|Position:||78°14.0’ N, 015°37.4’ E|
Today our Arctic adventure began and as it was raining guests were even more keen to hurry on board to commence our journey! The Expedition Team lifted luggage aboard and then greeted guests as they walked up the gangway of our lovely ship, M/V Hondius. With guests and their luggage happily aboard Expedition Leader (EL) Eduardo, and Chief Officer Matei commenced the mandatory ship safety briefing at 17:30pm. Dr Rogier Steins also introduced himself; he too had been scheduled to come on board a few years ago so shared the guest’s joy at being on board! During the safety briefing guests were shown how to put on life jackets and shown the floatation suits which are stored in all cabins for use in an emergency situation. As part of the briefing an abandon ship alarm was sounded so we all made our way to our muster stations, either in the Observation Lounge (station B) or Restaurant (station A). Once all guests had arrived wearing their lifejackets correctly, we proceeded to the lifeboat boarding area on deck 6. We were directed to our lifeboats and given further information by Second Officer Kirill Buriachek and Third Officer Don Buren, who would be the masters of these vessels in the (very unlikely) event of us having to use them. Afterwards, at 18:15pm, guests received a welcome and orientation briefing from our Hotel Manager William and EL Eduardo. After this was the important matter of dinner time (a wonderful buffet provided by head Chef Ralf and his team) it was time for the third and final briefing of the evening, a video presentation from AECO (the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) which informs visitors regarding correct behaviour towards the environment, people and wildlife of the Arctic. After a day of travel and lots of important information many of us headed to bed to be well rested for our first full day of expedition tomorrow.