After a full day of activities in Hornsund the day prior, many of us took the opportunity to relax and leisurely enjoy our breakfast. We took in the views as National Geographic Resolution pushed through the ice.

The everchanging Arctic light brought a sense of meditative contemplation. The combination of sky, water, and ice was like watching a fire. Around half past nine, Mada started her presentation on marine mammals, including identification and adaptations of seals and whales. On the bridge, expedition staff scoured the ice with binoculars, scopes, and optimism.

Midway through the talk, we noticed the ship had come to a stop. Curious, some headed to the bridge. We had found a bear. With the guidance of the expedition staff, everyone was able to spot the animal as it slept peacefully on the ice.

After some time spent observing, we continued pressing on into the frozen landscape in hopes of finding more wildlife. Everyone reluctantly collected their passports from Harry, our purser, and the reality that the voyage would soon be over started to sink in. The atmosphere on the ship remained high, and the day’s excitement continued.

After lunch, National Geographic Resolution turned south to explore Raudfjorden. The Fata Morgana tricked our eyes, turning the already spellbinding landscape into a mirage of magic. We had heard word that there might be bears, and our expedition guide Doug spotted two of them sleeping in the snow amongst an island of boulders. A bit challenging to spot at first, but as the ship got closer, almost everyone was able to observe the beautiful, slumbering animals.

After a bit of time, we departed. The ocean had turned to glass, and the reflections seemed endless. Slowly, we made the scenic and history-filled ship cruise into Fjugelfjord and Smeerenburg. Alexandra and hotel director Laura shared departure information.

The crew show was tonight! Hidden talents were revealed as we enjoyed amazing vocals from both crew and expedition staff, a dance troupe, and a proper band. After the talent show, dancing and fun were enjoyed into the late hours.