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Monday, November 11, 2002

Polar Bear Quest



Few of the earth’s creatures evoke such wonder as the world’s largest bear, the massive arctic polar bear. Surprisingly agile and an accomplished swimmer, the powerful polar bear inhabits virtually all areas of the arctic and is particularly prevalent in the remote northern archipelago of Spitsbergen, 350 miles north of Norway.

Spitsbergen, a scenic wonder in itself with its rugged snow-dusted mountains, vast sweeping tundras and profusion of vivid arctic wildflowers, is home to a ‘core’ population of polar bear. In fact around 20% of the world’s polar bear population of just 30,000 animals is concentrated around this northerly archipelago. The World Wildlife Fund is currently conducting a sophisticated tracking program for two adult females in the area.

Following on from the growing popularity of this very affordable arctic expedition, again offers our nine day “Polar Bear Quest”. Departing from the administrative centre of Svalbard, Longyearbyen, you’ll spend eight nights aboard the classic, ice-strengthened MS Origo.

Limited to just 22 passengers, your cruise will be a very personalised, intimate and flexible one, ably guided by our experienced Swedish captain and expedition leader. The small numbers ensure unprecedented access to zodiac time and the flexibility to make on-the-spot decisions to explore opportune wildlife sightings and scenic diversions.

Apart from the relatively abundant polar bear, voyagers will also see walrus, seal, reindeer, numerous species of seabird and a high probability of whale sightings as humpback and blue whales return to the northern waters. Scenery and landscape lovers will enjoy the almost constant vistas of ice flows, glaciers, fjords and tundra.

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