Part 3

What is it like to live on a boat for 10 days?

(only took 3 years!)

While I spoke briefly about this in Part 1, this post will elaborate on what the experience is really like.

I’ve also decided to include some videos from the experience, to help illustrate what it was like, and what you may be able to expect on a similar trip.

In the picture to the right, you can see much of the gear I discussed in Part 2.  I was not wearing gloves on this day, which is why my hands are in my pockets.  It was a bit cold.

This picture also illustrates what would happen during the day – the boat was around the corner, and we were on land, able to walk around an island surrounded by ice formations.  This particular spot was right next to an ‘iceberg graveyard’, a shallower part of the fjord where ice gets stuck on the bottom, and then just sits there slowly melting over 5-10 years.

The Boat

As mentioned in part 1, this is the S/V Rembrandt van Rijn, which is owned by Oceanwide Expeditions.

While the boat can carry up to about 33 people, we had around half of that.

Less people on board certainly makes everything less crowded, but it also raises the price.

For my tour, the entire boat was chartered, as was the airplane from Iceland.  This means that neither were full, but the price would be higher than a similar trip where every spot was occupied.

Video Tour of The Boat


Zodiac Adventures

This boat was equipped with 2 zodiacs.  Each zodiac can carry about 10 people.  Since our whole group was only 18 people, whenever the zodiacs went out, there was always space for everyone who wanted to go.  This was an important aspect of this particular trip, at least for me.  If the boat were full, only about half of the people could be on a zodiac at a time.  This would severely limit the chances to get photographs.  But this also comes with a downside – the price of a trip like this will naturally be higher than the price of a trip with a full boat.

So Much Gear

One thing that surprised me, and that I wasn’t very comfortable with at first, was leaving your stuff sitting out in the open and unattended.

I asked about it, and someone said ‘who is going to take it?’  This made me think, oh yeah, we’re on a boat and there aren’t that many of us.  Beyond that, the cabins cannot be locked.

The picture to the right shows 2 Canon 1Dx Mk II and a 5D mk IV, I think.  The 1D’s were retailing for around $5500 at the time, and the 5D was a $3000 camera.  I took this image because of how stunned I was.  $14,000 in camera bodies, plus lenses, just sitting around.

At one point on the trip, I asked the leader a question.  If there are 18 of us on the boat, and we are all taking 5,000 – 10,000 photos over the course of the trip, which is 90,000 – 180,000 photos for the whole group, and they were running a second group right after us, combining both trips, you will use the equivalent of 1 or 2 camera shutters.  The trip leader had never thought about this before, but his trips were basically going to result in the death of a camera shutter.


Daily Schedule

Posted every day, so in one place you can see what you are going to do and what the planned meals are.

Polar Bear Warnings

We were in the middle of polar bear country.  Polar bears are one of the few animals in the world that will actively hunt humans.  They are very dangerous.

We did not see any polar bears on our trip.  But there were likely a few in the area.

Thanks for joining me on this story!


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