We awoke in ice to the east of Edgeoya and continued to push our way south. The ice was less thick here, so we made good progress. During the day we had several presentations by our naturalist staff. Fittingly, the presentation by Certified Photo Instructor Giulia was interrupted by… wildlife! as we encountered a pair of walruses that allowed us a close approach.

Later in the day we encountered another bear on the ice, and we had a fun time observing it. Our evening was spent cruising past the beautiful island of Hopen – a special bird nesting area.

At the end of the day, we could safely say that we have made it all the way around the island of Spitzbergen! It would seem that we are the earliest ship to have ever done this! A combination of reduced sea ice conditions and skilled navigation by our bridge team have allowed us to do this on the 7th of May.