Following the west Spitsbergen Current to the western Norway Current, out of Svalbard, past Bjoroya, and back to mainland Norway, National Geographic Endurance sighted land shortly after breakfast. Our first objective of the day was to cruise the scenic bird cliffs of Fugloya. We spotted razorbills, puffins, and even white-tailed eagles amongst the chaotic hubbub of thousands of nesting seabirds. We docked at Tromso, one of the largest cities in northern Norway. Tromso is home to many times the number of people we’ve seen since Oslo. Touring the town with local guides was enlightening and enriching. Back onboard, we watched the ship cast off from the dock as we set off through the fjords and islands of Norway’s dynamic coastline.
National Geographic Resolution
Smøla and Veiholmen, Brattværet
Under the cover of low hanging clouds, we set out for our second day of adventure along the Norwegian coast. In the midst of a windmill park and only a short Zodiac ride from the ship, we were met by our local guides at the little dock on Smøla and on the small island of Brattværet. A bus ride along the shoreline took one group through the low, vegetated landscape to Veiholmen for a guided town walk. Born and raised locally, our guide shared his own story as well as the one of the little village as he took us through the narrow, charming streets of Veiholmen. Once a very active fishing town, most buildings in the village are now summer houses. We finished up the tour at a little fishing museum that featured, among other things, a hip-replacement as a fishing hook. We grabbed a coffee at the local grocery store, where we were met by a colorful selection of indoor plants and Norwegian chocolate. Meanwhile, on the island of Brattværet, local guides took us around the windblown terrain. We explored the sights and history of the small community, and we enjoyed the view from a little hill. We concluded our hike with a well-deserved, traditional morning tea – which, in Norwegian, translates to coffee and waffles. Back on board our beautiful ship, we enjoyed a delightful lunch followed by a presentation by Nick Cobbing. While sharing his story and blowing our minds with his incredible pictures, he let us in on the secret of how to become a National Geographic photographer. Following tea time, ornithologist Ciarán Cronin taught us everything about the grand migrations of species all over the planet – from the strenuous journey of the land turtles in the Galapagos to the humpback whales and Arctic terns that we hope to encounter on our voyage. We also learned how many birds are killed by outdoor cats and how swallows were once believed to turn into frogs in the winter. The sun peeked out and set just a bit later than yesterday. We continued our journey northward to the view of windmills amidst the fog.