Hurtigruten – The 12 Day Classic Round Voyage – Northern Lights and Midnight Sun
Sails from Bergen, Norway
This voyage is often described as the “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage” and will introduce you to all the beautiful nature, wildlife and culture Norway’s coast has to offer. With year-round daily departures there are different highlights in every season and the views will never be the same. The coastal voyage starts in Bergen and then sails all the way up north to Kirkenes. It then returns south, covering 2,500 nautical miles in total. On the way you’ll call on 34 ports, sail past more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains and cross the Arctic Circle twice. You’ll have the opportunity to have breakfast on North Cape (apart from winter) and explore the big cities along the coast. As well as this, most important for some, you will experience the wonder of the Northern Lights!
Where Hurtigruten sails in northern Norway is directly beneath the auroral zone, an area of continuous and consistent aurora activity around the North Pole. Of the 34 ports that they visit from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes up north, 22 are in the Arctic Circle giving you plenty of opportunity to see the Northern Lights.
Travelling at sea under the auroral zone means that displays can appear right above the ship. Outdoor observation decks provide a clear line of sight to the sky and the close-up view avoids the artificial ambient light common on land.
While your eyes feast on the scenery, your tastebuds will be in for a treat too. Expect sumptuous seafood caught fresh that morning, local fare such as cured lamb from Hellesylt, roast reindeer from Finnmark, homemade cloudberry jam and ice cream from a Lofoten dairy.
You won’t find cinemas, shopping malls or cabaret shows on a Hurtigruten ship. Instead your entertainment is the wide range of seasonal shore excursions that bring you closer to the local culture and wildlife. the winter months feature over 35 optional extras such as; dog sledding; a viking feast; snowmobiling; whale watching; a trip to the North Cape; king crab safari; horse riding in Lofoten; guided city tours; mountain hikes and more!
Unlike, the Ocean cruise ships, there is no formality, no dress code and no age restrictions on Hurtigruten ships.
This is a unique adventure you will never forget!
Selected dates available on request
Travel to Bergen
Fly from a UK airport to Bergen and transfer to your Hurtigruten vessel.
The voyage starts in Bergen, a popular destination for modern-day Norway travellers. Visit the UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs and narrow alleyways and explore the famous fish market. The best views can be enjoyed from the top of Mount Floyen. The Floibanen Funicular takes you to the summit. Alternatively, you can take the cable car or hike to the top of Mount Ulriken. At 8.00pm, the Arctic explorer ship sets sail to cruise northbound along the route the Vikings used to take to the Shetland Islands and beyond.
Northbound, Floro – Molde
Today, waking up early will be worth it as you’ll see Hornelen, Europe’s highest sea cliff with 860 metres above sea level. You definitely don’t want to miss the crossing of the open sea which happens while sailing past West Cape. In summer, your captain will take you to the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord which is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks, steep 800-metre-high cliffs and impressive waterfalls. In autumn, experience Hjorundfjord, one of the places nobody else sails to and which is a great area for a mountain biking excursion! Later in the day, explore Alesund which was destroyed by fire in 1904 and rebuilt in the ‘Art Noveau’-style of the era. Mount Aksla, right in the heart of the town, offers great views. From Alesund the ship sails further north to Molde
Northbound, Kristiansund – Rorvik
Take in the stunning views of the Norwegian Coast as you sail to Trondheim. This exciting city is home to Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral which is a must-see. Stroll through the Bakklanendet district with beautiful wooden buildings. The River Nid flows through the centre and is a great destination for some kayaking. On the way further north to Rorvik you’ll have the opportunity to see the Kjeungskjaer Lighthouse which is only lit from July to May as the Midnight sun makes it unnecessary during the interim period.
Northbound, Bronnoysund – Svolvaer
Today we’ll cross the Arctic Circle which is the southernmost point of the Midnight Sun which just never sets in summer. The first arctic port of call is Ornes, an old trading village. Located nearby is Svartisen, the second largest glacier of Norway. Take in the stunning views as you sail along the Helgeland coastline. From Bodo you can travel by Rigid inflatable boat (RIB) to Saltstraumen, the world’s strongest tidal current. From here we’ll sail across Vestfjord where you’ll see the 1,000 metre-high mountain Lofotveggen on the horizon. The next stop is Stamsund – why not visit the Viking Museum Lofotr here.
Northbound, Stokmarknes – Skjervoy
Today’s highlight is Tromso, the capital of the Arctic. Here you can go on a “silent whale excursion” on a boat with minimal noise pollution which allows you to get close to the whales without disturbing them. In winter and spring there’s the possibility to go sledging. When exploring Tromso, be sure to check out the Olhallen pub which is the northernmost brewery in the world.
Northbound, Oksfjord – Berlevag
Enjoy the magnificent landscape as you sail towards today’s highlight: The North Cape. See the characteristic Globe Monument and visit the North Cape Hall while exploring the continent’s northernmost point. The area around Kjollefjord is well-known for its rich bird life and in winter you can take a Snowmobile trip in the Arctic from Mehamm. In autumn and winter, this part of the journey provides the best opportunity to see the mystical Northern Lights. Listen closely as bells will ring when the lights have been sighted!
North/Southbound, Batsfjord – Kirkenes – Berlevag
Sailing very close to the Russian border, you will find a lot of Russian influences today. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents Region and the turning point of this voyage. Go on a king crab expedition, take a river boat to the Russian border or visit Kirkenes Snowhotel. Take in the panoramic views before turning around to start the southbound part of the journey.
Southbound, Mehamm – Tromso
This day is full of highlights. See Europe’s northernmost lighthouse, join a mountain hike in Hammerfest, go on a Snowmobile trip in the polar night on our Midnight stop in Mehamm or enjoy a midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso.
Southbound, Tromso – Stamsund
This part of the voyage is the highlight of the voyage for many as it takes you past the beautiful Vesteralen Islands towards the spectacular Lofoten. Enjoy the breathtaking views as we sail past the famous mountain Moysalen before reaching Rafsundet. This 20-kilometre-long strait between Lofoten and Vesteralen is flanked by 1,000-metre-high Mountains. You’ll see picturesque villages, a beautiful cemetery island and small white beaches.
Southbound, Bodo – Rorvik
This morning we’ll cross the Arctic Circle for the second time as we sail towards the Helgeland coast. Along the coast there are the Seven Sisters –seven beautiful mountaintops which are the source of a local legend and one of the world’s most beautiful places. View the unique rock formations Hestmannen, and Torghatten, a mountain with a hole right through its middle.
Southbound, Trondheim – Alesund
After enjoying a second chance to explore Trondheim, the ship will continue sailing southbound with the next port of call being Kristiansund. Here you’ll have the opportunity to go on one of the world’s most scenic drives on the famous Atlantic Ocean Road. Alternatively, you could go on a boat trip taking you to an illuminated crystal clear lake and visit a marble mine. While crossing the open sea to Molde, the “city of roses”, take in the view of the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Southbound, Alesund – Bergen
As this is the day where your fairy tale voyage comes to an end, be sure to make the most of the last hours on board. On the way to Bergen the ship will call at Alesund, Torvik and Maloy at night. Look out for the Nordfjord that lies below the enormous glacier Jostedalsbreen and see the rugged landscape at the mouth of the fjord. Take some last photographs before leaving the ship in Bergen.
Fly Back to the UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
After a successful turnaround over the recent years, Hurtigruten are now upgrading the vessels sailing the rugged and beautiful Norwegian coast.
The somewhat heavy and flashy nineties cruise interior and furnishings have been replaced with a modern Scandinavian look, with inspiration drawn from the spectacular nature outside the windows and under the keels.
The new look has been named ‘New Arctic Interior’. They have merged the look of modern discovery with a contemporary feel, stylish and yet unpretentious. The interior will reflect the breath-taking coastal landscapes we pas every day and the colors are inspired by the coast and the sea. Many of the materials are natural, such as wood, slate and leather.
All common areas of the ships are amended. The receptions, cafes and bistro areas, and the aft deck are all renovated. They are looking forward to introducing fitness rooms with the world’s best view.
The restaurants and the food served has also been transformed. Hurtigruten provide the best Norwegian food in cooperation with local food suppliers. The tastes are natural with a modern touch. A range of fresh pastries from their own bakery will be offered. The bar is moved to the panoramic launch and outside on deck they serve their guests the catch of the day from barbecue stands.