Playing golf at midnight while the sun still shines? Cruising through the fjords in Norway while the sun never dips below the horizon?
No, these aren’t scenes from a science fiction movie – this is real life for the handful of northern cities along the Arctic Circle, the land of the “midnight sun”.
The Arctic Circle is the southernmost latitude in the Northern Hemisphere at which the sun can remain continuously above or below the horizon for 24 hours. This means that during the summer months, the sun never sets on the frozen landscape above the Arctic Circle.
To truly experience the ‘midnight sun’ you’ve got to cross over the 66° 33’ 45” mark, although many towns just below the circle (like Fairbanks, Alaska and Reykjavik, Iceland still experience nearly 24-hours of straight sunlight).
One of the best ways to do that is a Holland America Midnight Sun Cruise through Northern Norway. Considering its northern latitude, this area is home to ice-free harbors, electing fishing and even comfortable temperatures in 60’s during the summer months and often only in the 30’s through most of winter.
Ready to experience the legendary midnight sun for yourself? Pack your shades and head to one of these off-the-beaten path destinations:
Set sail for North Cape, Norway
While no one lives permanently at the North Cape, thousands make the journey every summer to the majestic cliffs that rise 1,000 feet above the sea. The view from North Cape’s lookout is a limitless panorama of the Arctic Ocean stretching as far as the eye can see onwards to the North Pole. Inside North Cape Hall, discover the underground tunnel, exhibits, a multi-media presentation hall, restaurant, gift shop, and a cafe.
Play golf at midnight
Ready for a new experience, consider a night time round of golf lit by the sun. You’ll find plenty of six to eighteen-hole courses open daily for 24 hours from June through August. Watch out for the reindeer when teeing off!
Meet the Sami
Norway’s indigenous people, the Sami, have their own culture, language and indigenous pursuits of fishing, hunting and reindeer herding. Discover their unique culture, as the northernmost of Europe, which make life there possible for many. Learn about them through on board lectures and experience a little of their lifestyle through dog sledding or a visit to local reindeer population.
Chill out in Bergeb, Norway
Sip cocktails out of an ice drinking glass while strolling past towering mountains, fjords and glaciers that surround the city. As you stroll through nearby by Bryggen, take in the town’s colorful wooden houses that are a replica of what the area looked like up until 1750. Cap off the day with a funicular ride up Mount Floyen, the city’s most central peak, for an incredible birds-eye view of the city and its fjords.
An added bonus to your trip is that all that daylight makes for wonderful fresh produce to go along with all those delectable fresh seafood meals.