Polar bears and mosquitoes!
Today something weird happened. We cancelled a landing due to mosquitoes! Who would have thought. On Svalbard!
Before I come back to that story, I will have to mention what a perfect start of the day we had. While scouting our landing site in the morning, we came across two polar bears, a mother and a cub.
So the day naturally started in the Zodiacs for a closer observation. They were laying on a patch of snow, cooling down and having a nap. We even got to see the mother nurture the cub. I love moments like these when nature invites you to witness its fragility.
The next step was to land at Smeerenburg and have a closer look at the walruses.
Me and Oliver were the first Zodiac’s to come ashore. While I was anchoring up on the beach, I heard Oliver screaming “WE NEED TO LEAVE. There are TOO many mosquitoes!!”. I smiled to myself thinking we do not have a lot of them up here, hence why we are not used to it. Then I looked up. My jaw dropped. The beach was SWARMING.
Black clouds (!) of mosquitoes, attacking every guests on land. Everyone started running back towards the Zodiacs.I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more efficient embarkation into the Zodiacs. Both Zodiacs were loaded and off the beach within a minute, speeding away. As we got out from the shore, everybody started laughing of the situation that just occurred. A funny memory and a few mosquito-bites richer.
We ended the day with an incredible Zodiac cruise in front of Smeerenburg glacier, with a sea so calm and clear that the only thing causing ripples in it, were us. We were lucky to see a bearded seal, and a big pod of Beluga’s that were not more than a few meters away.
I think everyone went to bed today with a big smile in their face and a little bit of sunburn.
Please note: We always follow strict wildlife guidelines to ensure that we do not cause any disturbance.
M/S Quest 50 passengers12 days 10 nights on ship USD 8 390LanguagesDeparture: July 2024Special lecturer on board
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 50 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.