Oceanwide Expeditions is delighted to announce to have the expert on polar bears, Rinie van Meurs, on board Ortelius’ polar bear trips. These polar bear specials are focused to spot the King of the Arctic, the polar bear.
We will sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by ringed and bearded seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bears are often seen here.
We will try to reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bear inhabit this region, along with ivory gull. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.
Rinie will be the expedition leader on the following polar bear special trips:
North Spitsbergen - Polar Bear Special
OTL05-15 05 – 12 June 2015 | This departure is German speaking.
OTL06-15 12 – 19 June 2015
OTL07-15 19 – 26 June 2015
On these departures we also offer snowshoeing.
The snowshoe option and snowshoes are provided free of charge
Biography Rinie van Meurs
Rinie van Meurs, (1958) originally from the Netherlands, had a formal education in Forestry and Civil Engineering. Rinie has been a keen naturalist his whole life, and after completing his studies he travelled the world extensively in search of wildlife, but he was particularly attracted to and interested in the polar regions where he has made almost 300 cruises (north and south)! He first visited the Arctic and Antarctic in 1989 and has been an expedition leader on ice strengthened ships in both polar regions, ever since. Rinie was one of the industry’s first expedition leaders and a pioneer in exploring new landing sites in the Arctic and Antarctic.
He stayed for almost a year in the Falkland Islands to observe and photograph sea birds.
Almost two hundred expedition voyages around Spitsbergen, Franz Joseph Land and Northeast Greenland are logged in his seaman’s book. The archipelago of Spitsbergen has become more familiar to him than his own backyard!
During these cruises, in the last 25 years, he observed many polar bears and he developed an affection for this King of the Arctic. As an enthusiastic wildlife photographer, he has had the opportunity to photograph the pristine nature of the Arctic & Antarctic wilderness but his greatest passion is polar bears in their natural environment; the sea ice. Send Rinie off in the sea ice on an ice strengthened ship, like Ortelius and you’ll see polar bears in their natural element! Rinie will be scanning long hours from the bridge and is able to spot them from many miles away!
The farthest north polar bear ever recorded was sighted by him on a trip to the North Pole. You can read more about it in his latest book, Polar Bears of Spitsbergen / Svalbard. Rinie has also recently published his fourth photobook on the Arctic & Antarctic, Polar Impressions.