The groaning thunder of a glacier about to calve is clearly audible above your zodiac’s swish when skimming past the sculpted ice cliffs of the 14th of July Glacier. To cut the motor and drift along the jagged wall of this jigsaw bay on Spitsbergen’s west coast is serene immersion in the wide arctic silence. Until the next crack, splinter and puff. If you’re in luck you’ll get to see, and hear, an immense chunk of ice sheer off to crash into the sea. Svalbardis home to the fastest calving glaciers anywhere. Watch out for the resultant wave though. And for polar bears and arctic foxes, when you land to pick across the cool, lichen-encrusted tundra.