As we sail through the channel between Spitsbergen and Prins Karls Forland, we experience a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. We are on the last operational day of this memorable journey. As we slowly approach the walrus hauled out in Poolepynten, we recall the incredible moments we have experienced in the past 14 days.
But it’s our turn to get in the Zodiac and head out for the last beautiful exploration of the journey. The air is almost still; as we round the headland, easily recognizable thanks to two big navigational marks, we sight the majestic walruses we have been expecting.
We stop our Zodiacs just in front of the haul out. We are in the perfect position to experience everything the sight of these animals has to offer.
They are very active, and it’s a pleasure to look at them. The gentle breeze carries their intense scent, bringing us even closer to them.
We continue our Zodiac exploration along the shoreline of the island in an extremely cheerful atmosphere.
When we return to the ship, naturalist Karl Erik Kilander gives a very interesting talk about the history of Norwegian polar explorers, Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen.
After a good lunch and a lovely talk on polar bears by naturalist Kerstin Langenberger, we are already sailing towards Isfjord, the biggest fjord system in Svalbard. Here, we explore some of its northern branches while looking for wildlife on the fast ice that, at this time of the season, still surrounds most of the glacier fronts.
We spot some nice walruses, ringed seals, and Svalbard reindeers in the distance.
Before we even notice, it’s time for our Captain’s Farewell. We celebrate together the great success of the voyage, and we share the amazing memories of the past two weeks with one another.
We then enjoy a wonderful slide show by our photographer Carlos Navarro, and we finish up this amazing day with a lovely dinner.
As we sail towards Longyearbyen in the late hours of the evening, we experience our last bright polar night. We don’t want this to end.