Today was a gorgeous day in spectacular Ekenäs Archipelago National Park, which features literally thousands of islands intricately woven with the bays and straits of the Baltic Sea. The weather was dry and sunny although rather cool with a brisk wind. The morning’s activities included a long walk, a medium walk, and a photo walk on the largest island in the national park, Jussarö Island. It is a large and forested island, which is unusual considering its location in the outer archipelago. The western side of the island is covered by old forests that have not been touched for centuries, whereas the landscape on the eastern side of the island has been strongly affected by mining, which was practiced here in the mid-1900s. A Zodiac ride was available for non-hikers. All guests observed the magnificent mute swans and their mating and nestbuilding behaviors.

After lunch, naturalist Serguei Ponomarenko spoke about world boreal forests and sustainable forestry. During his presentation, the ship repositioned to a new location for the afternoon’s activities on Modermagan Island, another large island in Ekenäs Archipelago National Park. This completely forested island has a circular foot trail that is quite steep in some places, going up and down over numerous, glacier-polished, granite outcrops.

After cocktail hour, recap, and dinner, National Geographic photographer Sisse Brimberg presented, “On Assignment with National Geographic.”