Day 1 |
Jul 04, 2009

Tromso, Norway

By Chris Srigley, General Naturalist

Co-ordinates: 69°38.926’N, 018°57.769’E

Weather: Overcast, scattered showers

As our guests slowly begin to arrive, I joined Robin Aiello, Christian Walter and Juan Carlos Restrepo in the Panorama Lounge for check-in.

We received the guests’ passports, and in exchange we hand them their suite keys and invited them to have a cocktail and to enjoy the wonderful spread, which has been prepared by the team from the galley. 

Before long, everyone is onboard and has been shown to their suites to settle in, check their surroundings and truly make the Prince Albert II their home for the next ten days on our voyage of discovery to the islands of Svalbard.

As the clock approaches 1700, the engines begin to rumble, departure time is approaching.  Shortly after they begin to warm up, our Captain Aleksander Golubev comes over the intercom to invite all of our guests onto the outer decks to watch the lines being brought in as we say goodbye to Tromso.

Maritime law states that any vessel that is carrying guests, must, within 24 hours of departure, conduct a safety drill. For this drill we simulate a general emergency, 7 short sounds of the alarm followed by one long, which sends our guests off to their suites to collect life jackets and make their way to the muster station. Onboard the Prince Albert II our muster station in The Theatre. Here our Staff Captain Mikka will take us all through the steps that must be followed in the event of an emergency.

Being the first day of our voyage, it is very busy. Having finished our safety drill, we had a short window of opportunity to head out on deck in search of birds before having to return to The Theatre for an introduction to the heads of staff and the Expedition Team.

Our Expedition Leader Conrad Combrink gave a brief overview of our intended plan over the next ten days, which was received with a rousing applause.

Our voyage has officially begun, now it is time to explore the menu in The Restaurant!