day 1 (Oslo)
day 2 (Svalbard)
day 3 (Spitsbergen)
day 4 (Walrus)
day 5 (Fann Kapshaw)
day 6 (Polar Bears)
day 7 (More Bears!)
day 8 (Glaciers)
day 9 (Settlements)
day 10 (Going home)

And...more bears. Told you so!

Another page of bear-watching, which went late into the night. Not that we could tell, of course -- the sun just rolls around in the sky like it's 2pm all day long. It's beginning to be a little disconcerting. We have good, room-darkening blinds in the cabin, but there's no twilight to trigger your brain to think you need to sleep. So you don't....

  • An old male, just wandering by
  • An old male polar bear, just wandering by
  • Did you know that polar bears are considers aquatic? Like dolphins?
  • Kind of hard to see...
  • Mom and cub, coming to see about breakfast
  • Taken through the hole in the deck (for ropes)
  • Admiring the view
  • Demands for breakfast...or a stray photographer
  • Mom said they have to go. There was much whining

We were invited to the Captain's Dinner tonight, along with another large family. Specially catered dinner in the chart room, and a chance to talk to the captain and crew. I can't say enough nice things about the crew and staff on the boat -- we've been "adopted" as a group by a team of the servers in the dining room, who remembered (after one meal) who drank what, who ate what, and what kind of ice cream we liked. They were amazingly attentive and friendly. We might be on a ship with more room for wet and muddy boots than a spa, but they made sure we had everything those big, plushy ships had.

And, the housekeeping staff is, I swear, invisible. They must have cameras in the hallways so they know the very second we leave the room, so they can sweep in, make up the beds and bathrooms, and disappear before we can return. Sometimes we were gone less than five minutes...and they were done. How they did it, I have no idea.