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 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


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


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 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 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