A perfect start
Our guides are blogging from our expedition ships in Svalbard. The Sea Endurance's Expedition Leader Elke has written down some thoughts and experiences from the trip 8-15 June, which got a perfect start!
What a first day! We got woken up early at calm and sunny weather. Already before breakfast could we enjoy Sørgattet and the steep surrounding mountains. Breakfast got very short because we soon got called out on deck for a walrus on floating glacier ice. The Smeerenburg Glacier and the landscape around it was breathtaking. On the way to our morning outing one of us spotted a pod beluga whales! It was the first of the season and we spent quite some time with them. Both adults and juveniles were in this group. Later we had a nice meeting with some walrus on the beach at Amsterdam Island. Lots of history were to be told by the guides as well; about the Dutch whaling and Swedish and American aeronautics and all to be seen in ruins close to the beaches.
The afternoon was spent at Fuglesangen and we visited a Little Auk colony. It was a great experience getting so close to wildlife and listening to the sound of seabirds and snow buntings.
We headed on towards Raudfjorden to scout for more wildlife, and we found our first bear for the trip! The Zodiacs were launched quickly and the plans we had made for the next hours were all canceled so that we could spend one and a half hours in total with the bear. Amazing, and all of this on our very first day of the trip! Now we will continue north east towards the Seven Islands, I’ very excited and wonder what we will experience there?
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.