Encounters with Svalbard reindeers
Comparing Isfjord to the North West corner of Svalbard this time a year -what a difference! Summer has arrived at Alkehornet while in the north it is still early spring with lots of snow and sea ice still lingering.
We walked around in the lush grass and rich vegetation as we were looking up against the impressive triangular shaped cliff face that has given this somewhat iconic place its name: Alkehornet.
The entire cliff face and beyond is covered in nesting birds this time a year: Brünnich’s Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Glaucous Gulls, Fulmars and Little Auks.
Not only do the birds make for a spectacular show, they also provide nutrition for the extensive meadow below their nesting area. However, they are not alone, due to the amount of vegetation the Svalbard reindeer is also present in large numbers.
We had really neat encounters with one of the two land mammals on Svalbard as they can be quite inquisitive and not shy at all. Reindeers in all ages came to have a look at us and we had an amazing time taking photos and observing their behaviour. We were lucky to see at least four brand new additions to the population; the calves could not have been older than 2 weeks. Absolutely adorable.
As we were walking back towards the Zodiac and our well-earned lunch on the M/S Sjøveien we spotted something moving fast our direction: a fox! An adult Arctic fox came running with an egg in its mouth. He was probably on his way back to a well-hidden den to feed the family.
A fantastic morning in Isfjord.
Please note: We always follow strict wildlife guidelines to ensure that we do not cause any disturbance.
Eva Molin WesterholmGuide
Since 1999, we have taken travellers on once-in-a-lifetime trips to Svalbard. From May to September our three small expedition ships, carrying only 12 and 50 passengers, explore this magnificent Arctic archipelago. Unpredictability and flexibility are the main keywords when you travel with PolarQuest as the exact route depends on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encounters. Sometimes you might be woken up in the middle of the night if a polar bear has been spotted on the ice.