The Classic Norwegian ‘Hurtigruten’ coastal cruise from Bergen up into the Arctic Circle and on to the Russian border in search of the Northern Lights
Days 1 & 2 - Bergen
Day 3 - Ålesund
Day 4 - Trondheim
Day 5 - Bodø
Day 6 - Tromsø
Day 7 - Hammerfest/North Cape
Day 8 - Kirkenes
Day 9 - Return Flight
Communication by water was created in 1893 by a gentlemen named Gran and a captain called With. Then known as the Coastal Express, it was the most important communication link between south and north Norway delivering post, goods and people. The name ‘Hurtigruten’ dates from these times – translates as ‘fast route’, historically this being the quickest route North-South, now still the most scenic. Whilst some longer stops are made, a feature of the journey is many short stops of 15-45 minutes at smaller ports. The ship is never out of sight of land, preferring to sail through sheltered waters between islands.
The cruise starts in Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage city with a long maritime history, and ends in Kirkenes on the Russian border. Kirkenes became a staging area for the German assault on the Soviet Union during World War II.
The long nights and remote cruising away from habitation lights create excellent chances to view the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of your vessel and the crew will alert you if they appear.
Culture & Natural Wonders
UNESCO Site: Bryggen
Expedition Team on Board
UK Tour Manager
Group Size: 8 – 25
Day 1 Fly from London Gatwick to Bergen. Transfer to the 4-star Clarion Admiral Hotel for overnight.
Day 2 Morning walking tour of Bergen, including a ride at the Fløibanen Funicular. Afternoon embarkation on Hurtigruten expedition vessel for a six-night cruise. Sail north along the Hjeltefjord. (B, D)
Day 3 Sail past the West Cape, into the open sea. Before reaching Ålesund the vessel navigates through skerries and islands. Join an optional Art Nouveau Walk including a visit to Jugendstilsenteret – 2hrs (£82). Call at Torvik and Molde. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Arrive in Trondheim. Optional walking tour of the historic capital of Norway including a visit to Nidaros Cathedral which was built over the burial place of St. Olav, the patron saint of the country – 2hrs (£82). (B, L, D)
Day 5 Cross the Arctic Circle. Visit Ørnes, sail to Bodø. Optional Bodø and Saltstraumen excursion – 2hrs (£82). Across to Vestfjord, call at Stamsund and Svolvær. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Cruise via Harstad to Tromsø, capital of Arctic Norway. Optional Arctic Capital Tromsø tour, includes a visit to the Polaria centre and a stop at the famous Arctic Cathedral, which was built in 1965 and features northern Europe’s largest stained-glass window – 3 ½hrs (£134). (B, L, D)
Day 7 Enjoy magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as the cruise crosses the 71st parallel on its journey towards North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent. After brief stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund, arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. Optional tour to the North Cape – 3hrs (£149). Continue to sail north into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. Passing the ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkjerka. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Reach Kirkenes and transfer to Thon Hotel Kirkenes for overnight. (B)
Day 9 Return flight via Oslo to London Gatwick. (B)
Some walking on snow-covered terrain is involved and visits are subject to local conditions and weather.
Excursions are pre-bookable, with only remaining spaces bookable on board. Please check that your travel insurance covers winter activities.
Whilst the vessel carries more, the group size specified refers to transfers and excursions.
Viewing of the Northern Lights is not guaranteed.
A comfortable 4-star hotel in old warehouse buildings which date from 1904, across the water from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bryggen. Restaurant, bar, WiFi (free) and 210 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.
Modern 4-star hotel on the shore of Bøkfjorden, close to the Hurtigruten Terminal. Restaurant, bar, WiFi (free) and 143 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.
Hurtigruten vessels, registered in Norway, combine commercial functions (linking the small ports of Norway) with comfortable cruising. The crew is mainly Norwegian and English is an official language on-board. Enjoy Norwegian cuisine in the main restaurant. Breakfast and lunch are buffet and dinner is a mixture between waiter service and buffet. The vessel sails at night. MS Kong Harald was built in 1993 and refurbished in 2016. They have expedition teams on board, often made up of local experts who add to the itinerary with extra insights. The vessel has two restaurants, panorama bar, lounge, bar, outside and inside viewing areas, gym, sauna, WiFi (chargeable/limited) and 221 cabins with private facilities. Inside cabins (cat. I/K) have two separate beds (between 53 – 107 sq. ft.). Outside cabins (cat. O/N/SD/L and J) have either a double bed or two separate beds and a window (between 53 – 139 sq. ft.). Arctic superior cabins (cat. P/U) have a double bed, tea/coffee making facilities, TV, a window and are on the Upper Decks (between 53 – 139 sq. ft.).
Oslo Pre-Tour Extension
Visit Oslo, the capital of Norway, surrounded by mountains and the sea. A compact but cultured city founded in 1049 by Harald Hardrada. Stay in the heart of the city at the 3-star Scandic Byporten. Breakfast daily. Travel by scenic train (7 hrs) from Oslo to Bergen across the Roof of Norway.
Day 1 Fly from London Gatwick to Oslo. Transfer by Flybus to bus terminal and short walk to 3-star Scandic Byporten for two nights.
Day 2 Day at leisure. (B)
Day 3 Travel by scenic train (7 hrs) to Bergen. Transfer to the 4-star Clarion Admiral Hotel for overnight. (B)
This 3-star hotel is in th heart of Oslo, close to Karl Johans Gate street and the next to Oslo Central station. Breakfast room, bar, WiFi (free) and 239 rooms with private facilities, safe, hairdryer and satellite TV.
per person in a twin room/inside cabin
Norwegian from Gatwick
per person in a twin room/inside cabin
Norwegian from Gatwick
Supplements per person
Single supplement (inside)
Outside twin cabin £265
Single supplement £1015 (includes the normal single and upgrade supplement)
Arctic Superior twin cabin £610
Single supplement £1490 (includes the normal single and upgrade supplement)
Alesund – Art Nouveau Walk – 2 hrs £82
Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral – 2 hrs £82
Experience Bodo and Saltstraumen – 2 hrs £82
The Arctic Capital – Tromso – 3 ½ hrs £134
The North Cape – 3 hrs £149
Dog-sledding – 2hrs £190 per person for 2 passengers. Single supplement £75
Click here for more information.
Pre-Tour Extension - Oslo
2 nights £355
Single supplement £215
Arrival transfer add £30
Departure transfer add £15
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 2 nights hotel, 6-night cruise, breakfast daily, 5 lunches and 6 dinners, UK Tour Manager and local expert guides. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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