|Position:||65°41.6’ N / 018°05.0’ W|
We arrived at the pier in Akureyri at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, after a scenic bus ride from Reykjavik to the North. We settled into our cabins and gathered then for the first time in the Observation Lounge, for a first welcome by our expedition leader Katja and a mandatory safety information and drill. The briefing was held by First Officer Artur who was talking about ship safety and how to prepare for the worst. A general alarm-drill (seven short blasts followed by one long blast) was made, and we all took the SOLAS orange life jackets and mustered in the lounge guided by crew and staff. After a roll call to assure everyone was present, we went out to the lifeboats hoping to never actually have to use them again.
After a short break to enjoy this scenic navigation, Katja invited us for another briefing about life on board given by Dejan. Dejan introduced us to the interiors of the ship, hotel operations and dining room edict. Captain Evgeny joined us in the lounge for a welcoming toast before we introduced the expedition team. However, this introduction was interrupted by our very first wildlife encounter – 4-5 humpback whales were feeding around the ship. We enjoyed the humpback show until we were invited down to the dining room for our first scrumptious dinner prepared by Head Chef Ralf and his staff.