Longyearbyen, Svalbard, our port of embarkation at 78 degrees north latitude, high above the Arctic Circle.
Our ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov. The gangway on the starboard side was used to embark and disembark the Zodiacs for cruises and shore landings.
On board the Vavilov approaching an ice free bay for a Zodiac cruise to nearby glaciers.
The Quark expedition team loads the Zodiacs for a cruise to nearby glaciers.
The Vavilov makes slow headway in heavy ice in the open ocean near the southern end of Spitsbergen.
Alkhornet, on the island of Spitsbergen.
Some of us taking a breather after a hearty climb searching for Arctic Fox. Our armed guide is for protection against polar bears (not foxes). The Vavilov is seen in the distance.
One of our armed guides, for protection against polar bears. The rifle would be used mainly to frighten a bear into retreating; it is extremely unlikely that one would have to be shot to prevent an attack.
Delicate Arctic wildflowers flourish in the brief Arctic summer, even at nearly 80 degrees North!
The sun never sets at this high latitude during the three months of Arctic summer.