This morning, we woke up to see National Geographic Explorer safely docked in the small town of Isafjordur, Iceland. This dynamic fishing village lies at the base of the Isafjardjup Fjord and was ours to explore throughout the morning. After breakfast, we disembarked in groups for multiple choices of adventures. Guests chose between hiking, biking, and a guided walking tour through town. There was something for everyone to enjoy. The town is currently transitioning from relying mainly on fishing to a more ecotourism-based economy along with another more specialized industry involving cod skin and its inherent health benefits. We soaked up the authentic Icelandic weather in this special place.

As we sat down for a well-deserved lunch, the lines were cast, and we sailed out of the fjord with the immense basalt walls guiding our ship toward open water. Just before reaching the mouth of the fjord, we spotted small, bushy puffs of air on the water’s surface. Whales off the bow! Then, whales to port! And also, whales to starboard! We were surrounded by humpback whales! We drifted with half a dozen of these magnificent creatures and soaked in the sounds and sights of their graceful behavior. Everyone wanted to get that special photo of the whale tail or fluke that we could use to identify exactly which individuals we had the pleasure of viewing. All in all, today was an exceptional day.