Jun 28, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer
Those aboard National Geographic Explorer awoke this morning to the glorious sound of sea ice crunching past our hull as we sailed around the southern cape of Spitsbergen into Storfjorden. By breakfast, we were cruising through spectacular sea ice, making our way to the entrance of Freemansundet. While the ice offered stunning views from the bridge and outer decks, it limited our passage out of Storfjorden and we adjusted our expedition plans to spend the rest of the day exploring the surrounding waters.
As we cruised, glacial ice and seabirds abounded. We enjoyed presentations from our natural history staff and specialists, including learning about polar bears from National Geographic photographer Matthias Breiter and life in Svalbard with naturalist Stefano Pozzi. Anyone that chose to come listen to a presentation when in polar bear country knew they might not actually hear the full story… Naturalist Ella Potts, giving a presentation about the secret life of whales, was interrupted by not one, not two, but five polar bears on the fast ice of Mohnbukta!
Excitement was high as we headed to recap and dinner. And then, just as we were finishing dessert, a mother polar bear with two cubs was spotted in front of the glacier Pedasenkobreen. What an incredible experience to be able to see so many of this iconic Arctic species in a single day!
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