During May 2023 I was privileged to lead 2 Ski and Sail Expeditions to Svalbard. Both were exceptional but very different. We experienced every sort of weather, sea and snow conditions. We chartered a small Ovni (French aluminium yacht) with a Skipper (Nacho!). With berths for 6 additional guests the expeditions were very much a team experience with everyone getting involved in sailing, cooking, ice and bear watch. Ths was not an anodyne cruise experience. More and more I seek out these experiences for my guests and the timing of this trip coincides with an expected tightening of regulation to restrict access to Svalbard. It is unclear at the moment whether we can continue these experiences in this area.
We explored as far North as Ny Alesund and the West coast then more around the Isfjord area. We saw walrus, seals, whale, many sea birds, arctic fox, reindeer and two polar bear sightings. The second of these was an actual hunt and kill of a reindeer (this particular bear has adapted its behaviour/food source). It was equally spectacular and awful.
A deep gratitude to all the guests who made the considerable effort to make these trips happen and then ensure their success.