Sailing to Bear Island aboard Silver Explorer

Silver Explorer sails across the Norwegian Sea for Bear Island today! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Silver Explorer sails across the Norwegian Sea for Bear Island today! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Friday, July 3, 2015

Today is an entire day at sea here onboard Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Explorer as we make our way to Bear Island, our first “port” of call on this 10-night voyage to the Far Arctic and the Svalbard Archipelago.

I love sea days, particularly on expedition cruises. They’re a great chance to rest up and charge your batteries, recover from jetlag, and prepare for the adventure ahead. It also gives you a great chance to get to know your ship – and provides me with an excellent excuse to blather on non-stop about it!

Ahh...the beauty of the day at sea. Temperatures today hovered around 8C / 46F. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Ahh…the beauty of the day at sea. Temperatures today hovered around 8C / 46F. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Of course, expedition cruises are all about making your own fun on sea days. Maybe you retreat to your suite, as numerous guests did, to read a book or browse the movies on the interactive video-on-demand system that provides hundreds of new releases, classics and documentaries free of charge.

More than a few guests also took their fun outside, cozying up under steamer blankets in deck chairs with a good book and a glass of wine. Personally, I decided to eat lunch outdoors at The Grill on Deck 6 aft to enjoy the brisk weather and a quick meal – though lunch is, of course, always served in The Restaurant on Deck 4.

Why let the cold stop you? Take lunch outside at...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Why let the cold stop you? Take lunch outside at…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...The Grill, located all the way aft on Deck 6. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…The Grill, located all the way aft on Deck 6. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Still, there were a few scheduled options today:

  • 10:00 – Mandatory AECO (Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) and Zodiac Briefing. The Theatre (6).
  • 11:00 – Gumboot Distribution. Reception Area (3).
  • 14:30 – Geology of Svalbard & Bear Island by James Floyd. Theatre (6).
  • 17:00 – Birds of Svalbard – by Diego Punta Fernandez. Theatre (6).
  • 19:00 – Captain Nicolay Tililyuk invites you to his Welcome Cocktail Party. Theatre (6).
  • 19:30 – Executive Chef Pia and Restaurant Manager Robert welcome you for the Captain’s Welcome Dinner. The Restaurant (4).
  • 21:15 – Relax and enjoy after-dinner music with our pianist Eric. Panorama Lounge (5).

What I like about Silversea’s expedition voyages is their flexibility. Expedition Leader Juan Carlos Restrepo was literally describing “Plan A” to us for the next 10 days, stressing that it’s amazingly unlikely that we’ll actually complete Plan A as planned due to possible weather and changeable pack ice when Expedition Team member Kit Van Wagner came up and whispered in his ear.

We all listened intently as they exchanged words and Juan nodded in assent. “Who’d like to see some whales?” he said.

We interrupt this morning's Zodiac briefing to bring you...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

We interrupt this morning’s Zodiac briefing to bring you…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...whales! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…whales! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Whales were spotted just off the bow of the ship, and we came to a dead stop in the middle of the ocean to have a better look. The Expedition and Zodiac briefing came to a standstill for 20 minutes as people raced back to their suites to grab their jackets, cameras and binoculars.

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Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Explorer will continue tomorrow with our full-day explorations of Bear Island! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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