Animal highlights of the Hinlopen Strait, Svalbard

Animal highlights of the Hinlopen Strait, Svalbard

Bird cliffs • Walruses • Polar bears

from AGE ™ Travel Magazine
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Arctic – Svalbard Archipelago

Islands of Spitsbergen & Nordauslandet


The Hinlopen Strait is a 150 km long strait between the main island of Spitsbergen and the second largest Svalbard island, Nordaustlandet. It connects the Arctic Ocean with the Barents Sea and is more than 400 meters deep in places.

In winter and spring the strait is impassable due to drifting ice, but in summer tourists can explore the Hinlopen Strait by boat. It is known for its rich wildlife with bird cliffs, walrus resting places and very good opportunities for polar bears. In the south the landscape is dominated by huge glaciers.

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) Polar bear eating on whale carcass - Animals of the Arctic - Polar Bear Polar Bear Svalbard Wahlbergøya Hinlopenstrasse

We met this well-fed polar bear (Ursus maritimus) on the island of Wahlbergøya in the Hinlopen Strait while he was happily feasting on an old whale carcass.

Several fjords branch off from the Hinlopen Strait (Murchisonfjorden, Lomfjorden and Wahlenbergfjorden) and there are numerous small islands and islets within the strait. The shores of the islands of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet also offer numerous exciting excursion destinations within the Hinlopenstrasse.

Alkefjellet (on the west side of the Hinlopen Strait) is the largest bird cliff in the area and not only delights bird lovers: thousands of thick-billed guillemots nest in the rocks. Videbukta and Torellneset near Augustabuka (both on the east side of the Hinlopen Strait) are known as walrus resting places and promise the best chances of landing near the impressive marine mammals. Polar bears often stay in the island-rich Murchisonfjorden (in the northeast of the Strait) as well as on the small islands in the center of the Hinlopen Strait itself (e.g. Wahlbergøya and Wilhelmøya). It is not for nothing that the strait is part of the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve.

For us, too, the Arctic wildlife showed its best side: we were able to see huge flocks of birds, around thirty walruses and a fantastic eight polar bears in just three days of the expedition in the Hinlopen Strait. The AGE™ experience reports “Cruise in Svalbard: Arctic sea ice and the first polar bears” and “Cruise in Svalbard: Walruses, bird rocks and polar bears – what more could you want?” will report on this in the future.

Our Svalbard travel guide will take you on a tour of the various attractions, sights and wildlife viewing.

Read more about Alkefjellet, the bird cliff in Hinlopenstrasse with around 60.000 breeding pairs.
Tourists can also discover Spitsbergen with an expedition ship, for example with the Sea Spirit.
Explore the arctic islands of Norway with the AGE™ Svalbard Travel Guide.

Svalbard travel guideSvalbard cruise • Spitsbergen Island • North Austlandet Island • Hinlopenstrasse • ​​Experience report

Maps route planner Hinlopenstrasse, strait between Spitsbergen and NordaustlandetWhere is Hinlopen Strait in Svalbard? Svalbard map
Temperature Weather Hinlopen Strait Svalbard What is the weather like in Hinlopenstrasse?

Svalbard travel guideSvalbard cruise • Spitsbergen Island • North Austlandet Island • Hinlopenstrasse • ​​Experience report

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If the content of this article does not match your personal experience, we assume no liability. The contents of the article have been carefully researched and are based on personal experience. However, if information is misleading or incorrect, we assume no liability. Furthermore, circumstances can change. AGE™ does not guarantee topicality or completeness.
Source reference for text research
information through Poseidon Expeditions or on the Cruise ship Sea Spirit as well as personal experiences when visiting Hinlopenstrasse from July 23.07rd. – July 25.07.2023, XNUMX.

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