Lofoten Islands, Norway

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Yet it was as recently as 1984 that the first cruise ship called at any of its ports: Leknes, Svolvaer and Stamsund. A latecomer to Norwegian cruising, the Lofoten Islands have quickly become popular because of their picturesque fishing villages, awesome views of pristine fjords and huge variety of birdlife. There are even some beautiful white sand beaches which are much appreciated in the islands remarkably mild, Gulf Stream-influenced climate. Roads link five of the islands by bridge or tunnel so it is possible to see many of the best sights in one visit. There is a fishing museum to reflect the life that continues to dominate the island as well as a fascinating Viking Museum inside Scandinavias largest reconstructed Viking Longhouse.