Open water on top of the world

81º North, only 540 nautical miles or 1000km from the geographical North Pole. A white place, pack ice stretching all the way over the North Pole towards Alaska and Canada with only a few leads or polynias.

Well, that’s at least what it should be. Not this year. This year we could just sail at full speed towards the 81st parallel without meeting any ice. Only open sea with just very few small ice floes…

This of course poses a real problem for the Polar Bears. Not the ones that are on the ice, they are ok. But the ones that are stranded on land have no way of reaching the ice. The swim to the ice is just too long for them. So they have to stay on land and search for food there, whatever they can find.


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


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