Archipelagos, dramatic fjords and bustling seaside towns await you on this unique 15-day expedition cruise to a less-visited region of southern Scandinavia.
On this voyage, nature’s scenic masterpieces are showcased against modern-day engineering triumphs, where sand dunes, rocky shorelines, fjords, waterfalls and majestic cliffs overshadow man’s architectural and navigational feats.
Your ship, the MS Maud will transit the impressive Kiel Canal and sail through the “inside passage” of Sweden, sailing past numerous islands and islets. You'll visit charming fishing villages, bustling summer marinas, National parks and a marine biosphere, as well as a big city brimming with culture. This wonderful itinerary embraces diversity and the beauty of this remote area of southern Scandinavia.
During this voyage, you'll have the opportunity to explore the areas you visit on foot, by kayak or with a fleet of small expedition boats. Hurtigruten's knowledgeable and friendly Expedition team will delight in bringing you closer to nature, sharing experiences and making this an unforgettable voyage.
Day 1: Dover
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: List, Sylt, Germany
Day 4: Kiel Canal and Kiel, Germany
Day 5: Skagen, Denmark
Day 6: Koster Islands, Sweden
Day 7: Weather Islands, Sweden
Day 8: Käringön, Grundsund and Smögen, Sweden
Day 9: Oslo, Norway
Day 10: Kragerø, Norway
Day 11: Farsund, Norway
Day 12: Rosendal, Norway
Day 13: Lysefjord, Norway
Day 14: At sea
Day 15: Dover
Enjoy a day at sea as your ship heads towards the European coast. Meet your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for exciting adventures ahead. Listen to talks by these experienced explorers who share their extensive knowledge, or maybe you just want to kick back and relax in a comfy lounge.
Admire the views, try some of the ship’s cuisine that caught your eye on the menu, or settle into a good book while enjoying this day at sea.
Today, experience nature in a landscape of vast sand dunes, wide sandy beaches, majestic cliffs and flowering heathlands.
List sits at the northernmost tip of Sylt, famous as the northernmost point of Germany. With its charming harbour and old mariners' houses, List has a romantic beauty and natural charm, ideal for a day exploring on foot. Stroll around the town or enjoy a walk over the grass-covered sand dunes heading to one of the lighthouses in the area. Or enjoy the island’s culinary speciality, oysters – farmed here since the 16th century. Mudflats lie out to the Wadden Sea, which can be viewed at low tide, along with the only shifting sand dune in Germany.
Built in 1895 and widened in 1907, the Kiel Canal connects the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Here, in one of the world’s most important and busiest shipping routes, you will see many ships and vessels transiting the canal whilst enjoying the picturesque scenery.
Enjoy a scenic passage during a 61-mile transit, overlooking lush countryside; there are bridges to admire, quaint villages and magnificent landscapes en-route. Your ship will have a short technical stop in Kiel allowing you enough time to stretch your legs and visit the maritime city.
Skagen (pronounced skain) is located at the top of Denmark northernmost tip, where the Baltic and the North Sea meets. The region’s beauty and light has long-attracted artists and painters, destinated to capture its characteristic natural essence and wide, white, sandy beaches. Discover the lively town centre with a bustling marina, museums, galleries and shops, or venture outside of town to explore endless beaches. Designated as a rare, authentic natural beauty spot by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Skagen’s many attractions are sure to delight those with a particular talent for photography.
Today you will spend time exploring the scenic archipelago of Bohuslän. One of the world’s finest coastlines to explore by boat, the archipelago covers almost 280 kilometres of Sweden’s western coast and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Your ship will sail through the “inside passage” before arriving at the Kosterhavet National Park. Sailing so close to so many islands, you will see small piers, towns and picturesque summer houses, before your ship cruises north to arrive at the Koster islands.
As part of a marine biosphere, Koster consists of two relatively large main islands, North Koster and South Koster, both prime for exploration by foot or on bike. The two islands are filled with meadows, forests, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. Multiple walking trails, as well as beaches good for swimming, can be found here.
There is a cable ferry connecting the islands, which have their own unique qualities - South Koster is reasonably flat and good for cycling, whilst North Koster is more rugged and with more plant life and wildflowers.
With fishing and farming being a focus in the area, there are cultural and heritage sites dotted throughout these islands as points of interest.
This is Sweden’s first Marine National Park, which is largely car-free and mostly a nature reserve, where the many types of flora and fauna are protected. There is a great National Park visitor centre providing detailed local information, as well as a photographic exhibition and interactive presentations. Either of the Koster Islands are a perfect spot for nature trekking and hikes in the sublime landscape.
Made up of hundreds of islands and islets, the aptly named Weather Islands has one of Sweden’s windiest and warmest climates. With lush green scenery as well as barren rocks, you will find one of Bohuslän's largest seal colonies in the area, together with numerous sea birds. Join your Expedition Team as you spend the day exploring this nature lover's paradise on foot, by kayak or by small boat cruising.
A full day of exploration begins with a quick stop in Käringön, where, should conditions allow, guests will be able to join the optional excursion of small boat cruising to Grundsund. Grundsund is a charming fishing village located on the island of Skaftö, with traditional boathouses and small cottages dotting the rocky shoreline. With fewer than 700 inhabitants, the well-conserved fishing village boasts a beautiful harbour canal dividing the village and is a delight to stroll through. Or, walk along the newly-constructed wooden promenade, stretching along the waterfront to a footpath enabling you to explore the rugged coastline at leisure. Grundsund is also ideal for kayaking and small boat cruising.
After lunch, you will continue your scenic voyage along the coastline of Sweden and head to Smögen to enjoy the evening.
Stroll through rows of fishermen’s houses and beautifully restored cottages with their lovingly tended gardens, before taking in the lazy summertime atmosphere whilst watching local fishing boats unload their daily catch down at the harbour. Smögen’s busy waterside boardwalk is the ideal way to spend a long summer evening.
As well as being the capital of Norway, Oslo is known for its museums as well as its green spaces and was recently awarded the European Green Capital award.
Sitting amidst forested hills on the Oslofjord, Oslo has a small city centre, ideal to explore on foot. Close to the centre, you can enjoy trekking through the forest with its picturesque scenery and calming location. Explore a fortress, a sculpture park or the botanical garden; or perhaps visit one of the many excellent local museums such as the Fram Museum, the Viking Ship Museum or the Kon-Tiki Museum. Oslo has no shortage of cultural experiences and we look forward to sharing them with you.
Kragerø boasts a long history of art and culture and attracts and inspires famous artists, drawn to the fine Norwegian light unique to this area. Amble through the towns charming narrow streets and alleyways to discover the assortment of art galleries and charming cafes, or venture further afield for a longer walk or more adventurous hike. The area is ideal for kayaking, as there are over 490 islands to explore in this large archipelago.
Kragerø is also perfectly situated to spend the day exploring the Telemark Canal. One of the most beautiful waterways in the world, the Telemark Canal is carved into rock and consists of eight locks and 18 lock levels, and is 65 miles long.
On completion in 1892, it was called the “eighth wonder” and is a living heritage site. With old walls and locks well preserved along the waterway, spot old lock-keepers houses, sawmills and watchmen’s cottages.
There is a distinct contrast between the agricultural districts, wilderness and the old industrial sites which make this a fascinating destination. Spend the day exploring the area or join one of the exciting excursions with your Expedition Team.
Farsund has a fascinating history, which includes hosting pirates in the early 1800s. The area has some of the best beaches in Southern Norway, making it ideal for shoreside walks or even bird watching. Every summer, Farsund celebrates its heritage during the “Kaperdagene” festival – translated as “Pirate Days”. The origins of this carnival are rooted in the Napoleonic War of 1804, when the area was ravaged by conflict, causing years of hardship for the locals, who turned to plundering passing ships for their survival.
Take a walk along the old railway line for spectacular views of the fjord, crossing a 100-year old swing bridge and passing a protected oak forest. Consider visiting the Lindesnes Lighthouse in the nearby Lindesnes municipality. Dating back to 1656, this is Norway's oldest lighthouse as well as the southernmost tip of the Norwegian mainland.
Rosendal sits snugly between high mountains and beautiful valleys and is located on the Hardangerfjord, the second largest fjord in Norway. It is known for its baronial manor, the smallest “palace” in Scandinavia, and now one of the most significant museums in Western Norway. Located at the mouth of the fjord, this castle is the only manor of its kind in Norway and is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park.
The surrounding areas have magnificent waterfalls, lakes and glaciers, such as the Bondhus Lake and Folgefonna Glacier, along with historic villages all set in a spectacular landscape. Spend the day hiking in the surrounding mountains, visit the Barony and its magnificent gardens, or just enjoy learning about the fascinating history of the town – after all, this is also where the ship “Gjøa”, was built and used by Roald Amundsen on his historic expedition through the Northwest Passage.
Lysefjord is 40 kilometres long and 422 metres deep at its deepest. Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), the most famous tourist attraction in Ryfylke, towers an impressive 604 metres over the fjord. This is a flat mountain plateau of approx. 600 square metres. You should hopefully have a fine view of Preikestolen (weather permitting) before your ship heads back out of the fjord.
As MS Maud sails quietly down the fjord, impressive mountains tower above you. Spend time lost in thought, out on deck drinking in the scenery, or take a comfy seat in the Observation Lounge with its enormous windows designed for this very moment.
Today is your final day at sea to enjoy at your leisure. You may want to take one last soak in the hot tub, relax in the ship’s lounge, edit your photographs, or join the Expedition team as they review the highlights of your memorable trip.
Your ship will pass the white cliffs of Dover during the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbour. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home for the past fortnight.
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