Journalists Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher recently sailed on Rotterdam to Norway and they wrote a wonderful piece about their experience.
NORWAY – Norway has earned the moniker Land of the Midnight Sun because from May through July, the sun never completely sets north of the Arctic Circle, which comprises about half of the 16,000 miles of Norway’s coastline. Southern Norway receives about 20 hours of sun. However, from November through January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, with daylight hours very short in the south.
Our mid-September visit gave us a glimpse of months to come as the days were shortening and the weather was growing colder – we even experienced snow on one of the mountains. Guarded by the Gulf Steam ocean current, however, the coastline has higher temperatures and more precipitation than expected at such northern latitudes.
Norway is especially known for its fjords, for its majestic and steep mountains and for the Vikings who inhabited the area for centuries and have been credited with finding North America before Columbus did. What we found during our week’s cruise about Holland America Line’s MS Rotterdam were an admiration for the hearty souls who claimed this area, an understanding of how important sailing and navigation was to its development, and an appreciation of how nature can create such a marvelous land.
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