Come Sail with us on The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage

Today marks the start of another Live Voyage Report here on From the Deck Chair, and it is one that will take us to one of the world’s most beautiful countries at a seemingly unlikely time of year.

Will we see the Northern Lights of Norway? It's a possibility! Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten.

Will we see the Northern Lights of Norway? It’s a possibility! Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten.

Beginning tomorrow, we’ll embark Hurtigruten’s 2003-built Midnatsol for a remarkable voyage up Norway’s Western coast sailing from the Hanseatic town of Bergen to the remote northern port of Kirkenes. Along the way, the Midnatsol will call on an astonishing 34 ports of call as she completes a voyage that the line has been operating for the past 120 years.

This journey has been called – perhaps not surprisingly – “The Most Beautiful Voyage in the World.” But while many tourists and cruisers will flock to Norway in the summer, there’s some very special reasons to want to come here during the winter months. Snow-capped peaks give way to small villages nestled in amongst the islands and fjords that make up this proud land, while at night the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis – or Northern Lights – holds enormous appeal.

The beautiful MS Midnatsol was constructed in 2003. She can carry up to 1,000 guests and even has space for 45 cars onboard. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons

The beautiful MS Midnatsol was constructed in 2003. She can carry up to 1,000 guests and even has space for 45 cars onboard. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons

The full itinerary, both here and onboard:

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Of course, with so many fjords and inlets, satellite internet coverage may be sporadic at times, but we’ll do our best to get each report up as quickly as possible.

Next Tuesday, I will disembark Midnasol in northerly port of Kirkenes. A town of about 3,000 inhabitants, Kirkenes also has the distinction of being 2,500 kilometers from the capital of Oslo, and lies 400 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. It’s also stunningly close to the Russian border.

The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is made entirely of snow and ice, and changes in design each year. Photo courtesy of Snowhotel Kirkenes.

The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is made entirely of snow and ice, and changes in design each year. Photo courtesy of Snowhotel Kirkenes.

You’ll notice there will be a gap in coverage next Tuesday, but there’s good reason for that: I will be spending a night at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, where Wi-Fi (and presumably electrical outlets) will be scarce.

Constructed entirely of snow and ice, the Snow Hotel changes in design and feel each year, and is lit by low-heat LED lights. Each room is completely different from the rest, and the hotel stays at a fairly constant -5 degrees Celsius. Beds have proper mattresses, and guests are given sleeping bags rated at up to -35 degrees Celsius. How cool is that!?

But the Live Voyage Report doesn’t end there, as we update you on our adventures in Kirkenes next Wednesday from the Norwegian capital of Oslo, where our report will conclude as we prepare to make the trek back to Canada.

It’s a full week of Norwegian Winter coverage with Hurtigruten – and it starts right now!

Plenty of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, like these in the Panorama Lounge, grace the MS Midnatsol. Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten

Plenty of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, like these in the Panorama Lounge, grace the MS Midnatsol. Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten

Our Live Voyage Report continues tomorrow, as we embark Hurtigruten’s Midnatsol in the beautiful Norwegian port of Bergen and set sail up the coast of Norway for a truly special winter experience! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

5 Responses to Midnatsol Live Voyage Report – Day 0

  1. Kalle Id says:

    Fantastic! I’ve been wanting to sail on Hurtigruten for years, but thus far their fairly steep pricing has kept it a dream. Your excellent reportage will no doubt be a good, hmm, replacement, until I get a chance to collect enough money for a trip of my own. And not only that, but you’re sailing on one of my two favourite Hurtigruten ships (the other is of course the Midnatsol’s sister Trollfjord – utterly beautiful ships). I eagerly look forward to the daily reports!

  2. Nicholas Sabalos, Jr., CDR, U.S. Navy (Ret.) says:

    This is going to be awesome!!!!

  3. Kim says:

    So excited to follow

  4. Randahl says:

    Hi Aaron- my mom-in-law is from southern Norway and your article “Don’t let the winter scare you away” was puzzling to her as she understood that during the winter months the sun hardly ever comes up.
    How much daylight was there on your trip?
    Keep the fine work coming-All the best!!
    Randahl

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      Hi Randahl,

      Plenty of sunlight on my trip – even in Kirkenes, the sun rose around 8:30am and set around 3:30pm.

      Between late November and mid-January, though, the Polar Night does envelop most Norwegian cities north of and including Tromso – so a voyage in mid-December would be very different from one in mid-February!

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