Spitsbergen is a privileged place for the observation of certain species of birds and polar animals. Whether you have a guide or not, let us know the observations you want to make and we will take you to the best sites, spot the animals, approach them with you and while you observe at leisure we ensure your safety.
We regularly disembark ashore for certain observations. Others are done from the boat or the dinghy. In both cases we are positioned very low, at the level of the animal.
The fauna that you can observe:
Birds: Little Mergule, Senator Gull (ivory gull), Sabine’s Gull, Broad-billed Phalarope, Red-throated Loon, Purple and Dunlin …
But also: Polar bear, Walruses, Whales, Belougas, Seals, Polar fox, Wild reindeer …
Stay aimed at hiking enthusiasts wishing to discover Spitsbergen in a more “dynamic or alpine” way.
With a high mountain guide, we replace visits to historic sites with glacier walks or climbs of up to 1000m. Rest assured ; no particular technical difficulties.
This trip is for anyone able to walk a few hours uphill on wild terrain.
Wildlife observation remains an important objective. With many glaciers flowing into the sea, the views are unique.
The isolation, maritime constraints and the presence of polar bears give the stay a “committed” character that requires a minimum of physical condition.
Physical condition of participants
We are on a small boat which sometimes gets shaken. On board, you have to take steep stairs, the cabins are equipped with bunk beds.
On land we must consider that the walk is of a “difficult” level. Indeed no paths, and most often more or less stable scree, holes, sometimes snow or spongy soils.
In the event of a bear encounter on land, rapid repatriation to the zodiac may be necessary.
All this to emphasize the importance of everyone having a minimum physical condition (being able to climb a 3m vertical ladder is a good benchmark)
The possible consequences
When walking on land, the presence of bears forces us to stay together. People who have difficulty moving over rough terrain will delay the group and limit the range and therefore the observations.
If a person falls ashore or on board, it will probably be necessary to return to Longyearbyen, which would compromise the smooth running of the stay.
If in doubt, the captain should proceed to Longyearbyen for the person to be examined. It is his responsibility and no one will be able to oppose his decision. Ditto in the event of a problem with particular drug treatment, or an allergic reaction to food.
In summary, registering a person who has difficulty moving in difficult terrain represents a risk-taking for the course of the stay of other passengers. For our part, we do not want to be exposed to this kind of risk and ask you, in the interest of all, to respect these safety instructions while being attentive to the physical level of each one.
A person with a large build would put themselves in danger by the fact that they could not put on a survival suit, could not be brought up from the lower deck by the crew in the event of discomfort and would not have the necessary agility in case of evacuation or rapid return to the zodiac when approaching a bear. It therefore presents an inability to participate in the stay.
Unfortunately, on the boat, we do not have the technical and human resources to provide a special menu to those who request it. We are sorry.
Likewise, we cannot assume the risk posed by people with food allergies. The language barrier and the approximation of certain formulations do not allow us, in fact, to guarantee the composition of the Norwegian ingredients used. Navigating, moreover, in isolated areas with limited means of communication, the allergy therefore represents an inability to participate in our stays.
The same goes for pregnant women.
When boarding or during the first trips, if the captain judges that a person does not meet the minimum safety criteria and is taking a risk, due to their state of health or difficulty in moving, the person could see themselves refused, without giving rise to reimbursement or assumption of the return costs.
If any doubt, you should consult us first.