Mike and Renée
Cruise to the Midnight Sun
On Ocean Princess
June 2015
A cruise through the fjords of Norway had been on our wish list for quite a while. What better time to do it than Midsummer when we could cruise to the Midnight Sun? As the Summer Solstice approached we boarded the Ocean Princess.
We sailed away from Dover passing the famous white cliffs.
After a relaxing day at sea, we sailed into Bergen Norway. The scenery of the fjords was stunning the entire trip. We certainly enjoyed having a balcony even though the weather was definitely cool.
In Bergen Renee took the Hop On Hop Off bus and made a stop at the famous Fish Market. She brought me back a delicious crab claw.
Next day the ship made a short stop at Hellesyt and we disembarked by tender for the all day overland bus trip to rejoin the ship at Gerainger. We were passing through beautiful mountain scenery.
We made a stop for coffee and pastries at a mountain Lodge. Mike had a chat with this old fellow in the lobby.
Then we began to climb, the driver skillfully taking the bus up a series of switchbacks into deep snow.
We were rewarded with a magnificent view of the beautiful Geraingerfjord and our ship lying at anchor far below us.
A sea day followed, and during the day we crossed the Arctic Circle. Tromso was our next stop. We took the excursion to the Arctic Center with many interesting displays. The centerpiece was the tank with Bearded Seals.
A sea day followed. The alternation of sea and port days made this a very relaxing trip and gave us plenty of opportunities to play trivia. We had a good team and won several times. Those little Princess flashlights were our prize this time.
The sun rose at 3:00 AM on June 10 and would not set again for us until 11:00 PM on June 17th.
We continued sailing North under the 24 hour sunshine. We stopped at the island of Longyearvben which is the northernmost civilian settlement at 78 degrees north latitude.
We turned South and enjoyed another day at sea under beautiful skies. Returning to the mainland we came to the North Cape Cliffs, the northernmost point on the mainland of Europe at 71 10' 21" North.
At North Cape, we saw "The Globe At The End Of The World."
We think this guy was trying to sneak onto our tour bus. At least somehow he acquired the yellow sticker that marked our group.
Alta was the next stop. There is a very nice museum here. We liked the display of arctic animals.
Behind the museum is this beautiful vista.
Then we visited a Siida displaying the culture of the native Sami people. They wear colorful costumes for festive occasions.
There were a number of domesticated reindeer for us to meet.
The children of the family sang their people's folk songs for us. It was a delightful attraction to visit.
The sailaway from Alta is particularly beautiful. Renée showed off her new reindeer hat.

The schedule of one port day and one sea day continued. It was a nice pace.

Our next port was Gravdal. The ship's excursion went to the little fishing village of Nusfjord to see the old fashioned Norwegian way of life. Cod is everything to the fishermen and this restaurant displayed some dried cod heads as advertisement.
The Viking Chief's house sat on the top of the hill. It contained recreations of Viking crafts and smiths as well as ancient artifacts.
Stavanger Norway, our last port, is the Iron Age Farm. On this excursion there is the opportunity to visit a reconstructed farmhouse and learn about the crafts and skills of living 1500 years ago.
One more day at sea ended this great cruise. I wore all our trivia prizes, passport case, clips, pens, lights and carabiners, as a good luck charm, and sure enough we won the final trivia against the cream of Ocean Princess competition. Jake was a lot of fun as a quizmaster.