The famous Hurtigruten vessels have been transporting visitors along the magnificent west coast of Norway for over 100 years. This voyage takes you from Kirkenes in the far Arctic wilderness south to the beautiful, historic city of Bergen, 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.
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, Norway's easternmost port. 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 stop 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 1,100m 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 1,000 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.
Add an overnight Husky Safari from Kirkenes with our Introduction to Dog Sledding (Dec-Apr) tour.