In July 2019, I had the privilege of travelling on Quark’s expedition ship, Ocean Adventurer to Spitsbergen for 13 days. Seeing 5 polar bears, 2 blue whales, abundance of walruses, reindeer, puffins and the Arctic fox to name some of the wildlife, the experience was absolutely amazing, totally breathtaking. Although not as cold as Antarctica (thankfully) the scenery was just as stunning with beautiful icebergs and glaciers. The ‘king of the north’, the polar bear was an absolute highlight to see, especially when Mum was feeding her cub, which apparently most of our expedition crew hadn’t witnessed. The ‘clown of the sea’, the puffin has such a beautifully bright coloured beak that its even fluorescent under UV light.
What I loved about the Artic, is how different it is to Antarctica, where you will arrive at a destination where you know black browed albatross nest, where the Rockhopper penguins can be found. The Arctic was more of a treasure hunt, watching, waiting, searching for where and when the wildlife can be found which added to the adventure of the expedition.
In a heartbeat I would absolutely love to return to the Arctic – it has simply become one of my top favourite destinations!
Svalbard: Longyearbyen, Lilliehookbreen, Fjortende Julibukta, Kongsfjord, NY London, Bourbonhamma, Midterhukhamna, Smeerenburgfjorden, Isfjorden, Burgerbukta, Samarinvagen, Dolerittneset, Freemansundet, Negribreen, Isbjornhamna, Brepollen, Askeloya
Iceland: Reykjavik, Thingvellir National Park, Borgarfjordur, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Skagafjordur, Trollaskagi Peninsulta, Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, Modrudalur Valley, Jokulsarlon, Skaftafell National Park, Vik, Hvolsvollur, Golden Circle
Read about Rachel’s Travels to the High Arctic:
On Rachel's recent voyage around Spitsbergen they were lucky enough to see a mother polar bear with her cub. Although the itinerary had many highlights including Zodiac cruising past carving glaciers, visiting walrus haul outs, and seeing thousands birds nesting along the sheer cliffs seeing the majestic polar bear with a cub was incredible....