Friday, 15 February 2013

Northern Lights Tuesday

A morning flight from Gatwick meant we were flying up the west coast of Norway while it was still light and as Sue had a window seat we had some fantastic views of the snow covered mountains -

Coming into land we could see the bridge that links Tromso Island to the mainland.

We landed at Tromso at about 1:30 and already the sun was going down.

We transfered immediatly to the MS Finnmarken. The ship was built in 2002. She is the only ship in the fleet with both a swimming pool and Jacuzzis on deck. Another unique feature about MS Finnmarken is the accessibility of her bow. On Deck 5, you can walk all the way to the front of the ship. She is 138.5m long and can accommodate 1000 passengers. Inside the ship is decorated in an Art Nouveau style.

MS Finnmarken is one of the famous Hurtigruten coastal fleet. The following, taken from the Hurtigruten website explains who Hurtigruten are:

When the Norwegian government decided to create a connection between the north and the south, Richard With and his friend Anders Holthe took on the challenge of thoroughly mapping the seas along the coastline. In 1893, Captain Richard With’s steamer, DS Vesteraalen, was brought into regular service along the coast of Norway, and Hurtigruten was established. The service offered several weekly departures, first from Trondheim to Hammerfest and later from Bergen to Kirkenes in only seven days. He called this important connection ‘Hurtigruten’ (the fast route). Today one of the fleet’s 11 ships departs Bergen daily, sailing to Kirkenes and back in 12 days at an average speed of 15 knots.

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