This comprehensive cruise takes you from Bergen north to Kirkenes and back down the coast to finish in Bergen. You’ll cover nearly 2,500 nautical miles on what Lonely Planet describes as ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage’, stopping in 34 ports along the way.
The journey north stops at ports at different times of day to the southbound journey, meaning you’ll experience all of what Norway’s coast has to offer and spend plenty of time exploring on dry land too.
See unforgettable natural landmarks such as Geirangerfjord, (June - August only) the Seven Sisters mountains and the Lofoten Islands, and spot wildlife such as seals, wales and puffins along the way.
Your expedition starts in the mountain-framed city of Bergen, cultural gateway to the fjords. After embarkation you will enjoy a tasty dinner buffet, containing the best ingredients from the coast. Sail north along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once sailed to the Shetland Islands and beyond. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you take in the spectacular landscapes.
Sail past the West Cape and into the open sea, through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund. In the summer months you’ll enjoy the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and pass sheer, 800 metre cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route.
In autumn you’ll explore Hjørundfjord, situated amidst the breath-taking Sunnmøre Alps where you can take a mountain hike or an optional “Taste of Norway” excursion. In winter you can enjoy a colourful and enlightening presentation about the Aurora Borealis on board.
Wake up in beautiful Trondheim and choose to take a guided tour of the Nidaros Cathedral, kayak on the river Nid or a casual walk or by bicycle through the Bakkland district. In autumn you can join the trip out to Munkholmen.
In the afternoon you’ll sail northwest past the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. In autumn you can learn more about navigation and lighthouses along the Norwegian coast during the Captain’s talk.
Continue sailing along the beautiful coast of Helgeland up to Bodø and into the Arctic Circle, where in summer you can look forward to 24 hour daylight and in winter the Northern Lights may make an appearance. In the afternoon the sight of the 1,000 metres high Lofoten Wall will appear on the horizon.
The charms of the Lofoten Islands are revealed in all the small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere. After sailing through the narrow Raftsund, you’ll stop at the entrance to the enthralling Trollfjord to eat freshly made fish cakes out on deck and hear the story of ‘The battle of Trollfjord’, which took place here in the winter of 1890.
In summer, early birds can go ashore in Risøyhamn for a whale-watching excursion. Later, if you want to experience the tranquillity of the sea in summer, why not paddle out on a kayaking excursion, or participate on a mountain hike on one of the mountains close to the city of Tromsø, your base for the day.
In winter and spring you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. The ship then sails into the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March.
Enjoy the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as you journey towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the continent. In summer, you might see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people dotted along the coast.
After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund you’ll arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. Join the bird-watching safari during spring and summer to experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins, together with large numbers of kittiwakes.
The ship continues north, sailing in the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. Pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka, and occasionally local fishermen will visit during winter and spring to share their catch of the day (King Crab and Cod) out on deck.
After breakfast you arrive in Kirkenes, which at 30° East, is further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The Russian border is close by, and you may find it intriguing that the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
During spring and winter you can explore the Arctic on a snowmobile, driving over a frozen fjord or take a dog sledge adventure with huskies eagerly transporting you across the frozen landscape. You can also visit the Snow Hotel and see the reindeer. The Arctic bush craft excursion in autumn provides you with an insight into this season; how people have harvested, stored, hunted and fished for centuries.
This is the ship’s turning point and as you start your voyage south, you can first enjoy a wonderful lunch followed by views of arctic wilderness from deck or the panorama lounge. The ports previously visited by night on the northbound journey are now seen by day. Weather permitting, you may be able to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean during winter season. On board there will also be a presentation of "Life in the sea".
Dock at Mehamn during the dead of night, where in winter it is possible to join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. In Hammerfest you can take a mountain hike or join a city guiding and see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise measurement of the globe.
Continue south to Øksfjord with a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy before sailing through the beautiful Lyngenfjord, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps (spring only)., Dock in Tromsø known as “the gateway to the Arctic” just in time to enjoy a Midnight Concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Alternatively, a walk around town will give you the chance to enjoy a local brew in one of the many friendly pubs.
The Risøyrenna channel is just 7 metres deep, and was made especially for Hurtigruten in the 1920's, providing an "inside route" between Harstad and Sortland. The sand banks are visible through the clear, green water. Visit Risøyhamn, a small village with only 200 residents, to deliver passengers, groceries and mail. From this port you can also join in on a spectacular whale watching experience during wintertime.
Continue via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. As a tribute to the fishing history in this region, the onboard chef shows how to fillet the catch of the day on deck (winter only). Reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2 kilometres long and 100 metres wide, and surrounded by mountains. Join a sea eagle excursion to see the king of birds up close. Continue on to Stamsund, where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten will take your breath away.
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’ today, so celebrate with a taste Arctic traditions out on deck. Sail past the Seven Sisters mountain range, with all seven mountains reaching between 900 and 1,100 metres high before making a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post. Next, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vega Islands can be visited on an optional excursion during summer.
Today gives you another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim and its 1000-year history. Back on board, the ship heads out of the imposing Trondheimsfjord, which is 170 kilometres long and up to 25 kilometres wide and 577 metres at its deepest point. Join a trip to the Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most visited tourist destinations. As you cross the open sea to Molde, known as the ‘city of roses’, you will notice the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Your journey is nearing a close but there is still so much to see, such as the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedals glacier and Florø, a modern town which is the oldest in Sogn og Fjordane county and the westernmost in Norway. A few nautical miles south of Florø you’ll see the estuary of the mighty Sognefjord and the best views of the archipelago en route to Bergen.
Prices from £999 per person, full board cruise only
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