Polar Cruise - The Realm of the Polar Bear

Arctic, Svalbard, Polar, 8 days - from $3,960 (land only)

PolarFamilyWildlife & SafariDiscoveryCruise

The day we saw polar bears

By: Chloe Johnson, posted 21st July '11

Wed 27th – Day 4

Morning overcast / bright sunshine from early afternoon.

Early this morning the ship entered Woodfjord.  This has been a good area recently for spotting Polar Bears and the expedition staff were up at around 2:30 am to look for them here.  They would wake us up if anything was seen.

No Polar Bears found

7am – Wake Up call

7:30 – Breakfast

At around 9am the northern most point of our trip was reached 80 degrees north! Only 594 nautical miles from the North Pole.

Lecture on the search for the north west passage

2:30pm – out on the Zodiacs to visit the Alkefjellet cliffs where thousands of sea birds nest

Mainly Murres with the odd Glaucous Gull waiting to prey on the weak.

Out on the Zodiacs for about 2 hours – no landing here.

Ship carried on in the afternoon through large sections of ice – an amazing and truly arctic scene.  Deep blue sea with intermittent strips of gleaming white ice.

This was made simply perfect and truly awe inspiring by the sighting of a female Polar bear with her cubs.

Once the announcement was made everyone rushed outside - some without coats and shoes.

The bears were at first not quite visible with the naked eye, but after about 30mins they were in easy sight.

Watching the mother and her cubs walk play and run along the ice, occasionally jumping in the ice blue and with ease pulling themselves onto the next streak of ice in front of them

Stayed watching these incredible powerful animals for over an hour until they were once again out of sight and our ship slowly and quietly moved on

19:15 – Dinner

Around 20:30 – out into the Zodiacs, a short ride to a beach with about 20 lazing Walrus.

Walked calmly and quiet up them, staying a safe distance (safe for us and for them)

We stayed for a little over an hour watching, listening (and smelling!) these peaceful beasts

As we were departing one Walrus came up very close to the Zodiacs – merely inquisitive

When back on the ship everyone is on a high after such a fantastically full day

Drinks in the Polar Bear Bar!

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