|Position:||78°13’N - 015°36’E|
It was a wonderful sunny day in Longyearbyen when we made our way to the port. The little blue ship Plancius was already waiting for us anchored just beyond the pier. The Expedition Staff met us at the pier and we had the excitement of our first zodiac ride to reach the ship. Hotel manager Zsuszsanna welcomed us and the friendly Philippine crew showed us to our cabins. We had some time to explore the ship before we all gathered in the Lounge for an introduction to the ship and a safety briefing by first officer Miia. Then the lines were cast off and we were under way, our adventure had begun. The colourful houses of Longyearbyen grew smaller and we sailed out into the Isfjord. The next program point was the practical part of the lifeboat drill. Equipped with warm clothes and our bright oranges life jackets, we first mustered in the lounge and then went out on deck to inspect the lifeboats. Let’s hope that we will never have to see them from the inside again. After the drill we were in for a treat: The Captain’s Cocktail. We met our Captain Andrei Zybin and toasted with him and the expedition team to a successful and safe voyage. After learning about what the team had planned for us the following morning, we went down for dinner where we enjoyed the three-course meal served by head chef Khabir. After dinner one more thing had to be ticket off, we were issued with rubber boots which would accompany us on our adventures and keep us dry and warm. Late in the evening the Midnight sun temped many on the outside decks. The sun wouldn’t set for the next 7 days. With beautiful light and stunning mountains, it was hard to find the way into bed.