This morning, we were awoken by numerous gentle bumps of ice floes against our ship as we sailed along the outer coast. A belt of drifting ice was in our way as we headed towards Storfjord, the area for our morning activities. We went ashore in a landscape covered in the first snow of the year. Many guests chose to go for a long hike. Medium, short, and photo hikes were also offered. The snow kept falling as we walked across the white tundra.
In the afternoon, plan A was to reach a very calm branch of Storfjord for kayaking and a Zodiac cruise. However, one of the naturalists spotted a polar bear on the shore of the innermost part of the fjord, and the planned activities naturally had to be changed to wildlife viewing! The bear was partly laying down, partly standing and hunting by the shoreline. The bear was obviously waiting for a possible seal to pop up in between the shore and the sea ice.
After the amazing polar bear encounter, we enjoyed a Zodiac cruise in another branch of the fjord. The light was amazing, and we particularly enjoyed close looks at some beautiful icebergs. A bunch of friendly, polar bear-looking guys in a Zodiac served various delightful hot drinks at the end of our somewhat chilly outing.