The Russian Border
East meets West at the far-northern Norwegian town of Kirkenes, a few short miles from the Russian border, and the turning point of your Hurtigruten voyage.
The only town in Norway where East meets West, Kirkenes represents the turning point of your Hurtigruten cruise. You can see the Russian influence characterized by street signs in both languages, and you can often hear Russian being spoken. We drive to the Norwegian-Russian border at Storskog. Crossing the Pasvik River, you can see the Russian settlement Boris Gleb. The vegetation is characterized by the Siberian taiga. We pass through the Pasvikdalen valley which is known to have Norway’s largest population of brown bears. The border crossing at Storskog, defines the limits of the Schengen area and is one of the most guarded borders in Europe, unfortunately, it is not allowed to cross the border, but you are allowed to take pictures.
Our next stop is Andersgrotta, which was the town’s bomb shelter during the Second World War. Here, we are shown a film about civilians and their experiences during the war. Back in Kirkenes we make a stop at the Prestfjellet Mountain, which overlooks both the town and your waiting Hurtigruten ship.