We concluded our visit to Scandinavia by spending a leisurely 5 nights in Copenhagen, Denmark before returning back home.
07/16/10: Started with a full day at the famous Tivoli gardens & amusement park as a diversion for the kids from the long walks around cultural centers.
07/17/10: Visited Rosenborg Summer Palace & Treasury and explored Stroget the world’s largest & oldest pedestrian walkway in downtown.
07/18/10: Visited Amalienborg Winter Palace.
After disembarking the ship, we left the Arctic and flew to Stockholm, Sweden, to thaw out in some blazing sunshine and enjoy some more European civilization.
07/13/10: Spent the day exploring Old Town Stockholm also known as Gamla Stan: Royal Palace (apartments, old tre kroners, treasury, medal coin collection), Cathedral, Parliament, National Art Gallery, and Nobel Museum.
07/14/10: Took ferry across to Djurgarden to continue museum hopping: Skansen (outdoor Swedish cultural & animal museum), Nordiska (nordic cultural), Wasa (restored 17th century shipwreck), and Junibacken (Pippi Longstocking).
Svalbard is an archipelago in northern Norway. In July 2010, we flew into the town of Longyearbyen on the largest island Spitzbergen to embark on a week long expedition to explore the wildlife and geology of the Arctic. We had encounters with polar bears, walruses, whales, reindeer and numerous seabirds.
07/05/10: Our first day began with fin whale (2nd largest animal) and humpback whale encounters. We had an outing to Hornsund where we walked on boggy tundra and saw the local flora: saxifrages & buttercups. In the mid0afternoon, we had our first polar bear sightings. We got fairly close to a bear who had just completed a kill and was consuming a ringed seal. After some time of observation, we watched it swim off into the distance.
07/06/10: On our 2nd day, we took a zodiac ride around Edgoya to see birds (kittiwakes, guillemots, puffins, red phalaropes) and touch icebergs. The afternoon was spent among sheets of fast ice looking for wildlife. Impressively, our polar bear count reached into the 20s!
07/07/10: We enjoyed hike onto boggy tundra and offering closeup views with a herd of wild reindeer. The outing ended with excitement as a polar bear was sighted on land around the corner, so we witness a very rapid mass exodus back onto the ship. The kids then had a nice tour of the engine room.
07/08/10: In the morning, we took a zodiac ride around the island and enjoyed an encounter with 2 playful walruses in the water. Right after lunch, we visited a spectacular bird cliff with over 100,000 nesting kittiwakes and guillemots swarming everywhere. In the afternoon, we listened to guest visitor Thor Heyerdahl Jr talk about the adventures growing in the legendary family. We had a lovely discussion with him afterwards about our visit to Easter Island. Amazingly, the day concluded with an incredible visit from a curious young female polar bear that walked straight up to the ship and sniffed around for almost an hour!
07/09/10: Spent the day exploring scenic glaciers. There was an afternoon outing onto the tundra. Traveled to 80 degrees N, just 600 miles from the north pole. Parked near a pile of walruses on an island.
07/10/10: Final full day of expedition. Final count of 28 polar bears for trip. Also saw blue whales (largest animals) out in western Spitzbergen where the continental shelf drops off.
Arctic Svalbard is an archipelago in northern Norway. In July 2010, we flew into the town of Longyearbyen on the largest island Spitzbergen to embark on a week long expedition to explore the wildlife and geology of the Arctic. We had encounters with polar bears, walruses, whales, reindeer and numerous seabirds.