Blue whale, Beluga & polar bear
PolarQuest’s guides are blogging on board Sea Endurance. Read an excerpt from the expedition cruise 2 – 12 july 2016.
2 July 2016
This morning we had a relaxed time after a long trip to the Arctic. After breakfast, we had time to walk around in Longyearbyen and explore its surroundings. Some went shopping, others went sightseeing and some enjoyed the many blooming flowers. At noon we all gathered at the hotel for our trip’s briefing and then enjoyed lunch. We even saw some belugas far away!
After lunch we made a visit to the museum and at 4 PM it was finally time to board our expedition ship Sea Endurance. We sailed out through Isfjorden and as we started to sail north we had our first exciting wildlife encounter – blue whales. We watched their large blows for a long time and tried to imagine the largest animal that ever lived on earth swimming underneath us. A perfect start of our expedition
3 July 2016
Today we had reached the beautiful Liefdefjorden. It was raining when we had breakfast, but as soon as we started our landing the rain disappeared as if the fjord was welcoming us. We also had a great encounter with belugas, much closer then the day before. After enjoying some time with the belugas our landing and the hike towards the Erik Glacier began. We were divided into different groups depending on hiking level, but all of us could enjoy a great view of the Erik Glacier and its lagoon – a magnificent scene.
During lunch, the ship started navigating towards the end of Liefdefjorden and the Monaco Glacier. Around 3 PM we were right in front of the Monaco Glacier, one of the most famous glaciers in Svalbard. We all enjoyed the scenery from the front deck or the warm lounge.
Shortly after our ship cruise we headed for another Zodiac cruise around the Lerner Islands. The small islands were scattered around the area and each Zodiacs took their own path, but we all had to go to Adam’s secret spot and look at a polar bear scull. After the visit we continued to cruise amongst the islands where some saw some new bird species such as the beautiful king eider. Some of us were even lucky enough to see an Arctic fox.
Since 1999, we have taken travellers on once-in-a-lifetime trips to Svalbard. From May to September our three small expedition ships, carrying only 12 and 53 passengers, explore this magnificent Arctic archipelago. Unpredictability and flexibility are the main keywords when you travel with PolarQuest as the exact route depends on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encounters. Sometimes you might be woken up in the middle of the night if a polar bear has been spotted on the ice.