A Svalbard Adventure Aboard the M/S Expedition

Andrea Wicks

16 Oct 2019


To say this trip was ‘hotly’ anticipated, would be an understatement. I had been dreaming of visiting the Arctic region for quite a few years. The idea sprang from a desire to visit far flung places, places that were far from the typical tropical destinations, that are so popular.

I wanted to get to ‘the edge’ of the world. I wanted to see it and be part of it. For me this was a way I felt I could connect with our planet and understand its scale and beauty more.

Yes, I wanted to see the bears. Those white and- as I saw with my own eyes- not so white creatures that outnumber people on Svalbard by about ten to one. However, the landscape, the latitude, the birds, the sea and the sky were what I really wanted to see.

The trip was extraordinary from start to finish. The glaciers were around every corner, the birds followed our ship, the ice floes as we headed north were surreal in the morning mist. There were more and more new experiences every day that left everyone on board almost speechless.

We saw thousands of guillemots on spectacular sea cliffs. The birds zipped past our faces and plummeted into the sea. We saw polar bears roaming on a small island and enjoyed the sight of two cubs nosing around for something to eat.

The sea ice continued to break up as our trip was late in the season, and the great hope each day was that we would be able to circumnavigate the archipelago. What a treat we were in for when that happened, as we steamed towards Gustav Adolf Land. We got on our zodiacs, as we did every day, but today was different.

Today we looked ‘the edge’ in the face – both literally and metaphorically. This was the ice cliff of Brasvelbreen, this was majesty. This for me was the Arctic North – now my north too. Waterfalls fell over the edge of the ice, the cliff edge carved for us on cue; there were ice floes and icebergs that simply stunned! We were lucky, the sun shone and the world was blue.

To top this perfect day, the view of the horizon from the deck that evening was so clear and so sharp, I felt ‘the edge’. I was at ‘the edge’.

It was a holiday and an experience of a lifetime, that I will carry with me as my journey continues.

My pictures are my experience in a nutshell. I hope you like them.

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