Board Hurtigruten - Day 12

Trip Start Apr 18, 2012
Trip End Jun 13, 2012

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Where I stayed
MS Lofoten
What I did

Flag of Norway  , North Norway,
Monday, April 30, 2012

After a very good nights sleep we go down to breakfast at about 7:30. The buffet breakfast has a very larger choice of things to eat (scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, kjottbullar, 5 types of ham, salami, smoked salmon, cheeses, dishes of various vegetables, various breads, jams, yoghurt, various cereals, etc.!) so we have a very good breakfast. We then go out to do some shopping for supplies for the Hurtigruten voyage. We manage to find the entrance to the REMA 1000 supermarket today that we could not find yesterday when it was closed, and buy things to sustain us over the next 2.5 days as we have not pre-purchaced any food options on the ship. Back in our room we make our lunch sandwitches. We check out of the Hotel about 11 and make our way to the Hurtigruten ferry terminal. Unlike the last time we were here (in the summer) it is very quiet, the cafe and gift shop are not open. At 12:30 the MS Lofoten arrives, it is a very small ship compared to yesterday's Kong Harald. We go aboard as soon as the gangplank is in place and get our room keys and ship pass; we arrange for our pass to be used for all purchases on board so that we only have one payment at the end of the voyage on our credit card. When we go to our room we discover that although we have an outside cabin (and were expecting some daylight and a view) we only have a porthole that is dogged closed - for safety reasons (it is still officially the winter season). Syd goes and discusses this with the pursar and we are reallocated to another room on a higher deck that has a partially obstructed view and is a little bigger. We go out and explore the ship and get a coffee from the cafe. They have a coffee special that provides a nice coffee mug and endless coffee and tea for 240NOK that we think is a good deal so we buy one (we always share coffee drinks rather than having one each - which tends to be too much for us to drink comfortably). We then have our lunch of reki (prawn) roll and some fruit and then go up to the top deck to watch the loading of the cargo (Hurtigruten is still primarily a cargo and people ferry, rather than a tourist ship). We depart promptly at 15:00 and work our way out of the harbour. We attend the safety briefing that involves the "cruise director" donning a full thermal suit and lifejacket. We are told that the crossing to the Lofoten islands could be a bit rough as we are exposed to the ocean in the western fjord. Although there are some patches of strong pitching and yawing this is by no means as rough as our previous passage across this water. The view as we approach the islands is impressive even though visibility is not the best and it is drizzling. We arrive at Stamsund on time (19:00) and there is a very impressive unloading and loading of cargo in a very short time before our prompt departure (19:30). The scenery on our crossing to Svolvaer is equally impressive, arriving at 21:00 and leaving an hour later. It had been announced earlier that today was the first time this year that the ship would be able to visit Trollfjord. We traversed a fairly narrow channel (spectacular) until at 23:15 we approached the very narrow entrance to Trollfjord. The ship just managed to squeeze into the fjord, it seemed, and we slowly made our way between the high cliffs until reaching the end. Some thick, hot seafood soup was served and some people bought a special trollfjord drink. Although it was nearly midnight there was enough light to be able to see the sides of the fjord quite clearly (not quite the midnight sun, but fairly close). The ship turned around at the end of the fjord and we made our way back to the main channel. We then went to bed and straight to sleep, only briefly waking for the anchor drop at Stokmarknes (00:50-01:00) and being oblivious of Sortland (02:30-03:00) and Risoyhamn (04:15-04:30).

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