We approached Fugløya at 0700 under near perfect conditions. This island is a protected nature reserve that is home to nearly 500,000 nesting Atlantic puffins and tens of thousands of razorbill auks and other seabirds. Conditions were perfect for us to take National Geographic Endurance very close to the towering cliffs and the lush, tundra-carpeted slopes to view the spectacle of thousands of birds coming and going from their nesting burrows. Along with swarms of puffins, we observed roughly a dozen or so white-tailed eagles as they soared overhead and cruised the shoreline and cliffs, looking for an easy meal.

By afternoon, we were docked in the town of Tromso. Situated well above the Arctic Circle, this colorful and welcoming island town has long served as the gateway to the Arctic, providing a base for many famed Arctic and North Pole expeditions. We were afforded the opportunity to explore the town and a few of its museums and cultural highlights.