Capital of the Barents Region and Turning Point
Location : Kirkenes
You emark in Kirkenes. At 30° East, Kirkenes is further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. It is also Hurtigruten’s turning point for the return trip sounthbound. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and the gateway to the east. The Russian frontier is a just few miles away from Kirkenes. You may find it intriguing that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
As a southbound cruise guests, many of our Kirkenes excursions will be available to you before departure. Please talk to a Customer Sales Center for more information. Depending on the season, there are many ways to visit the Russian border: Travel by bus (all year), enjoy a riverboat safari, or join an action-packed trip on ATV/quad-bikes. Kirkenes also boasts several fascinating small museums recounting the remote region's remarkably rich history and heritage. Spending time in Kirkenes before your cruise provides the opportunity to take part in several adventurous activities into the Arctic outback.
In winter, Kirkenes is home to the fantastic Snowhotel, a base for several exciting excursions. You can also greet the reindeer that reside on the grounds. During spring, you can still enjoy winter activities and excursions, for example, exploring the Arctic wilderness on a snowmobile and driving over a frozen fjord. During the adventure, guides tell you all about the history of the Sámi people, the extreme Arctic climate, and the area's unique wildlife. On our dog-sled adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic tundra. You can also catch and eat giant king crab from the Barents Sea. In summer, you can hike across mountainous terrain with your own husky companion. As the ship starts its cruise southward, you will enjoy lunch, and then view the surrounding Arctic landscape from our on deck or in the panorama lounge.
In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean. Onboard in spring, we show a presentation about shorebirds along the Nordic coastline. Heading west, we cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening. Berlevåg is home to one of Norway’s most famous male choirs, consisting mainly of local fishermen.