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Realm of the Polar Bear & the Arctic

Former Operations Manager, Liz Noakes, fulfilled a long-held ambition this summer when she travelled north to Spitsbergen to witness the remote Arctic environment first-hand on our Realm of the Polar Bear Arctic cruise. This video highlights the wildlife and landscapes that make the region so special and also gives an insight into life on board the M/S Expedition polar cruise ship.

Flying from Oslo, Liz’s adventure begins in the old mining settlement of Longyearbyen from where the seven night Arctic cruise sets sails. The voyage follows the western coastline of Spitsbergen which was named by the early explorers after its characteristic ‘spikey mountains’.

The unique wildlife of the Arctic is one of its main attractions and Liz was fortunate enough to enjoy several sightings of polar bears as well as seeing walrus, Arctic foxes and vast bird colonies on the sea cliffs. Exploring in small, Zodiac boats, it was possible to observe the wildlife at close quarters yet remain safe and unobtrusive.

For Liz though, the varied and constantly changing landscapes proved to be even more spectacular than the wildlife. Jagged mountains, vast glaciers, floating pack ice and beautifully sculpted icebergs were a feast for the eyes, whilst watching massive blocks of ice calving from the edge of glaciers was one of the most impressive sights of the whole cruise.

Liz found life on board the M/S Expedition extremely comfortable due to its spacious en suite cabins, varied international cuisine and first-rate facilities including the Polar Bear Pub with its daily happy hour. There was even a BBQ one evening on the deck of the ship which proved to be a very enjoyable event.

In fact, Liz loved every aspect of her adventure describing the Arctic as “a quite amazing place, unlike anything else I’ve ever seen”.

If you’re keen to discover the natural wonders of the Arctic for yourself, we offer three cruise options:

Realm of the Polar Bear – a 7 night cruise along Spitsbergen’s west coast.

Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth – An extended 10 night cruise which follows the coast of Spitsbergen as far as ice conditions allow.

Arctic Highlights – A 14 day cruise travelling north along the coast of Spitsbergen before sailing to Greenland and down Greenland’s western shores, stopping at an Inuit settlement before finally sailing south across the Denmark Strait to Iceland. 

Music ‘Fall of the Solar King’ by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Music 'Frozen Star' by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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