Region: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard

Ship: m/v Ortelius

Highlights: Hiking

What a fantastic visit to the Arctic! Aboard a very happy ship, we saw places that we could only dream about and wildlife that we had only ever seen on TV and in books. It all became real. Our guides and crew cheerfully led us safely to wonderful places and we had the chance to see Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes and Svalbard Reindeer on land. In the water we saw Bearded and Ringed Seals, Walruss and Minke Whales. In the air we saw many Arctic birds including Glaucous Gull, Arctic Skua, Snow Bunting and the charming Little Auks. Fulmar were our constant companions and the beautiful Ivory Gull visited us in the pack ice. There is far too much to mention, but the beauty and fragility of the area moved me deep inside. The recaps and lectures added to our understanding and enjoyment of the cruise. Regrets? Only that it had to end so soon. Thank you to the guides and the crew who made this a trip of a lifetime.

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