Walrus and Where to See Them

By Expeditions / 03 August 2016

Walrus and Where to See Them

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

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), weighing in at 600kg to 2000kg yet, 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.

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They don’t move very fast on land as you can see when they haul their great mass along the ice, yet in the water it’s a different story. Walrus can easily swim 4 miles per hour on average and bursts of up to 20 miles per hour. They are carnivores yet 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.

The famous Beatles song "I Am the Walrus" is also a reference to a Lewis Carroll poem.

Getting to see Walrus in its own habitat is a unique sight. They are strong and ancient creatures, which 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 as well as eastern and western Greenland. This is a majestic and prolific destination generally for Arctic wildlife and is the most accessible place for most people to see Walrus.

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Cruises such as Around Spitsbergen and Exploration of Svalbard explore Spitsbergen and have excellent chances to see walrus 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 Walrus. Other expeditions such as this Baffin Island Jewel of the Arctic cruise in northern Canada also offer excellent opportunities to sight 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 specialise in cruises inspired by nature. The Arctic section of their website offers a variety of trips to locations that are great places to see Walrus on high quality and environmentally-responsible small ship cruises to the Arctic region.

Find out more about how you can have your own Arctic adventure in the best places to see Walrus in the wild. You’ll have an inspirational time viewing this beautiful, gentle giant in its own habitat. 

Following are some fantastic Arctic cruises where you can see walrus:

Special Offer

Introduction to Spitsbergen: Ocean Adventurer

This 9 day expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer is the perfect introduction to Spitsbergen and the incomparable beauty of the High Arctic

FROM 5795.00
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US$1000 Travel Credit!

Spitsbergen Explorer - Akademik Vavilov

A 12 day exploration of Svalbard - a region by its very nature rich in wildlife, scenery and history. Cruise on the ice-strengthened Akademik Ioffe

FROM 8095.00
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Special Offers

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

FROM 7895.00
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Save 10% special Offer

Svalbard Explorer: M/S Sjøveien

A 10 night, unique expedition cruise exploring the Svalbard archipelago onboard the charming and intrepid 12-passenger M/S Sjøveien

FROM 9990.00
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Early Booking Offer

Around Spitsbergen Kvitoya - M/V Hondius

An 11 night adventure on board the new ship the ice-strengthened M/V Hondius circumnavigating the Arctic wilderness of Svalbard

WAS7450.00
NOW 5650.00
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Early Booking Offer

Scoresbysund, Aurora Borealis - Hondius

An 8 day voyage on the M/V Hondius from Iceland to the huge fjords of Eastern Greenland in searh of the Aurora Borealis

WAS4000.00
NOW 3420.00
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Free flight package

Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos

Like a true Arctic explorer, you’ll discover breathtaking ice-draped coastlines that are rarely visited by even the most intrepid adventurers

FROM 15495.00
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Early Booking Offer 2020

Scotland, Faroes, Jan Mayen to Svalbard

A 12 day expedition cruise on the luxury Sea Spirit from Scotland via the Faroes and the world's northernmost volcano to Arctic Svalbard

WAS4595.00
NOW 4050.00
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Early Booking Offers 2020

North Pole Ultimate Arctic: 50 Years of Victory

14-day Arctic expedition cruise to the North Pole 90°N aboard the world's most powerful icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory

FROM 29995.00
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Special Savings

West Spitsbergen & Polar Ice Edge

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

WAS6495.00
NOW 3995.00
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Special Offers!

Realm of the Polar Bear - M/S Expedition

Board the M/S Expedition for an 8 day cruise to spectacular Spitsbergen. Travel with expert lecturers and look out for wildlife such as polar bears

FROM 4299.00
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US$1000 Travel Credit!

Spitsbergen Encounter - Akademik Vavilov

A 10 day exploration on board Akademik Sergey Vavilov of Svalbard - a region by its very nature rich in wildlife, scenery and history

FROM 5895.00
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