Taking the ferry across the Arctic Circle

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We drive along the shore of mainland Norway enjoying the dramatic view of the landscape along the less travelled tourist road 17. There are a few other tourist along the way – and actually it seems a bit like the traffic has been picking up from what we have been used to so far – but that’s not really say a lot since even during the peak season of the year the area really doesn’t feel crowded.

Small mountain along the ferry ride

We have enjoying the drive in the morning and now we are heading for Kliboghavn to catch the ferry for a one hour trip to Jetvik. They have added a few extra ferries because of the high season – but they are still few and far between so we really what to make sure we arrive in time for the departure of the ferry. We get there early – but we are not the only ones who have arrived early to the ferry. There are lots of cars and campervans waiting in front of us at the ferry terminal. And knowing just how small the ferries are it doesn’t look all that good.

View of snow covered mountains

While we are waiting I see somebody working at the ferry – so I ask just how many cars there can actually be on the next ferry. He says there can be around 70 cars – I am not sure how this translates exactly into campervans but I try to count the number of cars, campervans and mobile home at the ferry terminal in front of us. According to my calculation it is pretty close – but we may just make it – though it isn’t certain. So we hope for the best as the first cars start driving onboard the ferry. Many cars drive onboard and we are getting close to the front of the line. Unfortunately the boarding of the ferry stars to slow down somewhat – indicating the ferry is getting close to full capacity.

A ferry going to Kliboghavn

After a short break in the loading process more cars are driving onboard and we are now at the front of the line. And yes yes yes. They do ask us to continue driving onboard the ferry. One more car makes it onboard and the gate to the ferry shut behind this car.

Arctic terns during the crossing

The ferry leaves the port for the hour journey. It is a slow sail – but the sun is shining and it is very nice to stay outside on the top deck enjoying the view – though the temperature is still a little low with the wind blowing so a jacket is required.

Mountain along the fjord

We continue sailing and after about 20 minutes or so the captain makes an announcement. We will be crossing the Arctic Circle shortly and to the right of us we will be able to see a monument for the Arctic Circle. We sail across the Arctic Circle with the passengers taking photos of the monument to mark the occasion – I guess for most this is the first time they sail across the Arctic Circle. As far as I can tell there is no ceremony for the crossing. Nobody is getting a baptism like the Neptunian baptism which is traditional for people sailing across the equator for the first time – though I never got this either.

Arctic Circle marker

Maybe the lack of a baptism is due to the fact the weather up here at the Arctic Circle is significantly colder than the water at equator so the ceremony would probably involve a lot of screaming when people are getting duck in the freezing water.

Snowy mountains in the arctic

After the crossing of the Arctic Circle we continue the sail for another 40 minutes – there are no more major sights along the sail. Just a general pretty view as we sail along the fjord crossing to Jetvik.

Roughed mountains in the arctic

When get close to the port they ask everybody to get down below and get ready to drive ashore. We are at the very back of the ferry so we don’t really have to race down considering we will be amongst the last to leave the ferry.

Mountain along the ferry route

It turns out we are the last car leaving the ferry and everybody race away along the road to try to get the best possible position in the line for the next ferry.

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