Friday, August 3rd, 2018
Heading North in search of Polar Bears. We journey to Svalbard for an expedition along the west and northwest coasts of Spitsbergen Island. This is likely our last expedition trip on The World, but a great way to finish. We are both very much looking forward to dramatic scenery, learning about the local sea-life, visiting the world’s most northern settlement and catching the star event in the wild, the polar bear. So, we packed all our warm gear into two large duffle bags and headed north.
Getting to Tromsø was a bit of a drama for Stephen. The planned flight out from San Francisco was cancelled at the last minute due to a combination of mechanical issues, late arrival of pilots and a timed out crew, requiring a new flight plan. The next day involved flying to Tromsø via Washington, Brussels and Oslo airports. After 23 hours and 4 tight connections, Stephen arrived 90 mins before the ship hauled up the gang plank to sail out of the harbour. It was very good not to miss the departure. No chance to see Tromsø this time. Caroline was sensible and arrived a day earlier.
At 18:00 hours on Saturday, The World Sailed out of Tromsø and we slept. Sunday was sea-day filled with expedition and safety briefings, and of course welcome cocktails.