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Norway Northern Lights via Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten market their 12 day cruise along the coast of Norway as “the world’s most beautiful voyage”. It certainly is a scenic voyage, departing from Bergen and travelling over 2,500 nautical miles to the Top of the World at the North Cape then returning slowly back South down the coast to Bergen.
The voyage crosses the Arctic Circle twice and visits 34 Nordic ports along the way.
If you travel in the Winter season, there is a guarantee of a free cruise if you don’t see the Northern Lights en route.
Best time to travel
Travelling through Norway in the Winter time is a completely different experience from travelling in the Summer. It is cold – very cold! The days are also short. The main reason to go in the Winter time is, of course, to see the Northern Lights. Hurtigruten’s free cruise guarantee if they fail to appear on your voyage is a good insurance policy. Your chances of seeing the lights is high anyway, of course, or they wouldn’t be offering a guarantee! You do have to bear in mind that you might have to be prepared to get up in the middle of the night if called (you have the option twhether to be disturbed or not!).
Travelling in the Winter brings other benefits too though. You can try out snow shoeing, go husky dog sledding or just go walking in the snow and admire the beautiful scenery as the snow clings to the fir trees and the sun catches on ice crystals.
I have travelled to Norway in the Summer time too and I think it is definitely worth doing both trips to appreciate the difference that the season makes.
My Packing List
View my packing list on this post:
The dress code on Hurtigruten is very relaxed and informal. There is no need to dress for dinner as you do on larger cruise ships.
You have to accept that there is a long time travelling between ports on a voyage like this – so definitely pack a good book – or two – and any travel games etc. that you enjoy.
Seasickness medication is also advisable, I am sorry to have to tell you.
The Hurtigruten Line takes local cuisine very seriously and works hard to offer passengers a tempting selection of regional produce. Some of the highlights we enjoyed from the hard working coastal kitchen on board during our voyage were:
- Carpaccio of clip fish
- Salted leg of lamb
- Caremalised apples with local Skjenning ice cream
- Tykkmelk Pudding
- Himmeltind goat’s cheese
- Finbiff (reindeer)
How to Photograph the Northern Lights
To get my shots of the Northern Lights, I had my camera set on a tripod with a wide angle lens, aperture F4, iso 400 (could have gone higher?) and the lens on manual focus set to infinity. I let the camera find its own shutter speed (not confident enough to set it on full manual yet!).
If you are into your facts and figures, search for “Fascinating Facts” to learn more about Norway.
Learning the Lingo
Friluftsliv – The thrill of being out in nature and enjoying the outdoors with all your senses.
Snøskoene – Snowshoes
Tusen Takk – Thank you very much!