Pack ice, walrus & polar bear under the midnight sun
Unpredictability and flexibility are the main keywords when you travel through Svalbard’s untamed wilderness as the exact route depends on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encounters. Read about one of the exciting days on the expedition cruise with Sea Endurance, the 24th - 31st May!
28 May - In the pack ice
We have sailed south to the pack ice in Hinlopen. During the clear, light polar night our tough little ship got stuck in the ice when currents and wind suddenly closed our path south. But after a few hours of wiggling about, Sea Endurance, have squeezed out of the icetrap and we have to turn north towards less dense ice. From small ice flows Walruses and Bearded seals follow our journey. In the morning we take advantage of our position in the ice and launch the Zodiacs. We have an amazing experience in the ice and even manage to make a landing on a little ice flow to truly experience the habitat of the Polar bears and the seals.
During the afternoon we leave the ice and make a landing in Faksevågen. We hike up the mountain and meet a pair of Ptarmigans. The Ptarmigans don't take notice about us but continues courting as if they were alone. What an amazing experience! Almost as surprised as us are the group of Svalbard reindeer that observe us and the Ptarmigans from a distance on the mountain slope. We return to the ship after a long outing and enjoy a magnificent dinner.
But, in the Arctic the day never ends! We have crossed the Hinlopen to Murchinsonfjorden and there in the fantastic Arctic midnight sun a Polar bear walks along the edge of the fast ice. The evening and night is amazingly clear and sunny. Our bear stays with us for several hours. Perhaps its mind is on the ringed seal cub that is resting on the ice a couple of kilometers away! What a terrific 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 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.