This evening we’re going to arrive in Honningsvåg, our northernmost destination. On the menu? The delicious king crab.
The northernmost destination of our cruise is coming closer. I am so happy to be on this small ship, because it allows us to navigate to Honningsvåg via something I would call ‘the inside passage.’ Large ships on the contrary come via the open sea.
The scenery is simply stunning, with impressive mountains and cliffs on both sides of the ship. Sometimes my phone tells me there is no network, which in Norway really is exceptional. It says something about the remoteness of the area.
The geology of the mountains is very interesting. Some passengers enjoy the explanation by Doctor Jackie van Goethem, former professor at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, one of the lecturers on board. (I am a lecturer too)
As we approach Honningsvåg, clouds dissipate and by the time we arrive around 5 PM the sky is blue and the visibility outstanding. I am so grateful for this. On this cruise it seems that we get rain when the scenery doesn’t really matter, and plenty of sun on the marquee parts of the voyage.
A little yellow motorboat sails past and the people enthusiastically wave at us. This could have been a picture taken in the Mediterranean. The weather is gorgeous. Some crewmembers say they have never seen such an outstanding day, here in Honningsvåg.
A Norwegian Coast Guard vessel (‘Kystvakt‘) makes us understand how tall the surrounding mountains are.
A mega cruiseship is leaving the port. It is the NORWEGIAN JADE. I am enjoying the photographic moment. The conditions are simply excellent and I love ships in combination with landscapes. At the same time I am happy to see we’re going to be the only ship in Honningsvåg. Most guests have booked an excursion to the North Cape, and honestly, it can get really crowded there. Better to be the only ship, and especially on a small ship like BERLIN.
Once ashore I realize that I have been here before. But that was in February, when everything was covered in snow. What a difference with the green scenery now.
Rather than going to the tourist-crowded North Cape I opted for a king crab Safari. The concept is very simple: after getting warm suits our group embarks on two Zodiacs, and at an exhilarating high speed we are brought to a place where fishermen have placed pots to catch king crabs. The catch has been successful, which is not so difficult. There are way too many crabs. It is an invasion, which really causes worries. Still, when later on we are invited to eat them, I feel guilty, even if the taste and the experience of sitting in a tepee around the wood fire are unique. Sorry King Crab.
Time to go home
A splendid evening it was. Shortly before midnight, still with a very generous sun our ship casts off. It took us a week to get here. Time to go back south.
Text and photos: Mike Louagie
Mike is onboard cruise veteran BERLIN, chartered by Belgian cruise tour operator All-Ways. With some workshops he tries to inspire people to grab their cameras and smartphones, and learn them to achieve better results and come home with superb souvenir photos.