|Positie:||78°14.4’ N / 015°37.3’ E|
|Wind:||W – 3|
We gathered from all points on the globe on an overcast day in Longyearbyen, capital of Svalbard. The rugged hills around were striped with snow, but the day was not too cold. Once off our flights, we were dropped in town where we explored the small settlement, had a coffee or went bird watching. For some of us it took a bit longer to go to town as our luggage got delayed at the airport in Oslo due to a malfunction of the luggage belt. Just after four o'clock, we began boarding the ship, we settled in to our cabins, and later found our way to the Observation Lounge. Once we had all gathered, the chief officer Arthur and third officer Warren presented the mandatory safety briefing to show us how to use the big orange lifejackets and how to muster in case of emergency. As soon as we finished the briefing Plancius set sail. Our departure was immediately followed by a safety drill, to ensure we knew how to muster in the lounge and proceed to the lifeboats if ordered to by the Captain.
After we returned our lifejackets to our cabins, we were again invited to the lounge. Our hotel manager Sebastian helped us settle in with more information about how the ship works, and Christian, our expedition leader, explained us the lost luggage situation and gave us the new plan for the next day with the hope of recovering the all the luggage. The expedition team introduced themselves and our doctor said a few word regarding seasickness and safety on board. Captain Alexey Nazarov spoke a few words of welcome and proposed a toast to our voyage. After the meeting, we went to our first dinner on board. There, we sat at tables of six and more, making new friends and wondering what would come in the days ahead.
Our first stop of the trip was in Yoldiabukta where we saw the beautiful Wahlenberg glacier coming down from the mountains all the way to the sea. The clouds slowly disappeared and the sun, coming in an angle, created a fascinating light for pictures. We kept cruising around with the ship until midnight, and some of us stayed out on deck enjoying the beautiful spectacle, taking in as much as possible on our first day of this great adventure.