day 1 (Oslo)
day 2 (Svalbard)
day 3 (Spitsbergen)
day 4 (Walrus)
day 5 (Fann Kapshaw)
day 6 (Polar Bears)
day 7 (More Bears!)
day 8 (Glaciers)
day 9 (Settlements)
day 10 (Going home)

Polar bears, walrus, and puffins, oh, my!

I might just have the best in-laws on the planet. Seriously. They love to travel, and they love to share that travel with the extended family...they have once again been incredibly generous and invited us to join them on a National Geographic/Lindblad cruise to Svalbard and the arctic circle.

Wow. We went to the Galapagos with them a couple of years ago, with the entire clan, which was phenomenal, but they have set out to top that! Ten days cruising around the islands, north of the arctic circle, looking for polar bears, seals, whales, and other wildlife in this amazing landscape.

The trip is on the National Geographic Explorer, which is a pretty large ship, reinforced to go through the sea ice. There are only 148 passengers, and it is definitely an "expedition", not a cruise -- although we were pampered and amazingly well-fed the entire time we were on board. It's a comfortable ship, a bit bigger than the Islander we sailed on in the Galapagos.

So, the husband and I took a week before the family trip to spend some time in London (I'll detail that trip in another section, I promise) and then joined up with his parents, his two sisters and their husbands, and the four nieces. We make a pretty good sized gaggle on the ship!

What's this, then?

I kept notes during the trip, and we got some truly spectacular photographis -- so this is a quick write-up of the trip, and slideshows of the photos. This traveloque isn't quite as in depth as some of the others that I've done for our trips ( I apparently forgot to take anything but two-line notes after about Wednesday), but the stars are the pictures, so I hope that will make up for it.

Please contact me with any questions or comments,and let me know if you find any errors so I can clean things up!