6 Ships Blog

The Lofoten: Vaeroy and Reine

Ship's Blog - June 26, 2013

This morning we have our largest stretch of open water to cross yet: the 50 nautical miles between the Norwegian mainland and the Lofoten. This area can be occasionally rough, but the weather is in our favor this time: it’s dead flat and so we have a calm morning at sea and time for our guests to recover from the previous busy days full of hikes and action.

At 1 PM HANSE EXPLORER arrives in Vaeroy – one of the southernmost Lofoten islands and a bit separated from the main Lofoten group. The weather clears on arrival – it’s sunny and wonderfully warm. The bay is magic with steep, green and grassy mountains around, the houses of an abandoned fishing village along the shore and a white sand beach on the north side of the bay which reminds with its turquoise waters of the tropics.

After lunch the guests leave on a strenuous hike to the top of the mountain. The footpath zig-zags up a steep slope and once the top is reached the view is stunningly beautiful: to the south the island of Roest is visible, to the west the open Atlantic ocean, to the east the peaks of the Norwegian coast and to the north the main Lofoten islands; below lays HANSE EXPLORER in an almost perfectly round bay reminding of the caldera of an extinct volcano.

The kids and the grandparents finish their hike along the shore on the sandy beach with a soccer game. Once the hikers are back down from the mountain, they also shuttle over to the beach to join the fun. The shore party wades through the water barefoot and the Zodiac left behind on the beach needs to be pushed out every 5 minutes so it does not fall dry with the outgoing tide. Everyone is having a blast on this sunny afternoon. This was a day that certainly didn’t feel like a day north of the polar circle.

Only after 7 PM HANSE EXPLORER leaves the bay to head north towards Reine, our next destination.

Richard and Petter do just have a talk with the guests about whales after dinner when just in this moment 2nd officer Tamara spots a pond of orcas. We swing the ship around and head towards the whales. To everyone’s delight, the orcas keep swimming calmly south along the shores while HANSE EXPLORER manages to approach slowly and carefully so close that everyone can hear the orcas breathing – what a day – this was certainly the cherry on the cake.

At 10:30 PM, HANSE EXPLORER pulls finally into the perfect natural harbor of Reina – the guests are still not tired and set out to have a night-walk through this beautiful old Lofoten fishing village with its picturesque red wooden houses.

Capt. Martin Graser

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