Why I Decided to Cruise Norway's Coast With Hurtigruten


The above photo was taken from a scenic view while in Kirkenes, Norway.

In February 2017 I decided to cruise Norway with Hurtigruten.  The ship I was on is named the Finnmarken.  This was a 12 day round trip cruise this started in Bergen and ended back in Bergen after making many stops as far north as Honningsvåg and Kirkenes which is not far from the Russian border.

The first thing I should tell you about going on a cruise with Hurtigruten is that their ships are working ships.  That is why they make so many stops.  It is also more of a ferry.  New passengers get on and off the ship in various locations quite frequently.  People in Norway use these ships to get from one area the country to another.

I have been on 12 cruises in the past five years.  I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise lines, and Holland America.  Cruising with Hurtigruten was such a different experience.  Many people go on cruises for the entertainment and to party.  I know because I have done so in the past ;)  There was no entertainment such as singers, bands, and speakers and t is also very expensive to party as one glass of wine is 14 USD. 

In spite at the lack of entertainment on the ship, this was definitely one of the most fun adventures I have ever been on.  One of the best things about this cruise was the scenery.  The ship is never far from the shore and it makes frequent stops.  I also got to see the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights because of the time of year I went. 

I have written three posts about this cruise.  Here they are:

Visiting the Famous Snowhotel in Kirkenes Norway

Visiting the Beautiful City of Trondheim, Norway and the Nidaros Cathedral

Visiting the Top of the World: Honningsvåg, Norway

I will be writing more in the coming weeks.


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Visiting the Famous Snowhotel in Kirkenes Norway

Hello from Norway!  I think I'm somewhere near the city Trondheim which is also referred to as the Paris of Northern Europe.  I decided to take a 12 day cruise beginning and ending in Bergen Norway with Hurtigruten Cruise lines

One of the tours I decided to do was halfway through the cruise at one of our northern most stops in Kirkenes which is only a few miles from the Russian border.  Many people on my ship took a tour bus to see the Russian border.  There was only time to do one chore and I chose this one I'm so glad that I did and spite of being colder then I think I've ever been in my life.  I grew up in the state of Vermont but have lived in Florida for nearly a decade and it just isn't as easy to travel to cold-weather places. 

I took a lot of photos at the Snowhotel because it was so interesting and I haven't ever seen anything like it.  People pay as much as $600 and more of a night to stay there.  There is a bar and a restaurant.  There are also reindeer on the property and dog sledding is available. 

I have mixed feelings about dog sledding. This was my second such excursion. When I was in Alaska I wanted to try it and especially see if the dogs were treated well. You can read my account here:

Dog Sledding in June on the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska


DSC03248-1_ppOne of the things I like most about going dog sledding is playing with the dogs.  They just love attention and are so well behaved! 

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Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mothers!

 After reading many beautiful and heartwarming articles written by mothers and daughters about Mother's Day, I wanted to share some of the photos and stories of animals I've seen around the world taking care of their young.  Some of you know that I've been involved in animal rescue for many years and have a soft spot in my heart for all animals.  I am always amazed at how protective and caring animals are of their offspring.

  I really wanted to write a post in honor of all mothers and especially those that are often overlooked on Mother's Day each year.  If you have pets you are a mother they could not survive without you!  I wrote a similar post about animal mothers and their offspring for Mother's Day a couple of years ago.  One of my readers was very grateful that I had posted it.  Sadly not humans have a mother at all or one that they are close to. 

My husband and I have also taken in several stray pregnant cats.  We found homes for all of the babies and mothers including the seven orange ones in the second photo down.  We actually kept the mothers - Princess (the black cat) and Peaches (orange cat) for ourselves. 

The monkeys that I saw at the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali we're so fun to watch.  The babies were so cute and well taken care of by their mothers.   I thought this mother was showing tremendous patience with her little one.Bali-345410_960_720
Bali-345410_960_720Here is a mother monkey feeding her baby what appears to be some coconut:
Bali-345410_960_720I saw many elephant mothers with their babies in the Serengeti National Park while in Tanzania:

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Dog Sledding in June on the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska


“Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.” ~ Jeff Valdez

 I decided I wanted to go on a helicopter ride and see the beautiful Mendenhall Glacier while in Alaska. I also wanted to go dog sledding although this kind of goes against my belief that animals should not be used as entertainment for humans.  I did, however, want to meet the dogs and see what their lives were like.  It turns out I had a wonderful time and the dogs seemed very happy.  They were so friendly they almost reminded me of how my cats are so cuddly.   They  loved attention from people and the man in charge of the pack talked about them like they were his children.  We were taken on a scenic and FUN dogsled ride.  I asked a question regarding what happens to them when they are no longer able to pull a sled. The guide said they went to a home in Wyoming. which is the same place they go when the season finishes in September.  Each day while in Wyoming, they go on a 15 mile run every morning and night.  These dogs definitely get their exercise and we all know the dogs love to go for walks and runs!

The helicopter ride was absolutely amazing I wish my photos reflected how beautiful the scenery was but it is difficult to take photos from a helicopter especially from the front seats I learned while in Hawaii is sitting in the back is a better place to take pictures.  It's okay because the experience is enough photos are a big plus but the experience in itself was so worth it!

I do believe that the Iditarod  should be stopped.  Unfortunately some dogs die!  Here are some articles written by people who witnessed this race or horrific tragedy. 


I'm glad that I went on this shore excursion.   I don't think I would do it again although the dogs seem very happy and healthy.  I just can't avoid my thoughts that animals are not to be used for human entertainment.   Overall I was glad to see how happy the dogs seem.  It made me sad to think about our dog who was adopted as a stray around five years old he had been abandoned and abused we found him running around in traffic.   He has separation anxiety disorder because of everything he went through as a young dog.  He's 14 now, but his life was pretty tough in the beginning.  These dogs were definitely leading a charmed life compared to our Shadow.

 Thelma and I:

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 Thelma and Louise:

Pano (1 of 1)-193Play time :)

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They truly did love attention and being touched!

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4 day old puppies with their mother:Pano (1 of 1)-180Our helicopter:

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Aerial view of the Mendenhall Glacier from the helicopter:Pano (1 of 1)-193

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Where the crew sleep:
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I thought they were beautiful and I am definitely more of a cat person!

Pano (1 of 1)-209Dog Camp:
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Pano (1 of 1)-209I will leave you with a photo taken of our "team".  I was obviously having a blast!

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What are your thoughts on whether or not dog sledding and or the Iditarod humane and or ethical?

Thanks so much for visiting.  I'll be posting more about my cruise to Alaska once I recover from jetlag - again.  Take care my friends

~ Michelle