Expeditions Online Guide: Walruses and Where to See Them in the Arctic

By Stewart_Campbell / 03 August 2016

Expeditions Online Guide: Walruses and Where to See Them in the Arctic

The Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is one of the most distinctive and enigmatic Arctic animals, full of contrasts.

They are one of the largest pinnipeds (semi-aquatic, fin-footed marine mammals), with adults weighing between 600kg to 2000kg.  However, despite their intimidating size and signature tusks, they are the gentle giants of the Arctic. Once hunted to the point of extinction, the population has recovered somewhat but is still classified as vulnerable, not the least because of declining sea ice levels in the Arctic Ocean. If you're interested in walruses and would love to see them in their native habitat, you should browse our range of Arctic cruises and expeditions. This blog has been written to celebrate one of the Arctic's most charming animals and to help readers interested in walruses choose the right trip for them. Or, if you're not planning a trip and are just interested in walruses, why not learn what you can from the experts?! Check out the rest of our polar expedition blog for more interesting articles and guides. 


Some Basic Facts About Walruses

Walruses don’t move very fast on land, as you can observe when they haul their great mass along the ice. However, in the water it’s a completely different story.: walruses can easily swim four miles per hour on average and can accelerate in short bursts of up to 20 miles per hour. They are carnivores but they are not big hunters, instead choosing to feast on shellfish. They dive to reach their food, using their distinctive whiskers to identify where the food is.

Getting to see a walrus in its own habitat is a unique experience. They are strong and ancient creatures, and they have played a prominent role in the cultures of indigenous people. And it is perhaps a bonus that this fascinating creature happens to live in some of the most stunning parts of the world.

The smaller species of an Atlantic walrus can be seen in the spectacular Svalbard archipelago (browse our range of Svalbard Arctic cruises) as well as eastern and western Greenland (also check out our Greenland cruises). This is a majestic and prolific destination generally for Arctic wildlife and is the most accessible place for most people to see walruses.

Animal walrus.jpg

Cruises such as Around Spitsbergen and Exploration of Svalbard explore Spitsbergen and have excellent chances to see walruses both on sea ice floes as well as hauled out on beaches to warm up in the 24-hour summer sunshine. All you have to do is fly up from mainland Norway and let the ship take care of exploring the pristine Arctic wilderness.

 The Three Arctic Islands tour takes in both Svalbard and eastern Greenland – both areas prime habitats for walruses. Other expeditions such as this Baffin Island Jewel of the Arctic cruise in northern Canada also offer excellent opportunities to spot walrus.

If you want to see the world’s biggest walruses, you need to head for the Pacific side of the Arctic: Alaska and especially the Russian Far East. The Across the Top of the World expedition will take you through the Bering Strait. The area here is a treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity. It is known for its Polar Bear community, unique birdlife, and also the largest populations of Pacific Walrus. Haulouts of these impressive animals can number in the thousands.

Expeditions Online specialises in cruises inspired by nature. Our range of Arctic cruises and expeditions offers a variety of trips to locations that are great places to see walruses on high-quality and environmentally-responsible small-ship cruises.

Read our blog to learn even more about the Arctic and keep an eye on our Arctic cruise deals page for new offers as and when they come up!  Discover how you can have your own Arctic adventure and see the wild walrus in all its glory. Visit the Arctic, inspire yourself, and see this beautiful, gentle giant in its own habitat. If you have any questions about this blog or the range of tours discussed, please don't hesitate to get in touch; we are always happy to hear from people interested in our cruises. 

Below, you'll find some fantastic Arctic cruises where you can see walruses:

Last-Minute Prices!!

Iceland to Svalbard: Ocean Albatros

This 12 day voyage on luxury Ocean Albatros is the perfect chance to head north from Iceland and experience the Arctic early summer splendour

NOW 3077.00
Find Out More

Save 25%!

Svalbard & NE Greenland National Park: Sea Spirit

Abundant wildlife in Spitsbergen and stunning scenery in Greenland create a complete Arctic experience on board the luxury Sea Spirit

NOW 7796.00
Find Out More

Travel Credit

North Spitsbergen M/V Plancius

Search for polar bears on this 7 night cruise on board the ice-strengthened M/V Plancius exploring the northwestern Arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen

FROM 4000.00
Find Out More

Svalbard Explorer: Ocean Adventurer

This expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer is the perfect introduction to Spitsbergen and the incomparable beauty of the High Arctic

NOW 5621.00
Find Out More

Special Offer

East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice: Hondius

A 7 night adventure cruise on board the ice-strengthened M/V Hondius exploring the south and eastern Arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen

FROM 4000.00
Find Out More

Up to Half Price Sale

Spitsbergen Highlights: Ocean Adventurer

Majestic peaks, massive glaciers and towering fjords contrast with the vivid tundra. Active exploring provides opportunities to spot polar bears

NOW 3746.00
Find Out More

Travel Credit

Around Spitsbergen M/V Plancius

A 9 night voyage around Svalbard, on board the comfortable M/V Plancius, searching for polar bears, walrus, reindeer, Arctic birdlife and flora

FROM 5400.00
Find Out More

Half Price Sale

Spitsbergen In-Depth: Ocean Adventurer

Like true Arctic adventurers, on this 13-day voyage with the Ocean Adventurer, we search for polar bears and other wildlife on outings and landings

NOW 6248.00
Find Out More

Pay in Full save 10%

Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Is

This 12 day epic expedition aboard the state-of-the-art Ultramarine visits the highlights of the Arctic wilderness of Canada

NOW 8677.00
Find Out More

Half Price Sale

Arctic Express: Heart of the Northwest Passage

Discover the great sea route at the top of the world—on the game-changing new expedition ship Ultramarine. Reach the High Arctic in just over a week!

NOW 4198.00
Find Out More

Complete East Greenland: Ocean Albatros

Join an expedition cruise from Iceland to the massive Northeast Greenland National Park, an unparalleled wilderness with fjords, glaciers & wildlife

FROM 7595.00
Find Out More

Half Price Sale

Four Arctic Islands: Ocean Adventurer

This 18 day expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer visits the Arctic islands of Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland

NOW 5698.00
Find Out More

Related Blogs...

Earliest Satellite Maps of Polar Sea-ice

People of the Far North

Penguin colony discovered by satellite

Svalbard: the Ultimate Arctic Summer Adventure

All About Spitsbergen and Arctic Polar Ice

Sea Ice Decline and Ice Export through Fram Strait

Expeditions Online Newsletter

Sign up to be an Expeditions Online insider and receive info on exclusive deals, discounts and more!


* indicates required