Although a midsummer’s day, it was not the sunny, balmy one we might have expected. We felt the Barentz Sea as we sailed south from Svalbard towards Bjornoya (Bear Island). It was aptly named for the presence of a swimming bear when first discovered in 1596 by Willem Barentz who was to go on to discover Spitsbergen Island and put Svalbard firmly on the horizon of whale and walrus hunters who came here to make their fortune.

The day began with a flurry of fulmars, puffins and gannets wheeling on the sharp, fresh winds that scoured the land in front of us, whipping up dust and waves alike. Thousands of common guillemots flew by the ship in an endless stream.

This was weather to admire, not to go out in, and from the comfort of this wonderful ship, we reflected on the magical last few days of the trip, hiking and boating in such beautiful wilderness.

Our Swedish chef, Sarah, provided us with a wonderful taste of Swedish midsummer delights as we began our journey towards Tromso and the end of our trip.