It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to see a Polar Bear in the wild, so after returning from Africa with very itchy feet I decided to book the expedition and go it alone!
We set sail from Longyearbyen on the MS Expedition and immediately the landscape opened up to an expanse of blue ice stretching as far as the eye could see.
For days we sailed through this eerily quiet, baron wilderness that felt as though it was completely unexplored. Although, we were treated to an abundance of walrus, whales, reindeer and arctic foxes to name a few…but still no polar bear.
One chillingly icy morning there was a buzz of excitement in the air as word was spreading that one of the guards had spotted a polar bear in the water. Minutes later we all hurried into dinghies in search of this magnificent beast. Sure enough a few moments later we spotted him and to our absolute delight got to witness it heaving itself out of the water and making its way up the bank, before turning around and taking one last glance at us!
After our first sighting, we spotted another, then another, then ANOTHER. Until we reached a sheet of ice with a total of 25 polar bears on one expanse!
The size of this ice glacier was absolutely incomprehensible. I never thought a creature as magestic and powerful as the polar bear could look minuscule and insignificant, but on this sheet of ice it looked no more than a spec of dust. That for me illustrated the pure grandeur of the Arctic and its vital importance as a habitat for amazing animals such as the polar bear.