After having finished the Atlantic Odyssey, I had a few weeks off, and now it’s time to head up north again. As usual, I spent most of my summer on Spitsbergen. People often ask me what I like more, the Arctic or the Antarctic. It’s a complicated question, as both places are very different and have their own charms. Antarctica is more dramatic, larger, maybe more spectacular. But my preference still goes to the Arctic. Perhaps because I know the place better (18 seasons vs 4), but also because it’s more varied. Where most of the landings on the Antarctic Peninsula involve Gentoo Penguin colonies, on Spitsbergen we have tundra, sea ice, polar desert, bird cliffs and more.
And my favourite place on Spitsbergen? Without any doubt: the Polar Desert. I’m always amazed by these places. A very empty landscape, dry and barren, with every now and then a few plants that desperately try to survive and some Spitsbergen Reindeer who feed on it.
This trip we didn’t land in the Polar Desert, but we had an exceptional ships cruise through Palanderbukta in Nordaustlandet. Ice everywhere, both fjord ice, fast ice and glacier ice, many seals (but no Polar Bears) and all this surrounded by the polar desert and in the stunning evening light. I made a little movie about this cruise, I hope you enjoy.