The sunset has returned to Svalbard
We set course for Faksevågen. It was not planned, but like so many times before, we have replaced plan A with plan B. That's how it works on expedition cruises, we have to be flexible. And tonight we have decided to follow the sun and the beautiful light..
It is the first warm evening light, almost a sunset, that I have seen in a long time. The midnight sun has been shining the whole summer now. And today it shines on the mountain in Faksevågen.
When we anchor and turn off the engine, there is complete silence. At least for a moment. Until there is a deep exhalation that makes me shiver a little. I have made eye contact with a walrus. He is curious and a little shy. When he sees my surprised face, he gets scared and dives down again. Walruses are incredibly agile in the water, in an almost acrobatic way.
He shows a clear interest in our boat, the M/S Stockholm, and decides to make another exploration attempt. This time, however, he is not alone. Now both walruses are looking at us.
The next morning I enjoy a good cup of coffee out on deck. The walruses are still there. What a nice meeting we have had with them. Slowly we now sail out of the fjord. Today, the sea is calm and we set course for one of the largest bird cliffs we have here on the eastern side of Svalbard, which is home to no less than 60,000 breeding pairs of Brünnich's guillemots.
After 15 August, you can drive closer to the mountain. Captain Magnus elegantly maneuvers the ship past the rocks. There is a chaos of birds flying around frantically. I hear the sound of a young bird and then I see it! He is sitting on the rock and both we and the fox are eagerly waiting for him to jump. But apparently not today.
Nature up here follows its own rhythm, which can be very inspiring. Some of us take a final polar plunge and we all agree that it has been a good day.
Please note: We always follow strict wildlife guidelines to ensure that we do not cause any disturbance.
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.