The only town in Norway where East meets West, Kirkenes represents the turning point of your Hurtigruten voyage. You can see the Russian influence characterised by street signs in both languages, and you can often hear Russian being spoken.
Our first stop is Andersgrotta, which was the town’s bomb shelter during the Second World War. Here, we are shown a film about civilians and their experiences during the war then we drive to the Norwegian-Russian border at Storskog. Crossing the Pasvik River, you can see the Russian settlement Boris Gleb and vegetation which is characterized by the Siberian taiga.
We pass through the Pasvikdalen valley which is known to have Norway’s largest population of brown bears. The border crossing at Storskog, defines the limits of the Schengen area and is one of the most guarded borders in Europe. Unfortunately, crossing the border is prohibited but you are allowed to take pictures. Back in Kirkenes we make a stop at the impressive Prestfjellet Mountain, which overlooks both the town and your waiting Hurtigruten ship.
Dates: 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2016, 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2017