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SPITSBERGEN

Sunday 21st June - Thursday 2nd July 2009

Dave Farrow

This year’s tour to Spitsbergen was an extended version of our previous tours, now lasting eleven days instead of eight, allowing greater chances for meeting large white Bears! We were the first ship of the season to circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, with some bold and expert decisions from Brandon our Expedition leader, and Oleg the ice-loving Captain that allowed us to stay just ahead of pack ice that closed in around other ships behind us, and also permitting us to explore the best areas around this archipelago for ‘charismatic megafauna’. We travelled 1125 nautical miles, made eleven beach landings and nine zodiac cruises, but most importantly, we saw an unrivalled 13 different Polar Bears! This included six seen in just one morning, a mother with the cutest of young cubs, and huge males that were wonderfully close to the ship in the dense pack ice.