The Polar Dip: Swimming in the Arctic Waters

Posted on September 2, 2011 by

“Run!” My expedition leader shouts.

There’s no turning back.

Despite the heavy snow, I’ve peeled off my parka, fleece, gore-tex, hat, socks and boots. Within seconds, my feet is numb and my hair is standing. In nothing more than my bikini, I race my fellow expedition mates towards the freezing waters. In the icy sea, an adrenaline charges through my body like an electric current, while needles seemingly pierce through my skin. As I emerge from the water surface, I feel my lungs pumping harder than usual to breathe and a numbing sensation spreading through my body.

The Polar Dip

Along the bay of the picturesque Magadalenefjord in the Arctic, I’ve put my endurance to the test. While the experience was energizing, the after-effects are clearly less exciting. Thank god for the sauna onboard our expedition cruise.

We’d spent the past week cruising through the Arctic, exploring the fjords, glaciers and ice fields around the archipelago of Svalbard. The journey had been nothing short of epic. Having bagged so many once-in-a-lifetime sights and weaved so much unforgettable memories, I’d thought it right to celebrate with a dip in the Arctic water.

While the photos don’t really do it justice, trust me, this was definitely one of the craziest things I’ve done in life. I’ll let these shots send some chills your way, brrrr….

The picturesque Magdalenefjord.


Racing towards the Arctic waters. The water was 2degC, and it was -2degC out in the open.


Splashing reluctantly in the freezing waters.

Fellow passengers swimming in the Arctic. They were obviously enjoying it…

I traveled with Gap Adventures on their Realm of the Polar Bear trip (Trip Code: XVRPNX). All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Read more about my travels in the Arctic here or follow me on Twitter with the #gadvand #WIR hashtags.

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

6 Responses to “The Polar Dip: Swimming in the Arctic Waters”

  1. Aisleen September 2, 2011 5:32 pm #

    Nellie, are you crazy girl?! brrr

  2. Nancy $ Shawn Power September 4, 2011 2:30 pm #

    So brave you were! Makes us cold looking at it!

    Great pics though.


    Nancy & Shawn

  3. Free Volunteering November 5, 2011 8:52 am #

    Awesome stuff btw. Have you had a chance to watch David Attenborough's Frozen Planet (BBC) – great program based in Greenland and Antarctica, well worth a watch!

  4. book cheap flight March 22, 2013 4:11 pm #

    I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It appears as if some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before. Thank you| book cheap flight

  5. papaka March 22, 2013 5:07 pm #

    Great post.| papaka

  6. bewerbungsfotosMünchen March 23, 2013 10:42 am #

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.| bewerbungsfotos München USA visum fotos

Leave a Reply


Wildlife Photography ebook|Sign for our monthly newsletter to download for free!