This morning found us at sea sailing along the magnificent fjords of Norway. Cruising the narrow sound’s islands, inlets, and rocks, our navigation officers took us into the end of Svesfjorden.

Today was a true expedition day, with us exploring a landing that only one of our naturalists has made before, and that was more than 20 years ago. We went ashore and explored a new location called Sandvika.

Deeply hidden beneath the steep mountains and covered with birch trees were a few red traditional Norwegian cottages, which are only accessible by sea. No roads lead to this place.

We had a few options to explore this location, which looks like something out of a movie. Some of us ventured off on long hikes through the forest, crossing streams and wetlands until we climbed a small mountaintop with a great view of National Geographic Resolution down in the bay below. Right as we were reaching the top, a reindeer popped out from amongst the trees—we were lucky to have such a good sighting.

Others followed the stream toward a waterfall, which led to a viewpoint where the most secluded and picturesque house stood. Walking through the forest offered a breath of the deeply fresh air, as we were shrouded by lush vegetation and an immense variety of lichens and mosses.

Those of us very keen on vegetation walked along the coastline toward an old stone house with traditional agriculture artifacts. All around us we saw berry bushes that will soon be covered with lingonberries, blueberries, and crowberries. Lingonberries and blueberries are used for many traditional jams and juices, including the raw preserved lingonberries that Norwegians eat with meatballs.

As we headed back toward the landing, we saw many kinds of algae, limpets, and mussels along the shoreline, as well as some seabirds, including oystercatchers, blackjack gulls, and other varieties of gulls. What a lovely day!