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Daily Archives: 31. May 2018 − News & Stories


Bil­lefjord

One night’s sai­ling had taken us far into the inner bran­ches of Isfjord and we woke up to a fan­ta­stic pan­ora­ma in Bil­lefjord. Mir­ror images on the water and dozens of seals lying on the ice! No landing to start with, as the bay was still fro­zen and the shores blo­cked by ice, but we tho­rough­ly enjoy­ed.

Billefjord

Sce­n­ery in Bil­lefjord.

It was loci­gal to con­ti­nue just around the cor­ner to the migh­ty Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen. One of Isfjord’s big­gest gla­ciers and more or less our last chan­ce for a polar bear sight­ing.

Nordenskiöldbreen, Billefjord

Sce­n­ery in Bil­lefjord, Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen.

Stun­ning sce­n­ery and a love­ly encoun­ter with a Beard­ed seal, but no polar bear …

Bearded seal, Nordenskiöldbreen

Beard­ed seal at Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen.

Then it was time for a landing. Cho­sing a beau­tiful spot in Bil­lefjord not far from Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen, I went back to old “hun­ting grounds” (not lite­ral­ly) which brought back many fond memo­ries. That was just me per­so­nal­ly, but ever­y­bo­dy enjoy­ed the walk, the sce­n­ery and the silence.

Landing at Brucebyen

Landing near Bruce­by­en. Always the­se ter­ri­bly long Zodiac rides from ship to shore! 😉

Bruce­by­en was the site whe­re a Scot­tish com­pa­ny inves­ti­ga­ted coal occur­ren­ces around 1920. A short-lived adven­ture.

Brucebyen

Bruce­by­en.

Then, final­ly … we were almost on the way out of Bil­lefjord, then we got our polar bear! Distant, yes, thus cer­tain­ly not allo­wing for world-class pho­to­gra­phy. But it was our polar bear! Cle­ar­ly visi­ble with bino­cu­lars, it brought a smi­le on ever­y­bo­dies face.

Polar bear, Nordenskiöldbreen

Polar bear at Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen, if you can see it. It was a bit distant, but it was our polar bear, and it was real! 🙂

So it was a hap­py ship that set cour­se for Lon­gye­ar­by­en in the late after­noon.

Isfjord: Alk­hor­net, Barents­burg

It is real­ly ful­ly win­ter still here in Isfjord. Snow, snow, snow. Add to that some sun, the sound of a birdcliff in the back­ground and a wide pan­ora­ma of fjord and coast, moun­ta­ins and gla­ciers, reinde­er and geese on the first bits of open tun­dra. Does it get more beau­tiful than this? Hard­ly.

Schnee, Trygghamna

Late win­ter in Trygg­ham­na.

Harbour seal

Har­bour seal.

Snow buntings, Alkhornet

Snow bun­tings at Alk­hor­net.

Alkhornet

Some gol­den moments at Alk­hor­net.

We also made a visit to the Ymer­buk­ta swim­ming club. Always nice to meet the locals 🙂

Ymerbukta

Ymer­buk­ta swim­ming club.

Many will pro­ba­b­ly agree that Barents­burg is not more beau­tiful, not in a clas­si­cal sen­se. But dif­fe­rent. Very dif­fe­rent! It is his­to­ri­cal and poli­ti­cal. We did have a clo­se look at all of this. If you have missed this, than you have not ful­ly unders­tood what Spits­ber­gen is all about today. Lenin would agree.

Lenin in Barentsburg

Lenin in Barents­burg.

Loo­king back at the last cou­ple of days, we had ple­nty of good reasons to rai­se the glas­ses to a won­derful trip. So we did in the evening. A skål to Cap­tain Mario and chef Piet! And of cour­se to the who­le crew, but cap­tain and chef are key posi­ti­ons as ever­y­bo­dy knows who has tra­vel­led on a ship. A word for all of you who have tra­vel­led on Anti­gua in recent years and who are curious how things are going here now: of cour­se I was also curious how it would be after our for­mer Cap­tain Joa­chim and chef Sascha had set cour­se for new adven­tures. Big shoes to fill, as all of our fel­low tra­vel­lers will con­firm. So I am more than hap­py to tell you know that I am loo­king for­ward to many more trips to come with Anti­gua! We have had a gre­at jour­ney now (and still not finis­hed yet)!

Piet

Thumbs up for the Anti­gua-chef Piet!

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