Only if you have ever made a voyage in your own boat will you understand the thrill, the satisfaction, and the emotion of arriving at your destination. And the Lofotens are worth every minute of the journey we have taken to get here.

As we travel further north, the weather improves and the sunshine actually carries some proper warm despite the fact that we are a couple of hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle.

And in that clear clean sharp light, the islands look totally amazing – everything we had expected and hoped for. When we arrived in Norway it was snowing and I was wearing gloves; now several hundred miles further north, the gloves have gone and the sunroof and canopies are open. Article continues below…

The tourism websites promote the archipelago as a great place to view the Northern Lights in winter and play midnight golf in summer. Kayaking, hiking – and if you’re really crazy they have some good surf breaks where, because of the water temperature, you will never have to worry about crowds!

But most of all, it is the stunning beauty of the islands that has drawn us here.

Despite being such a close and direct neighbour of Britain – just over 200 miles across the North Sea from Newcastle to Tananger – there has been no ferry service for many years now linking the two countries, so rarely is Norway on the radar of British travellers.

And that disinterest and lack of awareness of what Norway has to offer is reflected in boat owners; few, if any of us, appear to have ever even considered a Norwegian cruise.

For me, our spring adventure has been a revelation. Much to my surprise, I have found what I consider to be the most beautiful country on the planet. I will return one day…

Read the full cruise report in the September 2017 issue of MBY.