Day 1 |
Jul 27, 2013

Longyearbyen, Norway – embarkation day

By Robin Aiello, Marine Biologist

Co-ordinates: N 78º13’, E 015º39’
Weather: Overcast grey skies
Air Temperature: 4ºC
Pressure: 1010 hPa
Wind: 2 knots

Another embarkation day in Longyearbyen.

The charter flight arrived on time with 120 new guests. We boarded the buses and headed to the Polar Museum for a quick visit before embarking our ship. It was wonderful to see so many guests that have sailed with us before in other parts of the world!

The museum houses a variety of fascinating displays on the history and nature of the region. The guests wandered through the museum before returning to the buses to head to the ship which was docked alongside in the port.

Check-in went smoothly, and all guests were busily unpacking in their suites by 3pm.
The next activity on the afternoon’s agenda was the Emergency Drill where everyone must gather in the Muster Station (for us this is the Theatre on Deck 6) and Robin West, our Expedition Leader from South Africa, highlights a few of the key emergency procedures on the ship. Guest then don their lifejackets and we lead them out to the Lifeboats so that everyone knows exactly where they are located.

Later in the evening everyone gathered again for an introduction to key staff, including the Hotel Director, Chef, Head Sommelier, Head Butler and several more. The Expedition Team then got up on stage and one by one we introduced ourselves.

We are:
1. Robin West – Expedition Leader from South Africa
2. Tim Amm – Assistant Expedition Leader from South Africa
3. Kate Rennaste – Staff Assistant from Australia
4. Claudia Holgate – Ornithologist from South Africa
5. Kara Weller – Biologist from Alaska
6. Uli Kunz – Marine Biologist from Germany
7. Peter Damisch – Historian from Florida
8. Christian Walters – Historian from Easter Island
9. Juan Carlos Restrepo – Geologist from Colombia
10. Richard Sidey – Videographer from New Zealand
11. Chris Srigley – Bear Guard from Canada
12. Karolina Karas – Bear Guard from Svalbard
13. And me…Robin Aiello – Marine Biologsit from Australia

There was a lot of laughter and good cheer as everyone headed to the Restaurant for their first dinner onboard.