After a good night’s sleep onboard National Geographic Resolution, we were met by gorgeous views of the west coast of the Svalbard mountains. The light was absolutely magical as we pulled into Krossfjorden by the magnificent Lilliehöökbreen Glacier. Surrounded by ice, we got an introduction to our expedition team and had our mandatory briefings about safety and AECO. We all then found our way down to the mudroom where we vacuumed and disinfected our gear.

During lunch with calm seas, we repositioned at Fjortende Julibukta (14th of July Bay), named after the National Day of France. Here, we went out on our first Zodiac excursion of the trip! Sightings on the cliffs, in the air, and on the water included black-legged kittiwake, Brünnichs guillemot, Atlantic puffin, black guillemot, northern fulmar, glaucous gull, Arctic tern and king eider. The luckiest cruisers spotted reindeer and even an Arctic fox!

As we continued our journey north, our Certified Photo Instructor Jeff Litton shared his knowledge about how to take great photographs with one’s smartphone. Captain Heidi Norling then invited us for cocktail hour at the Captain’s Welcome, where she introduced the officers onboard. The day was concluded around 9.30pm, as we toasted to crossing the 80th parallel.