After an interesting night in the swelly Barrents Sea, the morning was dedicated to the mandatory briefings marking the official entrance into the Svalbard Archipelago. Biosecurity was perfomed in accordance to AECO standards at Basecamp. Then Erland Flodstad gave a presentation about the history of Svalbard from its discovery to present day. By the end of the talk, we were positioned in front of Hopen Island. This 37 kilometers-long portion of land is made of sedimentary rock from 300 to 250 million years ago and six months of the year hosts four staff from the meteorological station. We were very, very lucky to be able to spend the afternoon there!

After lunch on board with the inhabitants of Hopen Island, the expedition team started preparing for a double operation. Half of the guests went on land to visit the local station and hike to the summit, while the others approached the cliffs with seabird colonies during a Zodiac cruise. Little auks, black-legged kittiwakes, northern fulmars, and barnacle geese were sighted. It was a bird festival!

We were back on board by six pm, followed by the much-appreciated daily recap. The ship continued heading north for more adventures.