Adventures above the 80th parallel
Please read about the PolarQuest-office's own Heidi Lätheenmäki Sanders encounter with walrus on a sunny day in early May below.
After one nights cruising from Hamiltonbukta we finally reached Moffen, a flat island of sand lockated just above the 80th parallel north. The sun was shining and the wind was strong, and shortly after we had arrived we spotted something brown close to the shore, a walrus colony. As we got closer we could distinguish them from one an another.
With open waters one one side of the ship and snow covered mountains on the other, we steered towards Lågøya. When we reached the island we stepped into the Zodiacs for a cruise. We saw another colony of walrus on the island which was surrounded by high edges of ice and made it difficult to step ashore, but finally our guides found a spot where it was possible. Carefully we approached the pile of animals who weren't concerned about our prescence at all. We also visited some old graves, probably from the whaling period, and on our way back to the Zodiacs we spotted four Svalbard reindeers and one Arctic fox. Once we were back at the ship the crew served us hot chocolate - a very pleasant surprise and a nice ending of this adventurous day!
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 51 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.