This voyage takes you north from the beautiful, historic city of Bergen, to Kirkenes in the far Arctic wilderness, sailing through beautiful fjords and past many islands. Explore the rugged coastline and a collection of the country's natural wonders, with the chance to enjoy various excursions en route. Then sail south back to Bergen. The return voyage stops at some different ports, giving you a changed perspective and experience.
Your expedition to the high north starts in Bergen, a city surrounded by seven mountains. After embarkation enjoy a tasty dinner buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once sailed to the Shetland Islands and beyond – we are heading to the high north. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you take in the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in one of the panorama lounges.
If you wake up early today you have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we venture into open sea. Then the ship navigates through skerries and islands, before reaching Ålesund. In the summer months we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing sheer, 800m high cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route. In autumn, we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. In winter, this evening you can enjoy a colourful and enlightening presentation about the Aurora Borealis on board.
Please note ONLY guests on a pre-booked excursion can disembark the vessel at Geiranger.
Optional Excursions Today: Taste of Norway, Mountain Hike in the Hjørundfjord, Geiranger and the Trollstigen Pass
Today you wake up in beautiful Trondheim. The architecture and surroundings here create a beautiful and almost mythical setting. Explore the city on foot or enjoy an optional excursion.
Optional Excursions Today: Guided tour of the Nidaros Cathedral, kayaking on the river Nid and into the city's smaller channels, or a casual walk or by bicycle through the Bakkland district. In autumn you can join the trip out to Munkholmen. Originally this was an ancient place of execution, before becoming a Benedictine monastery around the year 1,000. In 1658 it was made into a fortress and prison, and later a customs station.
In the afternoon the ship sets a northwest course, passing 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. After passing through the narrow Stoksund, the ship arrives at charming Rørvik.
The Arctic Circle marks the border to the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight - often referred to as the ‘Midnight Sun'. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude provides the best chances of experiencing the Northern Lights. We continue sailing along the beautiful coast of Helgeland up to Bodø. In spring there will be a presentation on board where your can learn more about the millions of migrating birds returning to the Arctic Coast during the nesting period. Later this afternoon the sight of the 1,000m 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. In winter, Crossing the Arctic Circle is when the hunt for the Arctic light begins. We celebrate this with a presentation of ‘The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis', where you can experience this phenomenon via pictures, words and music. After sailing through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to the enthralling Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You will also 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 our whale-watching excursion. The ship continues to Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic, for a prolonged stay. In winter and spring you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. If you want to experience the peace and tranquillity of the sea in summer, why not join us on an optional kayaking excursion, or participate in an optional mountain hike on one of the mountains close to the city. The air up here is fresh and clear, and we get a beautiful view of the city and the impressive mountain chains around it.
After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter the Captain invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship is now sailing into the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March, and we gather on deck to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Enjoy the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as we cross the 71st parallel on our 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. After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund we arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. Close to the North Cape you find one of the world's most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. Join the optional bird-watching safari during spring and summer to experience Finnmark's largest flock of puffins, together with large numbers of kittiwakes.
The Hurtigruten ship continues north, sailing in the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka, and as we approach our next stop, the fishing village Kjøllefjord. Every so often local fishermen visit us during winter and spring to share their catch of the day (King Crab and Cod) with us out on deck. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people, as well as exploring the wonderful scenery all year round on our different optional excursions. In winter you can join us on an optional unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe's most extreme and exciting natural areas.
Early birds can see Vadsø and just after breakfast we arrive in Kirkenes, putting us at 30° East, further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg.
Time at leisure in Kirkenes before re-boarding. As you set sail, you can enjoy a wonderful lunch followed by views of the Arctic wilderness from on deck or the panorama lounge. Throughout the seasons, there are various onboard presentations and off-ship activities. These include an afternoon presentation on Pomor trade history before the ship docks in Vardø again. Weather permitting, you may be able to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean. You may even see a presentation of ‘Life in the Sea' or local Arctic divers offer displays and lectures on deck, about life in the ocean. Continue along Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
During the night we dock at Mehamn. We then continue to Øksfjord across open water, with a brief stop at Skjervøy, an old trading post. Onwards through Lyngenfjord where we are surrounded by the Lyngen Alps', which over many months are snowy peaks. Here, a local fisherman may bring some local, freshly caught prawns, to taste. Arrive in Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic, a charming city in a beautiful location. Perhaps visit the Arctic Cathedral, or walk around the town and try a local brew in one of the city's pubs.
Optional excursions today: Breakfast at the North Cape, The World's Northernmost Town, Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral, Polar Night snowmobiling, Hammerfest Midnight Hike, Into the Ice – Polar Hero Story.
Morning arrival in Harstad. Here, the Risøyrenna channel at just 7m deep, was specifically made for Hurtigruten in the 1920s to provide an inside route between Harstad and Sortland. Sand banks are visible through clear, green water, while Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants. A short here before we sail on via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. The captain then steers us through narrow Raftsund, before reaching the spectacular Trollfjord. At just 2km long, 100m wide and surrounded by majestic mountains, it is a truly remarkable place. If weather and time permit, a detour may be made here. Then on to Svolvær, before heading to Stamsund, where the huge peaks of the Lofoten wall can be seen. From here we head in the evening back toward the mainland.
Optional excursions today: A Taste of Vesterålen, Fishing or Horseriding in the Lofotens, Sea Eagle Safari, Vesterålens and the Lofotens by RIB, Fishing Village walk, Mountain Hiking.
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33'N is an important event today and it is celebrated on deck, with a taste of Arctic traditions. Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountains, which are all between 900m and 1100m high. It is easy to understand why they have inspired ancient myths. After a short stop in Nesna, an idyllic old trading post, we sail on to Sandnessjøen. The UNESCO Listed, Vega Islands are nearby.
Optional excursions today: Brønnøysund Village Walk, Vega Archipelago - UNESCO Area, Salmon Visit.
Explore the city of Trondheim with its 1000 year history, before your vessel heads out of majestic Trondheimsfjord, 170km long and up to 25km wide. Like all Norwegian fjords it is deep, reaching 577m at the deepest. Sailing along the coast, you will come to realise the importance of fish to Norway's coastal communities. Kristiansund's location has formed the basis for a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries, and the town reigns as Norway's ‘cured cod capital', due to its history of exporting salted dry fish. As we cross the open sea to Molde, you will notice the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Optional excursions today: Trondheim and Nidaros Visit, Nidaros' Hidden Rooms tour, The Atlantic Road, Trondheim City Walk, Bergtatt Marble Mine.
During the night, the ship will call at Ålesund, Torvik and Måløy before the picturesque Nordfjord which sits under vast Jostedal glacier. Florø represents Sogn og Fjordane region's oldest and Norway's most westerly town. A few nautical miles south, we navigate the estuary of mighty Sognefjord and you will get the best views of the archipelago, before your arrival in Bergen, where your voyage concludes following your disembarkation in Bergen.
Pre and post cruise extensions: add to your voyage with these great short tours:
Travel from Oslo to Bergen or vice versa on the fantastic Norway in a Nutshell (all year) tour which includes a trip on the delightful Flam Railway.