Imagine a vacation on a cruise ship, gently moving along the beautiful Arctic Ocean as you take in the panoramic views and learn about the local culture. A Hurtigruten cruise is unlike any other vacation experience in that it focuses on the rich history of various locations such as Greenland and Antarctica. With a Hurtigruten cruise, you’re immersed in the culture to experience a whole different side of the world than you’re used to. When you go to Norway, here are a few unique experiences that you won’t be able to get anywhere else:
1. Arctic vegetables
Vegetables are all the same, right? Well, not quite. Vegetables that grows North of the Arctic Circle actually tastes a bit different than the vegetables that are found in other parts of the world. They have to spend a longer amount of time in the ground due to the weather conditions, which produces a vastly different flavor than you’re used to. For instance, carrots and berries tend to be a bit sweeter than what you may be used to back in the states. The produce pairs deliciously with the freshly caught Arctic char that’s delivered to the cruise ship the same day it was caught.
2. Midnight sun
People love summer because the days are longer, and we don’t have to deal with the sun setting at 4:30 p.m. But during summers in Norway, the sun doesn’t set. You can enjoy a midnight cruise under the sun, or schedule a tee time for 11 p.m., because you can be sure the sun will be shining. Those 24 hours of daylight provide you with the energy to take part in any activity during any time of day or night. Seeing the midnight sun will depend on your location and the time. For instance, see it in the Arctic Circle from June 12 to July 1 or in Harstad from May 25 to July 18.
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The midnight sun is caused by a tilt in the Earth’s axis, making the North Pole face the sun in the summer and away during the winter, which is why Norway is dark during the winter months. Being able to go on a cruise at midnight can get you closer to seeing wildlife like whales and seals. You may even be able to watch reindeer or go on a guided bird-watching trip. Here are a few other educational and fun experiences you can take part in under the midnight sun:
- Sea kayaking at Whale Island in Kvaloya
- Swimming in the Norway fjords
- Wilderness camping near the Lofoten islands
- Hiking along routes in Tromso
3. The ruff bird
Norway is home to the ruff, an interesting species of shorebird that vary in color and pattern. They have special neck ruffs around their heads, giving them an almost regal appearance. See this unique bird along with other bird species native to the area by going on a cruise to Stappan Nature Park, one of Europe’s largest bird landscapes.