After a night at sea, we awoke on National Geographic Resolution near the island of Hoy, the second largest island in Orkney’s archipelago.

Morning activities included a long hike up to the “Wee Fea” viewpoint, a photography walk, or a wildlife walk. Those on the longer hike to the viewpoint saw the World War II Naval Communications and Operations Centre. The building was the main Base HQ for Scapa Flow under Naval Command and named HMS Proserpine. It became operational in 1943 and housed up to 230 Women’s Royal Naval Science (WRNS) staff to handle signals via telephone and radio. Those on the photography walk enjoyed hearing tips and advice from Lisa, our certified photo instructor, while exploring the island. Those on the wildlife walk enjoyed birdwatching with our naturalist and dedicated birder, Jim. Arctic terns, skylarks, black guillemots, and curlews were just some of the birds spotted flying around the island.

We returned to the ship by Zodiac in time for a delicious and warming lunch before we headed out again for the afternoon activity – a trip to the new Scapa Flow Museum. This was the perfect way to explore Orkney’s wartime heritage and learn about the history of Scapa Flow as a Royal Navy base during both World Wars. The museum was newly restored and extended in 2022 and is home to more than 250 fascinating artefacts with special interactive exhibits.

At 4:00 p.m., it was time to return to the ship to enjoy some rest and relaxation over afternoon tea. Sweet treats like chocolate-covered strawberries and fresh cakes helped to restore our energy. By the time recap kicked off at 6:30 p.m., we were ready to try the cocktail of the day!