Two Go By Sea
The Hurtigruten Line is a Mighty Fine Line
The Hurtigruten line is a bevy of elegant coastal cruise ships that ply Norway's fjords from Bergen to Kirkenes, point farthest north. They welcome nomads, as well, and rental cars, for on-again-off-again road trips. Going around long and wide fjords by car can take days, if there are no spectacular bridges, tunnels, or ferries. When you want to get from Point A to Point B, you may need more than the roads. Locate the towns online where the Hurtigrutens service everybody, call in from a hotel near the docks (free if they think they will get a night's lodging before the cruise leaves), negotiate a price for two adults and a car -- we said no view needed for us, but we couldn't speak for the car -- and leave at least a half hour to find the actual boarding place.
Leave plenty of time to get on board. In Trondheim, new construction reroutes so many dock roads, not corresponding at all to the GPS, that we nearly missed the connection even with a half hour lead time. Line up, fast up the ramp, inside, pull out the backpacks, and go. Find food, kindred spirits, whatever.
1. Specify the no view. You may get an inside cabin, or, with luck, a porthole. Ours opened to the lovely lifeboat bottom. Here is Daniel Widing, enjoying the view of a lifeboat from our cabin on MS Finnmarken, one of the smaller ships. Crane your neck.View of Daniel, Director of the Ad Hoc Car-Dan Tour Company, a droite.
|Daniel Widing, Director of the Car-Dan Tour Company, takes a cruise.|
2. More economies: Lunch and dinner at the little cafe, burgers and such, but gourmet, freshly grilled, global flavors, and huge; and only do breakfast in the dining room.
1. Socializing Choice A. Meet and greet on deck, amble about all the lounge chairs there and inside. Exchange taking pictures of each other.
Widing's Mom, Navigator, on the MS Finnmarken, Hurtigruten Line, Norway.
2. Socializing Choice B:
Nip inside, find a lounge area behind the glass for no-contact time, don't dare to disturb any place-holding knitting needles or novels, as the customers rotate perches. Find the computers, email home. Talk with people if you like. Nobody pushes.
For next morning, set your alarm, leave time for coffee and whatever, find the car deck, hop in and off. The current Finnmarken was built in 2002; the original, model here, dates from 1912. See http://www.hurtigruten.com/schedule/ships/hurtigrutens-ships/ms-finnmarken/