I had the privilege of spending 10 nights in the arctic in Svalbard in late March, it's located 2,000km north of Oslo, Norway. A geographically remote place it's the most northern permanent settlement in the world The North Pole is about 1,300km north.
8 of these nights were on the MS Origo exploring the fjords of Svalbard looking for polar bears and other wildlife to photograph. I have included a short film "Kingdom of the Ice Bear" made 2 years by our expedition leader Joshua Holko, the film was shot later in the season than we experienced.
Unfortunately we only saw 3 polar bears, but seeing these magnificent animals in their natural environment was something I will never forget.
What did surprise and sadden me was the naturist onboard told us 90% of fish caught in the area that were tested had some form of plasticised evident. This was so surprising given the pristine environment we were in. Yes Dallas is starting to turn green!!
You may ask was it cold, the answer is hell yes, the 2nd day out it was - 29 and when the chill factor was factored in call it -50. The Captain later told us he has never experienced colder weather!
We went as far north as the conditions would allow, the sea ice stopped our voyage at 79’43’38’ for the technical minded, this well inside the arctic circle which starts at 65’.
The landscape is brutal, harsh yet very beautiful
My advise is if you are thinking of visiting a wilderness like this do it now while you still can.
More photographs can be found on my website www.atstudioeleven.com.au under travel Norway. I have many more images yet to process so come back frequently.