What a second day in the High Arctic! This morning brought us to the frozen waters surrounding Sjuøyane (Seven Islands) which is a collection of steep-sided islands rising out of the ocean to the north of Spitsbergen. This is the first time National Geographic Resolution has visited these islands.

Our first treat of the day were several groups of walruses hauled out on ice floes. The bridge team skillfully crept up on them, allowing us great views without disturbing the animals into the water.

The second highlight was reaching farther north than National Geographic Resolution has ever travelled: 80° 45.060’ North. This is likely the furthest north many of us will ever travel!

Early in the afternoon, our scouting paid off and we were treated to our first polar bear sightings of the trip. Cream-colored backs with black noses ducked in and out of ice floes as we pursued their movements with spotting scopes, binoculars, and cameras.

It was magical to be enveloped by the frozen Arctic, surrounded by pristine sea ice, appreciating the isolation, and realizing just how special it is to be able to spend time in this part of the world.