When we think of Arctic wildlife, the polar bear is one of the first animals that inevitably comes to mind. But though there are entire expeditions themed around spotting this impressive apex predator, numerous other equally fascinating marine mammals also populate the Arctic – namely, some of Earth’s most beautiful whales and seals.
In this video, marine scientist and Oceanwide Expeditions guide Pippa Low discusses which of these Arctic marine mammals can be seen around one of the Arctic’s top travel destinations: the archipelago of Svalbard, also known as Spitsbergen.
These beloved species include the following marine mammals:
A white-colored Arctic and sub-Arctic whale we sometimes see along the coasts.
The second-largest cetacean on Earth next to the blue whale.
Thought to be one of the oldest-living mammals on the planet.
Named for their distinctly curved backs, which are visible during dives.
Not only the largest mammal in existence but the largest ever to have lived on Earth.
A species that uses its highly recognizable whiskers to hunt the sea floor.
An earless seal that gets its name from the pattern of spots and rings on its skin.
Also called “saddlebacks” for the saddle-shaped markings on their backs.
One of the most identifiable species on Earth, often seen sleeping in large herds.
How can you see these amazing animals in person?
First, book an Arctic trip and buy a good pair of binoculars. Then plant yourself on the deck of an expedition cruise ship and keep your eyes open for wildlife!
You can also watch the waters from the comfort of indoors, using the windows of the ship, and sometimes you may even be able to search for animals from the bridge, where the crew will likewise be on the lookout for wildlife.