Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trondheim, Norway’s First Capital


Trondheim, Norway’s first capital, is a Norwegian center of education, technical and medical research with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and SINTEF located in the city. Here we see traditional wooden warehouses along the Nidelva River.

Photo: Jennifer Rosen

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hurtigruten Celebrates Anniversaries of Polar Heros Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amunsen

In honor of the anniversaries of two national events – polar explorer, scientist and humanist Fridtjof Nansen’s birth, and polar hero and pioneer aviator Roald Amundsen’s historic trek to the South Pole – the Norwegian Government has declared 2011 the Year of Nansen-Amundsen.

Hurtigruten, which was established in the same year that Fridtjof Nansen set off into the Arctic Ocean in his newly built vessel Fram, is celebrating the monumental year with four unique itineraries honoring their legacies.

First, a centenary celebration onboard the MS Fram, named after Nansen’s famous ship, on Dec. 14 the day Amundsen and his men reached the South Pole, during the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica voyage; the Climate Voyage; the special Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords voyage following in the path of Nansen and finally the Ice Breakers theme cruise.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Facts about Greenland

The first Christian church on the American continent was built in Greenland. It was Tjodhild's Church in Brattahlid in South Greenland.

The 1000th anniversary of Leif Eriksson's arrival in North America - 500 years before Columbus - took place in the year of 2000. The Norse Leif Eriksson reached Vinland (today New Foundland) in the year of 1000, sailing out from Brattahlid in South Greenland.

Greenland cruises with Hurtigruten
Thanks to Greenland Tourism & Business Council

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hurtigruten's Europe


Migrating towards the coasts and waterways of Europe, the MS Fram sets course to enjoy the spring and autumn exploring some of the richest historic settings in the northern hemisphere.

Enjoy the spring traveling on our Western Europe Voyage, where you can explore the most enchanting ports on the Atlantic coast.

Celebrate Easter in the Norwegian fjords on a special voyage covering ports off the traditional Coastal Voyage including Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord and Stavanger. Or join us on a voyage to some of the most captivating historic cities in the Baltic Sea. From St. Petersburg and Helsinki to Estonia and Bornholm, our 11-day Baltic
journey
recaptures something of the golden glories of a maritime
tradition that spanned generations.


In the fall, cross the North Sea to explore the wild and rugged beauty of
the Hebrides, before continuing to visit the remote Isles of Scilly
and a number of the other fascinating coastal communities that lie
along the west and south coast of the British Isles.

During your voyage enjoy shore landings and excursions by our Polarcirkel Boats. These smaller nimble boats give you greater access to areas of special
interest and beauty.

Book now and save up to 20% off the retail rate.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Antarctica Photo of the Month

Antarctica is white poetry: icebergs, seals, total silence - and the cutest creatures on earth: the penguins!

Have you ever visited Antarctica with Hurtigruten or any other cruise company? Please share your experiences with other blog readers in the comments field below!

Hurtigruten cruise to Antarctica

(All images © Hurtigruten)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Discover the Aurora Borealis

Check out this stunning time lapse video of the Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights, over Tromso, Norway

http://vimeo.com/16917950


Discover the Northern Lights for yourself on an exhilarating wintertime Norwegian Coastal Voyage aboard Hurtigruten. Plus, learn how to photograph the Northern Lights during your cruise on our special Digital Photography adventure!

Book now and save up to 15% off with our Early Booking discount.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snowmobile Safari


And we’re off to speed through the brisk winter air and discover the amazing Norwegian scenery in Kirkenes.

Photo: Jennifer Rosen

MV Fram makes pioneer expedition landing

MV Fram, under the command of Captain Arild Hårvik, made a fantastic pioneer landing in the Magelland Strait, Chile yesterday. After departure Punta Arenas, Fram headed for Magdalene Island, home for more than 200.000 Magellan Penguins. According to Expedition Leader Karin Strand, guests came crying in joy back to the ship after the pre-breakfast expedition landing.

We thank the Expedition Team Members Verena Meraldi and John Chardine for excellent pictures of the charming penguins.

Read more at: http://mvfram.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Itinerary Change - Polar Encounters


Newsflash: the itinerary, duration and departure dates for the Polar Encounters voyage is now revised. Going forward there will be a 6 and 9-day version of the Polar Encounters expedition giving you more opportunity to see the island of Spitsbergen.

Plus, book now and save 10% with our Early booking discount. And if you book a 6-day expedition now, we'll give you a free upgrade!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Norway: Photo of the Month


You really get close to nature on Hurtigruten's voyages along the Norwegian coast.

Norway means fjords, mountains, skiing, Nobel's Peace Prize, glaciers, sea eagles, the midnight sun and spectacular untouched nature.

With Hurtigruten you can experience a lot of this on the cruises along the coast of Norway - all year round.

Have you ever visited Norway? Tell us what you think!

Visit Hurtigruten.us to see some of the things Norway has to offer
Northbound excursions
Southbound excursions

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Facts about Greenland

The The majorities of the Greenlandic population have Inuit background and have a strong affiliation with the Inuit in Canada, Alaska and Siberia.

Greenlandic is closely related to the language of the Inuit in Canada and Alaska and is the official language of the country.

Greenland cruises with Hurtigruten
Thanks to Greenland Tourism & Business Council

Monday, November 1, 2010

Antarctica Photo of the Month

Antarctica is white poetry: icebergs, seals, total silence - and the cutest creatures on earth: the penguins!

Have you ever visited Antarctica with Hurtigruten or any other cruise company? Please share your experiences with other blog readers in the comments field below!

Hurtigruten cruise to Antarctica

(All images © Hurtigruten)

Friday, October 29, 2010

The traditional fisheries in Northern Norway



This music video is a very good historic document of how the traditional Lofoten fisheries is done. On a winter voyage with Hurtigruten through the Lofoten Islands in the period of the fisheries (January to April) you may experience this yourself. The lyrics is Norwegian and is about Fish and Potatoes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Norway Ranks #1 on Prosperity List!



Norway leads the 2010 list ranking the prosperity of 110 of the world's nations by the London analytical center Legatum Institute.

Norway also topped the 2009 rankings.

"The Prosperity Index seeks to understand how economic fundamentals, health, freedom, governance, safety, education, entrepreneurial opportunity, and social capital influence a country's economic growth and the happiness of its citizens," the group says.

Hurtigruten's classic Norwegian Coastal Voyages offers the most authentic way to see Norway along the 1,250 mile fjord filled west coast. Come discover for yourself why Norway continues to top the Prosperity Index.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Ethereal Northern Light Dance


The ethereal Northern Light dance above our heads as we return from dog sledding in Kirkenes.  What a fantastic end to an amazing voyage.




Photo: Jeffrey Sobolow

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Northern Lights in Norway





Photos of the Northern Lights in Trondheim, Norway.
All photos: Jo Chr. Sandvik

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hurtigruten More than Doubles Advanced Sales for 2011!

Hurtigruten is extremely proud to announce a tremendous increase in interest for our Norwegian Coastal Voyage and Explorer (Antarctica, Greenland, Arctic and Europe) cruises from the N. American market for the 2011 season!

Advance bookings have grown by an amazing 127% from our 2009 pre-booking season, comparison based on end-of-September figures. Passenger counts also increased substantially during the same year-to-year comparison. Ongoing growth is expected as we continue to develop strong sales opportunities for travel agents.

Way to go!

Finnkirka



On October 18th 2010 the Light Art Installation of Finnkirka, a Sami/Lapp sacred rock close to Kjøllefjord in Finnmark, Norway was opened. All guests aboard Hurtigruten sailing into Kjøllefjord will from now on see this magnificent sight.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Norway: Photo of the Month: Northern Lights


Is there a better way to experience the magical Northern Lights than by sailing through the sheltered coastal waters of Arctic Norway on an award-winning Hurtigruten Northern Lights Cruise? Relax on board, with the chance to see the magical Northern Lights set against a dark sky, free from artificial light. As you glide through the Arctic twilight, you become one with the peaceful atmosphere that descends around you. Clusters of houses glow like embers along the coast, small towns become welcoming refuges as you pull into harbour, and snow-clad mountains reflect the polar light to bathe you in eerie shades.

Norway means Aurora borealis up north in the winter, narrow fjords, beautiful mountains, skiing, skating, Nobel's Peace Prize, glaciers, sea eagles, the midnight sun and spectacular untouched nature.

With Hurtigruten you can experience a lot of this on the cruises along the coast of Norway - all year round.

Have you ever visited Norway? Tell us what you think!

Visit Hurtigruten.us to see some of the things Norway has to offer
Northbound excursions
Southbound excursions

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Facts about Greenland

The Greenlandic words: Kayak, anorak and igloo have been adopted directly by many other languages.

85% of the country is covered by inland ice, which rise up to 3000 m above sea level. The ice cap was first crossed in 1888. The journey was made on skis.

Greenland cruises with Hurtigruten
Thanks to Greenland Tourism & Business Council

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hurtigruten's Northern Lights Adventures




Experience a spectacular Norwegian coastal voyage aboard Hurtigruten. Known internationally as “The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage,” this enchanting vacation showcases Norway’s dazzling scenery of fjords, snow-capped mountains, bustling villages and picturesque towns. Our journey takes you on either a 6 or 7-day voyage to 34 charming ports between Bergen in the south and Kirkenes in the north, close to the Russian border.

Winter may be the most special time to experience the Norwegian Coastal voyage - a hidden gem. A truly spectacular time to see Norway’s northern reaches with majestic scenery, the Polar Light and a surreal experience not found anywhere else.

Unique to the winter voyage are the exciting shore excursions including dog sledding in Tromso, snowmobiling over the frozen fjords of Lapland and the King Crab Safari. Here you’ll dive into the Barents Sea where your guide will catch the mighty crustacean and prepare it for you for dinner!
Plus, what winter wonderland would be complete without an encounter with the awe-inspiring Northern Lights? Aurora Borealis is a truly rare phenomenon only occurring in the winter.

Hurtigruten is truly once in a lifetime vacation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Introducing the new 2011 Norway Brochure!


Hurtigruten proudly introduces our new, 2011 Norway brochure. This exquisite brochure was designed to give you all the information needed to plan your Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Voyage including itineraries, pricing, shore excursions, theme voyages, cabin information and our Early Booking Discount*

Book now and save up to 15% off the retail rate!*

Click here to order your beautiful new brochure.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hurtigruten Introduces the "1893 Ambassador" program for Loyal Guests

Hurtigruten is proud to introduce our first customer loyalty program - the 1893 Ambassador program. This program was created to reward our repeat passengers with exclusive discounts and recognition benefits.

Named after the year of Hurtigruten’s original founding by Captain Richard With, the program allows members to enjoy 10% off their next Norwegian Coastal Voyage, 5% off a future Explorer Voyage to Greenland, Antarctica, Spitsbergen, or Europe plus a host of other amenities including:

  • 5% discount on selected excursions booked on board Norwegian Coastal Voyages
  • A free bridge visit
  • Free fruit basket in your cabin upon arrival
  • 3 days free bicycle rental included with every Hurtigruten Norwegian classic round trip
  • Free quarterly member newsletter with interesting background stories about Hurtigruten as well as travel tips and destination information
  • Personalized membership card


Membership is free and easy to join. Visit www.hurtigruten.us/1893 for details.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Antarctica photo of the month

Antarctica is white poetry: icebergs, seals, total silence - and the cutest creatures on earth: the penguins!

Have you ever visited Antarctica with Hurtigruten or any other cruise company? Please share your experiences with other blog readers in the comments field below!

Hurtigruten's voyages to Antarctica

Antarctica video

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fulmars on Spitsbergen




Fulmars following the ship in Isfjorden (the Ice Fjord) on Spitsbergen (Svalbard).

Photos: Per-Erik Skramstad / Webkommunikasjon.no

Ålesund from the very top of Mt. Aksla


Breathtaking view of Ålesund from the very top of Mt. Aksla.  Ålesund saw its first snowfall in many years this day.  Notice the Hurtigruten ship Trollfjord along the right.
Photo: Jennifer Rosen

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Experience Spitsbergen, Svalbard



Isfjorden, Svalbard. Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad

When you decide to take a cruise to Arctic Norway and visit Spitsbergen, Svalbard, you may sail into Isfjorden ("the Ice fjord") to the glacier Nordenskiöldbreen and the deserted Russian mining settlement at Pyramiden. The mountains here are spectacular. It is really breathtaking, as I hope this picture shows. The mountains on Spitsbergen, Svalbard house some of the most interesting fossils ever found. There are even separate excursions that will take you to fossil rich places where you can pick the fossils you want. There are also a lot of other excursions for the more adventurous, like trips on snow mobile, dog sleds, polar bear safaris and much more. Most of them starts in Longyearbyen.

In the winter you may experience the Northern Lights here, and in the summer they have the midnight sun from 19 April to 22 August!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Robert Lee Hotz: Inside an Antarctic time machine



Science columnist Lee Hotz describes a remarkable project at WAIS Divide, Antarctica, where a hardy team are drilling into ten-thousand-year-old ice to extract vital data on our changing climate.

Robert Lee Hotz is the science columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where he explores the world of new research and its impact on society. In his column, he ranges broadly across the research horizon, from climate change, cosmology and molecular medicine, to evolution, neuroeconomics and new insights into the human brain. Hotz was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1986 for his coverage of genetic engineering issues, and again in 2004 for his coverage of the space shuttle Columbia accident. Mr. Hotz shared in The Los Angeles Times’ 1995 Pulitzer Prize for articles about the Northridge Earthquake.

Robert Lee Hotz is a director of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, which funds independent journalism projects around the world, and a distinguished writer in residence at New York University. He is the author of Designs on Life, Exploring the New Frontiers of Human Fertility, and a contributor to several books on research issues.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bordeaux, France



Hurtigruten cruise line also visits France and other destinations in Europe, like Bordeaux.

The Bordeaux region produces some of the world’s greatest wines. Visit some of the vineyards and châteaux that pepper this rich and beautiful region, of which the Margaux and Lafitte-Rothschild brands are the most famed. The city Bordeaux also presents a fascinating destination, with its wide avenues, beautiful parks and neo-classical architecture affording it a distinctly 18th century air.

Guests can choose from an array of countries and experiences as the MS Fram travels along the coast of Europe during its Spring and Fall repositioning sailings. 

Early-booking rates range from $1,021 to $5,047 if booked by December 31.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Norway: Photo of the Month


The Sami people are among the largest indigenous ethnic groups in Europe. Their traditional languages are the Sami languages, which are classified as members of the Finno-Lappic group of the Uralic language family.

Sami experience

Have you ever visited Norway? Please share your experience here!

Visit Hurtigruten.us to see some of the things Norway has to offer
Northbound excursions
Southbound excursions

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Facts about Greenland

The most active glacier in the northern hemisphere is found in Ilulissat (Jakobshavn), producing 20-25 billion tons of ice annually. Some of the largest icebergs are found around Ilulissat and these may be up to 100 meters high above sea level (and only 10-15% of the iceberg is visible above water).

The icebergs move northwards by the current, then south where many do not melt until they level with New York.

Greenland cruises with Hurtigruten
Thanks to Greenland Tourism & Business Council

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Polar Bears Having a Great Meal



17 polar bears are having a great meal after having discovered a whale.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Penguins can drink salt water

Did you know that penguins can drink salt water? It is because their supraorbital gland filters excess salt from the bloodstream. The salt is excreted in a concentrated fluid from the nasal passages.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Antarctica photo of the month

Antarctica is white poetry: icebergs, total silence - and the cutest creatures on earth: the penguins!

Have you ever visited Antarctica with Hurtigruten or any other cruise company? Please share your experiences with other blog readers in the comments field below!

Hurtigruten's voyages to Antarctica

Monday, August 30, 2010

Name the Seals Contest!


Two seal pups were born in July on the Lofoten Islands. They will embark Hurtigrutens ship MS Midnatsol September 2 on the way to Tromsø and their new home Polaria. Take part in the naming competition!

The seals Victoria and Lauser gave birth to cute little offspring in July on the Lofoten Islands, and they are growing and thriving wonderfully. The Polaria aquarium in Tromsø and Hurtigruten are looking for names for the two seals - one boy and one girl. Let your imagination run wild and take part in the naming competition. The prize is a Hurtigruten winter voyage for two from Kirkenes to Bergen.



Simply email your two name suggestions with your name, address and telephone number to seal@hurtigruten.com. The entry deadline is September 13, 2010. The winners will be notified.

Best of luck!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hurtigruten Norway Cruise Sailing Map

Your Norwegian cruise's 12 day journey begins in Bergen, the center of Norway's vibrant commercial trade. Today Bergen is a central point of all Norway travel, known as the "Gateway to the Fjords." It is indeed the natural starting point for exploring the breathtaking fjords of western Norway.

From Bergen you will sail north to Kirkenes, an arctic outpost near the Russian border. During this Norwegian cruise you will stop at 34 uniquely picturesque ports all with their own charming characteristics.

The ship then turns around, and your Norway travel adventure continues as you sail south, back to Bergen. She'll call on the same ports, but those visited during the day on the northbound voyage will now be visited during the night on the southbound voyage, and vice versa.

For passengers who seek to immerse themselves in the landscape and culture of Norway, this roundtrip voyage is a compelling choice.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Did you know...

In 1349 the Black Death killed between 50% and 60% of the Norwegian population, resulting in a period of decline both socially and economically. In the summer of 1349 the plague came via a ship loaded with grain from England to Bergen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tallinn



Did you know that Hurtigruten also visits selected destinations in Europe, like Tallinn?

Estonia’s engaging capital Tallinn reveals an eclectic mix of Scandinavian, Russian and German influences. The overwhelming aura of its 14th and 15th Century heritage still remains amongst central Tallinn's medieval streets and picturesque houses, many of which have been beautifully restored to provide us with a fascinating insight into its remarkable past.

Visit Tallinn with Hurtigruten

Guests can choose from an array of countries and experiences as the MS Fram travels along the coast of Europe during its Spring and Fall repositioning sailings.  The Spring schedule offers a trio of sailings: from Lisbon, Portugal to the UK port of Dover, visiting Spain and France on the way; or an exploration of Norway's west coast and many of its most stunning fjords, ending in Oslo; or an exploration of the "Pearls of the Baltic" -- Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Estonia and Bornholm. 

Early-booking rates range from $1,021 to $5,047 if booked by December 31.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hurtigruten Photo Competition ending soon!

Your best Hurtigruten Memories

To us Hurtigruten is the source of fantastic nature, magnificent lighting, close encounters with nature and local culture, interesting fauna, exciting excursions, excellent food and a unique atmosphere. The beautiful Norwegian coastline through four seasons, mythical Greenland, awesome Spitsbergen and the vastness of the Antarctic – the photo opportunities are plentiful!

We would like to receive photos of YOUR best memories from HURTIGRUTEN.

The competition runs until 1 October 2010.

Good Luck!

Info on Hurtigruten.us

Ålesund


Wintertime in Norway offers spectacular scenery for even the most amateur photographers. Here you see a photographer shooting an aerial view of Alesund en route to the top of Mt. Aksla. A short bus ride takes you all the way to the top.
Photo: Jennifer Rosen

Friday, August 20, 2010

Perito Moreno Glacier




Truly amazing video of an every-four-year event that has gone on for centuries.

According to the poster on YouTube, this clip is of The Perito Moreno Glacier (South American glacier), which breaks up every four years like clock work, give or take a week.

There are photographers from all aound the world that come to southern Argentina and literally camp out at the glacier site in order to get the actual breakup on film.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Norway: Photo of the Month

The sea eagle safari is one of the many excursions you can take when you travel with Hurtigruten to experience the midnight sun and spectacular untouched nature.

Hurtigruten offers voyages along the coast of Norway - all year round.

Have you ever visited Norway? Have you seen the majestic sea eagle with your own eyes? Please share your experience here!

Visit Hurtigruten.us to see some of the things Norway has to offer
Northbound excursions
Southbound excursions

How Wrong Is It Possible to Write "Hurtigruten"?

Norwegian Cruise - Fjords Cruise in Norway - Hurtigruten USThe Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten makes it difficult sometimes for Americans to find it in search engines because Americans don't understand what the word means. This makes it therefore difficult to write.

For Norwegians it is not that difficult to write "Hurtigruten." Error sources are usually the first letter (should it be capital or lower case H?) and the silent (not pronounced) letter g. And Norwegians understand the two parts the compound "Hurtigruten" is composed of: "Hurtig" (meaning "fast") and "rute(n) (which means "route") - ships sailing regularly up and down the Norwegian coast. Some years ago, this voyage was fast; now our customers don't take this cruise for the speed.

Below you can see a list of how Americans write Hurtigruten wrong when when searching for the company or cruises Hurtigruten offers. For Norwegians some of the misspelling are quite funny, but they are very understandable. When you do not understand what the word is composed of, it is not easy to write it correctly.

  • hertegruten
  • hertigruten
  • hrutegarten
  • hurdigen norway cruise
  • hurtegruten
  • hurtengruten
  • hurtgruten
  • hurtig ruten
  • hurtigan
  • hurtigen
  • hurtigeruten
  • hurtigren
  • hurtigrten
  • hurtigrunten
  • hurtigrutan
  • hurtigrute
  • hurtigrute
  • hurtigrutenus
  • hurtigrutin
  • hurtigrutin fram
  • hurtigrutten
  • hurtigtuten opera voyage
  • hurtigurten
  • hurtiguta
  • hurtiguten
  • hurtihruten
  • hurtingruten
  • hurtingrutin
  • hurtinguten
  • hurtiruten
  • hurtrigen
  • hurtzegrutin cruise line
  • hutengruten
  • hutigruten
  • hutigruten us
  • hutrigruten
  • huttigruten
  • hutygruten



Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) - First Polar Explorer to Reach the South Pole



Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) is one of the most successful polar explorers ever born. Amundsens first experience in the Antarctic was with Adrien de Gerlache's 1899 Belgica Expedition. He became the first to travel the Northwest Passage, in his ship Gjøa in 1903-06. On 14 December, 1911, Amundsen and four others reached the South Pole, a month before Robert Scott.

On 8 December, Amundsen and his men passed Shackleton's farthest south, 88°23'S. Now they were only 95 miles from the South Pole. The dogs were hungry and exhausted, the men had many sores and frostbitten faces. The closer they came to the Pole, the more Amundsen worried that Scott had already beaten them. The temptation to race on, at full speed, was shared by everyone.

At 3:00 pm, on Friday, December 14, 1911, there was a simultaneous cry of "Halt!" as the sledge meters registered their arrival at the South Pole. They had achieved their goal. Symbolic of their struggle in unity, each of the men, with their weathered and frostbitten hands, grasped the Norwegian flag and planted it firmly at the geographical South Pole. Amundsen named the plain King Haakon VII's Plateau. There were festivities in the tent that evening with each man sharing a little seal meat. At midnight observations were taken that put them at 89° 56'S. Arrangements were now made to encircle the camp with a radius of approximately twelve and a half miles.

At noon, on December 17, the observations had been completed and it was certain the men had done all that could be done. In order to come a few inches closer to the actual Pole, Hanssen and Bjaaland went out four geographical miles and promptly returned. Following the festival dinner, preparations for departure began. A tent was erected, naming it Poleheim, with Amundsen leaving a message inside for Scott, along with a letter for King Haakon. Thirty-nine days later the party returned to Framheim, as planned, with all five men and 11 dogs "hale and hearty". The month-long voyage back to Tasmania was a frustrating time for Amundsen, who was now quite anxious to be the first to announce the news of their achievement. On March 7, 1912, Amundsen finally cabled his brother Leon with the historic news.

Robert Scott is presumed to have died on 29 March 1912, possibly a day later. The positions of the bodies in the tent, when it was discovered eight months later, suggested that Scott was the last of the three to die. The bodies of Scott and his companions were discovered by a search party on 12 November 1912 and their records retrieved. Their final camp became their tomb; a high cairn of snow was erected over it, topped by a roughly fashioned cross. In January 1913, before Terra Nova left for home, a large wooden cross was made by the ship's carpenters, inscribed with the names of the lost party and Tennyson's line from his poem Ulysses: "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield", and was erected on Observation Hill overlooking Hut Point.

Further reading

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Facts about Greenland

The national dish of Greenland is boiled seal meat with rice and onions (in Greenlandic "suaassat"). A particular delicacy is raw whale skin with a thin layer of blubber (in Greenlandic "mattak").

The dogsled and Greenland's 20,000 sled dogs are still a vital form of transport for many during the winter. Dogsleds always have right of way.

Greenland cruises with Hurtigruten
Thanks to Greenland Tourism & Business Council

Friday, August 13, 2010

MS Fram's Chief Officer Writes from Ship in Greenland


MS Fram has completed our Spitsbergen season and is now in the throes of our Greenland expeditions in Disko-bay.

MS Fram's Chief officer Ingar Lorentsen sent us some fantastic pictures from the last cruise. Here's what he writes:

"When I’m writing this we have been a while at Ilulissat and the voyage has been amazing so far. As you can see from the pictures, the weather has been amazing. During our journey, we've been to Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq, Uummannaq, Ukkusissat, Eqip Sermia. Today we are in Ilulissat and had amazing weather, experienced great excursions in striking nature, seen a kayak show from the natives in Sisimiut and watched amazing sunrises with indescribable iceberg formations.
Yesterday when we were next to the glacier Eqip Sermia we had a barbecue on deck in the sunset and I guess you can say that our passengers are thrilled. The ship is full of extremely enthusiastic passengers!"

MS Fram now continues on her journey sailing the 8-day Glaciers and Icebergs of Greenland voyage.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jada Pinkett Smith fell in love with Norway!



Jada Pinkett Smith (Hawthorne) fell in love with Norway, she told Jimmy Kimmel on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. She's even going back to hike in the mountains with some friends. In Norway, it's just like a fairy tale, she said.

Jada Pinkett Smith plays a nurse (Christina Hawthorne) in the medical drama Hawthorne. The nurse is also a compassionate and headstrong nursing director.  The nurses at Richmond Trinity Hospital spend long days and nights on the hospital's front lines. Hawthorne is the kind of nurse you want on your side when you or someone you love is in the hospital. She is the kind of nurse who fights for her patients and doesn’t let them slip through the cracks. When necessary, she takes on doctors and administrators who are overworked, distracted or just unable to see the human being behind the hospital chart.

Jada Pinkett Smith's Homepage
Jada on Facebook  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beautiful Rainbow (MS Midnatsol)



Watch this beautiful rainbow video taken by Kari Moe Sundli, who works on the Hurtigruten ship MS Midnatsol.

Please notify us if you have taken videos or photos that you want us to publish here on the Hurtigruten blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Try a Norwegian Specialty - Fjellbekk!

One of our favorite spirits to enjoy while traveling on Hurtigruten's Norwegian Coastal Voyage is the famous Fjellbekk which means Mountain Stream in Norwegian.

The fjellbekk is a tasty and refreshing drink coming directly from Norway and made with aquavit, a very special Scandinavian liquor. The fjellbekk goes down great while watching the majestic scenery of the fjords or in the evening at the bar while listening to live music with friends.

Try making your own for a summer happy hour tonight!

3/4 oz vodka
3/4 oz aquavit
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz Sprite® or 7-up

Enjoy over ice as you watch the sunset. Or if you're in Norway, the Midnight Sun.

Outdoor Chess on MS Midnatsol

outdoor chess on Hurtigruten

The Hurtigruten ship MS Midnatsol now offers guests an opportunity to play outdoor chess! The new big outdoor chess board is found on Deck 9. It is also possible to play other games on the same board, such as checkers.

Many passengers are enjoying the good weather lately on deck and play games on MS Midnatsol (meaning midnight sun!).

Did you know that Tromsø is applying for the Chess Olympiad in 2014? The Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The event is organised by FIDE, which selects the host nation.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Baltic Sea

Hurtigruten also visits selected destinations in Europe, like The Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea has been at the center of trade in this region since the Roman Times. As well as fish, the region has always traditionally been rich in amber, lumber, hemp and furs, all of which have provided steady trade for the surrounding Baltic states for centuries.

You can choose from an array of countries and experiences as the MS Fram travels along the coast of Europe during its Spring and Fall repositioning sailings.  The Spring schedule offers a trio of sailings: from Lisbon, Portugal to the UK port of Dover, visiting Spain and France on the way; or an exploration of Norway's west coast and many of its most stunning fjords, ending in Oslo; or an exploration of the "Pearls of the Baltic Sea" -- Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Estonia and Bornholm. 

Early-booking rates range from $1,021 to $5,047 if booked by December 31.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Light phenomenas like the Northern Lights on Jupiter and other planets

Light phenomena like the Northern Light on Jupiter
Photo: John T. Clarke (U. Michigan), ESA, NASA

Did you know that light phenomenas like the Northern Lights (aurora borealis or aurora australis) can be seen on other planets? Unfortunately, Hurtigruten cannot take you there, but it's a fact that both Jupiter and Saturn have magnetic fields much stronger than Earth's, and both have large radiation belts. Aurora has been observed on both, most clearly with the Hubble Space Telescope. Uranus and Neptune have also been observed to have auroras.

The auroras on the gas giants seem, like Earth's, to be powered by the solar wind. In addition, however, Jupiter's moons, especially Io, are powerful sources of auroras on Jupiter. These arise from electric currents along field lines ("field aligned currents"), generated by a dynamo mechanism due to the relative motion between the rotating planet and the moving moon. Io, which has active volcanism and an ionosphere, is a particularly strong source, and its currents also generate radio emissions, studied since 1955. Auroras have also been observed on Io, Europa, and Ganymede themselves, e.g., using the Hubble Space Telescope. These are generated when Jupiter's magnetospheric plasma impact their very thin atmospheres.

Auroras have also been observed on Venus and Mars. Because Venus has no intrinsic (planetary) magnetic field, Venusian auroras appear as bright and diffuse patches of varying shape and intensity, sometimes distributed across the full planetary disc. Venusian auroras are produced by the impact of electrons originating from the solar wind and precipitating in the night-side atmosphere. An aurora was also detected on Mars, on August 14, 2004, by the SPICAM instrument aboard Mars Express.

Read more on Wikipedia

When travelling to Norway with Hurtigruten in the winter, you can experience the Northern Lights.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hurtigruten Offers

Cheap cruises, discount Hurtigruten illustration to blog postHurtigruten is offering amazing deals right now on our once-in-a-lifetime destinations including the our Northern Lights adventures in Norway and our special Christmas voyage in Antarctica.

Book select summer and autumn Norwegian Coastal Voyages now and your companion will sail for half price!

Plus, for adventure seekers, Hurtigruten's Northern Lights Adventures in the winter time have never been easier to attain than with this special offer. Book a 12-day Classic Roundtrip voyage and pay for only 7-days! What a deal!

These Hurtigruten offers won't last long so check out www.hurtigruten.us for more information.

For those really looking to brag about their holiday vacation, there's no better way than to sail Antarctica on the 17-day Shackleton's Christmas in Antarctica. Book now and your companion sails for half price!

Finally don't forget to ask about our amazing Early Booking Discount for 2011 Norway, Antarctica, Spitsbergen and Greenland departures. You can save up to 20%!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Funny Penguin Videos

Here are some funny and even a bit silly penguin videos that gave us a big laugh. We hope that you too will enjoy them!


Pingu goes fishing




Do Penguins Fly?





Funny video of penguin falling





Pierre Coffin animation




Happy Feet




Penguins tipping over

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spitsbergen Adventure 2011/2012



Spitsbergen - the land where polar bears reign supreme offers towering glaciers, spectacular fjords, Arctic deserts, the Midnight Sun and a wealth of both marine and land animals and migratory birds.

Located midway between Norway and the North Pole, Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago and offer no roads to link communities - making Hurtigruten's sailings the best way to take in the never-ending vistas.  And Hurtigruten has expanded its offerings for 2011, with six itineraries that range from five to 13 days, and booking by Dec. 31 lower fares to $2,907 to $9,073 per person, double.

The June-September season has 27 departures aboard the MV Polar Star or MS Fram, two highly-regarded expedition ships.

Expedition leaders point out, and in many cases, take guests ashore to see extreme Arctic sights such as ice-filled Hinlopen Strait; Nordaustlandet Island; historical, near-polar settlements of Barentsburg and Ny-Alesund; the stunning Hornsund Fjord; Bear Island; Lilliehook Glacier; and Andreeneset, where the remains of the ill-fated 1897 Andree Balloon Expedition were found in 1930.  A special eight-day "Climate Voyage" celebrates the 150th birthday of Fridtjof Nansen, the great Norwegian explorer and recipient of the 1922 Nobel Peace Prize, and makes an inaugural visit to one of the most isolated islands in the world - Jan Mayen. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Swimming with Penguins



These guys did it - swimming in ice cold water in Antarctica. You won't see me swimming in this water, although some of my friends here in Norway like to take a refreshing ice bath in the Oslo fjord during winter. Look at the cute penguin running away (00:10-00:18).

Read more about Hurtigruten's Antarctica cruises here

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Antarctica photo of the month

If this is not visual poetry, nothing is. Try to image creations like this tall as office buildings. Going on a cruise to Antarctica is a once in a lifetime experience. It will certainly give you memories you can cherish for the rest of your life.

Antarctica is white poetry: icebergs, total silence - and the cutest creatures on earth: the penguins!

Have you ever visited Antarctica with Hurtigruten or any other cruise company? Please share your experiences with other blog readers in the comments field below!

Hurtigruten's voyages to Antarctica

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A man who lived on the western coast of Greenland around 4,000 years ago...

An international team led by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark has successfully decoded the genome of a man who lived on the western coast of Greenland around 4,000 years ago. Published in the journal Nature, the study's findings are part of the ECOGENE ('Unlocking the European Union convergence region potential in genetics') project, funded with EUR 1.09 million under the Regional programme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Danish evolutionary biologist Eske Willerslev from the Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark and the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, along with PhD student Morten Rasmussen, led the team of 52 scientists that concluded a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) analysis of ancient human hair found preserved in Greenland's permafrost.

At first glance, the researchers believed the tuft of hair used for analysis belonged to a bear because it was so thick. Instead, they discovered that it belonged to a Palaeo-Eskimo whom they named 'Inuk', which means 'human' or 'man' in Greenlandic.

Inuk hailed from the Saqqaq culture which was found in west and southeast Greenland from around 2,500 BC to 800 BC and was the first culture to settle in the New World Arctic. The detailed reconstruction of this ancient human genome joins the list of eight whole genomes of living people that have been decoded to date.

So what did Inuk look like? The researchers point out that he likely had brown eyes, thick dark hair (although he was unfortunately prone to baldness) and type A positive blood. Inuk was dark-skinned and ate seal meat that he chewed with square, 'shovel-shaped' front teeth. Inuk was also genetically adapted to cold temperatures.

The researchers say that although he lived in Greenland, Inuk is in fact more closely related to tribes in modern-day Siberia than to the Inuit (i.e. 'The People') that currently make their home in Greenland.

The findings also help unlock the mystery of how Inuk's ancestors, known as the Chukchi people, migrated more than 2,000 kilometres from north-eastern Siberia to Greenland some 5,400 years ago. This migration wave, say the researchers, was independent of those of the ancestors of the Native Americans and Inuit.

Professor Willerslev and his team made headlines in 2009 when they reconstructed the complete mitochondrial genomes of a woolly mammoth and an ancient human. The Danish scientist happened upon the hair tuft after a number of failed attempts to find early human remains in Greenland.

'I was speaking with the Director of the Natural History Museum in Denmark, Dr Morten Meldgaard, when we started discussing the early peopling of the Arctic,' Professor Willerslev explains. '[Dr] Meldgaard, who had participated in several excavations in Greenland, told me about a large tuft of hair which was found during an excavation in north-western Greenland in the 1980s and now stored at the National Museum in Denmark.'

Once Professor Willerslev got the green light from the Greenland National Museum and Archives, he and his colleagues launched an analysis of the hair for DNA. After using a number of techniques, the team discovered that what they had in their hands was indeed human male hair.

'For several months, we were uncertain as to whether our efforts would be fruitful,' he goes on to say. 'However, through the hard work of a large international team, we finally managed to sequence the first complete genome of an extinct human.

'Our findings can be of significant help to archaeologists and others as they seek to determine what happened to people from extinct cultures.'

Researchers from Australia, China, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greenland, Latvia, Russia, the UK and the US contributed to this groundbreaking study.
For more information, please visit:

Nature:
http://www.nature.com/

University of Copenhagen:
http://www.ku.dk/English/

ECOGENE:
http://www.ebc.ee/EBC/ECOGENE.html

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Greenland is Melting



Glaciologist Jason Box has been testing a Moulin, a shaft that allows water to travel from the glacier's surface to its bottom, in a glacier on the Greenland ice cap to find out how fast it is melting.

According to Dr Box, “The Moulin is the epicentre of our concern because all the water is channeling down at this one point.

Watch how the team balanced on the edge of an ice sheet and used a flow meter to measure the water speed.

Jason Box says: “We’re in the midst of a climate catastrophe and glaciers are the epicentre of that problem. Glaciers are decanting into the oceans at shocking rates and I want to stop that.”

Join Dr. Box, an expert on climate change and Greenland—called “Ground Zero for global warming” by National Geographic—and the crew of the MS Fram as they retrace the legendary routes first plied by Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson more than a millennium ago. In between port calls at the vibrant, cosmopolitan city scenes of Reykjavik and Halifax, be enlightened by Box’s lectures and discussions while reveling in the legion natural and historical wonders that dot the shores of Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. Set a course for education, entertainment, and enthralling experiences. This Sept. 26th, Hurtigruten steps back in time and looks into the future while cruising to some of the world’s most spectacular shores!

14-day In the Wake of the Vikings

The Northern Lights Spectacular National Geographic Video (Polar Lights / Aurora Borealis)



The Northern Lights (also called Polar Lights or Aurora Borealis) are one of nature's most spectacular visual phenomena, and in this time lapse video by National Geographic they provide a breathtaking display of light, shape, and color over the course of a single night in Norway.

Isabelline Penguins

About one in 50,000 penguins (of most species) are born with brown rather than black plumage. These are called isabelline penguins, possibly in reference to the legend that the archduchess Isabella of Austria vowed not to change her undergarments (!) until her husband united the northern and southern Low Countries by taking the city of Ostend — which took three years to accomplish. Isabellinism is different from albinism.

Isabelline penguins tend to live shorter lives than normal penguins, as they are not well-camouflaged against the deep, and are often passed over as mates.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fur Seals Attacking King Penguins

Spectacular but rather disturbing BBC video of fur seals chasing and killing king penguins. Between South Africa and the South Pole on Marion Island, returning king penguins bring food for their young. However, in order to reach them, they must brave repeated attacks from angry fur seals. In an ongoing battle of face-offs both the seals and the penguins know the dangers of the fight...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bergen from the top of the Mount Floyen

 

One of the best views over the city of Bergen from the top of the Mount Floyen. Departing from Bergen’s city center, the funicular takes you to the mountain top, 1050 ft above sea level for magnificent views, an exquisite restaurant and a souvenir shop.

Photo: Jennifer Rosen

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Antarctica 2011-2012

penguins antarctica
Antarctica -- one of the most popular of Hurtigruten's destinations, there are few Hurtigruten guests who are not immediately taken in by the tuxedo suited greeters (penguins), always out and ready to welcome new friends to their year-round home.  And the penguins are just a small part of the experience as Antarctica offers dramatic scenery, countless species of bird and marine life, and haunting landscapes.

Six itineraries of 12 to 20 days run from November through February.  All of the itineraries begin and end in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital and the land of the tango.  Early-booking savings, good through March 31, 2011, means fares range from $5,858 to $13,684 per person, double and include roundtrip air between Buenos Aires and the boarding port in Ushuaia.

Highlights common to all sailings include a variety of landings on the White Continent - "Half Moon Island" with its large colony of chinstrap penguins and seals; Port Lockroy, once home to a British base and now a museum; and Neko Harbor, one of only a few stops allowed on the actual Antarctica mainland versus the Peninsula, are just some of the examples.

The longer sailings add time in the seldom visited Tierra del Fuego region including Diego Ramirez, Cape Horn, Puerto Williams and Magdalena Island; the Falkland Islands; South Georgia; and South Orkney Islands.  The 15-day "Polar Circle Quest" takes the guests across the 66º33' latitude - where the air is crisp and they are able to take in rarely seen landscapes. Optional voyage extensions are offered to Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls.

Antarctica 2011-2012

Shackleton's Antarctica
Chilean Fjords - Antarctica
Shackleton's Christmas Adventure
Antarctic Discovery
Weddell Sea Adventure
Polar Circle Quest

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

5 Nights Free When You Pay for 6 Nights!

Discover the Classic 12-day Roundtrip Norwegian Coastal Voyage for the price of a one way!

Read more about this unprecedented offer on Hurtigruten.us and review applicable sail dates



More videos here

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The spectacular Hardangerfjord

Discover the spectacular Hardangerfjord via train, motorcoach and boat.

Hardangerfjord is an 111-mile-long fjord displaying spellbinding natural landscapes. The tour (Bergen-Voss-Ulvik) starts by train on the Bergen Railway from Bergen to Voss. From Voss, the tour continues by coach through attractive farmland to Ulvik, a delightful village typical of western Norway. In Ulvik, you go by boat across the beautiful Hardangerfjord to Eidfjord.

Pre and post Norway cruise excursions can be added to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage before
or after your trip to enhance your total vacation experience.

Enhance your sense of culture, discovery and adventure by adding our optional pre or post cruise extensions to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage vacation. Options includes day trips in Bergen, Flam, Kirkenes, Oslo, Trondheim, Roros and Voss.

Float in the icy Barents Sea with a special survival suite, or lunch on the Oslofjord in a wooden sail boat. Our optional extensions take your sense of Norway beyond adventure to new heights.

All pre and post Norway cruise excursions

Cruise excursions northbound voyage
Cruise excursions southbound voyage

Brochure Detail Expedition Offerings

Planning ahead was never more rewarding than with Hurtigruten's 2011/2012 schedule of Explorer cruises.  Travelers can save up to 20% on next year's sailings in Greenland, Spitsbergen and Europe by booking before Dec. 31, 1010 and in Antarctica by March 31, 2011.  Guests who have sailed within the last three years are able to combine the savings with the Repeater Discount of 5%. 

A new 78-page full-color Explorer Voyages brochure details Hurtigruten's portfolio of 20 adventure expeditions to both ends of the world.  The 5- to 20-day itineraries offer guests unique opportunities to explore pristine environments, get up close to fascinating wildlife and gain valuable insight from experts in numerous disciplines including geology, marine life, climate, environment, history and culture.

Pearls of the Baltic Sea



PEARLS OF THE BALTIC SEA is available now at early booking prices. The cruise starts and ends in Oslo, the capital of Norway.

Departure: April 25, 2011

This voyage takes you to some of the most captivating destinations in the Baltic, like beautiful Copenhagen, modern Helsinki and the architecturally magnificent setting of St. Petersburg.

PEARLS OF THE BALTIC SEA

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Norway: Photo of the Month


Hurtigruten's ships are built for sailing along the Norwegian coast, where the bigger cruise ships can't sail.

Hurtigruten offers the best way to experience Norwegian fjords, the midnight sun and spectacular untouched nature.

With Hurtigruten you can experience this on the cruises along the coast of Norway - all year round.

Have you ever visited Norway? Tell us what you think!

Visit Hurtigruten.us to see some of the things Norway has to offer
Northbound excursions
Southbound excursions

Section of the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland broke up on July 6 and 7, 2010



Images courtesy of DigitalGlobe

NASA-funded researchers monitoring Greenland's Jakobshavn glacier report that a 7 square kilometer (2.7 square mile) section of the glacier broke up on July 6 and 7 (see photo). The calving front – where the ice sheet meets the ocean – retreated nearly 1.5 kilometers (a mile) in one day and is now further inland than at any time previously observed. The chunk of lost ice is roughly one-eighth the size of Manhattan Island, New York.

Research teams led by Ian Howat of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University and Paul Morin, director of the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center at the University of Minnesota have been monitoring satellite images for changes in the Greenland ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. While this week's breakup itself is not unusual, Howat noted, detecting it within hours and at such fine detail is a new phenomenon for scientists.


"While there have been ice breakouts of this magnitude from Jakobshavn and other glaciers in the past, this event is unusual because it occurs on the heels of a warm winter that saw no sea ice form in the surrounding bay," said Thomas Wagner, cryospheric program scientist at NASA Headquarters. "While the exact relationship between these events is being determined, it lends credence to the theory that warming of the oceans is responsible for the ice loss observed throughout Greenland and Antarctica."

The researchers relied on imagery from several satellites, including Landsat, Terra, and Aqua, to get a broad view of ice changes at both poles. Then, in the days leading up to the breakup, the team received images from DigitalGlobe's WorldView 2 satellite showing large cracks and crevasses forming.

DigitalGlobe Inc. provides the images as part of a public-private partnership with U.S. scientists. Howat and Morin are receiving near-daily satellite updates from the Jakobshavn, Kangerlugssuaq, and Helheim glaciers (among the islands largest) and weekly updates on smaller outlet glaciers.

Jakobshavn Isbræ (isbræ is Danish for glacier) is located on the west coast of Greenland at latitude 69°N and has been retreated more than 45 kilometers (27 miles) over the past 160 years, 10 kilometers (6 miles) in just the past decade. As the glacier has retreated, it has broken into a northern and southern branch. The breakup this week occurred in the north branch.

Scientists estimate that as much as 10 percent of all ice lost from Greenland is coming through Jakobshavn, which is also believed to be the single largest contributor to sea level rise in the northern hemisphere. Scientists are more concerned about losses from the south branch of the Jakobshavn, as the topography is flatter and lower than in the northern branch.

In addition to the remote sensing work, Howat, Morin, and other researchers have been funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation to plant GPS sensors, cameras, and other scientific equipment on top of the ice sheet to monitor changes and understand the fundamental workings of the ice. NASA also has been conducting twice-yearly airborne campaigns to the Arctic and Antarctic through the IceBridge program and measuring ice loss with the ICESat and GRACE satellites.

For more info on the situation in Greenland, read Jason Box' blog post "Why the situation in Greenland is so serious..."