Svalbard, Spitzbergen, and Longyearbyen
June continued with an adventure I’d been dreaming of for ages – a trip to Svalbard, Spitzbergen, and Longyearbyen. Eager to see as much wildlife as possible, I had scheduled daily boat expeditions, alternating between bigger boats (20-30 folks) and more intimate settings with just 8 people, and a thrilling rib boat adventure. The trips delivered: fantastic puffins everywhere and a minke whale spotted four times!
But the highlight? The polar bear. Even though spotting one is a rare event (around a 20% chance), luck was on our side. Near the mighty Nordenskioldsglacier, our boat drifted, with all eyes peeled. Out of nowhere, our captain cut the engine, pointing a few hundred meters to starboard. There it was, the majestic polar bear. The boat was abuzz with the sound of cameras. At one moment, this regal creature was just 10 meters away.
This was a very special moment for me and my companions, and I was glad to see it was us, on our boat, that backed off, making sure the polar bear remained undisturbed.
Remember, this polar bear rendezvous came in the same week as my meetings with the brown bear and wolverine!