Although I don’t normally write blogs in the first-person narrative, traveling aboard the Sea Spirit on an Arctic cruise for the first time has become a personal adventure that I wanted to share.
The birthplace of icebergs...
Life under the water’s surface
Inuit comprise the majority of Greenland
Surf’s up! Hard to believe, but that's the reaction from a thankfully small (and ill-informed) group of people when the the Falkland Islands are mentioned – "some tropical island" in the South Atlantic. But this beautiful group of islands isn't about beach culture, unless you're referring to penguins. There's plenty else to talk about, and we could go back to 1690 when English Captain John Strong made the first recorded visit… but that’s an article for another time.
Humpback whales sing for their food. Who knew?
People worldwide have been captivated by the sound of humpback whales singing, and whether members of this species sing as a means of communication with each other or some other purpose. Our Greenland expedition cruise participants often ask this very question. Interestingly, scientists have recently discovered that an important purpose of the humpback whale's song is to help them locate their next meal.
There’s an old maxim that Iceland is green and Greenland is ice. While this for the most part may be true about Greenland, it’s only half the story.
Imagine steaming across thousands of miles of frigid, poorly charted waters, many of them made all the more dangerous by icebergs and sea ice. Imagine finally reaching land and then dealing with one of the driest, windiest and coldest places on earth. One completely void of indigenous peoples, man-made infrastructure or vegetation.
Although tropical destinations such as the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Tahiti typically rank high in a person’s mind for a getaway, approximately 30,000 travelers looking for a more adventurous destination reached the shores of Antarctica during the 2015-16 season. Rather than sandy beaches and palm trees, they were in search of remote landscapes, icebergs, and most of all, penguins. The latter's vast waddling populations are incredible to see, with the gentoo penguins outnumbering them all.
We came out of the cave, we looked over the hill and we saw fire. We crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west.
The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and in 1873, a remote and forbidding archipelago that would soon be called Franz Joseph Land was next.