It felt like the Norse water god Njord had launched his trident at the large glacier as the ice crashed into the Barents Sea.
Oddly enough, this did not bother the walruses bobbing near our boat.
They were clearly used to the sight which left us open mouthed.
It was just one of the amazing experiences of my trip to Norway with Hurtigruten Expeditions.
This year the company reintroduced its cruise itinerary to the edge of the world – The Svalbard Express – as part of its 130th anniversary.
Now adventure seekers can book this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the wonders of the Arctic, as you were lucky enough to bag a brick-sized chunk of Arctic ice.
Hurtigruten’s luxury MS Trollfjord offers two cruise lines – one heading north and one heading south.
We joined the ten-day southern voyage, sailing from Longyearbyen, where I joined dazzled tourists exploring the icy islands of Svalbard in search of reindeer, arctic foxes, walruses, seals and polar bears.
The settlement boasts the world’s northernmost university, museum, church, brewery and pub, and a pint of local Spitsbergen Stout calmed the adrenaline after my turbulent trip to the glacier.
Tourists who wander alone do so at their own risk, with warning signs everywhere about roaming polar bears on Svalbard.
By law, you must be accompanied by someone certified to use the gun.
Fortunately, on our quad bike tour, our expedition leader revealed that she had recently graduated from fishing school.
Local cuisine is also not for the faint of heart.
At Willem’s Cabin seal, reindeer heart and sea urchin soup is served, accompanied by a glass of Petillant Naturel Napa Valley wine.
The next day, my fears of being chased by polar bears during my career were allayed
Advent Valley on my quad bike, accompanied by gunslinger Vilde.
In Longyearbyen, the sun rotates in a circular ring, so it never goes out of the sky – constantly illuminating the multi-coloured wooden buildings that stand in the shadow of Svalbard’s longest fjord, Isfjorden.
Our first stop was the wilder and more remote New York City of Alesund.
The visit to the small research city was a very special feeling because I inhaled the purest air that had ever passed through this Londoner’s lungs.
Arctic wine cellar
It was time to head south and we enjoyed 24 hours at sea as we sailed to mainland Norway in the lap of luxury.
The oak-paneled library was the perfect setting for a cocktail, but the renovated viewing decks provided the best after-dinner entertainment as a pod of whales followed our ship for hours.
The on-board culinary experience, all inclusive, is one of a kind.
One day, seals and the next generation will eat bone marrow from a cow’s femur bone.
Head chef Eric, who has been with the company for 29 years, sources produce from local suppliers along the way.
I devoured a hunk of local goat cheese on seeded bread and dipped into a slow-roasted tomato tatin and grilled, steamed and fried lobster.
For the wines, Hurtigruten teamed up with the Rathfinny Estate in East Sussex and poured 1,700 bottles of sparkling white wine, creating the world’s first Arctic wine cellar.
They left them there for six months and raised them in May.
Now they serve them on all ships.
It’s time to enjoy its soft bubbles.
Just another first in a trip full of snow bucket list moments.
Heading there: Ten-night Svalbard Express Southbound Voyage on the MS Trollfjord from £3,016 on selected dates between 9 May and 12 September 2024.
The price includes full board, selected drinks on board, 4-hour hotel stay, excursions and transfers in Longyearbyen.
be seen Hurtigruten.co.uk Or call 02045711560.
Out and about: Quad biking tour – £120 per person, Walrus safari and glacier visit – £95.
be seen Hurtigruten.co.uk