Arctic Expedition June 2018

Aboard MS Freya we was lucky to explore the waters of Svalbard once again. After over 40 expeditions in the Svalbard area and some thorough examination of the ice maps our route was set heading south. At the east side of Spitsbergen and in Hinlopen strait it was still good ice conditions. At the west coast and to the north it was little ice already. This time it probably was a good choice and we encountered 12 different Polar Bears, 5 of them in good photo distance.

Already early in Hornsund we spotted the first Polar Bear. It was still some ice left in a small bay and a female bear was resting there. Later we spotted the same bear swimming across the fjords not far from the ship. We just waited drifting whilst the bear was swimming only 100 meters from us aiming for the land on the eastern side of the fjords. The bear was known to us, because we had seen it in the same area during our May expedition, and luckily now it looked more healthy and had gained some weight.

Polar Bear swimming in the fjords of Hornsund
Polar Bear swimming in the fjords of Hornsund

Stuck in the ice

We explored Storfjorden for a while and found one more Polar Bear at long distance there. Our plan was to sail through the Freman sound and search the eastern parts of Spitsbergen towards north. This was impossible because of strong wind affecting the drift ice and we could not get through the Freman sound and had to turn around and decided to sail around the Edge Island. Actually we was suck in the ice in the Freman sound and had to use some time to get out again.

Svalbard MS Freya 2018
Svalbard MS Freya 2018

It turned out to be a vice decision to sail around the Edge island and search into the drifting ice on the east side towards north. On our way we also had a great situation with the Walrus colony at "Andretangen" at the southern parts of the Edge island. Our estimate was around 200 Walruses resting at the beaches there. We did a zodiac cruise during the night and a landing there.

Into the drifting ice at the east side we soon found two Polar Bears. They looked like being busy following the ice while it melted towards the north. We stayed in the area and was able to do a zodiac cruise close to one of the islands of "Kong Karls land".

Reflections at the east side of Edge island
Reflections at the east side of Edge island
Polar Bear following the melting ice towards the north
Polar Bear following the melting ice towards the north
The GPS route and areas we was sailing through.
The GPS route and areas we was sailing through.

After some sailing in open drift ice areas we reached the Nordauslandet and a glazier, Bråsvellbreen, which is a part of the third biggest glazier in the world, Austfonna. This glazier are covering some parts of the island Nordaustlandet. The glazier front stretches out in the Arctic ocean and all its waterfalls are sometimes a spectacular view. We knew that it would be a little early in the year for seeing these waterfalls in June but seeing the glazier front, which is estimated to be over 200 km long, is an extraordinary sightings as well.

The glazier "Bråsvellbreen".
The glazier "Bråsvellbreen".

Upcoming Svalbard tours

Snow Leopard photography expedition 2020

Arctic Wildlife Tours announces a new expedition. This time to Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary into the Tibetan mountains. We will search for these big cats living in these mountains.

Read more 6 SPOTS

Svalbard April expedition 2020 onboard MS Malmö

Svalbard wildlife expedition in 2020. We are chartering the expedition ship MS Malmö for this photo tour, which is well suited for these kind of expeditions for finding Polar Bears…

Read more 2 SPOTS AVAILABLE

Svalbard August expedition 2020

We are chartering the ship MS Malmö to do this photo expedition into the Svalbard wilderness. Mid August expeditions will give us the opportunity to reach remote areas after the…

Read more 8 SPOTS AVAILABLE

Svalbard spring expedition 2020 onboard MS Freya

Explore the Arctic wilderness around Svalbard in 2020. We are chartering the expedition ship MS Freya for this photo tour, which is well suited for these kind of expeditions for…

Read more 6 SPOTS AVAILABLE

Svalbard photo workshop 2020 onboard MS Malmö

Expeditions in early June in Svalbard gives promises about lots of drifting ice and fjord ice. Award winning photographer Audun Rikardsen will join us on this creative workshop and expedition…

Read more 1 SPOT AVAILABLE

Svalbard winter expedition #2 2020

Based in the Russian city Pyramiden we will have close access to landscape sightings and wildlife encounters. We have accommodation at the hotel in Pyramiden and eat breakfasts and dinners…

Read more 3 Available spots

Svalbard winter expedition #1 2020

Svalbard is famous for its fjords and mountains, surrounded by drifting ice depending on which season it is. Fascinating wildlife as Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes and Reindeers attract a great…

Read more 5 Available spots

Svalbard extreme expedition 2020

Explore the wonderful Arctic wilderness around Svalbard during this Svalbard extreme expedition. We are chartering the expedition ship MS Polarstar. This ship was built for extreme use in the ice…

Read more FULLY BOOKED

Arctic Sea Birds 2020

We do a tailor made tour to Hornøya and the areas at Varanger in the northernmost part of Norway to photographic Arctic Sea birds.

Read more 8 SPOTS

Brown Bear photo tour 2020

Join wildlife photographer Svein Wik on this Brown Bear photography tour in Finland. He have spent hundreds of nights in the hides there and know what hides to use for…

Read more 8 SPOTS

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or are wondering about something,
please feel free and do not hesitate to contact us at any given time.
We might be traveling some but will answer as fast as possible.