81º 11’ North -
In Search Of Polar Bears
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
ďŹ‚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.
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.
Longyearbyen - 78° 14’N
ďŹ rst Zodiac trip - London
Ny-Alesund - 78Â° 56â€™ 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
Liefderfjord - 79° 36’ N
Seeing Our First Polar Bear
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
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.
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 .
Sorgfjord - 79° 55’ N Hornsund - 76° 59’ N
Little Auks 25
An afternoon with our own bear guide, Rupert!!! 26
Skansbukta - 78° 19’N Our last day with MV Ortelius
Eckmanfjord - 78° 66’N