Tuesday 19 August 2014

Whisky Time! Oh, and a few bears…

And now, folks, something really exclusive. It’s got to do with ice, although many say that it doesn’t belong there at all: I’m talking about whisky. Not just any honey-colored liquid, but something entirely unique - our MV FRAM expedition whisky. 
Distilled 23 and 25 years ago, this magnificent single malt has traveled on our ship in huge barrels across the globe, both Polar Circles and the Equator were crossed before the bottling. The barrels were even baptized by Neptune himself…
Everything with this whisky is expedition, is FRAM, is unrepeatable. Even the wooden boxes were handmade (!) here on the ship. The quality control, the bottling, the labeling - all done here.
And it will be sold ONLY only board FRAM, mind you. Very soon after the world caught wind of this amazing product we had many request to sell some bottles to stores, distilleries, large sums were mentioned - but we don’t! 
To drink MV FRAM expedition whisky, you have to be on FRAM. Period.
Now all work is done, and the whisky can be served.
Doesn’t that call for a toast…?
And that's not the end of it - we are up for more!!
After this little detour, let’s get back to business:
In the morning we visited the probably most impressive glacier in the area, the Monacobreen. Big, mighty icebergs were drifting majestically in the silent Liefdefjord, creating an amazing atmosphere, from wherever you watched it.
We also used the time for some lectures and bridge visits, now everybody knows how this ship works…
And as if we haven’t had enough polar bears already, here comes the announcement: This time it is a female with a cub, now that’s new in our collection!
Not far away from this we visit the certainly most sophisticated trapper hut in the whole of Svalbard, Mushamna. The craftsmanship of this block house is outstanding, everybody agrees that here, in this wooden palace, it would be not so bad to spend a couple of months.
Especially with the wonderful hinterland, which we explore with a large group of interested hikers. A whole array of glaciers come down into a vast tundra valley, decorated with a braided river, glittering in the afternoon light.
And what can we say? There was another polar bear waiting for us, a yellowish dot on the dark flanks of the mountains. Fortunately in a safe distance, so everybody got a good peek at it before it took off, approached the fjord, and posed for the ones who had stayed or returned on the ship.
After all this it was show time on deck seven, but still something else followed: As we were a little unlucky with the weather at Moffen yesterday, Captain Arild decided to give it another go. And this time it was perfect.
What. A. Day.