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HDSX22, trip log, Arctic Ocean Expedition, Aberdeen - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice edge - Spitsbergen - Birding

by Oceanwide Expeditions


Day 1: Embarkation, Vlissingen

Embarkation, Vlissingen
Date: 15.05.2022
Position: 51°26.883’ N, 003°35.830’ E
Wind: E4
Weather: Sunny with clear skies
Air Temperature: +16

A great start to our trip: the sun was shining; guests were smiling, and Oceanwide Expeditions staff were thrilled to be welcoming the eager polar explorers aboard! After a little time to settle in to cabins it was time to begin with the important matter of mandatory safety briefings. Expedition Leader Eduardo, Hotel Manager William and Chief Officer Diederik gave us all the information we needed prior to beginning our journey North. Dr Arne Mosch also introduced himself, reassuring guests with advice regarding sea sickness. After learning how-to put-on life jackets and where our muster stations were, we took a break from the formalities to head outside. The bridge team had skilfully manoeuvred Hondius away from the dock in Vlissingen and we were now passing close by beautiful sandy beaches and enjoying flat seas (very much hoping that the waters would remain this calm throughout our trip!) The keen birdwatchers among the guests had already donned their binoculars; Swift were observed, along with Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull. Everyone then returned to the Observation Lounge for the Welcome Briefing, during which we learnt more about the lovely ship that we would call home for the coming days and an overview of life on board. Being an astronomer, Eduardo was excited to report that a lunar eclipse would be visible tomorrow morning. When he asked guests to raise their hands if they were interested to get up early and be on deck for 4:30am to see it he was met with great enthusiasm! As we headed further out to sea a vessel approached to pick up the pilot who had been on board assisting the bridge team to navigate out into open waters. Pilots have special expertise regarding the waters close to a port and come aboard both on approach to a port and on leaving a port. With him safely off the ship we proceeded onwards and the waters became a little rougher with white caps becoming visible atop small waves. With briefings over it was time for dinner. Head Chef Ralf and his galley team produced a delicious buffet meal for us and the dining room staff attended to our mealtime needs. After dinner most guests headed to their cabins, either tired from a day of travelling to arrive at the ship or going to bed to be up early for the lunar eclipse (perhaps both!)

Day 2: At sea, en route to Aberdeen

At sea, en route to Aberdeen
Date: 16.05.2022
Position: 55°02.8’ N, 000°18.8’ E
Wind: ESE4
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +11

The day got off to a very early start for the guests and staff keen to see the lunar eclipse. Unfortunately, when Expedition Leader Eduardo got up at 04:00am all he could see was cloud which meant the eclipse was not going to visible. Everyone headed back to bed until the normal wake-up call before breakfast. Today was the start of the lecture programme and Andrew kicked things off with a description of the four species of Skuas we might encounter on our trip and their rather complicated genetics. Outside, guests were getting experience of identifying common seabirds such as Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar and Common Guillemot. What was slightly less expected were some of the passerines (perching/land-based birds) that were being seen about the ship. Among these passerines, guest Lucy identified a Chiffchaff, a small warbler that usually inhabits woodland in northern Europe. This bird was using the ship to rest during its incredible northward migration, probably from sub-Saharan Africa. It was likely this same bird that accidentally ended up in the dining room and had to be rescued by the expedition team! The bird was caught by throwing a table cloth over it to stop it flying away and was then released from the stern. It was unharmed by the ordeal and flew away strongly. After lunch Beth gave an interesting talk on ‘The Formation of the Grampian Coastline’ which we would be visiting the following day. Meanwhile, a Red-throated Diver was seen flying across the front of the ship and there was a small ‘fall’ of passerines on deck with a Willow Warbler, Blackcap and a Grey Wagtail identified. A Barn Swallow, with its distinctive tail streamer feathers and blue-black plumage was also seen flying by. To complement the earlier talk on skuas, Meike packed out the lecture theatre with her fascinating talk on Fulmars and how the research project she is associated with is monitoring marine plastic pollution and the impact it has on this seabird species. After our first delicious table served dinner, many guests took advantage of the calm weather to stroll the decks and spotted our first Puffin of the trip!

Day 3: At sea, offshore of Aberdeen

At sea, offshore of Aberdeen
Date: 17.05.2022
Position: 57°08.6’ N, 004°59.1’ W
Wind: SE2
Weather: Foggy
Air Temperature: +11

This morning we were drawn out of our bunks with the anticipation of dolphins, seals and seabirds awaiting us. Many of us were on deck early, cameras and binoculars at the ready. Observations revealed new bird species hitching a lift on the ship; Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit and White Wagtail were identified. Plan A was in our minds: arrival in port in Aberdeen, a day ashore in for guests already with us and embarkation for those newly joining the trip. Little did we know that the day would take us a considerably further through the alphabet of plans, arriving eventually somewhere near plan F! Sea fog (or ‘haar’ as Scottish folks would call it) developed into a thick fog drastically reducing visibility meaning we could not enter Aberdeen harbour. Hours passed by and it did not lift. We waited, adapted plans, waited then made new plans. The unfortunate weather conditions that Scotland had presented us with did however provide fantastic opportunity for the Expedition Guides to share their wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics. This started with an informative lecture from Miriam on Auks (a group of seabirds that includes puffins and guillemots) helping us with identification and sharing some of her experience/observations. Following this, Assistant Expedition Leader George gave a lecture, in three parts, giving a thorough and comical report on the issues which are highly relevant in understanding the Arctic with a focus on sociological aspects: the complicated geopolitical challenges of the far north. After lunch passenger Barwolt Ebbinge shared some of his stories of his research and travels on Spitsbergen in the 1970’s during which time he studied geese there with his wife Dorothea Dallmeijer. We learnt about some of the findings from their research and saw some fantastic photos of the living conditions and logistical operations involved in their stay in the remote Arctic wilderness. During this time some challenging planning was taking place on the bridge in light of the enduring weather conditions and we reluctantly had to announce that we could not carry out our activities ashore. This being the case, a wildlife documentary was then shown in the Lecture Room, a happy hour was announced and guests enjoyed card games in the Observation Lounge. But what of the guests due to embark who were still ashore? At 17:00pm the Expedition Team sprung into action: the new guests, and their luggage, would be brought aboard using Hondius’ Zodiacs. This complex operation was executed over the next 4 hours and included bringing a boarder control officer and some additional provisions. Typically, shortly after we launched the zodiacs the fog lifted! This meant those on board could watch the proceedings from the outside deck and Observation Lounge windows. Once all of the new guests and their luggage was safely on board, they received the mandatory safety briefing before settling into their cabins after their zodiac embarkation adventure!

Day 4: Fair Isle and the Island of Foula

Fair Isle and the Island of Foula
Date: 18.05.2022
Position: 59°31’.8 S, 001°34’.7 W
Wind: S4/5
Weather: Visibility was good
Air Temperature: +11

Today started with some important mandatory briefings about the general safety on our ship the M/V Hondius for our newly embarked passengers. Additionally, we learned specific safety details on what to do and what not to do during our zodiac operations. After Eduardo had given the briefings, the bridge made an abandon ship alarm call and everybody, that had just entered the ship from Aberdeen the night before, had to get their life jackets and make their way up to the lifeboats so we would know what to do in case of a real emergency. This abandon ship procedure was of course just a drill so everybody then safely headed back to their cabin. In the afternoon we planned to launch the zodiacs for our scheduled landing on Fair Isle but, unfortunately, we were not able to do so due to the weather conditions. Guests and Expedition Team alike were disappointed not to go ashore. The Captain and Expedition Leader made the decision to organise a ship cruise around the island to be able to observe Fair Isle and its spectacular cliffs before continuing our journey up northwards. A bonus within our alternative plan was that we cruised close by a small island called Foula. This family-owned island has some impressive cliffs which were teeming with bird life. Here we were able to spot many Fulmars, Gannets and some Common Guillemots. The weather was definitely back on our side again as we enjoyed a bright warm sun together with smooth waves whilst looking out at this stunning scenery. After experiencing the geology and bird life of Foula we joined Eduardo and the Expedition Team in the Observation Lounge for the daily recap. During the recaps we learned more about the geological formations that we saw from our geologist guide, Beth, whilst wildlife guide Andrew shared some details about the birds we had encountered. During the recap snacks were offered along with a glass of champagne or non-alcoholic fruit juice alternative. Captain Artur Iakovlev joined us in the observation lounge and welcomed us all on board, reassuring everybody that we would be kept safe under his highly experienced leadership during this long sea voyage.

Day 5: At sea, en route to Jan Mayen Island

At sea, en route to Jan Mayen Island
Date: 19.05.2022
Position: 63°32.6’ N, 004°10.6’ W
Wind: SE4
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +9

We woke up to our Expedition Leader’s calm voice welcoming us to our day at sea, with the hope of some good sailing conditions and quality wildlife encounters: his wish was granted! Throughout the day we had benign sea and weather which allowed guests to spend a significant amount of time out on deck in the fresh air. A Whimbrel from the day before was still flying around the ship and had been joined by a Turnstone, a new bird for the trip. Sara started the day’s lecture programme with a guide to spotting and identifying cetaceans (porpoise, dolphins and whales) at sea. This was to come in handy later in the day… Juan followed with an extremely helpful guide to understanding your camera, from the most complex kit to phone cameras. This covered everything including set up and image composition to some simple ideas for getting good quality photos in the polar regions. The afternoon started with George giving a reprise of his ‘Geopolitics in the Arctic’ lecture. Fascinating though the talk was, when a guest popped his head round the door from outside and shouted ‘Whale!’ everyone dashed to the starboard side windows and outer decks! As it happened the group in the lounge was probably too low to see the whale when it next surfaced, but those outside on the higher decks saw the classic surfacing profile of a Fin Whale. George managed to finish his talk before a Minke Whale cruised by, close in on the starboard side. Through the afternoon small groups of beautiful Long-tailed Skuas were spotted flying west towards their breeding grounds Norway. Hazel concluded the lecture programme introducing the pinnipeds (meaning ‘flipper footed’, such as the walrus and Arctic seal species) that we hoped to see during our cruise. At the evening’s recap Eduardo gave us a demonstration of what a melon looks like when a torch is shone on it; his entertaining way of explaining the changes in daylight hours we would experience as we continued north. Sara gave a recap on ‘Superstitions at Sea’ and what we should (and shouldn’t do) to ensure we had good luck throughout our trip. After yet another superb dinner we wandered out onto the decks to enjoy the superb sunlit evening. At this time of year, this far north, the sun barely dips below the horizon. This meant that, at 23:15pm, a Sperm Whale was spotted off the starboard side, instantly identifiable from its characteristic blow (directed forward and to the left) and its knuckled back. The animal went into a deep dive giving a stunning show of its tail flukes to loud cheers from the few guests still out on deck. What a spectacular end to the day!

Day 6: At sea, en route to Jan Mayen Island

At sea, en route to Jan Mayen Island
Date: 20.05.2022
Position: 67°30.2’ N, 006°42.8’ W
Wind: SE4
Weather: Sunny with clear skies
Air Temperature: +4

The atmosphere was quietly hopefully on board this morning. The fog had again engulfed the ship leaving only a few hundred meters of sea visible around us. We were heading for the island of Jan Mayen, described by writer Rolf Stange as “a windswept, foggy, ice-covered, moss-overgrown lump of lava in the North Atlantic”. His description of this remote volcano gave us pause for thought regarding the conditions needed for a safe landing; swell and fog could make it impossible to land, there was no promise that we would be lucky enough to step foot on Jan Mayen. All we could do was desperately hope the odds would be in our favour and that we would be among the fortunate few who are able to go ashore there. At 07:00am ships time (05:00 UTC) we crossed into the polar circle, passing over the line of 66°33’ N latitude! This entitled us to our first polar breakfast on board, with the dining room adorned with cuddly polar bears and ‘snow’. In the morning Beth gave an insightful lecture in the Observation Lounge during which she introduced some of the rock types and features in the landscape to look out for at Jan Mayen. The explanations included an overview of the opening of the north Atlantic Ocean and how this has resulted in the formation of this remarkable volcanic island. In the afternoon we enjoyed a highly informative talk from Meike giving an introduction to the history, wildlife and present-day occupation of Jan Mayen. This was followed by an entertaining lecture from Andrew in the afternoon entitled ‘The Strange World of Birders’ which helped us grasp how fans of our feathered friends see the world, including a humorous taxonomic classification! This provoked much conversation about what group one would put themselves in, from ornithologist to twitcher to dude. The activities of the day were brought to a close with a wonderful recap led by Expedition Leader Eduardo followed by dinner. After our evening meal many of us headed to bed wanting to be well rested in anticipation for exploring Jan Mayen the following day whilst others enjoyed relaxing in the Observation Lounge.

Day 7: Jan Mayen Island

Jan Mayen Island
Date: 21.05.2022
Position: 70°58.0’ N, 008°42.7’ W
Wind: NE4
Weather: Foggy
Air Temperature: +3

There was a huge sense of anticipation around the ship from early today. Having been unable to land on Fair Isle there was a pent-up desire to feel the ground beneath our feet. But sitting above that was to make the landing on the legendary Jan Mayen Island. So when we awoke to find that weather forecast was correct, proven by the benign sea full of rafting Fulmar, we knew the gods were with us. The expedition team were out early to land the shore party ready to receive guests, who were excitedly gathering themselves to embark the zodiacs. The Norwegian Base Commander greeted the team to the island and we handed over several boxes of fresh food that Ralph, our Executive Chef, had prepared for him and his team. Once all the guests were ashore we split up into groups to do hikes of varying length. The ‘long’ hike group set off with their guides first and were soon lost to sight in the mist as they made their way up the first track. The beach was the starting point for many others, viewing the stunning array of whale bones amongst a forest of driftwood logs. The exact origin of the bones is unknown – whether they washed up naturally or were a relic of the whaling activity that used to be based here. The staggeringly large skull and jaw bones of a Bowhead Whale were particularly outstanding At the top of the first slope all walkers were able to scan the cliffs in front of them and find the first nesting Little Auks of the trip but, more importantly for some, their first good views of Puffins. Other notable birds seen included Wheatear, Barnacle Goose and Snow Bunting. The naturally staggered return to the zodiacs had everyone back on board in time to dry off and get a warming lunch. In the afternoon we sailed a complete circuit of the island, although sometimes obscured in the mist. Amazingly though, just as we were about to leave Jan Mayen behind, it produced one last surprise as the clouds rolled away to reveal the summit of the Beerenburg volcano – a sight few get to see. Eduardo then gave a fascinating talk on the “Eternal Darkness’ – life at the bottom of the deep oceans. At recap, Beth was able to walk us through the geological features that we had seen on our various routes, with actual photographs to aid our understanding.

Day 8: At sea, exploring the ice edge

At sea, exploring the ice edge
Date: 22.05.2022
Position: 73°46.7’ N, 009°18.1’ W
Wind: N/NE3
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: -1

Today we woke up surrounded by ice patchy fog, and calm waters. Before 8:00am there had been fantastic sightings of Ivory Gull, Harp Seal and even a Bowhead Whale! After a delicious breakfast our day got better still: we had an announcement from the Expedition Leader that a Polar Bear had been spotted on the pack-ice from the bridge! Even though directions on where to find the bear were given immediately, it took most of us several minutes to find the bears ourselves. This demonstrated again how well-camouflaged these animals are with regards to their surrounding environment. We traversed through the ice for a little and the curious bear stood sniffing the air in the distance. After a few minutes we couldn’t believe our luck when another bear appeared! This mother with her two-year-old male cub delighted us all with a once in a lifetime encounter. Completely relaxed in our presence, they played together on the ice and in the water. Excited passengers, Expedition Team members and crew filled the outside decks. For most of us, today was the highlight of the whole voyage. It was truly a dream come true to finally meet the king (or in this case queen and prince!) of the Arctic out on the ice. The icy wonderland was breath-taking, but the sighting of a polar bear was undoubtedly the highlight of the day. We also saw many birds including Ivory Gulls and Black-legged Kittiwakes, large groups of Harp seals, a Ringed Seal and a single Hooded Seal far out on the ice. The silence and peacefulness of the sea ice was only interrupted only by the calls of seabirds and the sound of pack ice breaking up as the bridge team skilfully navigated through it. During this incredible morning we also enjoyed a lecture from Szymon about the sea ice at 11:00am followed by lunch in the dining room. Throughout the afternoon we had more time among the sea ice looking for wildlife and two further lectures; the first by Head Chef Ralph Barthel about the challenges of catering for all of the guests and crew of the ship and the second by guide Koen about the evolution of whales. During the recap of the day, we celebrated the fantastic Polar Bear sighting of the morning with Assistant Expedition Leader Sara sharing amazing photos she had taken of the animals we saw along with information about this iconic Arctic species. The atmosphere on board was noticeably jubilant with big smiles on everyone’s faces; from birds to bears to a bowhead whale, we all agreed it was a truly unforgettable day. We headed to bed wondering what awe-inspiring sights might await us tomorrow!

Day 9: At sea, en route to Svalbard

At sea, en route to Svalbard
Date: 23.05.2022
Position: 76°25.9’ N, 000°32.4’ W
Wind: E/NE 2/3
Weather: Fog
Air Temperature: +4.5

Early this morning we crossed back into the Greenland Sea/Norwegian waters. After a lovely breakfast most of us went outside, making the most of the good visibility for our day at sea journeying once more through the ice. We marvelled at all the different shapes of icefloes and many people commented on the beautiful variety of blue-green colours within the ice too, as a result of ice being of varying ages (older, more compacted ice appears blue as it absorbs light at the red end of the colour spectrum). We became accustomed to the sound of ice hitting the ship as we continued through the floe. The ice was stunning but of course what we really all wanted to see were more whales, seals and birds! Thankfully the wildlife was very obliging, giving us good views of a variety of birds and even the sight of a Fin Whale. These huge animals are the second largest species after the blue whale, so even at quite a distance they are easily visible. Sara gave an excellent talk about polar bears and everyone enjoyed learning about these majestic creatures in more detail after our fabulous encounter with the mother and cub yesterday. Claudio gave a thought-provoking lecture about climate change, providing us with research findings and facts, enabling us to better understand this complex and vitally important issue. Just after 10:00am our weather nemesis the fog came back! With visibility drastically limited now it was time to gather in the Observation Lounge to warm up with some hot drinks and socialise indoors or enjoy a library book. After lunch many guests headed to the Observation Lounge where Hazel gave an informative lecture about the three Arctic whale species, namely Bowhead, Beluga and Narwhal. Then there was time to relax peacefully around the ship, or head out on deck for those optimistically hoping to spot something through the ever-present fog! There’s little chance of going hungry on board an Oceanwide Expeditions cruise, but this evening the provisions were even more bountiful than usual for our special barbecue dinner outside on the back deck! We were treated to an extremely unique experience, enjoying a full buffet surrounded by sea ice. With funky music playing and free drinks for the evening the atmosphere was very jolly and plenty of us saw out the end of the day on the dancefloor!

Day 10: Arrival in Spitsbergen, Poolepynten Landing

Arrival in Spitsbergen, Poolepynten Landing
Date: 24.05.2022
Position: 78°12.5’ N, 012°19.4’ W
Wind: S/SE4
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +4

By the time we had finished our breakfast and dressed into all our layers to go out on deck, the outline of the mountainous west of Spitsbergen was emerging on the horizon. Characterised by a landscape of jagged peaks, these mountains are what Spitsbergen owes its name to, forged from Svalbard’s oldest basement layer of rocks. An exciting announcement was made revealing that we had made good progress with our journey with following winds and fair conditions and therefore were ahead of schedule. This meant we would visit Poolepynten today rather than tomorrow! Everyone was delighted to hear this great news. On approach there was report of some White-beaked Dolphins and even a Walrus in the water. As we came closer to the land, we started to see many Common Eider ducks and Black-legged Kittiwakes. The bridge team were busily preparing to anchor for our landing whilst the Expedition Team scoured the landscape with binoculars to scout the area for polar bears to ensure the site was safe. Prins Karls Forland was on our port bow and the towering mountains either side of Isfjorden on mainland Spitsbergen could be seen beyond. On board entertainment came in the form of a trio of lectures from Szymon, Miriam and Claudio. These provided us with a wealth of information including the types of flora we might see ashore and how Arctic plant life is adapted to such an extreme climate. The matter of the climate was also discussed in greater depth which explained some of our observations such as the slight rise in sea temperature as we travelled from Jan Mayen to Svalbard and entered into the norther reaches of the Gulf Stream. Finally, we broadened our knowledge on a topic which is certainly not in a ubiquitous lecture line-up: research on reindeer droppings! After an early lunch we headed ashore to explore Poolepynten in perfect conditions: calm seas and clear skies. Approximately twenty Walrus awaited us and we stood quietly in a line along the beach observing these blubbery giants, some of them resting, others awkwardly hauling themselves ashore or swimming along in the shallows. Not only will the experience of seeing these magnificent animals remain with us in our photographs but the distinctive ‘aroma’ of the walrus will surely be memorable to our nostrils for some time too! A lone Svalbard reindeer was grazing nearby, seemingly completely unphased by our presence, and some lucky guests also managed to catch glimpse of an Arctic fox and Beluga Whales. Due to a limit on the number of guests who can be ashore at the same time Koen gave a broad introduction to Svalbard, covering a wide range of topics and preparing us with broad knowledge of the area, for those remaining on board. To top off the day, those who were still out on deck in the evening were rewarded with a Blue Whale sighting; the animal was distance but unmistakeable. The day came to a close with dinner during which the bright evening sun streamed in through the dining room windows. Many were out on deck afterwards to enjoy the spectacular views of jagged mountains blanketed in glaciers and snow.

Day 11: Trygghamna and Ymerbukta Zodiac Cruises

Trygghamna and Ymerbukta Zodiac Cruises
Date: 25.05.2022
Position: 78°13.9’ N, 013° 51.1’ E
Wind: Variable
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +3

We woke early to grey, leaden skies and winds gusting to 40 knots. It was clear to everyone that our planned landing at Alkhornet was just not possible. However, the guide leaders decided that a zodiac cruise in the adjacent Trygghamna fjord was possible due to the shelter it provided. As the zodiacs were being launched the bridge team spotted a Polar Bear on the slope opposite the ship; it had killed a reindeer and was feeding on the carcass. This was obviously the first target for each zodiac but making sure we stayed at an appropriate distance so as not to disturb it. All the guide team were also conscious that the nearby ship was a Sysselmesteren vessel (the police of Svalbard) so we were careful to make absolutely sure we worked to all AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) guidelines. We then cruised to the glacier at the end of the fjord where we encountered several large flocks of eiders. Initially, they all seemed to be Common Eider but then one King Eider was spotted, although it was often lost to view among the commons. We had more luck with the next flock: everyone had really started to ‘get their eye in’ so that everyone was eventually able to admire these handsome birds. For many guests this was the first time they had ever seen this species; birdwatchers would call this a ‘lifer’! We happily made our way back for lunch whilst the Captain repositioned Hondius to the nearby Ymerbutka fjord ready for our afternoon zodiac cruise. This time the zodiac drivers took their guests towards the Esmarkbreen Glacier to explore the area. Once again, we encountered large flocks of eiders; as before, they were mainly Common Eider but this time there were many more King Eider in the mix with the added bonus of improved light for viewing and photography. A few zodiacs were also treated to a flyover by a fabulous Long-tailed Skua which went on to harass nearby Kittiwakes! Several Common Seals surfaced in the vicinity, curiously taking a look at us and trying to make sense of what was going on. It is amazing to consider the animals in this remote environment may never have seen people. For the birders, Snow Bunting, Purple Sandpiper and Barnacle Geese were an added delight of the afternoon’s zodiac cruise. Bear tracks were spotted on the slopes of a small bay which could possibly even made by the bear we saw this morning in the adjacent fjord as these large animals can travel a considerably distance in a short time. With rain and increasing winds everyone was glad to return back on board to warm up. We settled our bills with reception and returned our muck boots. To conclude our final full day on board it was time for the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail gathering including the fantastic slide show put together by Expedition Team photography guide, Juan. Some guests later admitted they had felt a little a little emotional whilst watching which is a testament to his skills. A fitting end to a fantastic expedition!

Day 12: Longyearbyen - Disembarkation

Longyearbyen - Disembarkation
Date: 26.05.2022
Position: 78°13.7’ N, 015°36.1’ E
Wind: E6
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Air Temperature: +8

This morning Expedition Leader Eduardo’s wake-up call roused guests from their slumber at 7:00am. Everyone put luggage outside cabins and headed to the dining room for their last breakfast on board M/V Hondius. Surely it wasn’t time to go home already?! Sadly yes, this epic Arctic adventure was over, but whilst everyone had to leave our dedicated crew and beautiful ship, they could keep the incredible memories made on this cruise to cherish forever. Thank you all for travelling with us on this voyage; for your enthusiasm, support, and good company. We very much hope to see you again in the future, wherever that might be! Total distance sailed on our voyage: 2106 nautical miles Furthest North: 78°25.9 N, 011°55.3 E On behalf of Oceanwide Expeditions, Captain Artur Iakovlev, Expedition Leader Eduardo Rubio Herrera, Hotel Manager William Barnes and all the crew and staff of M/V Hondius, it has been a pleasure travelling with you.


Tripcode: HDSXa22
Dates: 15 May - 26 May, 2022
Duration: 11 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embark: Vlissingen
Disembark: Longyearbyen

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