Subject: Cruising in Norway
Marghe and I sailed from Bergen to Kirkenes last year. It was great. We sailed with the Hurtigruten Line, on the Polarlyis, one of their modern ships.

You will be amazed at how barren and stark the landscape is as you travel north. You actually travel across and above the Arctic Circle. Do take part in the ceremonial crossing: the schnapps is worth the ice dunking!

The observation deck is inside the ship, so you can enjoy the views, watch the ship's progress on screen, without freezing. We went in summer, yet it was still cover up with a blanket outside when you wanted to sit on the deck.

Food was buffet for breakfast and lunch, but assigned seating for the evening, served (and set) meal. We passed on whale and reindeer, thank you very much. Bring your own drinks, unless you want to pay Over-the-top prices. We chose to share a glass of wine in our cabin. Which, BTW, are not for honeymooners = twin beds only, at 90 degrees to each other ro lol.

The trip is an experience. We left the ship in Kirkenes and headed out of Norway, down south through Finland. But that is another story. You will enjoy the trip if you take it, but don't expect luxury. It is a spartan land and a barren landscape: the ship is apropos for that lifestyle.

We did the Oslo to Bergen Norway in a Nutshell trip by train and boat, too. Scandinavia is worth a look-see. We loved all the fresh fish that is served there, but at the same time missed good old vegetables. Well, with only a six week growing season, we guess you don't see a lot of greens on the table (or many fruits or vegetables of any color, for that matter).

Scandanavia is also heavily taxed, so take along your credit card: it isn't cheap to travel in the major countries of northern Europe. The Hurtigruten trip was a trip we are happy to have experienced, but would not repeat.

Happy traveling, Marghe and Marty.