In keeping with much of northern Norway, the natural setting of Hammerfest is simply stunning with everything from alpine terrain to delicate shorelines. From May 17 to July 28, the midnight sun lights up the fjords, islands and skerries no matter what time of day.
Settled because of its natural harbor, Hammerfest has a long history of maritime activity. For decades the town has functioned as a home base for the Barents Sea fishing fleet, driving the local trade and commerce. Modern Hammerfest relies just as much on the Snøhvit Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant, one of the most energy-efficient LNG facilities in the world. Watch out for it on Melkøya Island as your ship approaches Hammerfest. During the Second World War, Nazi Germany used the Hammerfest region as a base for its North Sea submarine fleet. The old town was subsequently destroyed leaving just the small Hauen Chapel, which still stands next to the new Hammerfest Church.
Despite this dark chapter, modern-day Hammerfest is a busy and bright community. During July and August the main city square becomes Sommertorget (Summer Square), a hive of activity and a meeting place for locals and visitors alike.