Polar bear encounter in the magical pack ice
Below, you can read about M/S Quest’s amazing encounter with a polar bear on the 2nd of June!
When we woke up, we were surrounded by ice. During the night we had reached 80 degrees north and now we were cruising as far northeast in the ice as we possibly could. There was thin fog filtering the sunlight which gave a ghostly look to the surrounding sea and ice floes. During the morning we cruised with the ship and found several seals and walruses laying on the ice. The birdlife was surprisingly rich, and we decided to get down in the Zodiacs to explore more. We slowly and silent moved through the ice floes and then came across several groups of walruses that were resting on ice floes. In a little bathtub of ice, a young walrus male was scrubbing its back against the sides of the floe. On a flat, stable piece of ice, we dared to drive up the Zodiacs so we all could step out and feel what it was like to walk on the polar ice!
Suddenly we got a message over the radio. There was a polar bear on the ice edge! We rushed back to M/S Quest and found a small, yellow dot moving on the pack ice. We made a quick decision and jumped back into the Zodiacs. The polar bear had walked right up to the edge of the ice and we watched it from the Zodiacs. It held it head high to smell the air and then changed its course straight towards M/S Quest! We kept ours and watched the bear walking around the ship. It even jumped into the water to get to the ice floes behind the ship and climbed back up again. After a complete circle around the ship it went off over the pack ice, towards the mountains in the distance again. What a way to end the 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.