It shouldn't have happened in 2016! My daughter, Siân and myself had decided that 2017 would be the year we would both head North to circumnavigate the Svalbard Archipelago. However, work bookings intervened so a hasty decision was made. "Damn it, let's go now!" Fortune smiles upon the impetuous. Not only did we end up with excellent cabin mates and travelling companions, we enjoyed first-class hospitality and witnessed some remarkable sights. The majestic scenery, with jagged peaks and blue-hued glaciers, the opportunity to take a stroll on the sea-ice at 81 deg N coupled with numerous sightings of polar bear going about their business, walrus sporting in the Arctic swell, mighty humpback whales feeding around the ship and reindeer grazing on the tundra kept the camera shutters constantly clicking. The experienced and knowledgeable expedition team, together with our resourceful skipper and the ship's crew and hospitality staff kept us safe and increased our knowledge of all aspects of the Arctic as well as our waistlines! We returned, not just satisfied travellers, but as passionate ambassadors for the vast and beautiful fragility we had been privileged to share.