There is a big landmass coming into view on portside. Canada! We are entering Smith Sound and more and more ice is floating around us, sea ice this time. That means we are getting to the latitudes where the ocean is freezing over, real polar waters. And somewhat during the night we are getting to where not very many people get the chance of going - beyond 80 degrees north!
Many a brave sailor has ventured to come here in order to find the Northwest Passage, many of them have failed, quite some have died. Hardly anyone has been able to sit in a comfy armchair in the Observation Lounge and enjoy live music while we cruise these extreme waters. And so a fierce visitor comes aboard to remind us: It's the Hotel Manager, hidden under Neptune's huge coat and beard. But you don't fool kids on Christmas, the secret is soon lifted. In exchange staff and guests alike are getting baptized with copious amounts of ice-cold water, our King of the Seas obviously having a lot of fun with it...
Our search for the King of the Arctic, however, remains futile. No matter how much we strain our eyes from dawn till dusk - no sign of a polar bear is to be seen. But everybody takes it very relaxedly, the scenery is just way to beautiful to hold any grudge against the furry fellows.