What a trip!
Our guides are blogging from the expedition “Polar Bear Quest”, the 24th May – 2nd June.
Not even 6 days have passed since we left Longyearbyen and we’ve seen more and experienced behaviours, views, meetings that we only could hope for. A high pressure has more or less stayed over the whole of Svalbard and we could not be more grateful. Since we started with our briefings onboard just after leaving the dock we have had to adjust our schedule. Even our introduction to the guide team was interrupted by Beluga whales in Isfjorden. We spent the evening searching for wildlife and found evidence that the polar bear exist. Relatively fresh tracks could be seen in the fast ice in the fjordsystem just across from Longyearbyen. We sailed South during the night and found our first polar bear thanks to M/S Stockholm, the other ship in the PolarQuest fleet. A stunning healthy male on fast ice in the sun. Later a female with cubs was spotted and we got to see them feeding on a fresh kill at a distance.
There has always something happening and always something to look at in Svalbard. Listening to Nikita’s lectures about polar bears or Olle talk about Andree’s balloon expedition towards the pole has been great parts of the journey too. Walrus, Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer – there is always something to look out for. Due to the amount of snow, seeing tracks always makes it more exiting. The hundreds of thousands guillemots flying around Alkefjellet is a sight!
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.