The dining room doors swing open and passengers swarm to the Arctic Buffet, an elegant send-off for those leaving the ship next morning. On offer is the bounty of the north, from reindeer in cream sauce to fresh Greenland halibut, and tables of desserts from cheesecake to cloudberries and cream.
I’m set to dig in when the public-address system interrupts the meal. The captain, we’re told, has spotted the northern lights. After five cloudy nights on our winter voyage, the celebrated aurora borealis that lured passengers to Norway in the dead of winter has finally made an appearance.
What to do? Feast on a gourmet spread or partake in a celestial wonder?
I take a bite of smoked sea trout, and make my choice. Dinner can wait. I head to the windswept deck.
It is one of my dreams to see and photograph the northern lights. Preferably on a cruise ship. A cruise of Norway aboard Hurtigruten is on my list of cruises to plan. The shore excursions sound like they would be fun and educational and varied enough for people of differing physical abilities.