Hurtigruten Norwegian Cruise – Arctic Circle, Norway:
|DAY 4: Brønøysund – Sandnessjøen – Nesna – Ørnes – Bodø – Stamsund – Svolvaer. You will have passed the Arctic Circle before the whole ship is fully awake. The ship will follow the mighty Borvasstindene Mountains before arriving into Bodo, North Norway’s second largest city at 12.30 p.m. Here you have time to go ashore and see Bodo Cathedral which dates back to 1856, with its basilica and free standing church tower.
There is an astonishing phenomenon in store for you when you enter the open sea of Vestfjord. Ahead is the Lofoten Wall – steep mountains plunging into the sea in a broad, long belt blocking the whole of the horizon as far as the eye can see.
(B, L, D)
At 07:00 we cruised past the small island of Vikingen and this was the point where we cross the Arctic Circle, the border with the Land of the Midnight Sun. A globe built on Vikingen island indicates where this invisible border is. We were assured that on our way back, we would be able to see the globe at a more convenient time of day.12:30 – We arrived at Bodø, the second largest city in the Northern Norway. Our friendly waiter was from Bodø and we asked him about the walk into town, whether the streets were paved and the possibility of taking Barbara on an outing in her wheelchair. By now, she’s a little bored staring at water and fjords.
Although the town is only 10 minutes away, the conditions were worse than what our waiter told us it would be. There were roadworks leading into town and the grounds were uneven and covered with slush. The flimsy collapsible wheelchair that Barbara borrowed was not made for these conditions either. With a lot of heaving and hoeing, we made it into town and back. At least, she’s now been on Norwegian soil. I didn’t think it was possible to perspire at sub-zero temperatures, but this was one myth debunked for me.
The Aviation Museum here was supposed to be excellent, but we didn’t make it there.
15:00 – We left Bodø and after an hour’s sailing we reached the open waters of Vestfjorden. The crossing took about three hours.
17:30 – This afternoon we saw a presentation of the Aurora Borealis or northern lights and we were all hoping that we would get to see this amazing phenomenon.
19:00 – We arrived at Stamsund and this was a half hour stop. If you walked a few minutes from the quay there are some cottages overlooking the harbour.
21:10 – We called into Svolvaer, often referred to “capital of the Lofoten Islands“. This was a 40 minutes stop so it was possible to visit the “Magic Ice” which was an ice gallery or the Lofoten War Museum, both of which were open. This was something which is quite unique along the Norwegian coast – museums and sightseeing attractions stayed open when the Hurtigruten ships were in port.
22:45 – We entered the strait of Raftsundet and around 23:30 we passed the entrance of the Trollfjord. We were invited to put on warm clothes and be out on deck to taste some fishcake and for a chance to buy a Trollfjord Drink!!! Find out what a Trollfjord Drink is HERE.