Hammerfest, Norway

Hammerfest is both the northernmost town in the world and the regional capital of Finnmark, Norway's largest county. Permanent settlements in the region date back some 10,000 years, when Komsa hunters lived along the coast. The Sami people came from Lapland later, along with their reindeer, with 'true Norwegians' arriving in the 12th century. Points of interest include the Meridian Monument, which commemorates a 36-year international project undertaken between 1816 and 1852 to define the earth's size and shape. The large stained-glass window at the Hammerfest Church adds to its striking architectural style. Shops offer original Norwegian handicrafts. Hiking and fishing opportunities are available for those whose interests tend to the more active. Pay a visit to The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society pavilion and with a donation, become a member and contributor to the preservation and research of this magnificent white king of the north. Bring your passport or ship's postcard for a souvenir Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society stamp to commemorate your visit to the quaint town of Hammerfest.