Day 1 |
Jul 24, 2009

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic

By Rob Suisted, General Naturalist

Co-ordinates: 078°13.9’N 015°39.0’ E

Weather: fine, little wind

Pressure: 1015

Wind: slight

We had a beautiful calm start to the morning. The Prince Albert II anchored overnight in Longyearbyen harbour and I was up early to start with disembarkation. Wharf space is limited here so we were to bring luggage and guests ashore by Zodiac, a fitting end to a fantastic voyage I thought.

I always find it a little sad to bid the special camaraderie that develops during a voyage farewell as everyone heads back to their home countries.

I managed to have a short visit into Longyearbyen over lunchtime. It’s certainly a unique destination and the town was alive with people seeking adventure in Svalbard.

After lunch, I returned to the ship to help with preparations for our new guests. The check-in process is a great time to start connections with them and it was very nice to meet a number of familiar faces that had sailed with us in Antarctica six months earlier; we must have done something right for them to be back so quickly for more!

With a glass of bubbly, most were out on deck for our sail away from port, before the mandatory safety briefing and then introduction to the onboard department heads and Expedition Team members.

The rest of the evening was filled with dinner, guests finding their way around their new home, and learning a little about what lay ahead in this journey.

We’re off to Burgerbukta in Hornsund tonight. Many folks will be catching up on a long day in the land of the midnight sun by making for bed early, ready for this fantastic first location.