Destination Discovery: North Cape, Norway

by Janis on June 1, 2011

The Children of the World sculpture, North Cape, Norway

Offering breathtaking views more than 1000 feet above the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean, North Cape,  Norway is continental Europe’s northernmost tip at 71° north latitude.

The rocky cliff top plateau has lured tourists’ since Italian Father Francisco Negri visited in 1664. The Cook travel agency led a group tour here from London in 1875. Unlike early tourists who climbed the North Cape from the sea clinging to ropes, today most visitors arrive by car or bus from Honningsvåg, Norway, where they often arrive by cruise ship or ferry. A 23 mile road with four bridges and numerous tunnels connects Honningsvåg to the North Cape Hall on the island of Magerøya.

Inside the complex, you will find a movie theatre, a restaurant, snack bar, post office, an underground gallery leading a large grotto with a concert hall and bar, and, of course, a gift shop.

North Cape, NorwayOutside, spectacular views from the cliff overlooking the ocean give the feeling that you are on the edge of the earth.

North Cape, NorwaySculpture Created by Seven Children from Thailand to Tanzania

The “Children of the World” sculpture was started in 1988 when author Simon Flem Devold randomly selected seven children from seven countries – Tanzania, Brazil, USA, Japan, Thailand, Italy and Russia — to visit the North Cape to dream of “Peace on Earth”.

During their seven day visit, each of the 8-to12-year-old children made a clay relief symbolizing friendship, hope, joy and working together. In 1989 the reliefs were enlarged, case in bronze and erected in a semi-circle outside the North Cape Hall.  A “Mother and Child “monument by sculptor Eva Rybakken points toward the seven disks. Cruising to the North Cape

We visited Norway’s North Cape on an 18-day Top of the World cruise, that also explored the islands further north in the Svalbard Archipelago and cruised into the Polar Ice Cap.

A number of Norwegian Fjord cruises visit the North Cape via the port of Honningsvåg.

rental car from Honningsvag, NorwayGetting to North Cape from Honningsvåg

Our cruise offered a North Cape Transfer (basically repurposed city buses) for $119 US per person.  This fee covered the approximately 23 mile drive plus the entrance fee (which was about $40 US per person).  Since four of us were traveling together, we found $480 for a bus transfer/entrance fee excessive.

Determined to see North Cape, Mr. Jones did some online research and found that the Shell gas station near the cruise ship pier in Honningsvåg offered rental cars.  We called ahead from the ship and booked the last car from for 850 Kroner, including tax, gas and insurance.

This translated to $144 dollars based on then currency conversion; today the same price would convert to $158 US dollars. Though we still had to pay $160 in entrance fees, we still came out with $172 in savings, got a Mercedes and had a priceless adventure. Nordkapp Bilservice AS is located at 9751 Honningsvåg and its phone number is 78 47 60 60.      

North Cape, Norway5000 Reindeer Share the Road

The narrow twisting road may only be 23 miles long, but there’s a reason the bus ride takes 50 minutes.  The morning we visited, the area was covered with dense white fog – you could barely see the car lights in front of you, much less the reindeer that roam the area and the roads.

Laplander reindeer breeders bring their herds to the island of Magerøya for summer grazing. With 5000 reindeer roaming a small island, you definitely share the road with them.

North Cape, NorwayLand of the Midnight Sun  

The sun never rises between November 18th and January 24 on the North Cape, but Northern Lights illuminate the dark skies.

Conversely, between May 11th and July 31, the Midnight Sun never sets, drawing the majority of visitors.

Grotto, North Cape HallWe love discovering remote places.  What’s your favorite destination discovery?

Check out these Other Cruise Ports Above the Arctic Circle…..

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