After our self-drive trip around Ireland, we embarked Oceania's Nautica for 50 days. Our extended voyage consisted of multiple segments that took us to places around Europe ... both new- and old-to-us.
  • Day16

    Day @ Sea

    July 20, 2019, Norwegian Sea ⋅ ☀️ 55 °F

    We’ve left the Barents Sea behind and are now sailing the Norwegian Sea. We have received the “Currents” — the daily program — for tomorrow and once again sunrise and sunset times are being provided. That means that we are again below the Arctic Circle ... where we shall remain.

    It was a quiet day of rest and relaxation. Breakfast at the Terrace Café; brunch service in the Main Dining Room in lieu of lunch; sunny and warm enough to sit outside on the pool deck for much of the day ... with a fleece blanket for a little extra coziness; a lecture or two ... one of which was on the “Golden Years of Apollo 11;” afternoon massages ... used up the “free” perk included with our O Club loyalty level ... which is “gold” until we reach “platinum” after the next leg of our cruise.
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  • Day14

    Farewell Honningsvåg!

    July 18, 2019, Barentsz Sea ⋅ ☁️ 50 °F

    Our last glimpse of Nordkapp was from the ship as Nautica rounded Magerøya Island to leave the Barents Sea behind and continue our cruise south.

    Next Port: Kristiansund, Norway ... 684 NM away. But first a day at sea.Read more

  • Day14

    Honningsvåg: Here & There on Magerøya

    July 18, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ☁️ 48 °F

    Our Nordkapp tour with Blue Puffin took us to places around Magerøya Island. In some places we spent quite a bit of time. Other stops were photo-ops that caught our eye.

    We wrapped up our tour with a stroll in Honningsvåg, which translates as “Honey Bay.”Read more

  • Day14

    Honningsvåg: Nordkapp ... Northernmost?

    July 18, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

    Even the postcards I picked up at Nordkapp — North Cape in English — describe the massive rocky plateau that rises some 1,000 feet above the surface of the sea as the northernmost point of Europe.

    And yet, the Knivskjellodden Peninsula, which is visible from the overlook at Nordkapp clearly reaches further north ... even to the naked eye.

    Turns out there is a caveat to Nordkapp’s claim. Located at 71°10’21” North, it is the northernmost point in Europe reachable by car!
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  • Day14

    Honningsvåg: Nordkapp Tour ... Skarsvåg

    July 18, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

    Our second stop en route to Nordkapp was Skarsvåg ... which claims to be the northernmost fishing village in the world!

    Monika took us to the king crab tanks here. Apparently, king crabs are not native to Norwegian waters. They were brought here from Murmansk initially ... and from Alaska later.

    They have flourished to the point of being pests. In fact, in some areas, there are no quotas on hunting them. Regardless of the abundance of king crabs in these waters, however, they continue to fetch high prices due to their popularity around the world!
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  • Day14

    Honningsvåg: Nordkapp Tour ... Kamøyvær

    July 18, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

    While Honningsvåg’s status as Europe’s northernmost city might be questioned, what can’t be disputed (sort of) is Europe’s northernmost point ... Nordkapp (North Cape in English).

    On our way to Nordkapp, our private tour with Blue Puffin first stopped at the tiny fishing village of Kamøyvær ... also the hometown of our guide, Monica.

    Despite the dreary overcast, we enjoyed a stroll around the picturesque village along Kamøyfjorden on the island of Magerøya. We also learned a bit about the fishing industry that is the bread and butter of the region and met Monica’s cute ‘lil son, Tony.
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  • Day14

    Welcome to Honningsvåg (Norway)

    July 18, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

    Our ninth port of call ... new-to-us Honningsvåg, Norway ... where we were greeted not just by trolls, but also by Bamse, the Sailor Dog.

    [The story of Bamse is at this link:https://dogs-in-history.blogspot.com/2017/02/bamse-norwegian-sea-dog.html.]

    Like Hammerfest, which we visited on the northbound leg of our cruise, Honningsvåg claims to be the northernmost city in Europe. I looked up the latitudes and indeed Honningsvåg might have a slight edge ... thanks to a loophole that allows any place that has a population of at least 5,000 to consider itself to be a city.
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  • Day13

    At Sea

    July 17, 2019, Barentsz Sea ⋅ 🌧 43 °F

    Having made the turn out of the White Sea and around the Kola Peninsula early this morning, this was a day of sailing the Barents Sea back towards Norway. We are once again above the Arctic Circle.

    A quiet 25-hour day at sea ... we’ve gained an hour as we make our way west. We didn’t do anything too exciting ... massages; a movie on the TV for me while Mui went to the Chef’s Challenge featuring some of the officers of Nautica; a presentation on the Northeast Passage; afternoon tea at Horizons ... the theme was Viennese this time; the Oceania Club Party and dinner in the Grand Dining Room with the Gelmans and the Sweets.

    And now it’s time to get a goodnight’s rest before tomorrow’s port of call.
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