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::: Nordstjernen :::

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    I move across to the starboard side to take a photo. What a great picture!

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      Well of course I’m excited, and right then the beauty of the glacier or the implications of global warming are matters rather far from my mind! There are other views and other details to see – so, all you ship-geeks, ENJOY!









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          There are actually lots of English speakers behind me, all looking the other way.… I liked them “for scale” earlier, but if you’ve ever struggled to get folks out of your photo frame, what you need is a glacier…not the most practical photographic advice in most circumstances! Did you spot the ship’s bell by the way?






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            Guide Stéphane is now going to talk to us, and he helpfully stays around after to answer further questions.


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              Afterwards, I make sure I’ve taken more photos of the Polar Cirkel boats –these are after all the definitive views of the foredeck in Svalbard Explorer Cruise mode.



              Ah, another mascot! –but I know I took a close up of him later.




              Nice view of the gangway.

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                Well, it was quite an afternoon! And quite a lot of photos!

                But if I had to take just one of the foredeck, but one which could double as somewhat arty photography and at the same time capture something of the essence of Svalbard and of being there, I would choose this image.


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                  Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                  Cecilia,

                  seams you can't get enough of traveling with this ship. Thanks a lot for sharing your impressions with us.

                  I like your detail-photos of this fine-old-lady.
                  with kind regards,
                  Joachim

                  hurtigforum.de / hurtigwiki.de

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                    Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                    Beautiful pictures of Svalbard Cecilia. And of the ship. And of the ship in Svalbard! I am so excited to follow your journey through your pictures and words.
                    MS Lofoten April 2006, March 2012, Feb 2013. MS Polarlys Dec 2010. MS Fram Feb 2009, Sep 2011.
                    Upcoming : MS Fram Dec 2013, MS Lofoten Sep 2014
                    My travelblog : http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com. Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).

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                      Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                      How wonderful. I enjoyed this walk with you on the foredeck so much. So characterful! This is the fascination of the old ships!!
                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                        YES we did!




                        As the ship leaves the glacier and continues northwards, there is time to reflect about experiences and expectations. There are certain questions one is always asked about a trip to Svalbard. Ok, the knowledgeable readers of CaptainsVoyage Forum even realise that Nordstjernen was visiting the island Spitsbergen and not the whole archipelago of Svalbard, and certainly didn’t responded with a blank expression and puzzled “Where?????” on hearing of my latest travel destination.





                        Just two remaining questions then…
                        Did you get beyond 80° North?
                        Did you see Polar Bears?

                        YES WE DID!

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                          We were some way through dinner, when the remark was made that it would only need someone to shout “Polar Bear” to empty the entire dining room!

                          Right on cue, the familiar tone of the PA system that precedes announcements...

                          Was it in Norwegian first? – but “isbjørn” was in all our vocabulary, and the announcement in other languages was scarcely necessary.

                          I don’t even think I can get away with pretending that my next photo is an arty “minimalist” image!

                          Are you sitting comfortably? Then prepare to be underwhelmed…

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                            Perhaps an annotated version might help!…



                            One bear was seen to occasionally raise its head. The ship stayed and we waited and watched, and although the bears stayed resolutely still, (unlike the one I saw from Fram in Greenland), it was wonderful nevertheless.
                            Did I eventually return indoors to finish my desert? – I don’t even remember –that’s how special the experience of encountering the polar bears was.

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                              Later I hope to have GPS tracks for you, but for now here’s a map that our guides had enthusiastically updated to show Location Isbjørn! As you can see, Nordstjernen had been skirting the north coast of Spitsbergen before entering Woodfjorden. Now we would head north once more, towards the island of Moffen.

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                                We are all already in upbeat mood after the polar bear sighting, and soon there is more cause for celebration! At a few seconds after 20:36 UTC (22:36 local time) we crossed the line 80° North.

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