The first expedition day of our epic artic experience was one of blue skies and white ice, dark mountain peaks and clear blue icy waters. Overnight, we had navigated north from Longyearbyen through the midnight sun, and morning found us in Krossfjord approaching the massive Lilliehook Glacier.

During the morning, we met the natural history team and received many briefings about the upcoming trip. They covered topics like polar bear safety, Zodiac operations, and life onboard. We all gave our equipment a thorough decontamination before lunch to ensure no invasive species were accidentally tagging along with us.

In the afternoon we took to the Zodiacs in our new parkas to explore the 14th Of July Bay and its accompanying named glacier. Full of early-returning seabirds and sunshine, we only began to notice the cold by the time we arrived back at the warm ship.

In the evening, we were officially welcomed aboard at cocktail hour by the master of National Geographic Resolution, Captain Heidi Norling. It was a spectacular beginning to our exciting adventure!