As dawn broke, whale blows and porpoising penguins already surrounded National Geographic Explorer. The golden light turned the snowy mountaintops different shades of pink, purple, and orange. Just before 06:00, the lucky few who were already awake were treated to a pair of humpbacks breaching, pec slapping, and spy-hopping. A pair of humpbacks turned into nearly two dozen on our navigation towards Danco.

While some chose to kayak amongst ice and penguins, others opted to cruise with whales. Humpbacks “mugged” several of the Zodiacs – a behavior where the whales choose to repeatedly come close to your boat and check you out. The humpbacks would swim in figure eights under us and then spy-hop high enough for us to be eye to eye with them! Right after, a handful of brave souls plunged into the icy waters of Danco as penguins porpoised by.

In the afternoon we ventured for one final hike to the top of Neko Harbor, our second continental landing of the voyage. The hike, while challenging in areas, offered spectacular views over the glacier and the chance to experience a large calving event which sent waves crashing onto the beach in the bay.

Our night wrapped up with a ship favorite, a performance by our crew band, the Spice Boyz!