Kvitøya

Also called “White Island,” Kvitøya offers its visitors spectacular views of the massive Kvitøyjøkulen icecap

Kvitøya

Region: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard

The “White Island” of Kvitøya

Kvitøya is located in the far northeast of the Svalbard archipelago, close to the Russian border. Arctic travelers who visit this amazing area can enjoy viewing the colossal icecap of Kvitøyjøkulen, which covers 705 square km (272 square miles).

Kvitøya mammals and birdlife

While Kvitøya is fairly free of wildlife on top of its ice shield, animals are still plentiful on the few clear spots around the edges of the island. Kvitøya is home to the occasional polar bear as well as birds that prefer flat lands for their colonies, such as red-throated divers and Arctic terns. These arrive at Kvitøya during the breeding season, while there is also a robust walrus population (more females than males) that uses the island as a haul-out area.

The expedition history of Kvitøya

Kvitøya was discovered by Dutch navigator Cornelis Giles in 1707, who named the island “Giles Land.” Norwegian whaler Johan Kjeldsen changed the name to Kvitøya in 1876, after which the island became the final stop for a hydrogen balloon crew led by Swedish explorer Salomon August Andrée in 1897.

Attempting to fly over the North Pole, Andrée and his team were forced to set down among the pack ice farther south, then travel to Kvitøya on foot. Sadly, they died on the island, and it was not until 30 years later that a Norwegian sealer found the remains of the ill-fated expedition. A monument to the crew now stands on Kvitøya.

Related cruises

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

PLA11-22 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

11 Aug - 20 Aug, 2022

Price:

5150 USD

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

PLA12-22 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

20 Aug - 29 Aug, 2022

Price:

5150 USD

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

JNS09-23 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Janssonius

m/v Janssonius

Cruise date:

7 Aug - 16 Aug, 2023

Price:

5400 USD

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

PLA11-23 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

11 Aug - 20 Aug, 2023

Price:

5400 USD

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya

OTL11-23 This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

18 Aug - 27 Aug, 2023

Price:

5400 USD

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