Norway’s third largest harbour is the gateway to the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. The picturesque Arctic Circle town is framed by dramatic fjords and the vast Arctic Ocean, offering views of the nearby Svalbard islands and the North Pole. First settled more than 10,000 years ago, Honningsvåg was completely destroyed during the Second World War, but has been rebuilt and today features and vibrant and cosmopolitan city centre, with restaurants, bars and shops selling local crafts.
Why cruise Honningsvåg
Honningsvåg is the northernmost city of Norway and the last port of call before heading eastward to the Arctic Circle. The town is one of the best places in northern Norway to experience the beauty of continuous sunlight, a phenomena known as the midnight sun, as well as the northern lights, best seen in North Cape. Situated in the Island of Mageroy, Honningsvåg is a charming and modern town with a fascinating history, having been completely rebuilt after WWII.
What to see and do in Honningsvag
Nordkappmuseet (North Cape Museum)
This small, local museum located in the centre of Honningsvåg is a hop, skip and a jump away from cruise line Hurtigruten’s cruise quay and bus station. It presents and chronicles the coastal culture and fish industry in Finnmark Country and has at least five exhibitions a year.
Consecrated in 1885, the neo-Gothic style church has huge historical significance in Honningsvåg, having been the only building in the town except for the morgue to escape from being burnt to the ground by the occupying German forces when they retreated from Finnmark in 1944.
No visit to Honningsvåg is complete without a trip to North Cape. Cruise lines including Fred Olsen and Royal Caribbean both offer excursions to the mighty cliff’s plateau, where you can look out onto the vast Arctic Ocean and the Svalbard islands, which are the only things separating you from the North Pole. North Cape also offers unrivalled vantage points to experience the northern lights. Just west of the North Cape is Gjesvaerstappan, one of the biggest bird cliffs in Norway, home to nearly one million puffins, along with a plethora of other species.
There to greet passengers as they disembark from the cruise ship, the Bamse statue is a touching tribute to the famous St. Bernard dog that became the heroic mascot of the Free Norwegian Forces during WWII and reportedly saved the lives of two sailors. There is another statue of Bamse (meaning teddy bear in Norwegian) at Montrose in Scotland, which was unveiled by HRH Prince Andrew in 2006.
Need to know when travelling to Honningsvåg
Getting around in Honningsvåg
Cruise ships will dock or anchor off shore at the port of Honningsvåg. Once in town, you can easily get around on foot, but there are also taxis, buses and trains available. It’s best to check with your cruise operator about organised shore excursions for North Cape, bird watching, and bird safaris.
When to go to Honningsvåg
Undoubtedly the best time to visit Honningsvåg are the summer months due to the midnight sun. While the city enjoys 24 hours of sunlight during this time, it can still get a bit chilly, so make sure to pack some warm clothes and waterproofs. Between October and March is the best time to catch the northern lights.
Honningsvåg uses the Norwegian krone.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don't need a visa to enter Norway unless you're planning to stay longer than three months.
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