May 10, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

This morning, the explorer came into anchorage at Hellemobotn arm of the Tysfjorden fjord, the largest fjord system of northern Norway. Upon arrival, we gained a view of the immaculate waterfall, which we explored via a series of hikes through the Sami settlement called Musken. This village is one of the two schools in the world that taught in the Lule Sami language. A trail led the adventurous hikers up into the mountain range that separates Norway from Sweden, passing by the immense waterfall that is at full bore from the snow melt.

For those who wanted to cruise along the fjord in a sunny zodiac ride, they were welcomed by glistening crystal clear waters, jumping fish and all the bird life. Viewing these fauna at the base of expansive, glacially-carved mountainsides made for an awe-inspiring experience.

The weather was downright balmy as we headed our way through the fjords towards our next northerly destination of Tromsø, and all the guests were invited out on the stern sun deck for a bountiful burger feast with all the fixings. Scrumptious treats were enjoyed and the drinks were flowing, as everyone was eager to stretch their legs after the adventurous hike. We welcomed the warm spring sunshine, some even shedding their down-jackets and exchanging them for t-shirts and sun hats. It was an excellent afternoon to kick off the boots, peel back the layers and enjoy the natural vitamin D.

The captain and staff made use of these extending arctic daylight hours, as we headed towards a site that was tipped off to our naturalist staff as a popular spot for sperm whales. While not our original aim, we were greeted by a whole menagerie of cetacean life, from long-finned pilot whales, a humpback and about a half dozen sperm whales in this submarine bay. These sperm whales are likely males who venture into the cold arctic waters to feed.

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About the Author

Paolo Marra-Biggs

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Paolo grew up just five miles from the ocean and for as long as he can remember, he’s always spent his free time in and around the water. As a high school student, he volunteered during the summer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and he was an active Junior Lifeguard. 

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