Highlights and main attractions of Kvitoya

Kvitøya, also known as White Island, is the most remote island of the Svalbard archipelago. The island is almost completely covered in an ice cap, with just a few small areas that are ice free, with these patches of land being rocky and barren. Kraemerpynten is the easternmost part of Norway, and from here, it’s approximately 40 nautical miles to Victoria Island, Russia. Kvitøya is almost always surrounded by thick pack ice, so it’s rare that people ever set foot on this remote island, although with climate change in recent years, it is occasionally possible towards the end of the summer season when the pack ice has retreated further north. 

Part of the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, the island is mostly free of wildlife, apart from polar bears passing through and several groups of walrus.

Where is Kvitoya?

Location and activities

Visiting this remote island is not always possible, but if you are on a trip later in the season it is sometimes accessible, but will always be dependent on sea ice and weather conditions. Pick a small ship with a high ice class (ice class determines how capable the ship is of pushing through thick pack ice) and you might get lucky with a landing on one of the beaches. Walrus are often found on this island, with haul-outs at various different locations. There are high numbers on the island, meaning chances of sightings are pretty good. Polar bears are also seen on the island. They hunt on the pack ice until it retreats, and then sometimes stick around until the ice comes back again. If you are lucky, the sight of polar bears sleeping on top of the ice cap is a fantastic photo opportunity.

Ask us about the best ships, dates and itineraries for visiting Kvitøya. 

This is a very remote area, not always accessible, but a great place to see polar bears in their natural habitat.

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