In the pack ice
Our guides are blogging on board the ships. Below, please read about one of the days on the expedition “Exploration of Svalbard”, 5th – 15th July.
Coordinates: 80° 28’1N, 016° 19´8E
Weather: Fog mixed with bright sunshine and clear blue sky.
Mammals and birds: Harp seal, walrus, ringed seal and bearded seal, ivory gull.
We woke up surrounded by open pack ice and fog which made the world around us mysterious. We slowly sailed through the ice looking for polar bears. There were different kind of seals – bearded seals, harp seals and ringed seals, and walruses lying on the ice floes and diving in the sea, but no trace of polar bears. The fog disappeared and in the afternoon we made a zodiac cruise in the sunshine exploring the pack ice. We looked at the fantastic formations and colours and some of us took a short walk on the ice.
After dinner we finally saw our first polar bear. It was a male resting beside his newly hunted prey, a seal. Every now and then he stretched his legs and turned his head to look at us. Glaucous gulls and three ivory gulls were feeding on the carcass. After a couple hours we left him and he continued sleeping in the midnight sun.
/Caroline Svärd, Guide
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.