The Svalbard archipelago is famous for being a protected area for polar bears, which means there are usually quite a number to observe in their natural habitat - hunting from the sea ice - and if we’re lucky, with a cub or two in tow. However there are also the lazy groups (herds) of walruses hauled out on the beach to marvel at, and the otherworldly bird cliffs of Alkefjellet which go on for miles and at their highest, reach almost a mile high. Svalbard always has something wonderful to offer, from the glaciers pouring out into the sea, right down to the Arctic foxes and puffins we can sometimes glimpse from our zodiacs as we cruise past.
Day 1 - Arrive Longyearbyen
Days 2 to 10 - Svalbard Archipelago/Spitsbergen
Day 11 - Depart Longyearbyen
REAL ADVENTURES. REAL PEOPLE
If you are thinking about going – don’t look back!
Antarctica was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I realize as I write this most people will wonder if I just suffer from a lack of creative ability to describe an experience, but honestly it was. Maybe the easiest way to think about it is – think back to any visual experience that was both incredibly satisfying but also thought provoking in the most personal of ways and that is a sense of how I felt on the trip.
It was actually a bit of a miracle that I made it considering people plan this trip at least a year in advance – that is where Heather comes in. Heather was a friend of a good friend of mine and when I told him I would have some time off in the next few weeks, he immediately suggested I reach out to her and that I should really consider Antarctica. I had met this friend of mine in Nepal and somehow he thought Antarctica could be a fit – before that moment, I had never considered it.
Long story short, I got in touch with Heather who was a joy to interact with and incredibly encouraging. She had this wonderful approach of providing information in a thoughtful way, so that in the end, the decision to go was all mine. Behind the scenes, she did an incredible job linking my personality and preferences to a ship that embraced them. I ended up going with G adventures which I would highly recommend to anyone who is looking to be a bit adventurous, is not too caught up in luxury and would appreciate an education to go with the breathtaking scenery that is Antarctica.
If you are thinking about going – don’t look back, and tell Heather I said hello!
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