Overnight on the Ortelius, as we headed into Day 8, we sailed around the southern tip of the archipelago and up to Hornsund, one of the most spectacular areas of Spitsbergen.
Named by Jonas Poole, an English whaler in the 1600s after his crew returned to the ship bearing a deer’s horn, it is a place of deep, high sided fjords, active glacier fronts, and rocky ridgelines.
When we woke there was low-lying fog and mist in the air, but the weather forecast suggested that it was meant to improve so we wrapped up warmly and the zodiacs were lowered ready for our morning cruise. Our destination was Paierlbreen, a huge valley glacier at the end of the Burgerbukta fjord. We spent two hours cruising in and around the glacier and it was by far one of the most spectacular glaciers I have ever seen. The zodiac boats full of red coats of cruise mates made the most spectacular photo opportunities of the day.
On the way back to the boat we found two more polar bears at the entrance to the fjord but they were positioned in a way that made photographing them difficult.