Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen Whale Safari
Fair Isle, Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen Whale Safari 10 Days aboard M/V Hondius
This North Atlantic Odyssey cruise will take you from the sub-Arctic to the heart of the Arctic in search of unrivalled marine wildlife encounters. With a special focus on whale watching, you will discover Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands before sailing north to explore the mysterious Norwegian volcanic island of Jan Mayen and the wildlife-filled wilderness wonderland of Spitsbergen.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Search the waters of the North East Atlantic for a variety of marine life including numerous species of whale, orca and dolphins
- Discover the enchanting lands of Fair Isle on the Shetlands
- Explore the volcanic island of Jan Mayen
- Experience the wildlife paradise of Spitsbergen
- Search for sightings of polar bears, reindeers and other Arctic wildlife
- Spectacular scenery throughout
- Myriad birdlife
- Enjoy Zodiac cruises, snowshoeing and land walks
- In-field and on-board discovery and learning workshops, exhibitions and performances
- Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
- All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Snowshoeing excursions
ITINERARY9 Nights 10 Days
- Day 1 | Aberdeen
- Day 2 | Fair Isle, Shetlands
- Days 3 - 4 | At Sea - Whale Watching
- Day 5 | Jan Mayen
- Days 6 - 8 | West Spitsbergen
- Day 9 | Forlandsundet, Spitsbergen
- Day 10 | Longyearbyen
Your adventure begins in Aberdeen where, after having arrived independently, you will make your way to the port to board your expedition vessel. As you settle in to your comfortable cabin and explore your new surroundings your ship will set sail towards the Shetlands. We recommend spending some time on deck this evening as you are likely to enjoy the first of many marine wildlife sightings since several cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are native to these seas.
Various air and land packages are available for transport to Aberdeen, please enquire for further details.
Fair Isle, Shetlands
Today we will make the first stop of our voyage as we visit the small island of Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands. World renowned for its varied and abundant birdlife as well as its traditional knitwear, Fair Isle is home to a fantastic bird observatory and just 70 human inhabitants. As we make land you can enjoy a walk to the observatory to see an abundance of sea birds and hopefully some grey seals as well.
At Sea - Whale Watching
Over the course of the next two days your expedition ship will be sailing north towards the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. As we sail you can enjoy the fantastic range of presentations and performances that are unique to your vessel. This includes a wide range of interactive workshops that explore such topics as astronomy, navigation, and other related fields. There will also be a program of lectures by noted naturalists covering everything from the geology and wildlife of the areas you will be visiting to the history of polar exploration.
Despite the activity on board, however, the main highlight of this portion of your voyage may be simply spending some time on deck or in the observation lounge seeking out sightings of the minke, fin, orca, and blue whales that are known to frequent the waters below.
Today brings us to the stark volcanic island of Jan Mayen where upon arrival we will be greeted by the spectacular sight of the snow-capped summit of Mt. Beerenberg. This area offers excellent scenic photo opportunities with broken glaciers grasping out into the frigid sea from the imposing slopes of this 2300m high volcano.
After making your way to land via Zodiac boat you can enjoy a gentle hike across the barren volcanic landscape to see the remains of a 17th-century Dutch whaling station. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, we also hope to visit the weather station here.
As we sail under the midnight sun we will make our way north along the edge of the sea ice to continue our search for marine wildlife sightings. This time spent at sea will be filled with exciting exploration as your captain and experienced crew expertly choose course to offer the best chances of wildlife encounters. As we sail we hope to spot bowhead whales, harp seals and a wide variety of seabirds. It is during this part of our journey that we are also most likely to encounter polar bears, so make sure to have your cameras on hand!
As we reach 79° north we will change direction to sail westwards to the rocky edges of the continental shelf of west Spitsbergen. Here we will be on the lookout for the fin whales and minke whales which are often spotted near the glacial mouths of the gaping Spitsbergen fjords.
The last place we will visit on our fulfilling North Atlantic voyage will be the visually spectacular area of Forlandsundet. This 88 km long sound is found between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland and is home to an abundance of enchanting Arctic wildlife including large haul-outs of walrus. As with all polar expeditions, flexibility is the key, and should conditions dictate an alternative route we will instead sail into St. Johns Fjord or land at Alkhornet in the mouth of Isfjorden. Here we will find huge numbers of seabirds nesting on the cliffs, whilst Arctic foxes stalk below hoping for eggs and chicks to fall within their grasp. You will also be able to see reindeers here grazing on the sparse vegetation that covers that the landscape.
Your thrilling Arctic cruise will come to an end in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, where after breakfast you will disembark and bid a fond farewell to your expedition team and new-found friends. You may wish to spend some further time here exploring this unique Arctic town or enjoying some of the many extra excursions and activities that are on offer here. Please enquire for details of the land-based activities that we would be happy to arrange for you. Otherwise, it’s sadly time to make your way to the airport for your onward or homeward flights, filled with memories of the adventure of a lifetime.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
How WILDFOOT creates your holiday Adventure
Talk to someone who knows. Our specialist consultants are here to help you every step of the way – here’s how..
Talk to a specialist
Visit the wildfoot website for inspiration on your choice of adventures and destinations, then call us and speak to one of our specialists for first hand advice. We can start the planning process straight away, if you are ready.
Create your personal
Your specialist consultant will set the ball rolling and work with you to choose the right itinerary (and the right ship, if you are going to the arctic or antarctic) just for you, to suit your requirements and budget.
Help right up
We will answer any questions about your trip that may arise and, when you have paid your balance (12-15 weeks prior to departure), we will send you your detailed itinerary and go through it with you.
We are still there for you even when you have left home – our partners overseas are there to assist, especially for emergencies and you can contact us at any time in the uk by e-mail or telephone.