Poseidon's Blog

Polar Bears – An Insider's Perspective | Poseidon Expeditions

Posted by Scott Wasserman on Mar 14, 2018 2:46:42 PM

 A quick browse of the internet brings plenty of information about the king of the Arctic region – Ursus maritimus – commonly known as the polar bear or ice bear. But what are the thoughts and anecdotes of someone who’s worked in polar bear territory for more than a decade? What can she tell us that you won’t find in Wikipedia?

Meet Anja Erdmann, one of Poseidon’s expedition leaders who can tell us plenty of stories about polar bear encounters. Growing up in Werder/Havel, in the eastern zone of Germany near Berlin prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain, she adopted the Arctic as her second home as a young adult, one she would quickly grow to love. We had a chance to catch up with her shortly before she was heading to Antarctica, to finish the current season as expedition leader of the 114-passenger Sea Spirit before the ship makes its way north to begin the 2018 Arctic season in late May.

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Topics: Arctic, Greenland, polar bears

The Midnight Sun and More from West Greenland

Posted by Scott Wasserman on Nov 27, 2017 1:11:29 PM
So, you think  far-flung Greenland is just a travel dream? Think again. This Arctic country and largest island in the world is undeniably huge, but a trip focused on western Greenland offers a breathtaking range of sights, from Disko Bay’s iceberg-studded waters to valleys so immense you’ll feel like the last hiker on Earth. Consider just some of the following experiences, and before you know it you’ll be blinking in wonder under the midnight sun.
Hike to the World Heritage Site Ilulissat Icefjord
Ilulissat must be one of the world’s most spectacularly situated towns. The bright -colored houses and glittering harbor of Greenland’s third-largest city have as their backdrop the vast Jakobshavn Glacier. Thirty-five billion tons of icebergs pass through the Ilulissat Icefjord each year, calved from this glacier into Disko Bay. It’s a truly awesome place!  
The largest outside Antarctica, Jakobshavn Glacier is approximately 35 miles (55km) in length and shifts 62 feet (19m) per day, creating one-tenth of all Greenland’s icebergs.
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Topics: Arctic, Greenland, wildlife

The Search is On...

Posted by Steve Wellmeier on Nov 22, 2017 9:44:41 AM
Photograph the white penguin and the champagne will be on us!
After reports surfaced from Antarctica a few years ago when an expedition ship passenger photographed a chinstrap penguin with a rare genetic abnormality – isabellinism – our Sea Spirit expedition team has kept their collective eyes peeled for such a unique specimen.
Sometimes confused with albinism, which is an animal’s inability to produce melanin, isabellinism happens when normally black, grey or dark brown feathers appear greyish-yellow or pale brown. This condition isn’t restricted to a particular breed of bird; it has been noted in 12 of the 17 species of penguin, including the Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
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Topics: antarctic, penguins

A Front line View of the Falklands and South Georgia

Posted by Charles and Mary Love on Nov 17, 2017 4:30:28 PM

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia © Charles and Mary Love

October 21 – November 7, 2017 

The stark polar lands grip the hearts of men who have lived on them in a manner hardly understood by people who’ve never got beyond the pale of civilization.”

—Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton

After two days at sea from Puerto Madryn, Argentina, we make a morning landing to observe birds near a small settlement on Carcass Island in the Falklands. The number of species in the Falklands (over 200) is impressive. These islands, we’re told, have more striated caracaras, slender-beaked prions and pale-mantled sooty albatrosses than anywhere else in the world..

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Topics: antarctic, falkland islands, Southern Ocean, South Georgia

Traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic: The Seasons Make all the Difference!

Posted by Scott Wasserman on Oct 31, 2017 4:59:29 PM

Yes, there is summer in the polar regions!

Every day we get requests for our expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic. Passengers let us know how many people are in their party, which area of the polar regions they want to travel to, and the big question:
The dates they want to travel.
I’ll be the first to admit it. When I started working, learning, and traveling with Poseidon Expeditions, it never occurred to me that the polar regions
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Topics: Arctic, antarctic, expedition, penguins, Greenland

Citizens Science Project – Passengers Measuring Data at the North Pole – Part Two

Posted by Lauren Farmer on Oct 23, 2017 7:45:00 AM

Part Two – Observing the Atmosphere and Melt Ponds in the High Latitudes

Guest blog post by Poseidon expedition team members Lauren Farmer and Alex Cowen.
(Note: in our last blog post, we covered how we enlist the assistance of our passengers to help measure and observe sea ice and meteorology during our voyages to the North Pole.)
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Topics: North Pole, climate change, Citizens Science Project

Citizens Science Project – Passengers Measuring Data at the North Pole – Part One

Posted by Lauren Farmer on Oct 16, 2017 11:31:24 AM

Guest blog post by Poseidon expedition team members Lauren Farmer and Alex Cowen

Part One – Measuring and Observing Sea Ice in the High Latitudes

This past July, Poseidon’s North Pole expedition team once again carried out an ambitious citizen science program with our guests aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker, 50 let Pobedy ( 50 Years of Victory).
Since 2015, the two of us, along with marine biologist Annette Bombosch, have been working with the International Arctic Research Center and the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth to collect valuable sea ice data, which is readily available to the research community through a program 
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Topics: North Pole, Icebreaker, Citizens Science Project

How IAATO protects the magnificence of Antarctica

Posted by Scott Wasserman on Aug 31, 2017 2:56:44 PM

Tourism to the seventh continent has expanded in popularity over the years, but the perception that there is little regulation of the industry has persisted. When larger cruise ships started to arrive and, specifically, after the sinking of the GAP Explorer in November 2007 (thankfully, everyone was safely evacuated) some commentators feared catastrophic accidents and the potential for environmental damage. 

Antarctica is governed by an international treaty that came into force in 1961 and which is now signed by more than 50 nations. While the treaty is very good at ensuring the continent is maintained as a natural reserve, and has the intention of preserving the last unspoiled continent

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Topics: antarctic, climate change

James Balog's evolving view on climate change

Posted by Scott Wasserman on Aug 28, 2017 4:50:15 PM
Imagine using dozens of time-lapse cameras placed in 16 glacial locations around the world, such as in Alaska, Greenland and the Antarctic. All to see if the landscape was changing and if climate change was living up to its reputation as the cause of this.   
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Topics: Arctic, antarctic, climate change

Fine dining on a Polar Expedition? Absolutely!

Posted by Scott Wasserman on Jul 17, 2017 11:33:03 AM
Photo Credit: Judy Wells

 You never know what’s going to happen on a polar expedition cruise. Things can change-day by-day due to weather, sea ice, or other unexpected challenges. However, if you have a good expedition team and staff, you’ll rarely be disappointed. 

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Topics: expedition, Greenland