Currently writing to you from Longyearbyen, I’m sitting in my cosy hotel lobby, looking out to a view of the fjord and pointed peaks. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town, located just 600 miles from the North Pole. Because of its remote location, Longyearbyen is said to receive less visitors in a year than a city like Venice in a day. With a population of about 2,060 people, Longyearbyen is said to be home to more polar bears than humans!
There are plenty of wilderness treks to do and gorgeous natural landscapes to see here in Longyearbyen, but that’s not what I’m here for: I’m about to board the Gap Adventures’ MS Expedition cruise for an 8-day Arctic expedition. My cruise will be setting sail tomorrow from Longyearbyen and circumnavigating its way around the island and in the Arctic Ocean before sailing back to its departure point.
Over the next week, I’ll be sailing through stunning fjords, floating past giant icebergs and glaciers, and exploring the landscapes not only by ship but also on foot and by Zodiac. Onboard the cruise, professional naturalists will be giving daily lectures and educating us on the wildlife and natural landscapes surrounding us. There will be plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities: from watching whales breach to getting a glimpse of lounging seals and herds of reindeers running across plains. The expedition, named ‘Realm of the Polar Bear’, promises a 100% chance of spotting polar bears – something that I’m really looking forward to! From the trip itinerary, this will definitely be a voyage of nonstop highlights.
Unfortunately there won’t be internet connection onboard the cruise, so I’ll be writing about my Arctic adventures here shortly and leaving updates on Facebook and Twitter right after the trip. Stay tuned for it!
If you’re planning a trip to the Arctic, click for more information on G Adventures’ Realm of the Polar Bear trip. Trip Code: XVRPNX (2011).
This experience is made possible by G Adventures as a part of their Wanderers In Residence program. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Read more about my travels in the Arctic here or follow me on Twitter with the #gadv and #wir hashtags.