Capital of the Barents Region
Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and gateway to the east. The Russian border is a just few miles away. You may find it intriguing that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Depending on the season, there are many ways to visit the Russian frontier. Travel either by bus (all year), enjoy a riverboat safari, or join an action-packed trip on ATV/quad-bikes. Kirkenes also boasts several fascinating small museums recounting the remarkably rich history and heritage of this remote region.
Spending time in Kirkenes provides the opportunity to take part in numerous adventurous activities into the Arctic environment. In winter, Kirkenes is home to the fantastic Snow Hotel, a base for several exciting excursions. You can also greet the reindeer living on the grounds. During spring, you can still participate in winter activities and excursions, for example, exploring the Arctic wilderness on a snowmobile and driving over a frozen fjord. During the trip, your guides tell you about the history of the Sámi people, the extreme Arctic climate and the area´s unique wildlife. On our dog-sledge adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic landscape. You can also catch and eat giant king crab from the Barents Sea. In summer, you can hike across mountainous terrain with your own husky companion.
As the ship starts its voyage south, you can first enjoy lunch followed by views of the surrounding Arctic landscape on deck or from the panorama lounge. As we depart Kirkenes, you’ve only seen half of what our voyage along the Norwegian coastline has to offer. Prepare yourself for many new experiences. The ports previously visited by night on the northbound journey are now seen by day. In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean. On board in spring, there is a presentation about shorebirds residing along the Nordic coastline. Heading south, we cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening. The latter town is home to one of Norway’s most famous male choirs, consisting mainly of local fishermen.