We have traveled through the night to reach our destination of Tromsø on the island of Tromsøya. Some of us toured the city of about 90,000 people by coach, and some chose to walk along the shoreline, looking at shorebirds and people. The weather certainly wasn’t lost on the locals, as they came out in droves to soak up the sun and frolic on the beach! A beautiful “almost summer” day here in the most northern city on our planet!

In the late afternoon, we passed the cliffs at Fugløya, home to literally tens of thousands of nesting seabirds. Atlantic puffins, razorbills, common guillemots, northern fulmars, and even a white-tailed eagle were on display as we cruised by the cliffs to the sound of the raucous birds. Cameras whirred and clicked, trying to keep up with the absolute mayhem of the birds in flight.

At 9:00 p.m., we had just started a photo feedback session in the lounge. We heard the voice of expedition leader Peter Wilson over the loudspeakers, telling us there were whales ahead! We spent the next hour watching not just two or three different species of whales, but a total of five different species: fins, humpbacks, northern minkes, white-beaked dolphins, and a late showing by three northern bottlenose whales. It was a veritable whale soup, the perfect ending to our glorious day!