Calm seas continued to accompany us today. A lone sperm whale was sighted far from the ship during the early hours. As we approached Iceland, more and more birds appeared: northern gannets, black-legged kittiwakes, a couple of golden plovers, and of course, the northern fulmars, our faithful companions.
Breakfast was enjoyed. Afterwards, many of us took the opportunity to go out on the spacious open decks to soak in the pleasant weather and the blue seas. We enjoyed quiet, reflective chats about the incredible days spent along the rugged yet spellbinding coast of Greenland.
Today we were treated to a special brunch, which was lavish as always. On the way into the impressive 270 Restaurant, we were greeted with mimosas!
After brunch, we approached Arnastapi, where we went ashore for the afternoon. The rugged dark coastline gave way to rising verdant expanses, which then gave way to volcanic hills. As we drew closer, the basalt formations along the coast became clearer. Off in the distance, an inviting reddish beach stretched along the coastline.
Soon enough, we went ashore in our chosen groups, and we headed off for walks along the shoreline. The coastline is made up entirely of basalt columns that jut in all directions, sea stacks, caves, and chimneys. On the walk, we passed a couple ponds with lots of birds. The green areas were packed with arctic terns busily involved with their breeding season. There were other birds to be enjoyed as well.
The lush, grassy areas were covered with many flowering plants in full bloom, bringing vibrant colors to the landscape.
Once on the main road, we headed back for the little landing area, a slipway at the head of a very protected little port. As we waited for our Zodiac ride, with a short cruise included, we watched the little fishing boats return from their day’s work and then proceed to unload their catches.
Once back on the ship, we readied ourselves for the Captain’s farewell cocktails and then headed for the farewell dinner. As we headed down, our sister ship, National Geographic Endurance, sailed past us on the start of her circumnavigation expedition around Iceland. Foghorns sounded out hellos and goodbyes.
Not long after dinner, we were safely alongside in Reykjavik, and many of us ventured ashore to see a little more of the city.
Our trip has sadly come to an end, but we take many memories back with us, as well as a high degree of thanks for the privilege of experiencing what we have in the last ten days.