Northern sights: By kayak to the Arctic in the light of the midnight sun

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IMG_8770.jpgEven if the England football team scored 10 goals in Oslo next Saturday, their smiles could not be any broader than the one on my face after my trip to Norway this week.
Who would have thought I would be afloat in the sea, 217 miles inside the Arctic Circle, in something as small and flimsy as a kayak? But that’s what I found myself in shortly after arriving in Tromsø. The first sighting of eagles came that very evening, as I paddled past a nest in a tree just yards from the shore of Kvaløya – the Whale Island.
The male was perched on a nearby electricity pole keeping a watchful eye on his partner. I had my camera with me but couldn’t find a way to stow my paddle securely, remove the lens cap, focus and press the button without tipping the boat over. Never mind, as my preview showed, and as a later post will demonstrate further, there was plenty more eagle action the following day.
The kayaking trip is available as a £129 excursion from Hurtigruten, whose ship Midnatsol (above) I was to be boarding later in the evening.
Shame about my kayak’s leaky spray skirt, which left my trousers soaking wet. I soon dried off when I reached the nearby wilderness centre and warmed myself by the log fire in a traditional lavvo, or Sami tent, before feasting on a hearty reindeer stew, washed down with beer from Mack’s – the world’s northernmost brewery.
The centre’s 270 huskies are taking a break from their winter exertions pulling sleds through the snow; now they are relaxing in, and on, their kennels (below). They are used to running relentlessly through deep snow during the dark days of winter; with the endless days of summer upon them – the sun will not set over Tromsø between now and July 22nd – it’s time for them to take it easy.
Appropriately enough, I boarded Midnatsol just after midnight, ready to spend the following day taking part in the celebrations for Nasjonaldage.
If you don’t know what that is, check back here in a couple of days to find out.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:49+00:00 21 May 2012|Cruise Destinations, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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