3 Hurtigruten - the Journey
Some things to do
A very personal view of things to do at various ports - order assumes daytime wanders from a Round Trip starting at Bergen. Bergen and Trondheim have their own pages. See external links Page L2 for Information Centres, which will be willing to send you maps and guides, and Page L3 for internet map sites to help you find your way round towns. We have been struck by the amount of investment in the infrastructure of many smaller towns in recent years.

WARNING!
Boats leave on time - and sometimes a bit early!

Ålesund
In summer northbound ships now sail to Geiranger and back. This is a stunning trip but takes a long time (chance to catch up on sleep!) and means time in Ålesund is limited. Winter sailings give you a chance to see this Art Nouveau town, rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1904. Consider walking through Kongensgate - the pedestrianised shopping street - across the bridge into Apotekertorget for a mooch round before returning to the ship via Skansegata along the harbour.

Try to get to the top of Aksla, the hill overlooking the town. Leading off Kongensgate is Lihauggata which will take you to a flight of 418 steps signed to Fjellstua. On a clear day the view really is worth it!

Rørvik
Going north you will have just crossed Folda which can be lively. Rørvik has an interesting folk museum which is worth a visit (guide meets ship). You pass another ship here and can go on board.

Bodø
The Aviation Museum is EXCELLENT if you have time to get there - even Eleanor enjoyed it! The Nordland Museum is also worth a visit.

Stamsund
A few minutes' walk from the quay will bring you to some cottages overlooking the harbour, houses may have fish hanging to dry.

Svolvær
Small, modern town. Lofoten War Museum is interesting.

Tromsø
The Old Cathedral near the Harbour is interesting. We heard the Polar Museum (don't confuse with Polaria) is very good - walk round the harbour past old warehouses to it - explore Skansen behind. You can also walk over the bridge (god views of the harbour) to the new Arctic Cathedral, but this is quite a trek.

If you want to buy a Norwegian sweater consider waiting until Tromsø. Good ones are expensive and even Sale (Salg, Tilbud) prices in Bergen frightened us! The Tromsø Sweater Shop on Fr.Langesgate has top quality sweaters and can have big reductions of up to 50% - we think they are old designs. They may have a stall on the quay to meet the boat.

Hammerfest
If you head for the main street, turn left, fork right onto Nybakken then turn right and you can walk up to (and round if you have time) Storvannet a lake just under one mile from the quay. Alternatively you could climb the steps behind the Town Hall Fountains to Salen, the hill behind the town. We thought the Polar Bear Society was a rip-off.

Honningsvåg
You have some time here (during which the crew may practise safety drill). Turn right off the ship and follow Havnegata right round the harbour and you can get to the far breakwater which gives good views across to the north coast of Europe. Honningsvåg Church, one of the few buildings to survive WW2, and its graveyard are interesting. Behind the church is a path signed into the hills (blocked with snow after half a mile four times out of the five we went) from where you can get a brief look at tundra conditions and good views of the harbour.

Vadsø
Not enough time really to get to the town. Interesting souvenir shop on quay selling minerals. Don't miss the boat - it doesn't call here southbound!

Kirkenes
Pleasant. modern town centre. Russian Memorial (liberated Kirkenes 1944) on Roald Amundsensgate on way there is interesting. Museums always shut when we've been! Good views from Storhaugen.

Vardø
Vardøhus Fort is extremely interesting (guide meets ship).

Stokmarknes
Hurtigruten Museum near the quay is interesting.

Sandnessjøen
Pleasant main street. Look for the monument to Pastor Peter Dass at the far end.

Molde
Head up to main street and turn right. Very pleasant, affluent centre.

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Updated 25 July 04