With the arctic summer just about to come to an end, you might be thinking about venturing north and going on a wildlife-watching trip at the top of the world. Although this might not be a trip that is right for everybody, if you’re more at home in the chill of winter than the sweaty heat of the summer, donning your thermal socks and travelling north might just be the best thing you’ve ever done.
If you’re not sure where to start with the planning, organization or even with what to expect, don’t panic. We’ve created this small and comprehensive guide to get your expectations into shape. So follow our arctic advice and in a few short months you could be going on a wildlife-watching trip of a lifetime to the icy north.
Booking a Trip
Perhaps obviously, the first thing that you need to consider when you’re thinking about going wildlife watching in the arctic is the trip itself. In other words, you need to think about your destination (the Arctic is a big place!), what you intend to see, and how long you intend to spend there.
Naturally, the answers to these questions will determine what the cost of the trip is. Thanks to companies like Hurtigruten, you might not have to wait as long or spend as much as you might expect, but nevertheless, you’ll need to think seriously about what you want to see and in the timescale you want to see it in.
What You’re Going to See
If you’ve booked your trip and you know what you’re taking, you’re ready to start getting excited. The wildlife you see will be very much dependent on where your trip takes you.
If you journey up to the forbidding northern capes of Svalbard you’re likely to see whales, ringed seals and as many as 60 species of bird including kittiwakes and barnacle geese; navigate the picturesque fjords of Norway and your views are more likely to include majestic white-tailed eagles and vast shoals of salmon; and if you’re lucky on your journey you may see such diverse fauna as puffins, minke whales, caribou and even the almost-magical narwhal.
Ultimately, if you’re the sort of person who prefers the cold and loves animals, very little could beat an arctic wildlife-watching trip.
So there you have it: your arctic experience of a lifetime. Get prepared for your greatest adventure yet.