Krossfjord is on the west coast of the island of Svalbard, near the area where the last remains of the Gulf Stream give their final warming effects to the local waters. This makes it a productive and slightly less icy body of water. However, the stunning tidewater glaciers that have carved the fjord still supply the area with massive blocks of blue and cerulean icebergs. We began our day at Lilliehook Glacier, at the far northern end of Krossfjord. Stretching 11 km (five miles) wide at the calving face, it was a massively impressive sight to enjoy as we ate breakfast. Afterwards, we navigated south to the Fourteenth of July Glacier, named by the Duke of Monaco after Bastille Day, the national day of France. We explored the bay by Zodiac. Encountering walruses on ice and waterline views of icebergs were definitely highlights. In the afternoon, we turned north and sailed towards the polar pack ice, located to the north of the Svalbard archipelago.
National Geographic Endurance
The final day of an expedition is always filled with excitement and anticipation. After an amazing journey all around Svalbard, we were eager to see what we might be able to experience today to round out such a fantastic trip. With some wonderful weather to greet us into the calm waters of the large fjord of western Spitsbergen, Bellsund, we headed out after breakfast from National Geographic Endurance . Our last outing in Svalbard certainly did not disappoint! Not everyone can say they’ve walked along the terminal moraine of a tidewater glacier. On shore, we were treated to stunning views of the large glacier, Recherchebreen, and the surrounding expanse of the fjord. As an extra treat, we took the scenic route back to the ship by way of an impromptu Zodiac cruise, visiting a small haulout of walrus and exploring the glacial lagoon, which offered the chance for a closer view of the glacier face and an appreciation of the sculptures of ice it leaves behind. In between packing and editing photos, our last afternoon onboard included presentations from undersea specialist Rory and polar bear expert Kerstin. Following Captain Aaron Wood’s farewell cocktail party and another excellent dinner by the amazing dining team, our trip would not be complete without one last interruption by wildlife. This time we sighted fin whales out along the deep-water shelf. Then we watched the voyage slideshow put together by our photo instructor, Michael, and reminisced on an incredible trip around Svalbard.