A Travellerspoint blog

Christmas in Norway

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25 December 2022 – MS Maud – Christmas Day

Our Christmas Day this year was an active one. We were off the boat in Loen and on to the Briksdal Glacier for a hike. On a bright summer day, with no snow, this hike would have been just a stroll. With snow, ice and very chilly temps – it was a little more challenging but it was a beautiful site and actually nice to get out and walk on terra firma. It was also my first experience with crampons...not the city type which are more like “crampons-light”, these were spiked and worked really, really well and surprisingly were very comfortable.



Daylight is short this far north in Norway and by 330pm it felt like 10pm as we ended our hike.

Back on the zodiacs and a quick returns to the ship, a quick sprucing up and it was time for Happy Hour. Surprise, surprise - the crew had dressed Carolyn and Tom’s suite for her Birthday Celebration.


The evening entertainment was the MS Maud Crew Band – though new they did a valiant job.

After a day at sea (26 December 2022), we did get information from the Captain that due to weather our schedule would be changing. Our stop in Reine on 27 December 2022 was canceled, instead we headed towards the more sheltered town of Svolvaer and our village tour would be out to Henningsvaer.

A short bus ride to Henningsvaer brought us to a lovely snow covered village sprinkled with Christmas lights.


Upon returning to the ship, we took a little side trip to “Magic Ice” ice bar. It had just opened a few days before and it was very cool..in more ways than one. At -5degrees and wrapped in warm capes we wandered ice carvings with steamy breaths and our tasty “iced” drink.


At 0218 this morning, the ship passed into the Arctic Circle. For those of us that had never crossed before, there was a “baptism” ceremony on the top deck.


Also, for one of the crew – it was her first crossing and she got a little “extra” blessing.


Wednesday 28 December 2022 and we arrived to our northern most stop – Alta. It was pretty much dark the whole time. I’m not really sure how I would adjust to such conditions.

We took the opportunity, to go to the local Ice Hotel. It is a 30 room hotel (with actual ice rooms you can stay in). This is the 23rd Anniversary of the hotel which along with the Northern Light Cathedral is a major tourist stop in Alta. Not sure what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised at the size of this structure. By happen chance, we even got to meet the sculptor who talked us through the process from carving large ice chunks with a chain saw, to chiseling the finer details. It was very interesting.


After the Ice Hotel, we made a quick stop at the Alta Northern Lights Cathedral. A beautiful structure with an interesting history.


Note: Tonight the Captain requested a meeting with all the guests (all 234 of us). He let us know that due to more weather there would be further changes but that the expedition crew members were working hard on alternative plans. He stressed that our safety was his highest priority. One of the changes is that we would not be going to Narvick but instead heading further south to Trondheim for New Years Eve to try and get ahead of the storm.

A few faint northern lights after dinner and then back to the lounge where we met a lovely Irish couple (Mar and Kieran) and a fun evening of laughs.

Thursday 29 December 2022

Still very far north and before Trondheim, our stop was in Tromso. Waking up early and looking outside, there was an actual “sunrise” with beautiful pinks on the horizon.


Jim and I took time to walk the small city with a stop at the Polar Museum but not before grabbing a quick pizza….having a bit of a cold – I had an urge for PIZZA…


Tonight on board was a fantastic seafood buffet.


Friday 30 December 2022 – at sea

On the Maud, days at sea are not left empty. I spent time working on my blog (previous posts), went to a talk about the Sami people and had a nice chat with a new friend (Cath) who is also into genealogy and fused glass.

Saturday 31 December 2022 – New Years Eve

We arrived into Trondheim and docked right next to the city. The Expedition Crew worked very hard to arrange last minute activities for us in Trondheim. We elected to do a bus tour that included an organ recital at the Trondheim Nidaros Cathedral which has a fascinating history https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cath%C3%A9drale_de_Nidaros


Even with a short visit, I think Trondheim is a city that I’d like to come back to ….when it’s warmer.

After a lovely NYE Dinner, we gathered for our nightly meeting where the crew lets us know what’s up for tomorrow. Between 2200-2300, we were again danced to the MS Maud Crew Band, then a little DJ mix from Marcus. The Maud Crew had special plans for midnight with champagne, music, dancing and we had a wonderful view of Trondheim’s city fireworks display all amid a light Norwegian snowfall. We had a great night. The guys made it an early night but Carolyn and I carried on til the wee hours.


Posted by pjburke 15:28 Archived in Norway Tagged #hurtigruten #alta Comments (4)

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