The end of our Hurtigruten trip up the Norwegian coast.

Today was the end of our Norwegian Coastal trip on the Richard With. It was a wonderful trip. I would recommend a Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal trip to anyone who likes adventure. The service was excellent as was the food and accommodations. The expedition staff who provided information about the land we were sailing through really added to our enjoyment of the trip. They were not only very knowledgeable but they seemed to have a true passion for the country, it’s culture and history.

We arrived in Kirkenes about 9 this morning. From Kirkenes it is less than ten miles to the Russian border and we are further east than Istanbul. We stored our luggage at our hotel and went for a walk around town.

We had dinner tonight at our hotel, the Thon. We started with scallops and then I had salmon and Duke had char.

Day 6 Aboard the Hurtigruten, Richard With – Today we were at the Highest Latitude in Continental Europe and got off the ship in Finnmark County.

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.

Day 5 Aboard the Hurtigruten, Richard With – we are now more than 69 degrees North Latitude

We got off the boat at two stops today. The first was a very brief stop at Finnsnes. We had a quick look around then reboarded.

We spent more than three hours in Tromsø. Tromsø bills itself as the Gateway to the Arctic. It has a population of about 72,000. We had a really interesting lecture this morning about Norwegian Arctic explorers especially Fridtjof Nansen. Learning about his expeditions made our visit to the Polar Museum in Tromsø much more interesting because the museum had several exhibits about the explorers.

Day 4 Aboard the Hurtigruten, Richard With and We Cross the Arctic Circle

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.

Day 3 Aboard the Hurtigruten, Richard With and We Visit Trondheim

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.