6 Ships Blog

Lonkanfjorden and Hellemobotn

Ship's Blog - June 29, 2013

After a few rain showers the day before, today the skies were still a bit grey in the early morning, but the sun was announced to come out during the day. All mountain peaks were well visible – great conditions for our planned hike into the national park.

The entire guest family, Richard, Petter and myself set off ashore to go on our most extensive hike yet. We walk through a beautiful valley with birch forests, flowers and cotton grass. The hiking trail is well marked and leads us along the river steadily up to the end of the valley floor. At the end of this flat section, the majority of the group decides to abandon. The hike up the very steep slope at the end of the valley is certainly not for everyone. I have the pleasure to accompany the strong hikers up the mountain. After an hour of steep ascend on a tricky path which consists mainly of lose rocks, we reach the first plateau at 450 meters altitude. The view is stunning – the ship seems to be very far away – a little dot in the distance. The green lush valley lies now below our feet – we are surrounded by rocks and patchy snow fields – we are in a true alpine landscape.

We are only two to continue from here on upwards to the glacier. The path first slopes downhill again, the river is easy to cross over a solid snow bridge, and then it’s going steep uphill for the second time. We pass a marker saying “700 meters altitude” before we arrive on the lookout above the glacier. The white snowy glacier is surrounded by craggy peaks. What a view! It simply can’t be described – one has to have seen it. The landscape is awe inspiring – it makes us humans feel so little in this desert of rocks, ice and snow. In total we must have done an ascend of close to 900 meters. This is definitively the highest hike that I have ever done from a ship in my 14 years career on expedition-type cruise vessels. I am simply happy.

Descending over the rocks proves to be even trickier than ascending since the lose rocks tend to be very slippery. But we do make it back down safely, where Richard picks us up on the beach. The sun has meanwhile appeared on the sky and the colors of the water and the green lush fjord surroundings make for a wonderful photo opportunity.

We leave this beautiful fjord behind and head back south through Raftsundet and then east towards the Norwegian mainland. The islands in the entrance to Raftsundet have all beautiful white sand beaches glimmering in the sun surrounded by turquoise waters. Who would believe that this is Norway? Who would believe that we are north of the polar circle?

During the crossing we have the first slight rolling of the ship during this trip, and chief officer Heidi’s safety announcement wakes up some of the tired hikers. Just before midnight HANSE EXPLORER arrives in Hellemobotn.

Capt. Martin Graser

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