2017 The Year in Pictures for Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

2017 The Year in Pictures for Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

My how time flies! 2017 was another whirlwind of travel and exploration: I visited both poles, watched dolphins in Mexico, went whale watching in Hawaii, marched with three million of my fellow Americans in Washington, visited castles in England, had my first true Guinness in Ireland, hiked along the coast in Wales and explored Vancouver, BC by boat. I took over 20,000 photos while on assignment this year which although is not a record, it’s certainly a lot of images!  Below are a few of my favorites, marking my global journey for this past year.  My hope is that by showing the beauty and diversity of this marvelous world, that you will be inspired to travel.

The view of Mt. Hood and downtown Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion in Forest Park

I started the year off on assignment for Vox Media, shooting a story about my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Here is the view of Mt. Hood from Pittock Mansion.

Puerto los Gatos, Baja, Mexico, Gulf of California

First stop on the 2017 World Tour: Baja! Always one of my favorite places on Earth, the Gulf of California is wild and beautiful. We enjoyed a sunset beach bbq at Puerto los Gatos.

Women's March on Washington, Washington, DC, USA

Second stop: Washington D.C. for the Women’s March. We will persist!

Humpback Whale watching from a large, inflatable raft in the 'Au 'au channel off of the coast of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA

Third stop: The ‘Au ‘au channel off of the coast of Maui to witness the annual migration of Humpback Whales from Alaska. We’ll be heading back there this year!

Booth Island, Antarctica

Next up, Antarctica in February. This was the last trip of the Antarctic season, so we explored the southern ocean to see incredible landscapes and wildlife. Here is a Gentoo Penguin colony with gorgeous ice in the distance.

Gold Harbour, South Georgia

One of my favorite places on Earth: Gold Harbour, South Georgia. Here we were treated to a rainbow and King penguins on the beach.

Susan Seubert talking about her show, "Not A Day Goes By," at the Froelick Gallery in downtown Portland, Oregon, USA

I opened my show, “Not A Day Goes By,” at the Froelick Gallery in April. The work was also shown at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Banner of John Yeon's Shire, photograph by Susan Seubert, hanging on the exterior of the Portland Art Museum for the exhibition, "Quest for Beauty"

I have been photographing John Yeon’s, “The Shire,” in the Columbia River Gorge for the last 7 years and the book was finally published. The Portland Art Museum used one of the images to announce the show about Yeon.

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In May, my family and friends joined us in Venice for my opening at the Venice Biennale! Definitely a high point in my artistic career, the Biennale is the most prestigious venue for fine art on the planet. Picture here is me with my mom on the balcony of the Palazzo Bembo, home to the European Cultural Center that hosted the exhibition.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

After returning to the U.S. from Italy, it was back across the puddle for adventures starting in Arctic Svalbard where polar bears ruled the day!

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

A once in a lifetime sighting: we watched a polar bear take a bearded seal, then proceed to have a feast. Even our Norwegian guides had never seen such a site! This is why traveling with National Geographic makes all the difference.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

After spending time in Svalbard, we headed over to the famed fjords of Norway. We hiked and explored these beautiful waterways which was a joyous experience.

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Back in Oregon, science rules! We were some of the first in the United States to witness a total eclipse of the sun. I photographed it through a spotting scope.

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The diamond ring effect during the total eclipse of the sun. Taken in McMinnville, Oregon.

Maine Multimedia Workshop, Rockport, ME

The end of August took me back to school at the Maine Media Workshops where I learned about short form, multimedia storytelling from the master himself, Bob Sacha.

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Europe

I had a brief moment at home before heading back to Europe, where Ireland awaited! I landed in Dublin and after visiting the stunning Library at Trinity College, we headed straight to a pub for a proper pint of Guinness!

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales, Europe

From Ireland we sailed for Wales, where we visited the lush Bodnant Gardens in the rain.

Fowey, England, Europe

After exploring Wales for a few days, we headed to England, where the charming town of Fowey welcomed our rather large ship into port.

Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure is a summer opportunity to ride on top of the Grouse Mountain Gondola viewing platform as you ascend 1610 meters to the top of Grouse Mountain.  On a clear day, you can see for miles and your view will include all of

After my adventures on board the National Geographic Orion, I flew back to North America where I had an assignment to photograph lovely Vancouver, British Columbia. We had stunning weather! This is the Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure, with views back to the city from the top of the aerial tram.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

As soon as I wrapped the shoot in B.C., it was back across the Atlantic to meet my husband in beautiful Bordeaux. Here is Le Miroir d’eau at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux during the blue hour.

Venice, Italy, Europe

After eating and drinking our way through France, we hopped an EasyJet flight to Venice, to take in the sights, and my show, one last time. Here is the Basilica San Marco in the morning, Venice, Italy.

Washington, DC, America, USA

We flew back to the U.S., and no sooner had we touched down, then I had some meetings to attend in our nation’s capital, so I flew to DC for a quick trip.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, HI, USA

Then, it was back to Hawaii for us. I was fortunate enough to be invited to photograph the Keiki Hula Festival at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. It was inspiring to see these young people carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of hula.

Lahaina, HI, USA

My husband got to catch a few waves before I had to wave goodbye and head off to…

Charles Hotel, Boston, MA

Cambridge!! I had a fantastic shoot for the Charles Hotel. We spent a week making a library of images for the hotel’s new web site. I’ll post more about this shoot once the job is live!

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Luckily for me, there was still time after Boston to head back to Hawaii, where I was able to enjoy some beach time with my husband. Cheers to an incredible 2017!

 

Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert shoots PDX for Travel Oregon

For the fourth year in a row, the Portland International Airport (PDX) has been voted the best domestic airport by the readers of Travel and Leisure MagazineTravel Oregon decided to do a story about what makes PDX such a great place for travelers and asked me to go and make photographs to support the narrative.  We featured several businesses that make Portland’s airport unique, like Powell’s Books, Blue Star Dounuts, the Hollywood Theater, and House Spirits, one of Portland’s micro-distilleries.

You can read the whole story online here.

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2017 Branded Content Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Vancouver, B.C. for NationalGeographic.com

2017 Branded Content Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Vancouver, B.C. for NationalGeographic.com

Last September I was assigned to photograph a story about Vancouver, B.C., one of my favorite Canadian cities! This assignment was for NationalGeographic.com, an online-only story about the city and it’s proximity to nature, livability and global cuisine.  The producer and I had a great time shooting for five days in several different neighborhoods. We were blessed with stellar weather for most of the week.  The rain came on the last day of the shoot which was perfect for shooting in the rain forest at Lynn Canyon, a park so close to the city that you can take a bus and hike for what feels like eternity.

You can see the story online here.

Below are some of my favorite images from the shoot.  Thank you for visiting my blog!

Views of Coal Harbor from Stanley Park, a 405 hectare (1001 acre) park, borders downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is surrounded by the waters of Vancouver Harbor and English Bay.

Coal Harbor at dusk.

The Vancouver Harbor Flight Center and Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Jack Poole Plaza

Capilano Sky Walk at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Capilano Sky Walk

Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure is a summer opportunity to ride on top of the Grouse Mountain Gondola viewing platform as you ascend 1610 meters to the top of Grouse Mountain.  On a clear day, you can see for miles and your view will include all of

Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure

Heritage Asian Eatery, a counter-service restaurant that features a blend of Japanese flavors combined with locally sourced ingredients and modern techniques.  Felix Zhou, is a classically trained chef and runs the bistro on West Pended St. Vancouver, Bri

Heritage Asian Eaterty

Kissa Tanto, an Italian/Asian Fusion restaurant in the Chinatown neighborhood in, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Kissa Tanto

The view of the the Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Formerly an industrial site, the Olympic Village is North America's first LEED Platinum community, designed developed and constructed by Peter and Shahram Mal

Olympic Village and Science Center

Tap and Barrel Restaurant on a beautiful evening in Olympic Village, Vancouver, British Columbia.  Olympic Village is located on False Creek near the Science Center.  This particular location of Tap and Barrel offers views of False Creek, downtown Vancouv

Tap and Barrel

Stamps Landing, an aqua-bus stop in False Creek, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at sunset.  Many locals use this area to sit and watch the sunset on a beautiful day, as well as bike and walk along the seawall.

Bike Riding at Stamps Landing

Tap and Barrel Restaurant on a beautiful evening in Olympic Village, Vancouver, British Columbia.  Olympic Village is located on False Creek near the Science Center.  This particular location of Tap and Barrel offers views of False Creek, downtown Vancouv

Evening brews at Tap and Barrel

49th Parallel Coffee Shop, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

49th Parallel Coffee Shop

49th Parallel Coffee Shop, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

49th Parallel Coffee Shop

Kaykers in False Creek. Views from the water in False Creek, downtown, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Kayaking in False Creek

The view of the skyline and mountains from the Burrard Street Bridge looking out towards Stanley Park, English Bay and sunset beach at dusk.  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The view of the skyline and mountains from the Burrard Street Bridge

The rooftop pool of the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with views of the mountains.

The rooftop pool of the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver

Views of the historic Gastown neighborhood in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Views of the historic Gastown neighborhood

Jericho Beach Park, a sandy beach on English Bay, is popular with locals and tourists alike.  There is a pier that is popular for crabbing and fishing, several volleyball courts in the sand, as well as the Jericho Sailing Centre Association. It features s

Crabbing at Jericho Beach Park

The view of the the Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Formerly an industrial site, the Olympic Village is North America's first LEED Platinum community, designed developed and constructed by Peter and Shahram Mal

The view of the the Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza

Tacofino, a California/Mexican inspired taco bar in historic the Gastown neighborhood in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Tacofino, a California/Mexican inspired taco bar

Brassneck Brewery, an artisan brewery, located in the Olympic Village Neighborhood, has a tasting room and a Growler Shop, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Brassneck Brewery

Earnest Ice Cream, a local, home made ice cream scoop shop, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Pictured here is their location in Olympic Village on Quebec Street.

Earnest Ice Cream

Views of the historic Gastown neighborhood in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

historic Gastown

Lynn Canyon Park in the District of North Vancouver, features a pedestrian suspension bridge which hangs 50 meters above the canyon.  There are extensive hiking trails in the park, which is part of the Baden-Powell Trail.  Entrance to the park is free. Va

Lynn Canyon Park in the District of North Vancouver

Editorial Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Portland, Oregon for Dutch National Geographic Traveler

Editorial Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Portland, Oregon for Dutch National Geographic Traveler

Last summer I had the privilege of photographing an assignment for the Dutch edition of National Geographic Traveler to cover my home town of Portland, Oregon.  It was great fun to explore my own city!  I was able to revisit some of my favorite places such as the Portland Farmers’ Market, Forest Park, and Ned Ludd, but also assigned to shoot new locations like the tiny house Caravan and a wonderful restaurant called Tusk.

Although it’s always exciting to hop on a plane and go to new places, it’s just as fun to discover interesting, (and delicious), places in my own back yard.

Here is a copy of the spread, as it is only available for sale in The Netherlands.

Enjoy and thank you for visiting!

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Editorial Travel Photographer Susan Seubert on visiting 7 countries in 1 Month

Editorial Travel Photographer Susan Seubert on visiting 7 countries in 1 Month

September was a whirlwind of airplanes, trains, boats, buses, cars and globetrotting. I left PDX on the first and landed in Ireland, on the 2nd. After a quick city glimpse and a Guinness in Dublin, I boarded the National Geographic Orion. It whisked us off to a week of exploring the coastal villages and isles of Wales and England in true National Geographic style.

Dublin, Ireland, Europe

The most photographed of all the Georgian doors in Dublin

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Europe

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Europe

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Europe

Llandundo, Wales, Europe

Our first stop in Wales at the lovely seaside town of Llandudno

Llandundo, Wales, Europe

Llandudno, Wales, Europe

Conway Castle, Llandundo, Wales, Europe

We spent the afternoon exploring Conway Castle

Pembrokeshire Coast, Fishguard, Wales, Europe

Hiking along the Pembrokeshire Coast, Fishguard, Wales

St. David's Cathedral, Fishguard, Wales, Europe

St. David’s Cathedral in Fishguard, Wales

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales, Europe

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales, Europe

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales

Fowey, England, Europe

The town of Fowey, England

Dartmouth, England, Europe

Dartmouth Castle, England

 

Delta’s new non-stop service from London’s Heathrow airport got me home to Portland in time to do my laundry, repack, say hi to my family, and complete a photo shoot for Travel Oregon before my next flight to British Columbia for a National Geographic Travel feature story on Vancouver. There I spent 6 days exploring the food scene, hiking in the rain forest, and rediscovering one of North America’s most vibrant, and one of my favorite, cities.

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Photographing kayakers in False Creek, Vancouver, B.C. Yes – I had to wear lifesaving gear in the form of a onesy.

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Photographing on top of the aerial tram at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia

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BTS at 49th Parallel Coffee in Vancouver, B.C.

On September 18 I landed in Bordeaux, France, to rendezvous with my husband. We had rented a beautiful apartment directly on the quai where we could take endless walks after dinner to admire la Place de la Bourse and the Miroir d’eau at dusk. Bordeaux still seems refreshingly undiscovered. From there we also took a train day trip to St. Emilion, one of the finest wine producing regions in the world.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

People enjoying a sunny afternoon and an art installation at Place de la Bourse, Bourdeaux, France.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The Chartrons neighborhood, Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The view of the Garonne River from our fabulous apartment in Bordeaux, France.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The Miroir d’eau at Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Porte Cailhau, Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Men sitting outside the landmark 14-16th century Gothic Church, Basilica of St. Michael, Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The flea market at Place Meynard with Basilica St. Michael in the backgound, Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Fresh fish at the Marché des Capucins, Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Chocolate Shoes! These are 100% chocolate and are made by Cadiot-Badie, a chocolate shop that has been making confections since 1826 in Bordeaux.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The wine shop, L’Intendant, Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Le Miroir d’eau at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux during the blue hour.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The train station in St. Émilion, France

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The grapes are ripe at Chateau Ausone in Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Grapes at Chateau Ausone, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France, Europe

The view of the town from the bell tower of the monolithic church in St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France, Europe

Saint-Émilion has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The vineyards date back to the Romans, as early as the 2nd century.

After several days of eating our way through the markets and cafes in Bordeaux, we took an EasyJet to Venice. There we caught up with some curators and other folks associated with my show at the European Cultural Center at the 2017 Venice Biennale. We had rented an authentically Venetian apartment directly on the Grand Canal. The building had once housed a Doge and has a very beautiful, private courtyard, making for a quiet stay on a very busy waterway.

Venice, Italy, Europe

The private courtyard entrance to our apartment on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, Europe

The view at bluehour from the Ponte dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, Europe

Classic Venice!

Venice, Italy, Europe

Basilica San Marco as the crowds assemble for the day, Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, Europe

The view from the Bell Tower at San Marco, Venice

Venice, Italy, Europe

Caffé Florian in San Marco, established in 1720, is still a beautiful place to dine.

Venice, Italy, Europe

Even the nuns are taking selfies at San Marco.

Venice, Italy, Europe

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, Europe

My favorite part of the trip was exploring Venice without a guide. The clothes hanging out to dry remind me so much of the photos of the Tibetan prayer flags at Everest Base Camp.

Venice, Italy, Europe

The magic hour on a small canal, Venice, Italy.

Venice, Italy, Europe

Deep fried artichokes at Gam Gam Kosher Restaurant just outside the Jewish Ghetto, Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, Europe

Cicchetti at Cantina Do Mori, located near the Venice Fish Market. Cantina Do Mori was founded in 1462 and remains a fantastic place for a glass of wine and cicchetti.

Venice, Italy, Europe

The wines on display at Cantina Do Mori, a Venetian institution.

My head is still spinning from jet lag, but already I’m looking forward to heading to Washington D.C. on Sunday, then on to Maui where I’ll be based for 4 weeks.
Merci, Mille Grazie, Mahalo nui loa, and thank you for visiting my blog!

Commercial Photographer Susan Seubert Photographs the Oregon Solar Eclipse

Commercial Photographer Susan Seubert Photographs the Oregon Solar Eclipse

Greetings fellow Earthlings!  The eclipse on August 21, 2017 was the first eclipse to pass over the entire continental United States in more than a century, and millions of people donned their safety glasses to witness the event.  Because I live in Oregon, the path of totality was less than 50 miles from my home, so off I went, iPhone in hand.  “Leave taking pictures of it to the professionals,” my wise father advised, which I did, except that I didn’t.  I have a small GoSky spotting scope with an attachment for my iPhone so with a little planning, I made a very easy setup that included a tripod and some solar mylar, courtesy of the Oregon Tourism Board’s glasses that they had distributed for the event.  After all, our great state was the first to get a glimpse of this celestial event, so why not make sure everyone can watch?  Thank you, Travel Oregon! Unbelievably enough, the weather was perfect for viewing in the Willamette Valley.  It was a spectacular sight to see the moon block out the sun for a total of 1 minute.  I, along with the small crowd that had gathered at Linfield College, was stunned at the beauty of it.

Below are a few photographs of my simple but effective setup, along with some images of the event.  I hope you enjoy the photos as the next one that we’ll have a chance to see here in Oregon won’t happen until October 5, 2108. For more photos, follow me on Instagram! Thanks for visiting.

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The GoSky spotting scope, iPhone, iPhone attachment plus mylar glasses to use as a filter over the camera lens, set up on a tripod.

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I had to make up a dark cloth so I could see the screen in order to get the camera and scope in the proper position.

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The action begins!

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Totality!!!!

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This phase is known as the “Diamond Ring” effect, as the glare from the surface of the moon looks like its namesake.

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Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in Arctic Svalbard and the Fjords of Norway

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in Arctic Svalbard and the Fjords of Norway

Velkommen! I recently returned from an epic adventure to the Svalbard Archipelago and the beautiful Fjords of Norway with National Geographic Expeditions.  This trip was phenomenal because we not only explored the land of the midnight sun where we hiked on the arctic tundra and took a late night stroll on the fast ice, we also witnessed a polar bear take a bearded seal.  Polar bears are difficult to see under any circumstances but to actually witness a successful hunt is truly a rare event.  After heading south past Bear Island, we arrived at the northern end of mainland Norway with our first stop in sunny Tromsø.  From there, we took the ship into many of the infamous fjords with towering, snow-capped mountains, beguiling forests and quaint fishing villages, whose residents welcomed us with open arms and loads of Norwegian waffles!

Below is a collection of images that tell the story of our journey by ship as we explored this beautiful area of the world. Enjoy!

Svalbard, Norway, Europe

The entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Longyearbyen, Norway.

Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Signs warning of the presence of polar bears on the edge of the town of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.

Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Our first evening in the land of the midnight sun and the ocean conditions couldn’t be any better! Gorgeous sunshine and glassy water welcomed us to our adventure in Svalbard.

Svalbard, Norway, Europe

A late night champagne toast on the bow to welcome everyone on board the National Geographic Orion. The sun never sets here at this time of year. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Daudmannsoya, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Our first steps on to the arctic tundra were at Daudmannsoya where we saw our first reindeer and some interesting earth formations.

Daudmannsoya, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Our first arctic fox at Daudmannsoya. You can see this fox is losing its white winter coat.

Walrus haul out at Poolepynten, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Our next stop was to observe a group of walrus hauled out at Poolepynten, Svalbard.

Walrus haul out at Poolepynten, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

These giant blubbery animals come out of the ocean to rest and weigh in on average at about 2,000 lbs.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

The next day we headed to Hornsund to investigate the fast ice and look for polar bears.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Another sunscreen-worthy day in Hornsund!

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Our ice class ship had no problem negotiating the ice floes. Here we saw some fresh polar bear tracks on the ice, seen right at the tip of the shadow of our bow.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

The ice cracked as we began to park the ship in the fast ice.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Scanning the horizon as this is prime habitat for the giant fuzzy bears.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Our first polar bear of the trip! We spotted this one that was very far off in the distance, in front of a glacier. He quickly disappeared behind the hill.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Because of the fantastic weather, we were treated to a bbq on the aft sun deck of the National Geographic Orion.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Later on, we were able to find ice that was thick enough for us to get out and explore. Of course, we sent the polar guards first to examine the fresh bear tracks.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

After the all clear from our guards, everyone came out on the ice for a fun group picture!

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

After dinner, I joined one of our Norwegian spotters out on the observation deck to keep an eye out for bears. Difficult to believe that this is in the late evening!

Camp Miller, Bellsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

The emblematic reindeer grazing on the tundra at Camp Miller, Bellsund, Svalbard.

Camp Miller, Bellsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

These reindeer are smaller because they have to survive during the dark winter months. During summer, they shed and grow new antlers.

Polar Bear, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

We had headed back to Hornsund to spot bears. We found this one swimming in open water at about 5am. We watched it as it headed towards the ice where some seals were hauled out. It caught one and proceeded to have a great meal. A very special experience!

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

The polar bear as it is eating its lunch and an ivory gull tries its best to get some of the meat.

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

We pulled away after watching this bear catch and eat a bearded seal. Amazing!

Bear Island, Bjornoya, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

Bjørnøya, Bear Island, lies half way between Svalbard and mainland Norway. Its sea cliffs are home to large bird colonies.

Bear Island, Bjornoya, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

As we approached Bjørnøya, a large group of Fulmars joined the ship. They were so close that you could almost reach out and touch them!

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

This marks the beginning of our adventure into Norway’s beautiful fjords. We started in Hellmobotn, which is at the end of Tysfjorden, and home to a picturesque village.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

We offered a range of hikes, one of which took us to the base of this tremendous waterfall.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

Under the beautiful sun, we hiked in our first forest of the trip.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

Cod hanging to dry in the village of Hellmobotn.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

The glaciated walls of the fjord are very visible in Hellmobotn.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

Picturesque buildings can be found throughout the fjord systems in Norway. This was taking as we were transiting out of Tysfjorden.

Lonkanfjorden, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

We awoke the next day at Lonkanfjorden, where one could hike, kayak or take a cruise in a zodiac.

Lonkanfjorden, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

The kayaks being prepared for the morning adventure!

Lonkanfjorden, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

Hiking deep in to the fjord at Lonkanfjorden.

Skrova, Norway, Europe

The quaint fishing village of Skrova in the Nordland county of Norway.

Skrova, Norway, Europe

Skrova is popular as a place where Norwegians have family summer homes that line the beautiful bay.

Skrova, Norway, Europe

Skrova is also an active fishing village, where cod is air dried using traditional methods. These were harvested shortly after we photographed them.

Trollfjord, Norway, Europe

We continued to be blessed with beautiful weather as we made our way into Trollfjord.

Trollfjord, Norway, Europe

Guests line up to watch as we enter this narrow fjord where the ship eventually noses in to the steep wall, in order to have our youngest guest pick a leaf from a tree.

Trollfjord, Norway, Europe

Getting close to the narrowest part of Trollfjord, at only 100 meters wide and 72 meters deep.

Vega, Norway, Europe

Our morning start in the fishing village of Vega, Norway. In 2004, Vega’s cultural landscape was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage Site list as representative of “the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider down harvesting.”

Vega, Norway, Europe

Throughout our visits in the fjords, seeing houses with green roofs was not uncommon. According to our guide, this is done for purposes of insulation.

Vega, Norway, Europe

We were lucky to come across a man with 4 Lundehund, otherwise known as Norwegian Puffin Dogs. These animals were once used to hunt puffin birds for humans. As a result, they have 6 toes and can splay out flat. Although these were almost extinct at one point, they now number about 1500 worldwide.

Vega, Norway, Europe

One of the highlights of our visit to this island village was being treated to a local seafood tasting, which included sea urchins collected in the bay.

Vega, Norway, Europe

Although not a traditional Norwegian dish, this village is practicing sustainable seafood by looking to the Japanese for inspiration.

Smole, Norway, Europe

We were welcomed to this tiny fishing village on the island of Smøla by the owner of this house, Peggy.

Smole, Norway, Europe

Peggy’s home was at one point the family home of her husband’s, and now serves as their family’s summer home.

Smole, Norway, Europe

This village was built before the industrial revolution and although not on the lee side of the island, it allowed the fishermen to see the weather before deciding whether to head out to work in the morning.

Smole, Norway, Europe

This is Peggy, one of the warmest people I have ever encountered.

Smole, Norway, Europe

We were able to explore this tiny island on foot where photo opportunities were everywhere!

Smole, Norway, Europe

Our group hiking towards the House of Prayer where we were treated to a very nice history lesson from one of the villagers.

Smole, Norway, Europe

We were welcomed with a seemingly endless supply of fresh Norwegian waffles and home made strawberry jam. Delicious!

Smole, Norway, Europe

Peggy, along with her friends, acted as our hosts.

Briksdal Glacier, Norway, Europe

Today we got an early start as we had to catch the bus to the base of the Birksdal Glacier. It was a beautiful hike through the mist on a well paved road to get to the base of the glacier.

Briksdal Glacier, Norway, Europe

Briksdalsbreen is an arm of the great Jostedalsbreen Glacier, and located inside the Jostedalsbreen National Park.

Nordfjord, Norway, Europe

In Leon, we were lucky enough to be one of the first groups of visitors to ascend the Sky Lift which offers amazing views through the mist of the villages below.

Nordfjord, Norway, Europe

The heart-stopping vertical Leon Sky lift is not for the faint of heart.

Nordfjord, Norway, Europe

The National Geographic Orion parked at Leon, at the base of the Sky Lift in Nordfjord.

Bergen, Norway, Europe

The last stop on our journey, the quaint town of Bergen, Norway.

Bergen, Norway, Europe

After our morning guided tours, we explored the town on foot, including the famous fish market.

Bergen, Norway, Europe

Strolling past the beautiful Hanseatic buildings of Bryggen, a World Heritage Site, was a fine way to end this incredible trip.