|Position:||78°14.1’ N/ 015°38.3’E|
Since Longyearbyen’s foundation as a coal mining settlement in 1906 by John Munro Longyear, it has been the starting point for many historic and pioneering expeditions.
Our adventure began as we gathered in the pier to board M/V Plancius, our comfortable floating home for the next eight days. Once onboard we made our way to reception where our Hotel Manager Andre and his assistant Katrin greeted us and the hotel staff showed us to our cabins.
Once everyone was confirmed to be onboard we gathered in the lounge to be welcomed by Andrew our Expedition Leader. Andre soon joined us and gave a quick talk to describe the layout of the ship and inform us of all the interesting things we would need to know for our stay aboard.
Our Chief Mate Arthur and Third Officer Warren presented a mandatory safety briefing before the lifeboat drill which provided an opportunity for dressing up and getting to know each other as we huddled together on the deck, peering into lifeboats.
With all guests, their baggage and the Pilot safely on board, we departed shortly after 1800 and as we cruised into Isfjord we spotted several fulmars and Brunnich’s guillemots. As we sailed away we could see Longyearbyen getting smaller and disappearing from our eyes. Our trip had started and there were all happy faces everywhere we looked.
After a short while we returned to the Lounge where the rest of the expedition team were introduced and Captain Evgeny gave a toast to the success of our voyage.
Before we were called to dinner it was advised that we take necessary precautions against sea sickness as we were sailing out of Isfjord and into open seas on our journey north.