The ice & Wilhelmøya
We recieve many exciting reports from our Svalbard expeditions! Below you can read about one of the days on the expedition on board M/S Quest the 25th – 3rd June.
29th May 2014
An early morning wake up call announced our very first polar bear encounter and the tiny yellow spot on the ice far away in front of Kiepertøya slowly started to investigate us. The captain parked Sea Endurance in the ice edge silently without anchoring and turned off engines. Slowly, the young male bear came closer and closer and suddenly it was right by the ship. We stayed for some hours in the area around Kiepertøya and encountered at least one more polar bear.
During the day, we moved to Wilhelmøya surrounded by thousands of guillemots gathering on the ice free waters, waiting for the Hinlopenstrait to be ice free. In the afternoon, on our Zodiac cruise, a polar bear female with two cubs were playing and sliding down a hill in the snow. The mother was mostly relaxed, laying down, watching the cubs playing around. The waters were calm and the light was fantastic and we decided to stay in the bay east of Wilhelmøya for some more hours. On the ice, we could see several ringed seals and at least three more polar bears.
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.