1. The moment you hear over the ship’s intercom, “right folks, if you’d like to make your way portside, we’ve spotted a polar bear eating his kill on the sea ice”. You rush as fast as you can through the ship to where everyone is lined up along the edge watching a polar bear just a few metres away. Here you remain for 2 hours which feels like 10 minutes.
2. The moment you’re sat quietly on the side of a zodiac next to a 4 storey high glacier, when the booming crunch of an iceberg calving hits your ears and a bus-sized chunk of ice slides off into the sea before your eyes, creating a big slow wave that lifts the zodiac and gently puts it back down again. It’s nature at work like nothing else you’ve ever witnessed.
3. The moment you’re sat in the ship’s bar late at night moored off the north coast of Iceland on the last night of your voyage and a crew member strolls in nonchalantly stating “you can see a bit of aurora up there”. Eyes widen momentarily before you grab hat, coat and gloves and try not to run, up to the flying bridge where you lie on your back watching the lights dance until they fade away.
4. The moment a fluffy little Arctic fox trots across the tundra and through the middle of your group, passing about 2 feet in front of you gazing inquisitively around in search of food. He loops you a few times before wandering off and another two appear; bright white against the green shrubby tundra.
5. The moment you’ve been hiking up a hill, iPod in, picking and eating blueberries all the way up, and suddenly you reach the top of a ridge and spot a mother and baby musk ox staring at you, backed by the ice-capped mountain range and still lake down in a valley. Incredible.