Editor’s note: Shari Hogshead and Paul Gauthier regularly lead CONC winter skiing and summer hiking trips to Europe. This article is about the next adventure they have planned for club members – a June cruise from Norway in which participants can disembark for hikes, bicycle rides or other activities.
By Shari Hogshead
Paul and I have been wanting to take a 12-day journey on the Hurtigruten, one of the Norwegian mailboats that ply that long, gorgeous coast from Bergen to Kirkenes on the Russian border, stopping at towns, villages, islands and settlements along the way. What you sleep through on the outbound journey, you see on the return voyage, since the trip is planned so that you have daylight for all of the journey. Also, we have planned to travel during the traditional best weather window and during some of the longest days of the year. The journey is all inclusive as far as meals are concerned, although you are on your own for bar bills. There are also additional costs for shore excursions, such as hikes, kayaking, cycling, etc., but you can always just go ashore and take a walk on your own at no additional cost.
Prices are a bit higher than I had hoped, but this is the highest season with the (hopefully) best viewing weather. I have asked for rates for outside cabins with window. Prices range from $4,580 to $4,857 per person double occupancy for Polar Outside cabins and from $4,961 to $5,697 per person for Arctic Superior cabins. These prices are for the ship Midnatsol. This ship holds approximately 500 passengers and boasts several sun decks and panorama lounges, a sauna and jacuzzi, library, etc. besides the restaurant and a la carte dining room.
The Midnatsol was built in Norway in 2003. Most cabins come with two beds, one of which will make up into a sofa for daytime use, but who would stay in their cabin when they have the entire ship to roam and things to see on shore? All rooms are en suite, so you have your own toilet, shower, and sink. Views are to the famed fjords, mountains and fishing villages and historic towns along this rugged coast, as well as to mountainous islands such as the Lofoten chain.
Please let me know if you are interested. Our ship departs Bergen on 06 June and returns on 17 June. I have cabins booked and held for the next 10 days. I think it would be a really fun adventure with a group of friends. If we wish, we could stay on in Norway for hiking, cycling or other adventures afterwards. Generally, Icelandair has inexpensive air prices from Portland/Seattle to Reykjavik and direct to Bergen, or you can easily find other carriers that offer travel to Oslo or Bergen. A fun excursion is the mountain railroad ride from Oslo to Bergen.
Paul and I hope you’ll join us on this scenic adventure.
For more information, contact Shari at SkiMntr@aol.com or 425-260-9316.