BFI (British Film Institute) recently listed 10 great films set in the Arctic and Antarctica. Sub-zero peril, real-life adventure and shapeshifting monsters all feature in the list. Of course we wanted to share the list with you!
There are many spectacular places around the globe, but some are simply jaw dropping out of the ordinary. Places where you are reminded of nature’s greatness and humankind’s smallness. Places that are life changing experiences. Northeast Greenland is such a place and we simply never tire of exploring this world’s largest national park. We have listed five reasons why.
The fjords Scorebysund is the largest fjord system in the world, stretching some 350 kilometres. The vast open spaces with snow covered mountain peaks and stranded icebergs mirrored in the water are not easily forgotten.
Photo: Olaf Krüger
The mountains The mountains in Northeast Greenland are simply out of the ordinary. Imagine yourself on a comfortable expedition ship, cruising along a glassy fjord, standing on deck and gazing at 3 000 metre snow covered peaks. It is the kind of environment that makes you feel small yet big inside.
Photo: Emma Nilsson
The icebergs The icebergs are probably what make the greatest impression. Sometimes the size of a football field and higher than a block of flats! A Zodiac cruise among these giants in various shapes and a thousand shades of blue is hard to describe. You have to experience it!
Photo: Olle Carlsson
The sunsets When the sun slowly sinks into the horizon and the surrounding landscape is swept into mild nuances of orange, pink and purple, a beautiful sunset really lives up to its name.
Photo: Dierk Ronneberger
The silence No cars, no paved roads, no skyscrapers, no mobile coverage or cell phone signals. All you can hear is the ship engine, the ice in the fjords surrounding the ship and the birds circling above. In northeast Greenland you can actually listen to the silence.
Louise Boyd was an American explorer and researcher born in California in 1887. It was in 1924, when she travelled with a Norwegian ship, that she fell in love with the Arctic – she saw the pack ice and wanted to learn more. She was born in a wealthy family and used her inherited wealth to finance several expeditions to the Arctic and Greenland during the 30’s. She conducted expeditions to investigate the Polar Regions magnetic fields and their impact on radio communication on behalf of the U.S Army and was rewarded with the U.S Army Certificate of Appreciation for her work. She also mapped the coast of Greenland using sonar systems, and in 1928 she conducted the rescue expedition searching for the missing Roald Amundsen, but without finding as much as a trace of him. Nevertheless, she was still rewarded with a medal of honor by the Norwegian government and has had a crater on Venus as well as a glacier on South Georgia named after her. In 1955 she became the first woman to fly over the North Pole.
Experiencing the iconic North Pole is something few will ever enjoy. Now you also have the opportunity to take the voyage of a lifetime with seven modern-day heroes! These world-renowned adventurers, photographers, writers, scientists, researchers and educators will share their unique perspectives on everything from facing environmental challenges to following your dreams. During this exclusive 14-day expedition you’ll discover first-hand what inspired these modern-day heroes to pursue the passions that have shaped their contributions to society. One of the inspirers on board will be the globally acclaimed nature photographer Paul Nicklen.
About Paul Nicklen This Canadian-born photographer has been documenting the beauty and the plight of the Polar Regions and our oceans for more than 20 years. As an assignment photographer for National Geographic magazine, he has been able to capture the imagination of a global audience. Paul’s mission is to use his images to start a conversation about the earth’s natural wonders and to inspire action on ways to preserve them. Paul has received more than thirty international awards, and as a founder and contributing photographer to SeaLegacy, he plans on dedicating his efforts to shining a light into the issues, species, and ecosystems he so deeply cares about.
The other six special guests that will join the North Pole Summit: Alan Chambers (Explorer, Motivational Speaker) Cristina Mittermeier (Marine Biologist, Photographer, Biochemical Engineer, Conservationist) James Raffan (Geographer, Author, Polar Historian) Maureen Raymo (Paleoclimatologist, Marine Geologist) David Serkoak (Inuit Elder, Educator) Frances Ulmer (Policy Adviser, Public Servant)
This summer PolarQuest’s Expedition Leader Adam Rheborg will spend his twentieth summer in Svalbard. We asked him how come.
– I never tire, Adam says. Svalbard is one of few places on earth where you are off the grid from the outside world. The landscape’s open spaces and giant glacier walls, the wildlife on land and in the sea, the midnight sun and the intriguing history of polar explorers is simply unique.
Adam’s life as an expedition leader is the result of dedication and hard work. As a young backpacker he was looking for a job that would combine his interest in biology with his urge to explore the world. Travels in the USA, Japan, and Australia as well as a job as a dive instructor in Thailand eventually inspired him to look further south – towards Antarctica.
The magic polar world
– I read everything I could find about Antarctica. One day a friend called, offering me a temporary job as an assistant guide on the ship M/S Stockholm in Svalbard. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. Svalbard? I imagined a rocky island with some ice on top. But I said yes. Once there I fell in love. With Svalbard, that is. And I realized that taking care of and showing people who are curious about the Polar regions is what I am meant to do.
Since that first summer in Svalbard in 1998, Adam has led a countless number of trips for PolarQuest around the world – including Antarctica. – Every trip is different. The guests are nature lovers who don’t mind muddy boots, just like me.
The guide’s golden rule
Twenty years of guiding have given Adam insights that he is happy to share, like “the guide’s golden rule”. – It’s about always, always picturing yourself in the situation of the guest. And all guests are different. You must keep asking yourself how you would like to be treated under a certain circumstance. You need to be humble too. If you ever stop wanting to improve what you’re doing it’s time to quit.
Below, please find a selection of images from Adam's many Svalbard expeditions!
Another exciting PolarQuest year draws to a close. Just as previous years, Svalbard’s magnificent wilderness has amazed us all. Being on a true expedition, not knowing exactly what the next day will offer, often creates an adventure of a lifetime. You might be woken up in the middle of the bright night because a polar bear has been spotted on the ice, or suddenly have to leave the breakfast table to catch the moment when a blue whale appears. But Svalbard is not the only destination that has left us spellbound this year. We have met charming penguins in Antarctica, swum with playful sea lions in the Galapagos, encountered the endangered tiger in India and much more.