Stone - Answered a Question by strong (23 Jun 08 18:23)

Hi you asked about Hurtigruten and the North Cape. A few years ago I travelled with Hurtigruten to Spitzbergen. We flew to Oslo and onward to Longyearbyen where we boarded the coastal cruise ship 'MS Nordstjernen' for five days of adventure. The ship was far from luxurious, but most people had chosen that holiday for the adventure and the scenery. The food, service and staff were excellent. The scenery was spectacular, magnificent fjords, majestic glaciers and beautiful snow capped mountains. We went ashore onceor twice each day usually in rubber 'Zodiacs' accompanied by knowledgeable guides where we walked the rocky terrains and learned of the history of the area, the environment and wildlife. It was a photographer's dream with many sightings of polar bears, walrus, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes and many species of sea birds. It was very cold and whilst on deck we wore padded insulated suits. We celebrated with champagne as we crossed the 80th parallel North. It was probably my most enjoyable holiday, but quite strenuous. I have travelled many times with Fred Olsen and I'm sure their Spitzbergen cruise would give you a similar, but less adventurous trip. I believe they travel during the months when a lot of the ice has melted. However you choose to travel I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.

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