North Cape

Added 10 Feb 2013

We're in Hammerfest from 5.15am to 6.45am but most guests don't notice. Havoysund is next, but just for 15 minutes. Our most important stop today is Honningsvag which is situated on Mageroya Island, part of the Nordkapp region and having only 3,300 inhabitants. We disembark the ship and join local buses and guides for the 40 minute drive to the North Cape. This takes us out of town, past Europe's most northerly situated petrol station (!) and up onto the North Cape plateau. The scenery is stunning and although we incur some snow clouds, it is clear and sunny most of the way. There is plenty of snow on the ground however, and once we enter the North Cape perimeter we must follow a big snow plough and stay in a convoy! Atop the plateau the weather is clear and sunny and there is no wind. Richard remarks it is better weather than he's experienced here in the summer. It is simply wonderful. Many photos are taken at the globe with views out to sea and across the adjacent cliffs. Visitors also enjoy the North Cape Hall - which is mostly constructed underground in tunnels. An informative film about the North Cape in all seasons is a popular stop. There is also asmall chapel and, naturally, a large souvenir shop. Back on board our coaches we follow the snow plough back to town and rejoin MS Finnmarken. A great visit. And the weather is still wonderful.

Back on board our ship, Richard and Dawn invite all our guests to an important meeting in the bar on deck 4. We call it the apple pie and hot chocolate meeting. There are no speeches or minutes taken, we simply consume lovely apple pie (with cream!) and tasty hot chocolate. The meeting is a great success. So successful, in fact, that it attracts the attention of other ship passengers. Dawn is forced to guard the apple pie.

After dinner the ship tour directors, Aud and Elizabeth, ask for help. On the coastal voyage route, each ship passes by other Hurtigruten ships on a daily basis. Ship horns are often blasted and some waving takes place! However, each ship usually has one or two specific "rivals". For MS Finnmarken, the ship MS Richard With is one of these. Each time our ship passes MS Richard With both ships slow up and there is a waving competition! Aud and Elizabeth have prepared elaborate bunches of balloons and there is an announcement to encourge ship guests to come out on deck to shout and wave at the appropriate time. A few do. Then a few more. Then we wait for the MS Ricard With to appear. Finally we're alongside and we wave and shout madly. MS Richard With put on a good show, but it is apparent we are the champions and we sing accordingly. Richard looks around and notices that most of the contributors on deck 5 are Furlongs guests, and certainly all of the balloon holders are all Furlongers. This goes to prove that our team are good fun and helpful - or perhaps utterly bonkers?