Free in nature after two years delay
This expedition on Quark's ship the Ultramarine was delayed from July 2020, and the original booking was for another ship, but then this new one was available, and has dedicated single cabins.
Because of the pandemic we had to take tests before flying to Oslo, and there another antigen test for Quark. All negative persons were allowed to board the charter flight up north, where we met our ship. Because of said pandemic the staff had their own bubble and would not mingle with the travellers,and inside masks were compulsory.So we met the staff only on the zodiac trips and when ashore.Meals were also a lonely affair, as distances were to be kept, buffets had personnel with masks and gloves put on your plate what you asked for and showed, all behind glass
So only the outside, zodiac cruises and walks ashore, were really free, the nature is beautiful, animals free too and showed up to pose for picture, including a group of 3 polar bears who had their meals already caught, and were close to shore. So all zodiacs passed in silence close to the shore, and made rounds number of times, to give us a long and great view of them.
We were the first trip where the ship could circumference Spitsbergen island, even though we had to break some ice and were in a long foggy day. but it all added to the special nature of that area.
Lectures given in the evenings by the staff had different topics, from the animals we saw to their personal adventures(close contacts with bears, kayak circumference trip of Spitsbergen,)And history of course.