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Seeking the Northern Lights

Journey through Finnish Lapland, Hurtigruten voyage along coastal Norway, and Norway in a Nutshell
Northern Lights over MS Trollfjord, Norway © Magnus Sabel/Hurtigruten

This tour offers great chances to seek the Northern Lights as well as wonderful scenery. Start in Finnish Lapland where you'll stay at Rovaniemi, Saariselka and Inari. Then into Norway to Kirkenes, where you'll board the Hurtigruten ferry to Bergen. Continue from here on the "Norway in Nutshell" tour which takes you from Bergen to Oslo via Flåm, a charming village in the fjords.


Day 1 Rovaniemi Arrival

Morning arrival into Rovaniemi, the official home of Santa Claus. Make your own way to your hotel then time to explore the town, browse the shops or perhaps visit the fabulous Arktikum Museum. You might also take one of the great optional winter excursions, which include dog sledding, snowshoeing, a visit to Ranua Wildlife Park, snowmobiling, ice fishing, a visit to Santa's village, Aurora hunting by car, and more. Two nights in Rovaniemi at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna or similar.

Day 2 Rovaniemi: Day at Leisure

Today continue exploring or enjoy one of the optional excursions available. 2nd overnight in Rovaniemi at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna or similar.

Day 3 Rovaniemi to Muotka, Saariselka: Aurora Cabin overnight

Today board the local coach which will take you from Rovaniemi to Wilderness Hotel Muotka, a paradise tucked away in the taiga forest in a magical and tranquil landscape. Disembark the coach and shared transfer from bus stop to hotel. Simply enjoy your breath-taking surroundings, or add some of the great optional winter activities offered, which include Snowshoeing, Ice Fishing, Dog Sledding, Reindeer Farm visit, Aurora Hunting more. This is also a great place to search for the fabled Northern Lights. Dinner and two nights stay at Wilderness Hotel Muotka in a warm Aurora Cabin, with a glass roof for Aurora viewing. 

Day 4 Muotka: Aurora Hunt by Sled and Aurora Cabin overnight

Another day to enjoy the peace and quiet in this remarkable place or join an optional excursion. Evening Aurora Hunt by Sled to the Aurora Camp: discover the northern lights from the comfort of a sled. This activity takes you to the amazing surroundings of Muotka. You will be comfortably seated in a sled that is pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. This way you can enjoy the northern sky all the way to the campsite. At the camp there is a hut with an open fire to warm us up on a wintry night of Aurora hunting. Your guide will serve warm drinks to keep you heated and cosy. The camp has a minimum amount of light pollution which makes it perfect for viewing the Northern Lights that hopefully appear. Dinner and 2nd overnight at Wilderness Hotel Muotka in an Aurora Cabin.

Day 5 Saariselkä to Inari: Aurora Cabin overnight

Shared transfer from the hotel to the bus stop. Today you will travel even further north, taking the local coach from Muotka to Inari. This is a very special place and the centre of Sami tradition. Make time to visit Siida, the interesting Sami museum and nature centre, and explore the village. Dinner and two nights stay at Wilderness Hotel Inari in a warm Aurora Cabin on the lake shore, with a glass roof for Aurora viewing. 

Day 6 Inari: Aurora Hunt by Car and Aurora Cabin overnight

Day at leisure in Inari or join an optional excursion - Husky Safari, Reindeer Farm Visit, Ice Fishing by Snowmobile Sleigh. This evening, enjoy an Aurora Hunt by Car to a weather dependent location. Warm up with hot drinks and with some luck the Northern Lights may appear during the excursion. Dinner and 2nd overnight at Wilderness Hotel Inari in an Aurora Cabin.

Day 7 Inari to Kirkenes

Continue by scheduled shared transfer from Finland into Norway, enjoying the change of scenery as you head north to Kirkenes, which shares a border with Russia. Overnight at Scandic Hotel Kirkenes or similar.

Day 8 Kirkenes to Berlevåg

Breakfast at the hotel, then its time to board the Hurtigruten for a journey along the Norwegian coast. Make your own way to the ferry pier. The ferries play a vital role in delivering supplies and post to the many small villages along the rugged Norwegian coastline. You will pass many of these small villages as you cruise past spectacular scenery from Kirkenes to Bergen. And at night, all you have to do to search for the Northern Lights is to go on deck and look up! Five nights accommodation on board in an outside cabin including full board. As you sail, you can enjoy views of the Arctic wilderness from on deck or the panorama lounge. Throughout the journey there are various onboard presentations and optional off-ship activities. Continue today along Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.

Day 9 The Extreme North: Mehamn to Tromsø

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.

Day 10 The Lofoten Islands: Tromsø to Stamsund

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.

Day 11 Crossing the Arctic Circle: Bodø to Rørvik

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.

Day 12 In the footsteps of the Vikings: Trondheim to Ålesund

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.

Day 13 A Hanseatic City – Bergen Arrival

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. After disembarkation make your own way to the hotel. Bergen, a picturesque city with an abundance of charm. Enjoy the rest of your day exploring - this old Hanseatic trading city is full of history and tradition, an international city that has retained its small-town charm and atmosphere, and offers an exciting blend of nature and culture. Visit the Fish and Flower markets, take the funicular up Mount Floyen for amazing views, and explore the shops, cafes and centuries old wooden houses of the old wharf area. Overnight in Bergen at Hotel Zander K or similar.

Day 14 Flåm: "Norway in a Nutshell"

Make your own way to the train station, to start your "Norway in a Nutshell" tour. The first leg is by train from Bergen to Voss; from here travel by bus to Gudvangen, where you will board a ferry for a spectacular cruise on the Sognefjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord to Flåm. Upon arrival in Flåm, walk the short distance to your hotel. Dinner and overnight at Flåmsbrygga Hotel or similar. Note: an optional luggage transfer service can be offered directly from the hotel in Bergen to the hotel in Oslo (one piece per person) - please enquire regarding the additional cost if you would like to add this on to your booking. 

Day 15 Flåm - Flåm Railway - Oslo

Continue by train - on the famous Flåmsbanen Railway - from Flåm to Myrdal, a spectacular journey of 20km through wild and beautiful scenery, via tunnels that spiral in and out of the mountain, showcasing the most daring and skilful engineering in Norwegian railway history. At Myrdal board the scenic Bergensbanen train to Oslo, travelling through the countryside of mountains, valleys, rivers and farms. On arrival in Oslo, make your own way to your hotel. Overnight at Clarion Hotel The Hub or similar.

Day 16 Oslo Departure

Your tour arrangements end after breakfast and check out.

2024-2025 departures: regular* departures 01 December to 31 March
(sold out 14 December - 07 January)


*departure dates subject to the Hurtigruten schedule.

All optional excursions must be pre-booked.

The operation of all optional excursions is subject to weather conditions. 

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