Hammerfest, Norway Cruise Port

If you ever dreamed of sailing to the top of the world, then cruising to Hammerfest, Norway may just make that dream come true. Located in Finnmark county on the northwestern coast of the island of Kvaløya, the town amazingly has an ice-free harbor – despite being one of the most northernmost in the world. Here you can experience the famous "midnight sun" from mid-May until the end of July; the endless dark that creates "polar night" lasts from the end of November to just past mid-January. Established around 1684, Hammerfest has gone through plague, wars, fires, and being used as a German base during World War II. Despite all the bumps along the way, its rich history includes being the first European town to install electric street lamps and a legacy of providing world-class fishing. Here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Hammerfest, Norway:
 
  • Despite the rugged-looking terrain, getting to the top of Mount Salen is fairly easy. Only about a 10-minute walk from the Hammerfest town center, taking the well-worn path up the mountain rewards with views of the town below, the Sørøysundet sound, and Håja and Hjelmen islands.
     
  • The polar bear has been a long-standing resident to the area, and the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society celebrates this. Because the town has the polar bear as its mascot and on its crest, the Polar Bear Club put together this display of mementos, photos, paintings, and various other historical items geared mostly toward travelers.
     
  • Although far from being the original church to stand in this spot (the previous one was burned by the Germans during WWII), Hammerfest Church is a popular draw for its unique shape and gorgeous stained-glass windows.
     
  • Just across the harbor on the Fuglenes peninsula is the called Meridianstøtta or Meridian Monument. The monument commemorates the first survey done here by Russian scientist Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve; the globe on top of the marble column is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site's chain of survey triangulations called the Struve Geodetic Arc.
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