We awoke to the gentle voice of expedition leader Stefano Pozzi, who greeted us to an overcast day in the city of Bergen. After a wonderful breakfast, many of us spent the morning in Bergen, either exploring the city on our own or on one of two guided trips. Two buses left to visit the beautiful Fantovt Stave Church from the year 1170. Another stop was made at the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen, home of composer Edvard Grieg for 22 years.

Guests more interested in hiking visited Fløyen, one of the mountains in Bergen. The funicular "Fløibanen" ascended 300 meters (984 feet) over a total track length of 850 meters (2,789 feet) to a viewing platform that offered stunning views of Bergen and its environs. Luckily, the weather and visibility were good, which are not givens in a place that "enjoys" 239 rainy days a year. Two hikes went to the pond "Skomakerdiket," and some guests chose to explore the area on their own.

After returning to the ship, we enjoyed the first of many delicious lunches in one of the ship’s two restaurants. Soon the ship set sail! Whilst enjoying afternoon tea and / or a "mandatory nap," we steamed along the green coastline of southwestern Norway, which is sprinkled with holiday cabins and small settlements.

During the afternoon, Stefano called us into the ice lounge for an introduction to our knowledgeable expedition staff. This was followed by the first lecture of the trip. Photo instructor Steve Morris gave an introduction to smartphone photography. Right afterwards, Captain Aaron Wood welcomed us to the ship during the official Captain’s welcome. He introduced us to some of his team before sending us to a marvelous dinner in Two Seven Zero, one of the ship’s restaurants. Sated and content, most of us headed off for an early night, knowing we’d rise fairly early the next morning for new adventures!