Every expedition has a list of animals and birds that one MIGHT see on an expedition. Of course, no one can guarantee a sighting so it is good to take trips without expecting a sighting. This helps to keep the excitement high when a critter IS spotted.
This is what I tried to do. I have had a National Geographic picture of Polar Bear on my computer screen since I started at Adventure Life. It has been a dream to see these amazing mammals in their home. I was prepared that we were late in their season for our cruise dates and a sighting might not occur. However, we had five polar bear sightings! It was magnificent. The first bear was during our circumnavigation of Sillem Island. We got to spend an hour plus just watching him wander over rocks and then into the water. He swam for a good 45 minutes before getting out. He then proceeded to strike poses for the delight of the passengers and all you could hear was “click, ooo, click, ahh, click”.
We also had an amazing moment early in our adventure with a family of humpback whales. Our camera did a great job of capturing a tiny shot of a tale so we have proof of the sighting. We also saw harp, bearded and ringed seals throughout the expedition. A few saw dueling Arctic hares, two Arctic foxes (one deceased) and a recently devoured seal carcass. Pretty crazy but so interesting to see.
For birds, we visited two bird colonies (Upernavik and King William Island). At Upernavik, we saw the White Phase Gyrfalcon teaching it’s young to hunt as well as Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Thick-billed Murre, Northing Fulmar, Terns, Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes. I’ve never been a big birder but it was an amazing site to see these homes on cliffs housing so many birds.