Honningsvag: North Cape (Nordkapp), the end of Europe

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Europe » Norway
June 30th 2007
Published: August 8th 2007
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Capt. Dag takes us sightseeing around the North Cape today. It’s cloudy and cool but passengers are outside on the upper decks snapping photos of Europe’s northernmost point while Voyager waits her turn to berth at Honningsvag. The small town is a staging area for Arctic expeditions and land visits to the North Cape.

Our choices for shore excursions include a 22-mile bus trip across the tundra plateau to the North Cape visitor’s center, a bird watching expedition or deep-sea rafting. Alan and I had planned to take the deep-sea rafting trip until our departure was changed to 7 pm. The idea of rafting around in cold waters instead of dinner doesn’t appeal to us so we opt for helping Kathryn off the ship for a short walk on land, her first since the cruise began.

The area around the ship includes a souvenir store and a couple of Sami (Norway’s indigenous population) craft stores where you can purchase a reindeer skin rug for your floor or antlers to hang over the fireplace at home. Young Sami girls dressed in traditional clothing roam the street hoping to drop a few coins into their purse after posing for photographs.

Kathryn tires quickly so Alan returns with her to the ship while Janet and I continue the uphill walk. We stop to explore a church and enjoy the view of the harbor from the cemetery.

On the way back to town, a woman who was also visiting the church stops us. “Where do you live?” she says in halting English. She is delighted to hear that we live in the Western US. “My daughter lives in San Diego,” she says. The Swedish woman has been working on a temporary basis in Honningsvag as a visiting nurse and will soon return to Sweden. Wishing her a safe journey, we continue the walk back to the ship.

Near the harbor, a large raft is crammed with passengers clad in puffy, orange suits. The deep-sea rafting excursion is about to leave. Although it looks too crowded to be safe, fellow passengers who took the trip give it a “thumbs up.”

Back onboard, we enjoy a family dinner in Compass Rose. Alan and I end the day in the Observation Lounge listening to the smooth vocals of Nathaniel Reed while we watch the golden reflection of the midnight sun shine across the water.

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