Gently rolling with the waves our boat, the MS Plancius, is making her way up the Northern coast of Spitsbergen – or Svalbard as it’s official name is now. It’s midnight but the sun has only just disappeared with a romantic red glow over the hills and the ocean. It will not be dark for us for the next 10 days.
The first day of our trip around the islands of Spitsbergen ended with an amazing visit of two blue whales very close to the ship. Seeing their blows and massive bodies will keep us smiling in our dreams tonight.
The tour with travelers from Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and a few other countries will hopefully take us all around these amazing islands and into the far North-East to the island of Kvitoya. It is a mid-sized ship for around 100 guests and an ice-strengthened body – but there seems to be not too much ice at the moment anyway so that we should not get stuck. The ice chart actually shows a very sad picture as the pack ice is much further North than usual. On the picture Spitsbergen is the group of islands in the middle with Kvitoya on its top right. The colors highlight how far the ice has retreated.