King Crab Fishing in the frozen lake and fjords in Kirkenes is an experience that I would never forget in my lifetime. Most of the hotels in Kirkenes will offer activities for King Crab Safari so I think it will not matter which one you signed up with; the experience will probably be quite similar. My King Crab Safari fishing comes included in my tour package. In this experience, visitors will get an opportunity to learn more about the Arctic King Crab! You get to understand more about this mysterious creature, how it lives, how you can catch, cook, and even eat it. We were picked up by a tour group bus from our hotel and reached Kirkenes Snowhotel after a merely short 30 minutes ride.
Tip: The main season for King Crab Fishing is from October – January.
We were required to put on some thick clothing provided to keep us warm from the freezing weather. It was around -5 Degree Celsius but to the locals, this is quite a warm winter. I can’t imagine how cold it will be for a cold winter. We were guided to the changing room where we were given outer jackets, boots, gloves, helmets of our sizes.
Not long after everyone was geared up and ready, we boarded the snowmobiles to the middle of the frozen lake where the king crabs fishing spot was set up. It was just a 10 minutes snowmobile ride. The scene of riding the snowmobile while the snow falls from the sky is something that is memorable. This is not something that you can experience when you live on a sunny island like Singapore.
Curious on how the king crab fishing spot looks like? The spot looks just like a big squarish hole in the lake.
As you can see from the photo above, there is a thick red rope. If you pull the rope up, you will find a cage which contains the red king crabs. Don’t ask me, I have no idea how the king crabs got into the cage in the first place. The fisherman did some explanation on the trapping process though, but I didn’t catch it. I am too engrossed with the surrounding.
The red king crabs can be extremely large. It can weigh up to 15kgs and its leg span can be almost 2 metres. Can you imagine it?
The fisherman put a few king crabs on the frozen ice to kill it. After they killed it, we picked up a few crabs to take some photos with it! How can one miss this Instagram worthy shot? Someone asked the question if people can eat the king crab raw and alive and the answer was YES! The fisherman skillfully cut a leg off from one of the king crabs and handed over some raw meat for us to try! Amazingly, the raw crab meat tasted so sweet and tender. How I wish there are some soya sauce and wasabi to go along with it.
After the crab fishing, we commute back to the Kirkenes Snowhotel via the snowmobile and we were brought to a hut. The fisherman then showed us the Norwegian way of cooking the King Crabs. The secret is… to soak the crabs in salt or seawater and then boils it till bright red color.
The best part of the excursion? or I should say the most enjoyable and fulfilling session is, of course, being able to eat and taste the fresh king crabs that were caught. Just above the changing room, there is a posh and beautiful restaurant where we were served our lunch. Look at the amazing view from the restaurant.
We helped ourselves with some hot chocolate and waiting patiently for our king crabs lunch. Even the tour leader who had been here a dozen times was excited about the lunch. I knew this ought to be one of the best lunches of my entire trip (or even my whole year).
Tada! Here is the start of our king crab feast! The fisherman brought two big trays filled with big red juicy, king crabs legs. And I forget to mention, this is buffet style! What big legs, just imagine the meat filling on the inside. How can anyone resist this delicacy?
Just for your info, it is recommended to eat King Crabs the local way (Norwegian way). The local way as explained by the fisherman is to eat the crab meat with toast and mayonnaise. Be sure to order some wine to go along with it as well.
Getting to Kirkenes SnowHotel
- Price - 7.5/107.5/10
- Experience - 9/109/10
- Hospitality - 9/109/10
This is one of the best highlights of entire Norway trip. If you ask me, this is the MUST TRY activity if you visit Kirkenes during winter time. To be frank, this is my first time trying king crabs and I am definitely in love with it. The meat is so fresh, tender, juicy… indescribable with words.