Svalbard photo tours - one story.
In mid August 2015 Arctic Wildlife Tours did a photo expedition for Chinese customers around Spitsbergen and up to the Seven Islands, sailing with the MS Malmö. We were 12 passengers, myself as a travel leader, one extra guide and two travel leaders from China. Interesting ice conditions and good weather made this expedition into an exciting one.
Starting by exploring the west coast of Spitsbergen close to glaziers and spectacular landscapes. We found Arctic Foxes, Bearded Seals, Walruses and some birdlife during the first two days. Our focus was to arrive up by the Seven Islands as soon as possible. There was still some drifting ice and fjord ice in Rijpfjorden and Brennevinsfjorden. The drifting ice was still close to the Seven Islands.
During different Svalbard photo tours we experience light and weather as the surrounding elements that gives us the title extra we need for our pictures. In the fog we slowly sailed into Brennevinsfjorden, one of the fjords on the north side of Nordaustlandet. Big ice was still drifting around in the fjords and the weather was good except of the dense fog we had for a moment.
After a while when we came closer to land, the fog started to disappear and our visibility improved. It was one of those moments I will always remember as if taken right out of a fairytale. I was almost expecting to see a Polar Bear appear in the fog when I suddenly discovered this beautiful female Polar Bear and her cub on a drifting ice flake. MS Malmö was at almost no speed and the Polar Bears were not scared from us. On the contrary, they were interested in us instead.
For about one hour, we had a fantastic moment there watching and photographing the Polar Bears. They had a fresh, half eaten, seal kill on the ice and continued eating as we watched them. A very nice and yellow light enhanced the photographic opportunities when the fog slowly but surely cleared. I consider this situation in the fjord one of the most spectacular moments I ever have had in the Arctic waters around Svalbard. Especially I liked the situations where we could watch the cub being so close attached to its mother. The images we captured illustrate this close relationship between mother and cub. I have never seen a situation like this which illustrated the relationship between mother and cub so beautiful as I did on this Svalbard photo tours.
We had one more fantastic encounter with Polar Bears during this expedition in Liefdefjord on the way back to Longyearbyen. Two-three animals there posed against the sunset several times for us. Among other situations on the way back to Longyearbyen with different wildlife we had a nice trip back. I choose to close this blog post with one image of a Polar Bear in silhouette against the red and orange sky in the late August evening.
I hereby invite you that is reading this story to join one of the Svalbard photo tours we arrange coming years!