for sustainability, and doing what we can to protect these natural destinations aligns with Aurora’s values of respectful exploration and discovery.
With diverse travel industry experience, including working with tour operators, a small ship startup and onboard cruise ships, Katie brings a keen drive to bring Aurora to more adventurous travellers across the UK.