Svalbard: Land of the Polar Bear
Situated 1,274 nautical miles north of Oslo, Norway, the Svalbard archipelago is a storied land of epic polar exploration, calving glaciers, glistening ice-strewn landscapes, and the elusive King of the Arctic – the mighty polar bear!
This July I embarked on my very own polar expedition, seeking both adventure and the unique serenity found in the remote reaches of the Arctic North.
Traveling in the land of the Midnight Sun, four glorious days passed quickly as our comfortable and capable expedition ship made her way north through the fog and ice. Soon after we found ourselves a mere 400 miles from the North Pole, a call came out over the loudspeaker and our Expedition Leader announced, “polar bear!”
A healthy female polar bear crisscrossed in front of the ship just a few hundred feet in front of our camera lenses, and she put on quite the show. Incredibly, this was just the first of almost a dozen bear sightings!
The following days were equally impressive as we explored this remote archipelago and its many glaciers, islands, and bays. We hiked on the tundra to view foxes and reindeer, witnessed beautiful bird cliffs teeming with thousands of Brünnich’s guillemot, and riding alongside a feeding group of walrus.
Each day was better than the last. I spent my time taking pictures of the breathtaking Arctic landscape, attending excellent presentations by our expert guides, keeping an eye out for whales, and witnessing the awesome power of calving glaciers tumbling down from the high peaks to meet the sea.
I feel so fortunate to have explored this remote and scenic region with such a fantastic team of guides on their comfortable and capable ship.
Svalbard is must do for any nature-loving adventurer!
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