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“Marry me. I’ll take you to the ends of the earth”, he said.

That was thirty years ago. We’ve done a lot of exploring in our own PNW backyard and the world as time and budget allowed. We’re pushing the boat out a bit for this one traveling to Kirkenes, Norway on the Barents Sea where Norway, Finland and Russia come together. Technically we will be further east than Cairo, Egypt and well into the Arctic Circle. Comes pretty close to the ends of the world for me.

Our mode of transport will be aboard Havila voyages new LNG/electric ships that won a contract to run one of the Hurtigurten routes from Bergen, Norway to Kirkenes. We leave tomorrow for Bergen. Darling husband is super jazzed. He can’t wait for the calm and quiet of nature.
I however am starting to feel like I may end up a caged animal on a small ship with a relatively little to do but watch coastline drift by. I am touched with a bit of ADHD so am attracted to bright shiny things and a need for motion. Do I pack a 2000 piece puzzle? ( I packed a deck of cards and sudoku all ready. Don’t laugh.) Has anyone done the Hurtigurten line trip and if so did you stay entertained? What were your days like?
Or maybe I just up the on board drinks package, start each day with a mimosa, smile blissfully into my soulmate’s eyes and count my blessings I said yes thirty years ago.

Any feedback on either Havila or Hurtigurten would be wonderful and appreciated.

Posted by
1365 posts

How long is the trip- 2 or three days? More? Is it the final destination, or one in a line?

I love the Arctic. I've been to Iceland several times, to the Faroes, and up into Gates of the Arctic NP. I almost bought tickets to Svalbard recently. We ferried a lot in the Faroes, but obviously isn't the same. Is the ship small? Onboard facilities?

Posted by
3761 posts

Being a person who's rarely bored and loves watching anything drift by, I wouldn't take any hardcopy anything along.

However, in the depths of the pandemic when my husband was watching every TV rerun he could, I did get bored. We have only one TV and very poor wi-fi availability where we live, so no Netflix or any streaming capability on any device.

Somewhere, I expect maybe on the RS forums, someone mentioned a free online jigsaw puzzle source called Jigidi. I tried it and immediately became hooked. If you have data or wi-fi on the boat you should be able to get to this link:

I don’t know if many of the images are bright and shiny. My favorites were posters and scenes from before 1950 and I had a blast doing them. I'm sure there are ones that are far more difficult than those.

Posted by
1812 posts

Sweet story ❤️ We love Norway too. We’ve cruised (on Viking) in July and February and found the scenery to be very beautiful. Your cruise looks really nice. With 600+ people on board you’re sure to find someone with whom to strike up a conversation! Plan to sit outside, take photos, take a book. Very envious! Please do a trip report when you return. Have a great trip!

Posted by
2393 posts

Sounds like a great trip. When we floated down the Nile River I thought I might be a tad bored too. I wasn’t, enjoyed taking photos of life along the Nile. We loved Norway and you will enjoy it.

Posted by
21918 posts

Do you plan to take any of the offered ship excursions? Doing that would help. I don't know what's available if you travel straight through. I went from Bergen to Alesund (staying on the ship for the very worthwhile detour into the Geirangerfjord), then I hopped off when the ship returned to Alesund and spent 24 hours there. The trip from Alesund to Trondheim was just overnight, so I didn't have time to get bored. Those first two segments are the only ones I did.

I do think you may get antsy if you're travelling straight through to Kirkenes over 5 or 6 day, I'm sorry to say.

Posted by
8586 posts

Disclaimer: we have avoided going on the large( over 500 passsengers) cruise ships.
We loved the Hurtigruten experience. We were surrounded by passengers from Europe, very few from US. They are not cruise ships which we liked.
There would be a singer or musical trio in the bar area at most. We have also sailed on 60 passenger Lindblad ships several times.
The food was excellent on Hurtigruten.
We have never been bored on any of them. It will be daylight all evening up until you decide to go to bed. The scenery is the entertainment. They contracted with a company who offered excursions but we only went on one. We enjoyed exploring the towns where we stopped on our own. We went all the way up to Kirkenes near the Russian border. I would happily go on another Hurtigruten.

Posted by
135 posts

AMann, thank you for the positive outlook on Arctic scenery. Suki, I really appreciate the Hurtigurten experience feedback. Acraven, I think you might be right about it being a little slow paced for me. It seems that every day we will have 3-4 hours at a main port to explore, Alesund, Trondheim, Tromso, etc. I’m hoping that’s enough to keep me from going mad the week we are on the boat. We fly from Kirkenes to Berlin and on to the Czech Republic for the remaining two weeks. I’ll be in my element then.