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81º 11’ North -

In Search Of Polar Bears


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81° 11’ North In Search Of Polar Bears


Lets See Polar Bears From this premise, a trip was

arranged to ďŹ nd them. But we

thought we might as well see a bit more of Norway while we were there, so included Oslo before

ying up to Longyearbyen on

Spitsbergen. There we boarded the icebreaker MS Ortelius for a ten

day expedition cruise around the Svalbard archipelago with our trip buddy, Liz.

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Oslo - 59° 55’ N A three day stay fitting in bus and walking tours, visits to museums, the Munch Gallery, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Ice Bar and the Opera House roof plus lots of al fresco cafes and restaurants.

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Longyearbyen - 78° 14’N


Our

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ďŹ rst Zodiac trip - London


Ny-Alesund - 78° 56’ N A former mining town which has

reinvented itself as the most northerly research facility, for about thirty

countries, manned all the year round. It was also used in the past as the

starting point for airship crossings of the North Pole, notably Norge with Amundsen. 12


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Liefderfjord - 79° 36’ N

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Seeing Our First Polar Bear

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Walruses - 80° 21’ N

Amongst our twice a day landings, we went to

several walrus haul outs, where large groups are found on the beach, all lying packed together.

They are very aware of what’s going on around

the herd and an unusual noise can spook them in our case the sound of velcro being ripped

disturbed them all . Apparently they feed by

sucking out the contents of clams and brains of

baby seals! Also known as “pink toothed walkers”. 16


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81° 11’ N

We were very lucky with our many polar bear sightings. Most of them were either walking on, or swimming

between the drift ice. One had even just finished eating a seal. Captain Ernesto’s experience showed in spotting bears from several miles off. We had a couple of young females who both came close to ship, one actually 18

walking just in front of the bow. Sadly the only cubs we saw were pin pricks in the distance.


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Alkefjellet Bird Cliffs To view these cliffs we left the ship on the Zodiacs after dinner to see Brunich’s

guillemots. An added bonus

was to see another polar bear

high up on a small green slope within the denslely-nested

colony, eating the well fertilised grass .

79° 55’N

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Sorgfjord - 79° 55’ N Hornsund - 76° 59’ N

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Kittiwakes

Svalbard Reindeer

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Atlantic PuďŹƒn

Little Auks 25


An afternoon with our own bear guide, Rupert!!! 26


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Skansbukta - 78° 19’N Our last day with MV Ortelius

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Eckmanfjord - 78° 66’N

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81º 11' North - In Search Of Polar Bears