Coast & seascapes,  Norway,  Postcards from the road

A postcard from Norway: crossing the Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle marker

Arctic Circle marker

The invisible line

As we passed the point of the limit of the Arctic Circle on our Hurtigruten voyage we coukd see this otherwise invisible line marked on a globe on the small islet of Vikinge.

Latitude 66° 33’ marks the line of the Arctic Circle, north of which the Midnight Sun shines. Above this line, you can see the sun 24 hours a day throughout the summer, and no sun at all in the winter.

Of course sun isn’t guaranteed, but daylight is. I’ll share some photos soon taken at midnight the following night! Meanwhile I’m simply marking this crossing of the special line.


  • wetanddustyroads

    Sun (or daylight) for 24 hours … that has to be the weirdest thing ever 😮! The marker for the Arctic Circle is quite interesting – I must say, it looks chilly.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      After five days in Tromso I got quite used to 24 hour daylight. It was nice to feel comfortable walking back to the hotel on my own as I did one evening! But yes, it was chilly – we had snow one evening and sleet another afternoon 😀

  • rkrontheroad

    I thought the Arctic Circle marked a latitudinal line and didn’t realize that was the point at which the midnight sun goes all 24 hours. You made it to quite a landmark!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Yes, it’s the sun not setting (or in winter not rising) that defines the line. At that specific point, 66° 33’, it doesn’t set on 21st June or rise on 21st December. As you travel further north still, the length of time that the sun stays above or below the horizon stretches out. Where we stayed in Tromso we already had midnight sun (or would have done had it not been cloudy!) in early June, and it never got dark 😀

      • Alison

        Interesting Sarah, we’ve been to Sweden and Denmark but not Norway, I’d like to go there one day. In the summer preferably, it would be too cold in the winter!

        • Sarah Wilkie

          Norway is so scenic but if you go this far north even in summer it is chilly – much like an English winter! Oslo however is lovely in the summer 🙂


    Fascinated to see what you make of this place, Sarah. Further north than we’ve ever been but something we occasionally think about doing. So am really interested to see/hear your experiences.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Well I wouldn’t come for the weather, although the snow has made the landscape look amazing 😃 But it’s a great experience and yes, that scenery is stunning!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      It’s definitely worth doing! I didn’t go all the way to the far north this time as I’m mainly in Norway to spend time with friends in Tromso, so disembarked there. But I’ve done it in the apartment, it’s quite an experience!

  • Alli Templeton

    Wow, I’m looking forward to these! I hadn’t realised there was a marker for the arctic circle, but it looks lovely. 🙂

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Lots to come of course Alli 😀 I hadn’t known about this marker either but I guess it makes sense for the boat companies to be able to tell people exactly where it it.

  • Sarah Wilkie

    It’s not really a cruise as most people understand them. The ship is comfortable but not fancy, designed primarily as a ferry and postal service for the coastal towns and villages. The company has adapted over the years to cater to the tourists who cottoned on to the fact that it’s also a great way to see the scenery! So there are shore excursions and lectures, but no on-board entertainment. The food is good but not elaborate and with only a few choices at each meal. Staffing levels are much lower than a traditional cruise ship too, and the service very friendly but not overly attentive. It’s all very relaxed!

  • margaret21

    I didn’t have you down as a cruiser, Sarah! Though I guess there is no other way to do this. Some friends of ours were snatched away from this very voyage having been on it just in time to have a single meal: Covid Lockdown was about to strike, and Hurtigruten understandably aborted the trip. I’ll be forwarding your posts to them.

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!