A stunning view at 2 a.m. in Honningsvaag, Norway (Photo courtesy of Gair O’Neill)
On a recent voyage exploring the North Cape, Oceania Cruises Sr. Director Gair O’Neill experienced the fascinating phenomenon known as Midnight Sun in Honningsvaag, Norway’s northernmost city, a period of time during the summer when the sun never sets in locations north of the Arctic Circle. Below, Gair shares a few of his impressions on this unique destination and experience.
Talk about the land of the midnight sun–how about the land of the 2 a.m. sun?! Sunset at 2 a.m., sunrise at 2 a.m. – the sun really just hung over the sea for a while and then started going back up again.
Honningsvaag is buzzing with life in the summertime, and the people, the sights are all just so nice. We spent the day on a spectacular crab safari for Norwegian King crab (think Alaskan King crab on steroids – the biggest I have ever seen!). We went out and helped pull up the pots and to retrieve the crab, then they showed us how to cook them, clean them and then…well, they didn’t have to show us how to eat them! And were they good! I’ve never eaten so much in my life.
Our next stop was an ice bar in town, built from blocks of ice harvested from the local lake during the winter months. They build chairs, tables, glasses – everything from the ice – and place reindeer skins on the chairs so you can comfortably sit down and relax inside. There’s a local custom to take part in after you have a drink from an ice glass: after making your way outside, make a wish and throw the ice glass into the harbor where it melts.
Honningsvaag is not a big place, but that’s not what you visit for. It’s the natural beauty of the surroundings and the people – that’s really what Norway is all about.
Experience the unique culture of Honningsvaag and the unusual phenomenon of the Midnight Sun yourself aboard Nautica’s Great Northern Lights voyage, departing July 19, 2015.