European boat trips in June
Does anyone know of good options for short cruises (3-4 days) in Spitsbergen with chances of polar bear and walrus? Alternatively, are there any good pelagics currently offered in the Bay of Biscay? Both would be for early to mid June.
Børge Alexander Østvold
Spitsbergen travel runs just about every boat trip up there. It is obviously only during summer. I have done the west coast up to the top of Spitsbergen in a small private RIB, and you will have to get up to the Hindlopen strait to have a great chance of seeing the bears. But you can be lucky to see them around Ny Ålesund if lucky. To go up to Hindlopen you will however need more than three days. I am afraid it is not the answer you want, but on a two to three day trip you will almost for sure see walrus, reindeer, maybe arctic fox, and if lucky polar bear.
You can book on to 3-4 short cruises from Longyearbyen, Svalbard which head up the west coast. You have an excellent chance of Walrus here and a reasonable chance of Polar Bear too. You should also get Bearded and Ringed Seal, Arctic Fox and potentially Blue, Fin and Sperm Whale. Beluga occur in L’byen harbour fairly regularly.
There are also day trips from L’Byen which gives you the chance of Polar Bear.
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RE. Biscay, a friend of mine did a day trip last September from Bilbao with Verballenas; he had great views of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales, amongst other species. The website is in Spanish but hopefullly your browser will translate it: http://verballenas.com/verballenas.com/Bienvenida.html).
I don’t know of any other options, apart from the Biscay ferries, but I’d be interested if you come across any as I’m trying to get out there in July or August.