Today was our last full day on board the Richard With. We are now sailing eastbound in the Barents Sea. This morning we got off the ship briefly in Havøysund.
We made a longer stop at Honningsvåg. The Såmi people graze their reindeer on the island in the summer. The reindeer swim the channel to get to and from the island. From the boat we could see reindeer grazing on shore in the distance.
In the town we hiked first to the church and then to a viewpoint overlooking the town. During World War II the Germans burned everything in the town except the church. After the war the town was rebuilt.
After leaving Honningsvåg the wind came up and we were bounced around the most we have been on this trip. We actually couldn’t stop at two of the harbors we were scheduled to stop at because of the wind.
Last night about midnight there was a message over the ships intercom that the Northern Lights were visible off the front of our ship. We quickly got up, got dressed, and went out on deck. There was a beautiful almost full moon in east and to the north there were the northern lights! The bright moon meant they weren’t real bright but it was very cool to see them shifting across the sky.
This morning we were on deck by 7 am so we could be outside when we crossed the arctic circle. There is a silver globe on an island marking the spot. It was a beautiful clear morning.and there was a festive air we all jumped as we crossed the imaginary line.
After breakfast and a brief stop in Ørnes we participated in the Arctic circle crossing ceremony and baptism! The ice and water over our heads and down our backs was invigorating and shocking!It was a beautiful clear morning.
This afternoon we docked in Bodø. Duke and I walked around the harbor to check out the recreated gun emplacement that was originally established here to protect this harbor during the Napolianic Wars in the early 1900s. It was so warm that we didn’t even wear our coats
Tonight we docked briefly in Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands. The cod fishing industry here goes back centuries. We could see the racks where they dry the cod as we pulled into port.
Today was an absolutely perfect day, warm and sunny with a cool breeze. We spent a lot of time out on deck enjoying the weather and the wonderful scenery.
We also got a chance to taste local mussels.
This morning we docked in Trondheim and spent a couple of hours walking around and exploring the city. We visited the Cathedral and the Army Museum. The Cathedral is Scandinavia’s largest Medieval building. The original building was built in 1153.
At the Army Museum we spent most of our time on the top floor where they have the museum of the World War II Norwegian Resistance.
This evening we docked in Rørvik. While we were there the southbound Hurtigruten ship Lofoten was also docked. It is a beautiful ship and is the oldest and smallest ship in the Hurtigruten fleet. We got to go on board for five minutes to take a look.
Today our ship sailed into what is probably the most famous fjord in Norway, Geirangerfjord. We spent all day going east and south until we were deep in a narrow water way with steep cliffs and waterfalls all around us at the head of the fjord.
The expedition staff on the ship gave us a couple of interesting presentations during the day. We had periods of rain and sun all day. They described the weather as trollish. They also told us that Bergen had 278 days with rain last year.
Our ship stopped this morning and this evening at Ålesund the town at the opening of the Fjord. Both times we got off for a bit and walked around.
Hurtigruten offers a lot of shore expeditions as add on to the trip. We didn’t do any today but they offered one for which people got off the ship at the end of the fjord and went on a bus tour. The people on that expedition will meet the ship at a town we stop at later tonight. At one of the info meetings today the staff showed a video of the road that the bus tour took today. It is called Stegastein. The video shows the road being cleared of snow in the spring. It’s a pretty amazing video. You can see it here.
This evening we left Bergen on the Hurtigruten Ship Richard With. We will be on the ship for six nights as we move up the Norwegian coast stopping at 34 ports. If you would like to see where we are at any time you can click on the map icon on this page.
It rained off and on all day but after checking out of our hotel we spent the afternoon walking along the Bergen coastline checking out the sites.