Dodging the wind and waves of the northern Norwegian Sea, we had a lovely sleep at the dock in Tromsø and woke up ready to explore the town despite the heavy wind predicted. In the morning, groups split up to explore. Most guests were able to visit the iconic Arctic Cathedral and head inside to see the unique architecture and stained glass of the cathedral. Afterwards, groups headed to the Polar Museum to learn about the expeditions that took place in both polar regions as well as the trappers and hunters who made their living from the Arctic. Another group went to the Tromso Museum, which features the natural history of the Arctic. A few brave souls dared the outside and enjoyed a blustery nature walk.

In the afternoon, we took to the seas to start our crossing to Svalbard! Along the way, we stopped for a bit at the island of Fugloya, which is a beautiful nature reserve where we had great views of Atlantic puffins flying by. Leaving the island, we entered the Barents Sea and heard from Deb Goodwin, our oceanographer, about the Arctic Ocean and the many facets of oceanography that affect it. Shortly afterwards, we began to encounter some large swells, and as I write this, I am sure most people are waiting for better weather to come and searching for an early night’s sleep.