While enjoying breakfast, we sailed into the harbor of Reine, a small fishing village near the southern end of the Lofoten Island archipelago. Surrounded by glacially carved peaks, the town offered a wonderful opportunity to stroll about and enjoy the birdlife. We learned about the cod fishery, which has played an important role in the lives of Norwegian people. Thousands of cod and cod heads hung drying on racks in preparation for export to Italy, Nigeria, Croatia, USA, and of course, to other parts of Norway for preparation of the “national dish,” lutefisk! Their desiccated bodies and heads, not to mention their pungent odor, produced a unique experience. Our guests and guides took full advantage to photograph the sight.

During lunch, we sailed to Værøy, an island near the southern tip of the Lofoten archipelago. We explored by Zodiac cruising or hiking through and beyond the village of Måstad. The village, now abandoned, survived until just after World War II when the last permanent, resident left the area. A few small, well-kept summer homes provide a tranquil retreat for those who seek wilderness and beauty within the area. We explored for several hours but never met a permanent resident.

Most guests chose the moderate hike along the base of the steep glacial cirque that provides the backdrop to the village. Highlights were the views of the adjacent glacially carved peaks, the coastline, and the wildflowers that bloomed within the adjacent field. Those who took the Zodiac cruise got a different view and were rewarded with several sightings of local marine birdlife, including Atlantic puffins and razorbills. We returned to the ship tired from the day’s adventures, but satisfied and ready for more!