PolarQuest has arranged three fantastic trips to Galapagos this autumn. Below you can read an excerpt from the first trip (25th October to 7th November).
Santiago: Puerto Egas & Bartolomé Island
We arrived to Puerto Egas on Santiago and we went for a morning walk. It took us to the Grottos, where we met a new creature - the Galapagos fur seal. Here were also saw piles of marine iguanas basking in the morning sun. We also saw what’s called ”Darwin´s toilet”, an impressive whole in the ground flushed by sea water. Then the underwater adventure continued amongst countless tropical fish before another tasty lunch. After repositioning the Beluga, we anchored at Bartolomé Island. Then some few hundred steps up the stairs brought us to Bartolome’s highest point. Here we learned more about volcanism and saw perfect examples in the landscape around.
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)
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!
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.
A visit to Mongolia is an unforgettable experience, and many of our travellers’ stories tell us about unique cultural meetings and awe-inspiring nature experiences. Please follow the link below to watch a slideshow summarising this year’s PolarQuest trips to magical Mongolia. We hope it inspire!