Last week saw the BBC continue its new year wildlife scheduling with the broadcast of The Polar Bear Family & Me. The programme saw Gordon Buchanan, an experienced wildlife cameraman, track a family of polar bears over the course of year charting their trials and tribulations on Svalbard. What was most fascinating about the programme was the seemingly suicidal position Gordon got himself into in order to film a male polar bear at close quarters. At one point he was left shaking after a polar bear decided Gordon was smelling like the perfect dinner in the absence of sufficient seals.
This must catch show is available on iPlayer for just 2 more days so head over to catch it.
Did You Know? Polar Bears are the world’s largest land carnivores,
although they spend most of their time at sea instead of on land! Their
unique furry feet and relatively short bear claws are a couple of ways
they have adapted to succeed in the harsh and cold Arctic climate.
If you want to follow a family like Lyra’s or Eva’s and the cute offspring like Micky then Quark Expeditions may be the way to go. Quark have two expedition programmes that journey around Spitsbergen, the largest island within the Svalbard archipelago. Zodiac landings involve leaving the shelter of the main ship and using small landing craft to get up close to the coastline and animals with polar experts. What is also great about these cruises to Spitsbergen are the opportunities to get to grips with wildlife photography and filming. Like Buchanan you can capture amazing shots of polar bears, walrus, whales and seals. On board experts are on hand to help spot the animals as well as advise on photography of these wonderful creatures. A photographic journal is also produced by Quark over the course of the journey and given to travellers on a DVD upon return.
The Spitsbergen Explorer is the classic Arctic adventure taking in colonies of sea birds and Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes as well as the animals already mentioned as the ship sets sail from Longyearbyen exploring the coastline north and south. As well as the sights the sounds are something to behold and something that doesn’t often spring to mind, particularly that of the walrus, as well as wildflowers that bloom in the summer months unexpectedly. The slightly longer Spitsbergen Circumnavigation programme circles the whole of this remarkable island and with continuous light prevailing in the summertime wildlife can be viewed whenever adventurers are awake.
Two departures (14th June and 24th June 2013) are available for the Spitsbergen Explorer with prices starting at £3,170 per person based on accommodation in a triple cabin. The expedition lasts 11 days touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Spitsbergen and includes accommodation on the very comfortable Sea Spirit, all meals and snacks, Zodiac landings, expert presentations and guiding, photographic journal and transfers. Similarly the Spitsbergen Circumnavigation includes the above but lasts 13 days with prices starting at £4,120 per person based on accommodation in a triple cabin. Departures for the Spitsbergen Circumnavigation are 4th July and 16th July 2013.
For more information please visit www.quarkexpeditions.com or call 0808 120 2333