Today, we finalized the journey from Svalbard to mainland Norway and had the privilege of setting foot on Sørøya Island. Nestled within the captivating Arctic Circle, this island is a sanctuary of natural wonders yearning to be explored. Its allure lies in the harmonious blend of majestic landscapes and a rich tapestry of wildlife, beckoning adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.
The coastline of Sørøya is adorned with rugged cliffs that demand attention, their imposing stature standing in stark contrast to the tranquil embrace of the Norwegian Sea. Carved by ancient glaciers, the fjords form awe-inspiring fjord-scapes, leaving visitors spellbound by nature's artistic prowess. In the summer months, the midnight sun paints the skies with a surreal palette, bathing Soroya in an ethereal glow that lasts throughout the day. This unique phenomenon of 24-hour sunlight presents ample opportunities for exploration and adventure.
Within this captivating landscape, we embarked on a remarkable morning hike and Zodiac cruises. The brave long hikers embarked on a 10-kilometer journey, traversing from coast to coast on one of the island's arms. Along the way, we encountered serene lakes and arrived at a pristine, white sand beach, where a colony of arctic terns graced us with their presence. Some lucky souls even caught glimpses of their adorable and well-camouflaged chicks.
In the afternoon, we ventured farther south on the island, engaging in kayaking and Zodiac cruises in a mesmerizing fjord. Kayakers had the chance to explore a shallow lake with crystal-clear waters reminiscent of the Caribbean, accompanied by a symphony of vibrant birdlife. We were delighted to spot baby red-breasted mergansers gracefully swimming in the lake, adding to the enchantment of our experience. It was truly a paradise discovered.
Each day aboard National Geographic Endurance continues to amaze us, and Sørøya Island left an indelible mark on our souls. As we bid farewell to this gem of the North, we carry with us memories of its pristine beauty and the sense of awe it inspired. Sørøya, a haven for explorers and a sanctuary of nature's grace, is forever etched in our hearts.