Having hammered through sea ice throughout the night, this morning we found ourselves in the most gorgeous icy wonderland. Surrounded by pack ice at just over 81° North, we enjoyed the sun and spectacular views. As we scouted for wildlife, the lucky ones got a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of a pod of narwhals!

Our navigation officer, Nicole Pickering, perfectly positioned us alongside the pack ice, as we enjoyed a wonderful barbecue lunch outside on deck. The excitement continued as our expedition team investigated the ice: it appeared to be just perfect for our purpose, so we drove the ship in position into the ice. With about one meter of sea ice and 700 meters of Arctic Ocean under our feet, we disembarked onto the ice through the “penguin door” for a stroll. What an experience!

After teatime, our naturalist Kirsa Nørregaard shared her talk about sea ice formation, the wildlife associated with it, and its local and global importance. Just as we thought the day had ended, assistant expedition leader Cammy Lachesnez-Heude spotted a polar bear. As the ocean came alive with belugas and harp seals, we had the most amazing experience with this curious bear.