Saturday, 24 November 2012

12 Days with Hurtigruten: Day 3

Sunrise and Sunset in Norway

As we head further north, the sunlit length of our day gets shorter and shorter until we get no sunlight and three days of darkness. This can be seen in the times of sunrise and sunset during our trip.


Nearest Port



22nd Nov




23rd Nov





24th Nov




25th Nov




26th Nov





27th Nov


24hr Darkness

28th Nov


24hr Darkness

29th Nov


24hr Darkness

30th Nov





1st Dec





2nd Dec




3rd Dec





There are numerous websites where you can find out the times of sunrise and sunset. I have used this one quite often because it also gives you the current weather and lots of other related information.

Soon we will be experiencing three days of 24hr darkness because our boat is sailing north of the Arctic Circle.

Hurtigruten MAP_0005

Trondheim and Rorvik

Today there are only two ports of call – one of them is at Trondheim where we spend 6 hours and Rorvik where we spend 45 minutes. At both ports there will be other ships of the Hurtigruten fleet sailing south and we intend to make a quick visit to them both in order to compare facilities.

The Lofoten arrives in Trondheim at 6 am (we stay in bed) and after breakfast we make a quick trip to the MS Nordkapp which is moored next door to

Nordkapp Bow

us. It is longer than the quay so I cannot

MS Nordkapp and Lofoten

fit it all into the picture – our tiny Lofoten is down the end

All ships in the fleet are used to curious passengers from other vessels coming onboard to have a quick look around and they seem also to welcome (without charge) anyone onboard for a short visit when a boat is in port. Indeed, when a boat is in port for a few hours, locals often come on board for a meal.

It towers over our small ship and from it, we look quite

MS Lofoten

small in comparison. It is surprisingly luxurious and stylish and everything is on a different scale.

MS Nordkapp Restaurant

The Restaurant

MS Nordkapp Panorma Lounge

The Panorama Lounge which really impresses us - it truly does offer panorama views

MS Nordkapp Panorama Lounge Windows

through windows which are much better and bigger than on the Lofoten.

MS Nordkapp Library

Library – very comfortable

MS Nordkapp Corridor

Corridor observation seating

MS Nordkapp Cafeteria


The crew report that it has about 100 passengers on board at the moment (it can cope with around 650) but on its next trip north in two days time only 19 are booked. Never-the-less, the company has a contract with the Norwegian Government to provide a coastal ferry service and therefore the trip will be made and the ports called at even if there are no passengers.

After reflecting on the two ships (and we visited another one tonight which was nearly identical to the Nordkapp), we have decided that we prefer the homely slightly worn comforts of the Lofoten to the hotel standard large scale comforts of the Nordkapp although we remain envious of the panorama windows and the internet (which would be useful for emails). Our smaller size also means that we know almost everyone on board now and when we saw about 100 passengers embarking on the Nordlys this evening, we were glad we did not have those crowds on our voyage.

Home or Hotel? – that is the choice and the easiest way to describe the two vessels.

We simply are not ready to be part of the mass experience which the Nordkapp is more likely to inflict on us than the smaller scale touch of the Lofoten.

When booking, there is no difference in price between any of the vessels.


Trondheim would not be one of our favourite Norwegian cities but it does have a few lovely features. The port is in the middle of an industrial waste land

Trondheim Port Area

(as compared with Alesund where it is in the centre of town) and there is little to enthuse about out for the first 20 of the 25 minutes it takes to walk into town. A few of the houses get to look a bit more interesting and

Trondheim Building

as we get close to the centre, the warehouses

Trondheim Warehouses

along the river are very pleasant

Trondheim Gamle Bryga

and the old bridge “Gamle Bygro” dating from 1681 is intriguing.

Trondheim Cathederal

The nearby City Cathedral looks slightly austere and grim from the outside but it is fantastically warm inside and impresses us both with its cosy and involving atmosphere.

Trondheim Organ

Taking photographs inside is not allowed but I had taken this one of the Organ before I found out.

Lofoten in Trondheim

The route back through the town (modern) to the Lofoten (old) takes us past the old port and some ancient ships.

Trondheim River Ships-1

Upon leaving Trondheim

Trondheim Casting Off

we pass Monk’s Island which was the site of executions in

Trondheim Monks Island

the middle ages

Monk's Island Close

and then quietly sail down Trondheim Fjord (third longest in

Trondheim Landscape-1

Norway) on a very smooth sea as the sun starts to set (it is approaching 3 pm). The sun (before it sets) is shining, the

Trondheim Landscape-2

sky is reasonably clear and the hillsides look delightful.

Trondheim Landscape-3

Trondheim Dusk

and a boat out fishing on the flat sea is surrounded by birds


looking for a free meal.

Just before the sun sets, we pass “Norway’s most beautiful

Kjeungskjaer Fyr (Lighthouse)-1

lighthouse” . It is beautiful and it has been difficult to decide

Kjeungskjaer Fyr (Lighthouse)

which of the many photographs I took of it should be included here.

One intriguing feature of Hurtigruten sea life is the constant weaving around the islands which the boat has to do. When we are in any of the front lounges we are aware of the boat carefully making its way around an island, a rock or between two light buoys marking the sides of a narrow channel.

Left Hand Turn

As we approach Stokksundet, the boat has to literally do a 90 degree left hand turn around a blind corner. As it approaches the corner having passed under a beautiful thin road bridge, it sounds its fog horn with enthusiasm in case another vessel is approaching from around the corner. He who sounds first has right of way and we do not slow down as we go around the corner at 15 knts.

We cannot take any photographs of this experience because it also takes place in the dark with no searchlights however a picture of the navigational map will have to suffice as a record of this experience.

The forecast for the Northern Lights is good for tonight so a briefing film is shown about the lights. After dinner, a group of hardy enthusiasts assemble on the fly deck next to the Bridge – we definitely see a Northern Glow (a green glow lowish on the horizon) and the sky in general has a greenish tinge to it but there are no dancing ribbons of light – another night maybe!

But here are a few screen shots from the presentation to remind us of what we are hoping to see

Northern Lights 4 Northern Lights 2 Northern Lights 3

hopefully we will experience the real thing sometime over the next few days!

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