Viking Explorations

GoNOMAD senior travel editor Kent E. St. John embarked on a journey around Norway on a route over 100 years old. His trip, however, included modern touches like warm jacuzzis for the cold winter nights and delicious dinners to enjoy before watching the majesty of the northern lights. His whole trip is described in Norway’s Viking Voyage: The Hurtigruten .

“The MS Finnmark’s cabin 603 had became my home as well as a place to view vistas that simply cannot be found elsewhere. This isn’t a typical cruise and is indeed a voyage, one that will bring out the Viking explorer in anyone, even with heated tile floors in the bathroom.

My voyage took me from Norway’s second largest city, Bergen, to Kirkenes on the border with Russia and Finland. The route dates from 1893 when it was the only connection for people and trade, and it still is a ferry and goods route. Unlike most who travel it in summer or “under the midnight sun” I was in search of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. I wasn’t disappointed.

I set a routine that I followed for the rest of the journey, starting with standing on the deck topside and watching the city slip past. That frequently lasted quite a long time as the scenery just continued to get better and better. As soon as the sunset concluded, a long affair, it was off to the sauna and finally to the outdoor jacuzzi. If planned right that was just about the time the sky lit up with stars.”