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:

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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 5037.00
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Black Friday

Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge Best of Svalbard

A polar bear safari cruise with the luxury M/V Sea Spirit exploring the northern reaches of Svalbard

NOW 8317.00
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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 9146.00
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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

FROM 10395.00
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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 9676.00
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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 6146.00
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Arctic Saga: Spitsbergen, Faroes & Jan Mayen: Ultr

This 14 day expedition aboard the luxurious Ultramarine visits remote North Atlantic islands up to the Arctic wilderness of Svalbard

NOW 7137.00
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Spitsbergen Photography: Ultramarine

This exciting introductory journey on board Ultramarine, the new, game-changing polar vessel, takes you to remote stunning scenery and wildlife

NOW 9221.00
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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
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Spitsbergen Explorer: Ultramarine

Wildlife Capital of the Arctic... this comprehensive small ship expedition aboard the Ultramarine gives you a comprehensive Svalbard experience

NOW 7977.00
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Spitsbergen Explorer: Ocean Adventurer

Wildlife Capital of the Arctic... this 12 day small ship expedition aboard the Ocean Adventurer gives you a comprehensive Svalbard experience

NOW 6227.00
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Black Friday

Scotland, Faroes, Jan Mayen to Svalbard: Sea Spiri

A 13 day expedition cruise on the luxury M/V Sea Spirit sailing north from Scotland via the world's northernmost volcano to Arctic Svalbard

NOW 6172.00
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