Arctic Circle -Spitsbergen
I traveled to the Arctic Circle in June of 2017 in search of the polar bear and other wildlife. Traveling through Oslo, I flew to Longyearbyen, Svalbarg, Norway, the northernmost city of any size in the world. The population of about 2,000 people, swells by a several thousand with tourists, mostly in the summer. I arrived early to look around the town, exploring shops and photo galleries and visiting the local museum. The next day, I boarded my ship, the plancius for the voyage exploring the archipelagos and fjords and pushing through the ice close to the arctic circle. The midnight sun was high in the sky and we had a midnight party one night on the bridge of the ship, with the sun beating down on us. It was magical. This was the same ship I had been on in Antarctica and I immediately felt right at home. We pushed north, stopping along the way to go ashore. We saw arctic fox, reindeer, a group of walrus lounging on the beach, and many birds; arctic terns, puffins. As we crossed 78 degrees north our ship was pushing through the thickening ice, and we finally saw a polar bear in the distance on the ice.