Order of the Blue Nose

Captain Terje Nilsen of the Viking Star personally delivered the unfortunate news over the ship’s PA system during breakfast.

“Because of high winds, we will be cruising past the port of Bodø, and continuing onto Tromsø. I apologize for the inconvenience, but the weather is just not safe for us to make a landing.”

Of course, we were disappointed.

Bodø is a charming alpine village north of the Arctic Circle and home to Saltstraumen, the world’s largest maelstrom. Additionally, Leah and I had booked an excursion to Kjerringøy, and would have enjoyed hiking through this preserved trading post dating back to the 1800s.

But Captain Nilsen wasn’t kidding. If the gusting winds and pounding seas were any indication of what was witnessed as the Hurtigruten ferry attempted docking in Bodø, then I couldn’t imagine the Viking Star following suit–certainly not with so many passengers unable to handle the rough crossing from Tilbury, England.

Nevertheless, passengers were invited to the pool deck following breakfast to celebrate a longtime maritime tradition of crossing the Arctic Circle.

While Paulo serenaded us with folk classics and Beatles covers of Here Comes the Sun, and I’ll Follow the Sun, (ironic, don’t you think),

Here Comes the Sun

the crew assembled to initiate each of us into the Order of the Blue Nose.

Our Cruise Director, Brensley Pope took the microphone to give some background:

Good afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen and welcome! We have entered through the Arctic Circle, and it is time to make our journey official by welcoming you to the Order of the Blue Nose! First, a little history.

The word “arctic” comes from the Greek word arktikos: “near the Bear, northern” The name refers to the constellation Ursa Major, the “Great Bear”, which is prominent in the northern sky.

The region north of the Circle, known as the “Arctic” covers roughly 4% of the Earth’s surface.

The position of the Arctic Circle coincides with the southernmost latitude in the Northern Hemisphere at which the sun can remain continuously above or below the horizon for a full twenty-four hours; hence the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” This position depends on the tilt of the earth’s axis, and therefore is not a “fixed” latitude. The Arctic circle is moving north at a rate of 15 meters per year, and is currently located at 66 degrees 33 minutes North latitude.

Captain Terje Nilsen interupted, “I believe that’s enough history for now…”

The crowd responded with laughter. And then it became official with his declaration…

Hear ye… hear ye….

Whereas by official consension, our most honorable and well-beloved Guests have completed successful passage through the Arctic Domain. We do hereby declare to all in attendance and that those who possess the courage to take the Aquavit cleanse shall be marked accordingly, with the prestigious Order of the Blue Nose.


Captain Nilsen continued…

This is to certify that you all have been formally and officially initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Chilly Deep, and should wear your blue noses proudly! With the order of myself, the Captain, I command all subjects to Honor and Respect those onboard Viking Star as one of our Trusty Blue Nose family.

We officially welcome you to the Blue Nose Order! Skol!

I got my blue nose and drained my shot glass of chilled Aquavit. Was I now a proud member of a society of alcoholics and sun worshippers?

drinking aquavit (2)

But I wasn’t alone.

Lines formed from both sides of the pool deck for distinguished crew members to efficiently annoint all worthy passangers with a blue-tinted dab of meringue.

closed eyes

What follows is a small sample of inductee’s portraits–some more enthusiastic than others…

red eye

pursed lip

plaid shirt

man wirth glasses

lady with glasses

grinning lady

glassy eyes

Chinese freckles

beard man

United in singular purpose, we now shared a common bond.

To validate our accomplishment, each of us received a certificate of achievement validated by Captain Nilsen.


Soon after, while walking about the jogging track in whipping winds after a filling lunch, I caught a glimpse of what made this affair so special.

Arctic Circle marker

Now that’s what I call “Crossing the Line!”

6 thoughts on “Order of the Blue Nose

  1. Hello.

    I returned here, when I read your comment. You are right, because our world offers so much to that it is difficult to select. We have selected to visit mainly those places where they speak those languages we know. Although I write in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, we both in my family understand also German and Sweden . My wife started to learn last autumn also Italian. Italian seem to be very easy language. My wife has also some knowledge of Russian.

    Well, I do not know if you left Finland, more obviously, I think and guess that you never will be back. I want, please, that you read my:

    About me

    It tells about my life, what I did in my work life and in addition to this it tells about my country in a nut shell. Finland offers many surprises, which few travelers know. For example, unique poor-man statues in the world, Votive ships inside churches, our customs to air our national costumes once in a year. Collection of old colorful bell towers which are separated from churches. Helsinki offers Samba Carnivals every summer. We have gorgeous castles and in one of them there are hold Opera Festivals. Also, every summer we ha Tango Festivals. Best is to make a cruise on some of our lakes in Mid-summer onboard of old stem ships. White nights are something to experience.

    I tried to find search button on your page, but could not and thus I do not know if You have made a Nile cruise. We made one in 2011. Until now, I have presented 6 posts. If you have not been there, then check my first post:

    Nile cruise1

    It gives an idea about what you can explore. Every post offers possibility to go back to previous post or forward.

    Wishing you a very happy day,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much to explore in your comment, but I will when more time allows. For now, I will prepare for a day cruise to Tallinn today to experience medeival Estonia. But have no fear! I WILL return another day to discover the beauty and adventure that you are so passionate about. Cheers! Neal

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello.

    Great post again. Thank you. At first I did not understand what “Blue nose”, because Blue nose was a fishing and racing gaff rig schooner in Nova Scotia, Canada. Later there was built a replica Blue nose II. Its base was in Lunenburg, Canada. I love your photos and your very inspiring text, not forgetting the gorgeous video. Because You made the Hurtigruten cruise, I have to ask did you visit Nordkapp!

    It is fantastic place, which is popular among motorcyclists and caravans. The route from Finnish side is gorgeous. Many Europeans use it, because It is much faster to access than from the Norwegian side. We made the road trip to Nordkapp in 2012. I suggest this trip to Nordkapp by car or motorhome.

    Happy new week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. Nordkapp was not in our plans. Viking Star has limited ports of call to offer on its cruise, unlike Hurtigruten, which operates more like a ferry service and visits them all. Maybe next time, but with so many other world destinations to visit, it will be difficult to prioritize. However, more Norway posts are coming!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s