Svalbard - Jan Mayen - Greenland

July 30, 2019

I got the chance to join La Compagnie du Ponant for a summer cruise and visit places I had been dreaming of for a while, and see all my favorite glaciers :) 

 

On Friday the 12th, I joined my colleagues at the rifle range for one last training session shooting rifles and signal pistols. Taking guests on the field in Svalbard requires a long list of safety precautions, having rifles with us is one of them.

 

And off we were! After a quick stop at Sarstangen to see a pod of walruses, we aimed at the mysterious island of Jan Mayen.

Jan Mayen is a french bean of an island lost in the Greenland sea, formed by a volcanic hot spot a long time ago. The island is covered by incredible mountains and by a team favorite, Mt Beerenberg, 2277m high. It takes a lot of luck to even see Jan Mayen, let alone to land on it. Guess that the weather gods were with us!

What a wonderful place! After one beautiful morning there, we set sail to East Greenland and Scoresby Sund. Last time I was there in 2016 I absolutely fell in love with East Greenland. The huge mountains, massive glaciers, the incredible geology is very different from what you can find in Svalbard or Franz Joseph Land.

 

Unfortunately too much sea ice prevented us from entering Scoresby Sund, so we spend more time further south admiring the large icebergs coming from the ice sheet.

We had such incredible weather, sunny every day, extremely warm. We got the chance to stop by Tasiilaq, the capital town of the East Coast and spend all our salary in art and crafts.

Finally the wild life encounters were out of this world. We were surprised to see so many whales and seals in this part of Greenland, so early in the season.

We eventually bid goodbye to the stunning East Coast to sail back North towards Kangerlussuaq. We stopped by hot springs, viking churches, Nuuk of course, so much to see there, especially in terms of culture and history.

 

I am now back home for two days, packing again for another surprise trip to the Arctic!

 

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