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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dinner on Day 6

Our last dinner on board was another seafood buffet.

Delicious soup--I think it actually had vegetables in it.

It included shrimp from Varangerfjord, king crab, salmon from Skjervoy and reindeer stew from Finnmark. 

The salmon is highly prized in Japan and direct flights from Tromso deliver the salmon to Tokyo within 24 hours of being caught.

2016 05 27

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Our next port of call was Mehamn. We arrived at 7:15 pm and departed 15 minutes later. There is a hotel in Mehamn and Room 301 is mainland Europe's northernmost hotel room.

2016 05 27

Monday, August 29, 2016


Kjollefjord is a small village with 1400 inhabitants. We had a 15-minute stop here. Not long enough to get off and explore. The church was a present from Denmark.

2016 05 27

Sunday, August 28, 2016

To Slice the Tongue of a Cod

After passing Finnkjerka, a fisherman and his daughter joined us onboard.

They reached us in a speedboat.

They brought several cod heads and showed us how to slice the tongue and cut out the cheek. These were the best parts of the cod head and were eaten raw.

The rest of the head and the body were hung out to dry.

2016 05 27

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Two hours after leaving Honningsvag, we passed Finnkjerka. This is dubbed "Norway's most elegant cliff formation." According to legend, this was the site of a sacrificial site for fishermen, seafarers and  the Sami.

Some say the cliff is shaped like a church. Apparently, it's illuminated in the dark, just for the benefit of the Hurtigruten ships.

2016 05 27

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday Night Dinner

Here's this week's 4-course dinner at Flavor Bistro. All this with wine pairing for $24.95.

Bruschetta Con Gamberoni--Topped with Grilled Marinated Jumbo Prawns, Wild Arugula, Tomato-Basil Salsa & Spicy Saffron Aioli, paired with 2014 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris, Oregon

Pasta Candy--Homemade Candy Wrapper Shaped Pasta Filled with Vegetali Mousse & Trio of Cheeses Served in Sugo Di Pomodoro, paired with 2013 St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma

Bistecca Alla Griglia--Grilled Marinated Flat Iron Steak Garnished with Organic Fingerling Potatoes, Arugula, Sweet Corn & Grilled Peppers Served in Barolo Wine Sauce, paired with 2011 S├ęka Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Blend Tuluk'a, Capay Valley

Crostata Di Fragole E Rabarbaro--Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette Garnished with Mascarpone Cream, paired with 2015 Centorri Moscato di Pavia I.G.T. , Italy

2016 08 25

Thursday, August 25, 2016


We could have taken an excursion from Hurtigruten to Nordkapp (North Cape) for NOK1150 per person but that would mean that several busloads of people would arrive at Nordkapp at the same time. Instead, I rented a Ford Focus from Nordkapp Bilservice for NOK950 for 4 hours. I found them online. They picked us up at the port then we went to their office which was actually a gas station. Signing the contract was quick and we were on our way even before the people taking an excursion boarded their buses.

It's easy to get to Nordkapp. There's essentially 1 road so it's hard to get lost. It's 34 km and 45 minutes from the port to Nordkapp. In the winter (Oct. 1 to Apr 30), you have to travel by convoy so you're probably better off taking the excursion from the ship or a bus from the TI in Honningsvag (NOK590). The convoy leaves at 11 am and noon and returns at 1 pm and 1:45 pm.

We found a herd of reindeer en route and were able to stop the car to take pictures. I was surprised that the reindeer were white.

Entry to Nordkapp. Entry fee is NOK260 per person ($32). Entry fee was included in the ship's excursion price and the price of the bus from the TI.

Nordkapp is located at 71 degrees 10 minutes 21 seconds.

The Globe--symbol of Nordkapp. It was erected in 1977. We got there 10 minutes before everyone else arrived so it was great to have the place to ourselves.

One busload arrived, followed by 3 more. The Globe was crawling with people.

King Oscar's Monument--Monument raised by King Oscar of Norway & Sweden to mark the outermost limit of the union.

Puffins can be found at a nearby island. These were part of a display at Nordkapp. It was my only chance to see a puffin. There was a birdwatching excursion from Hurtigruten to see puffins for NOK1250. The people who took the tour saw puffins but they were still too far away to get a good picture.

Thai Museum. It was odd to find a shrine to the Thai king at Nordkapp. Apparently, this was to commemorate the king's visit in 1907.

Mother & Child sculpture near the entrance.

Children of the World--monument designed in 1989 by 7 children from various parts of the world to symbolize collaboration, friendship, hope and happiness across all borders.

Nordkapp was thought to be the northernmost point of the European continent. Turns out that honor belongs to a spit of land visible from the cape.

Returning to the ship, we stopped at the gas station, filled the car with gas and were driven back to the port. Easy peasy.

2016 05 27

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

En Route to Honningsvag

After Tromso,

our next port of call was Skjervoy. We arrived at 10:30 at night and it was still light enough to take pictures.

At midnight, this was the view on deck.

The sun barely touched the horizon then rose again.

At 5:15 am, we arrived in Hammerfest. This was a 45-minute stop but way too early to get off the ship.

After Hammerfest, we arrived in Havoysund at 8:45 am. This was also a 30-minute stop but at a much more reasonable hour. Havoysund Church in town.

The waterfront was charming.

We then arrived in Honningsvag at 11:15 am.

2016 05 27

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dinner on Day 5

After Tromso, we had a 3-course dinner on board.

Carrot Soup with Crispy Fried, Salted & Cured Mutton.

Arctic Char with Gulloye Potatoes from Tromso.

Cloudberries with Sour Cream

View with dinner.

2016 05 26

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mack Brewery

Mack Brewery is the world's northernmost brewery. It's located at the edge of town. You can take a tour for NOK160 and get a pin, a mug and a sample of beer. There is a store at the brewery. You can purchase beer and cider to go but there is no tasting in the store.

Olhallen Pub is next to the brewery. If you don't take the tour, you can sample the beer here. A pint of beer was NOK160 ($20).

I tried a strawberry-lime cider. I liked it so much I went back to the brewery and bought cans of it to take back to the ship.

Strawberry-Lime Cider on the left and Pear Cider on the right.

Two of the 18 kinds of beer produced by the brewery.

2016 05 26

Sunday, August 21, 2016


We arrived in Tromso at 2:30 pm. This was a 4-hour stop. Excursions available for this stop were a bus tour for NOK580 and a kayak trip for NOK1290. We chose to walk around on our own.

Tromso is the capital of arctic Norway and is known as the "Paris of the North." It has a population of 69,000.

Tromso's most famous site is the Arctic Cathedral. It was a 25-minute walk from where we docked. You have to cross the Tromso bridge to reach the cathedral.

The cathedral is actually a parish church built in 1965. Entry to the church costs NOK40. Was it worth $5? Probably not, but you have to go inside just to say you've been there.

The eastern wall behind the altar is decorated with one of the largest glass mosaics in Europe. It depicts the second coming of Christ.

Inside the church, you'll find lunch boxes filled with diversions for young parishioners.

Tromso church in town. This is the largest wooden church in Norway.

In town, the Perspektivet Museum displays photos of Tromso's past and present.

Whaler Statue in the center of town. Look at the beautiful snow-clad mountains in the background.

Reindeer. I thought reindeers were brown.

Public library. There was free wi-fi so we caught up on our e-mail.

Statue of Roald Amundsen. Amundsen left Tromso in 1928 to rescue his Italian colleague Nobile. Nobile returned but Amundsen did not.

2016 05 26