Stride climate

Trip Type : Large Ship Cruise
Norwegian Discovery Cruise

Norwegian Discovery Cruise

Hurtigruten
3.8 . Great
88%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
11 days
From: $ 1,531 $ 139 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Cross the Arctic Circle under the Midnight Sun (summer) or Northern Lights (winter)
  • Enjoy local and authentic Norwegian food from our renowned Coastal Kitchen
  • Complete your journey in Trondheim, a bustling city boasting a rich culture and long history
  • Stay active and adventurous by joining our exciting seaandland based excursions

Short Description

Explore Norway from Hurtigruten while sailing through some of the most stunning coastal scenery on the planet. Go on an unforgettable cruise from the magnificent fjords of the south to the rugged Arctic wilderness of northern Norway, before ending your voyage in the medieval city of Trondheim

This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Trip Type Large Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Trip Includes

  • Voyage in cabin category of your choice, on a full-board basis
  • English-speaking Tour Leader on board

 

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Itinerary

DAY 1: The Journey Begins at the Gateway to the Fjords

Location: Bergen

Your cruise starts in Bergen, a city surrounded by seven mountains. Before departure, you may want to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. Bergen was founded in 1070 A.D. and was the capital of Norway for several years. The city is a central point for Norwegian travel and has retained a great deal of its local, historical character. One example is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with colourful wharves dating back to the 14thcentury. Take a stroll around this charming, compact city; spend some time in one of the many outdoor cafés and restaurants; enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen funicular or visit the famous fish market.

After departing, we invite you to join our tasty dinner buffet, made with the best coastal ingredients. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings used on their way to the Shetland Islands and beyond. We are heading to the High North! Spend the rest of the evening relaxing and admiring the spectacular landscapes, either from the deck or in a panorama lounge.

DAY 2: A Day for Architectural and Natural Masterpieces

Location: Florø - Molde

If you wake up early the next day, you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we enter the open ocean before navigating through skerries and islands to reach Ålesund. Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers, and ornate buildings, Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. A devastating fire in 1904 burned a large proportion of the city to the ground, and it was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time: Art Nouveau. If you like marine life, join us on a visit to Atlanterhavsparken – one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums. The tour includes a visit to the open-air pool to see the resident penguins. After visiting Atlanterhavsparken, we continue onward and upward to Mount Aksla, where you get an amazing panorama view of the area. You also can explore this charming Art Nouveau city from a sea kayak.

In the summer months, we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing steep, 2,500 ft cliffs and impressive waterfalls along the way. In autumn, we explore the Hjørundfjord, situated amid the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Far from the tourist hustle and bustle, its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character We take our guests past steep rock walls that you can nearly reach out and touch, emerald-green meadows, lonely mountain farms, and small villages.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

12:00am - 2:15pm, A taste of Norway (Hjørundfjorden) - available 02 Sept - 01 Nov

11:45am - 2:30pm, Mountain hike in the Hjørundfjord - 02 Sept - 01 Nov

11:45 am - 2:30 pm, Hike with a visit to a shieling - 02 Sept - 01 Nov

1:45pm - 9:15pm, Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass (Geiranger - Molde) - 02 June - 01 Sept

12:30am - 2:30pm, Art Nouveau Walk (Ålesund) - 02 Nov - 01 June

5:15pm - 6:45pm, Art Nouveau Walk (Ålesund) - 02 Sept - 1 Nov

12:30am - 2:30pm, Atlanterhavsparken aquarium and mount Aksla (Ålesund) - 02 Nov - 01 June

All times are estimates and subject to change

DAY 3: Discover Medieval Spirit in the Old Capital

Location: Kristiansund – Rørvik

Few large cities have managed to preserve their intimacy as effectively as Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. Viking King Olav Tryggvason founded this ancient city in 997. Join our optional excursion to Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral, the country’s only Gothic-style cathedral, built over the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason), Norway’s patron saint. Here you can marvel at the cathedral’s incredible architectural details and exquisite artwork. During spring and summer, we continue to the Ringve Museum of Musical History, where the history of Norway’s music is brought to life. This beautiful manor house is surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden and provides fantastic views of both the city and the fjord.

From September to May, you can experience Trondheim on the world’s northernmost cable car for a unique sightseeing experience. You can also explore Trondheim from sea level in a kayak along the river Nid throughout the year or experience the city on a bicycle and try out the world’s only bicycle lift from April to September. Or, join the expedition team for a hike to discover more of the surroundings of Trondheim.

In the afternoon, the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous islets and rocky reefs. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship heads toward charming Rørvik.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

08:50am - 11:50am, Nidaros Cathedral & Ringve Museum - Available 3. Apr - 2. Sept

08:45am - 10:45am, Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral - 3. Sept - 2. Apr

08:45am - 11:45am, Trondheim city walk - 1. Jan - 31. Dec

09:00am - 11:30am, Kayaking on the river Nid - 3. Jun - 31. Oct

09:00am - 11:45am, Cycling in Trondheim - 1. Apr - 31. Aug

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 4: Welcome to the Arctic Region!

Location: Brønnøysund - Svolvær

Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66 degrees, 33 minutes North and demarcates the Arctic region. In summer, this means enjoying 24-hour daylight and the midnight sun. During winter, this latitude provides the best chances to experience the northern lights. Even if you aren’t awake when we cross the Arctic Circle, the captain will make sure that the occasion is memorable: If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you can participate in a daytime Arctic Circle ceremony out on the deck.

Near the village of Ørnes is Svartisen, Norway’s second-largest glacier. Join us for a trip to the Svartisen Tourist Center in summer and admire the beauty of this enigmatic ice world. Afterwards, the excursion continues along the beautiful Helgeland coastline to Bodø, where you rejoin the ship. In Bodø, you can join an adventure in harmony with nature, eagles, and the deep blue sea. The excursion heads to Saltstraumen in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), where you witness the world’s most powerful tidal current. There is also a good chance you’ll observe sea eagles on this exciting journey through the wild landscape.

Later the same afternoon, we spot the 3,000 ft high Lofoten Wall on the horizon. Tucked between tall mountains, majestic granite cliffs, and white-sand beaches, seeing beautiful Lofoten is a truly extraordinary experience. The additional charm of the Lofoten Islands is revealed in its small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere. Take a stroll between stockfish racks and traditional fisherman’s huts called ‘rorbuer’.

At Stamsund, join a historical journey to the Lofotr Viking Museum, where you are invited into the chieftain’s house, a full-size reconstruction featuring exhibits of finds dating back to the Viking Age. The chieftain and lady of the house invite you to join them for a real Viking meal in the banquet hall, providing a taste of the Viking Age, complete with traditional food, drinks, costumes, singing, and dancing.

Between Stamsund and Svolvær, you have the chance to experience life on an organic herb and cheese farm or visit the Lofoten’s only craft brewery, situated in an old fish-landing facility in Svolvær.

In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when our hunt for the northern lights begins. We celebrate the event by presenting a multimedia show, The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis, featuring pictures, words, and music. As we sail through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to the Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on the deck. You also hear the story of the battle of Trollfjord, which took place here in the winter of 1890.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

08:45am - 2:45pm, Svartisen Glacier (Ørnes-Bodø) - Available 4. Jun - 3. Sept

12:30am - 2:30pm, RIB-Safari to Saltstraumen (Bodø) - 1. Apr - 3. Nov

12:40am - 2:50pm, Experience Bodø and Saltstraumen - 1. Jan - 31. Dec

7:00pm - 9:50pm, Meet the vikings (Stamsund-Svolvær) - 4. Nov - 3. Apr

7:00pm - 9:50pm, Meet the vikings, summer (Stamsund-Svolvær) - 4. Apr - 3. Nov

7:10pm - 9:50pm, Highlights of Lofoten (Stamsund-Svolvær) - 4. Apr - 31. Aug

9:05pm  - 9:45pm, Lofotpils brewery (Svolvær) - 1. Jan - 31. Dec

7:05pm - 9:45pm, Farm visit in Lofoten (Stamsund-Svolvær) - 4. Apr - 30. Sept

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 5: Feeling Like a Polar Hero

Location: Stokmarknes – Skjervøy

Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever the season! During the morning hours, we briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad, and Finnsnes. The ship then proceeds to Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic, for a prolonged stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. Join our Polar History Walk excursion in winter to learn more about the explorers and Arctic hunters, and to taste beer made at the world’s northernmost brewery.

In winter and spring, you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling dog sledge ride. On this mini polar expedition, the Huskies pull you over the frozen landscape while you enjoy stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and open plateaus. During the polar night, the only light comes from our headlamps, the starry sky, and, if we’re lucky, the magical northern lights. You can also enjoy some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure or go deep-sea fishing on an Arctic fjord. Throughout the year you can join the expedition team for hikes and discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings.

If you want to experience peace and tranquillity on the sea, why not join us for a kayaking excursion in summer? Paddle in the waters off the Tromsø coastline with the mountains as a stunning backdrop. This is a great way to silently glide through these pristine waters and get close to marine wildlife.

After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. The ship is now sailing into waters where you have the best chance of seeing the northern lights between September and March. We gather on deck to search the skies for this remarkable cosmic phenomenon.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

2:30pm - 6:00pm, The Arctic Capital Tromsø (Tromsø) - Available 1. Jan - 31. Dec

2:30pm - 6:00pm, Dog Sledding (Tromsø) - 5. Nov - 4. May

2:30pm - 6:00pm, Scenery & Huskies (Tromsø) - 5. May - 4. Nov

2:45pm - 5:30pm, Polar History Walk (Tromsø) - 5. Nov  - 4. May

2:30pm - 6:00pm, Kayaking (Tromsø) - 1. May - 31. Aug

2:45pm - 6:00pm, Silent whale exploring (Tromsø) - 5. Nov - 14. Feb

2:45pm - 5:45pm, Cross country skiing (Tromsø) - 5. Jan - 1. May

2:45pm - 5:45pm, Snowshoeing in Tromsø - 5. Jan - 1. May

2:45pm - 6:00pm, Sami Adventure in Tromsø - 15. Dec - 1. May

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 6: At the Top of the World - North Cape

Location: Øksfjord – Berlevåg

Enjoy magnificent sub-Arctic landscapes as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey toward the North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent. In summer, you may see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people.

After a brief, early stop in Hammerfest we arrive in Havøysund, where you can disembark for an overland RIB boat ride and hike to the North Cape during the summer months. We pass scenic bird cliffs on our way to Hornvika, where we hike the old historical route up to the North Cape plateau.

The ship arrives in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. An optional excursion to the North Cape plateau puts you at 71° 10’ 21” N, only 1,245 miles away from the Geographic North Pole. Standing atop the 1,000 ft high North Cape plateau imparts a sublime sense of being at the end of the world. While admiring the view, be sure to take a picture of this amazing place! Close to the North Cape you find one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. Join us for a birdwatching safari to experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins and a large number of kittiwakes. During the nesting season, this area teems with life, and mighty sea eagles hover above in search of prey. Guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, Arctic skuas, northern fulmars, Brünnich’s guillemots, and the large northern gannet fill the air with a cacophony of shrieks and screeches.

If you want to learn more about local life in this remote region, join a fishing village visit that takes you across the island of Magerøya’s fantastic scenery to the fishing communities of Kamøyvær and Skarsvåg. Along the way, your guide tells you about the area’s nature, its local culture, and history.

The ship then continues north, sailing into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation of Finnkirka, as we approach our next stop, the fishing village of Kjøllefjord. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people and explore the wonderful landscape in summer and autumn. Learn about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hear traditional Sámi ‘joiking’ (song). In winter, you can join us on an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Along the way, guides tell you about the Sámi people, the geographic and climatic conditions, life on the Finnmark coast, and how the local population effectively utilizes nature in both summer and winter. Experience snowy valleys, fresh winter air, and perhaps even the mesmerizing northern lights in the starry sky. Sámi Autumn is an excursion where you learn about the Arctic’s natural ‘pantry’ and ‘pharmacy’, and sample dried reindeer meat, crowberry juice, herbal tea (made with nettles), and a roseroot tincture. You may also feel the presence of the Sámi shaman: Noaidi.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

11:30am - 2:30pm, The North Cape (Honningsvåg) - Available all year round

11:30am - 2:30pm, The North Cape exclusive (Honningsvåg) - all year round

11:30am - 2:30pm, Birdwatching Safari (Honningsvåg) - 06. Apr - 05. Sept

12:00am - 1:45pm, Our Northernmost life (Honningsvåg) - 10. Jun - 10. Aug

11:30am - 2:00pm, Fishing village visit (Honningsvåg) - all year round

5:00pm - 7:30pm, Sami Culture (Kjøllefjord-Mehamn) -  06. May - 05. Sept

5:15pm - 7:30pm, Snowmobile trip in the Arctic (Kjøllefjord-Mehamn) - 06. Dec - 15. May

5:15pm - 7:30pm, Sami Autumn (Kjøllefjord-Mehamn) - 06. Sept - 05. Nov

9:30pm - 9:15pm, Winter Expedition in the Arctic Wilderness (BVG-BVG) - 10. Apr - 10. May

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 7: Capital of the Barents Region and the Turning Point

Location: Båtsfjord – Kirkenes – Berlevåg

The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes. We arrive early in nearby Vadsø, and just after breakfast, we arrive in Kirkenes. At 30° East, Kirkenes is farther east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul! It is also Hurtigruten’s turning point for the return trip west southbound along the coast. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and the gateway to the east.

The Russian frontier is a just few miles away from Kirkenes. You may find it intriguing that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Depending on the season, there are many ways to visit the Russian border. Travel either by bus (all year), enjoy a riverboat safari or join an action-packed trip on an ATV/quad-bike. Kirkenes also boasts several fascinating small museums recounting the remote region’s remarkably rich history and heritage.

Spending time in Kirkenes provides the opportunity to take part in numerous adventurous activities in the Arctic environment. In winter and spring, you can join several activities and excursions, such as exploring the Arctic wilderness on a snowmobile and driving over a frozen fjord. During the trip, your guides tell you about the history of the region, the extreme Arctic climate, and the area’s unique wildlife. On our dog sledge adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic landscape. In summer, you can join an excursion where you catch and eat giant king crabs from the Barents Sea.

As the ship starts its journey southward, you can enjoy lunch, followed by viewing the surrounding Arctic landscapes from out on the deck or from the panorama lounge. As we depart Kirkenes, you’ve only seen half of what the Norwegian coastline cruise has to offer! Prepare yourself for many new experiences. The ports visited at night on the northbound trip are now seen by day. In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice swimming in the Arctic Ocean. In spring, on board, we show a presentation about shorebirds along the Nordic coastline. Heading west, we cruise along the Varanger Peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening. Berlevåg is home to one of Norway’s most famous male choirs, consisting mainly of local fishermen.

DAY 8: Surrounded by Excitement

Location: Mehamn – Tromsø

In the middle of the night, we dock at Mehamn. During wintertime, you can join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Experience snow-clad valleys, fresh winter air, and perhaps even the mesmerizing northern lights in the clear, starry sky.

At Honningsvåg, you can join a coach excursion that features breakfast at the North Cape, and discover hidden parts of Finnmark along the way between May and October. Before arriving in Hammerfest, you may want to enjoy an ‘energy coffee’ and a short onboard introduction to nearby Melkøya – the world’s northernmost natural gas terminal. In autumn, we invite you out on deck to taste dried reindeer meat. The town of Hammerfest was founded in 1789, and over time became Norway’s polar capital, serving as a base for hunting expeditions into the High Arctic. Here you can see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise geographic measurement of the globe. In winter, you can also join a mini-mountain expedition to experience the Arctic outdoors and learn about local polar hero and cook, Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm.

We then continue south to Øksfjord. In winter, our crew teaches you how to tie maritime knots out on deck. After crossing open water, we make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy. In spring, we sail through the beautiful Lyngenfjord, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps, and where a local fisherman may visit and share fresh, locally caught prawns. We then dock at Tromsø, just in time to enjoy a magical midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. In summer, you can join a midnight excursion under the midnight sun, and explore Tromsø by sea in a RIB boat. Or, a walk around the town provides you with the chance to enjoy a local brew at one of the city’s many friendly pubs.

In summer, you can also join the expedition team for small explorer boat activities to discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

12:45am - 03:00am, Snowmobile trip in the polar night (Mehamn-Kjøllefjord) - 08.Dec - 17.May

05:30am - 11:30am, Breakfast at the North Cape (Honningsvåg- Hammerfest) - 08.May - 07.Oct

10:50am - 12:35am, The northernmost town in the world (Hammerfest) - 06.Aug - 08.Apr

10:45am - 12:15am, Mountain hike in Hammerfest (Hammerfest) - 08.Jun - 07.Nov

10:55am - 12:40am, Into the ice (Hammerfest) - 08.Nov - 22.Mar

12:00pm - 01:15am, Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral (Tromsø) - All year round

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 9: Lofoten, Where Nature Amazes

Location: Tromsø – Stamsund

This morning we arrive at Harstad, where you can participate in one of Hurtigruten’s most beloved and renowned excursions: A Taste of Vesterålen. Experience history, beautiful scenery, and a selection of breathtaking sights, including Trondenes Church, one of Norway’s premier cultural heritage sites from the late Middle Ages. Those who choose to stay on board can admire views of this old church as we sail toward the Risøyrenna, a shallow, 23 ft deep channel made for Hurtigruten in the 1920s to provide an ‘inside route’ between Harstad and Sortland. Sandbanks along the Risøyrenna are visible through the clear, green water. The island groups of Lofoten and Vesterålen offer some of the most stunning scenery you see during the entire coastal cruise. The Lofoten region is renowned for its natural beauty with steep mountains, wild nature, and small, picturesque fishing villages. The daylight sailing route through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight for many of our guests.

 

Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants, and we make a short stop here to deliver passengers, groceries, and mail. As a springtime tribute to the region’s fishing heritage, our chef shows guests how to fillet the catch of the day on deck. We then continue south via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. Go ashore and visit the Hurtigruten museum here. Continuing southward, it looks like we are sailing straight into a mountain wall, but we slip through an opening leading to the narrow Raftsund. This 12-mile passage between Lofoten and Vesterålen takes you through mountains soaring 3,300 ft directly out of the sea.

Then we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only one mile long, 330 ft wide, and surrounded by majestic mountains. If weather and time permit, the captain will make a detour into the fjord. Steep cliffs hug the ship’s sides, and the dramatic landscape conjures images of an imaginary land of trolls. The Trollfjord is also the realm of the sea eagle. Should you choose to take the optional sea eagle safari to see these magnificent birds up close, you will be transferred to a smaller vessel before we reach the Trollfjord. Then the Hurtigruten ship turns around in the narrow fjord, a magnificent sight! The sea eagle safari begins in earnest after leaving the Trollfjord, passing through narrow channels flanked by steep mountains where the birds dwell and can be viewed. These beautiful, rare birds of prey circle the boat a few times before we toss fish into the sea for them to snatch and devour. Be sure to take along your camera!

Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several excursion options. Join our Lofoten Islands tour to learn more about the archipelago’s fishing communities, beautiful scenery, and local art. You can also join a horseback ride and experience a sunset trot through the powdery white sand on a beach along the Norwegian Sea. If you want more of an adrenaline rush, join one of our high-octane excursions by RIB boat. Lofoten is known for its excellent fishing, and in winter and spring, you can join a fishing trip to try your luck at catching cod. If you prefer dry land, a guided fishing village walk provides insight into local history and culture.  From Svolvær, we continue to Stamsund, where we see the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten Wall. We leave Lofoten during the evening and set course for the mainland.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

08:15am - 12:30am, A taste of Vesterålen (Harstad- Sortland) - All year round

4:30pm - 6:25pm, Sea Eagle Safari (Trollfjord - Svolvær) - 24.Mar - 15.Oct

3:00pm - 5:30pm, Vesterålen and Lofoten by RIB (Stokmarknes-Svolvær) - 15.May - 31.Aug

6:50pm - 10:20pm, Lofoten Islands (Svolvær- Stamsund) - 09.Apr - 31.Aug

6:30pm - 10:00pm, Lofoten by horse (Svolvær - Stamsund) - All year round

6:30pm - 8:00pm, RIB-adventure in Lofoten (Svolvær) - 09.Jun - 08.Sept

6:45pm - 8:15pm, Fishing village tour (Svolvær) - 01.Sept - 08.Apr

6:45pm - 8:15pm, Fishing in Lofoten (Svolvær) - 09.Apr - 08.Jun

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 10: Admire the Seven Sisters

Location: Bodø – Rørvik

Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’ N is an important rite of passage. Today we celebrate the event out on the deck with a taste of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil! Sailing along the Helgeland coast, we pass hundreds of islets, fertile farmland, and steep granite walls rich in local lore. On deck, you can see the strange mountain Torghatten (rising 850 ft above sea level), famous for its distinctive hole right through the middle. The hole is 525 ft long, 115 ft high, and 65 ft wide, and was created during the Ice Age.

Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven peaks are between 2,800 and 3,600 ft high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ led to an ancient myth. The story goes that there were seven troll sisters, the daughters of King Sulis, who kept them under strict control. One night, when the king fell into a deep sleep, the seven maidens slipped out. Vågekallen, who was eager for a wife, was lying in wait. He pursued the sisters, who fled southward down the coast. Several other trolls joined the chase to either capture or rescue the maidens. When night turned to morning, the troll sisters and their pursuers were petrified, as the sun turns all trolls to stone. They became the rocks and mountains that make the Helgeland coastline one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Next, we make a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post, before moving on to Sandnessjøen. The UNESCO World Heritage site of the Vega Islands is nearby Sandnessjøen and can be visited on an optional excursion during summer. This unique cultural landscape consists of dozens of islands. The UNESCO designation was awarded due to the unique interaction between the eider duck and the island population. Learn how the fishermen and farmers have cultivated a centuries-old symbiotic relationship with the ducks, and how this relationship continues to contribute to the livelihood of the community who harvests the eiderdown and makes down-filled duvets.

As we arrive in Brønnøysund, you can join an excursion to visit the Norwegian Aquaculture Center near Brønnøysund from April through October, and enjoy an informative tour and a taste of fresh salmon.

Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 March 2019:

3:45pm - 5:00pm, Brønnøysund village walk (Brønnøysund) - All year round

12:45am - 4:50pm, UNESCO Vega Archipelago (Sandnessjøen-Brønnøysund) - 10.Jun - 09.Sept

3:45pm - 5:00pm, Visit the salmon (Brønnøysund) - 01.Apr - 31.Oct

12:30am - 4:30pm, The gateway to Helgeland (Sandnessjøen-Brønnøysund) - 10.Sept - 09.Jun

All times are estimates and subject to change.

DAY 11: In Cod We Trust

Location: Trondheim

Few large cities have managed to preserve their intimacy as effectively as Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. Viking King Olav Tryggvason, founded this ancient city in 997. Today provides another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. You leave the ship early in the morning, with plenty of time to discover this medieval city.

 

Today, the city has a number of historical and modern highlights to see. Marvel at the incredible architectural details and exquisite artwork of Nidaros Cathedral, the country’s only Gothic-style cathedral, built over the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason), Norway’s patron saint. If you're visiting in spring and summer, be sure to make a stop at Ringve Museum of Musical History, where the history of Norway’s music is brought to life. This beautiful manor house is surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden and provides fantastic views of both the city and the fjord.

Trondheim is also home to the world’s northernmost cable car and the world's first bicycle lift.

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8 Hurtigruten Travel Reviews & Ratings

88%
3.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3
Great 3
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
3.8
Guide
3.3
Activities
3.8
Lodging
3.5
Transportation
3.8
Meals
3.8

Norwegian Discovery Cruise

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Great Time with Grandfather

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide3.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I technically took the abbreviated version of this exact cruise a few years back, essentially a one-way trip through the Fjords starting in Bergen and going up to Kirkenes on the Russian border. It was a graduation present from my grandfather, and we took the trip together. He is not the most mobile of travelers, and a cruise was a great compromise for us. I loved being able to talk and read with him on the many rocking chairs looking out the ship's walls, and it was helpful to get the occasional reminder from the Captain about the feature we were passing. We got a solid feel for Norway's coastline and culture from watching attentively from the boat, and also getting off at the majority of the daytime stops. We took part in a bunch of the optional activities (which we booked right beforehand, there was no trouble with that) and there were plenty of options we both liked. One my favorites was seeing a Sami settlement, learning about their culture and how they farm reindeer. The bus ride that took us from the boat to the Sami was also incredible -- the landscape had totally changed, we saw the rows and rows of fish racks, and we even saw wild reindeer run past! The optional activities also meant that when I wanted to take a hike one day, I could go and my grandfather could do whatever he wanted, and we'd see each other in a couple of hours.

A couple of other things that made this trip for us: the food and the ship itself. The ship's room was definitely close quarters, but my grandfather is a big man and we still had no trouble with anything. The entire ship is handicap accessible, and there is a gym and a hot tub I utilized multiple times! Most importantly: the food. My grandpa is a HUGE foodie and an adventurous eater, and that was definitely his primary concern, and we were both satisfied with the quality of the food. We both felt there was a good balance between having good food, and having enough classical Norwegian food. Plus, if you feel like getting fancy, there is a separate restaurant on the ship that is an extra fee.

The only reason I give "guide" a lower rating is because we weren't really guided for much of the ship, only during the optional excursions and the occasional information from the captain.
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Company Reviews

One of the world's most beautiful voyages

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide3.0
Activities5.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The Hurtigruten, which travels the coast of Norway north from Bergen beyond the Arctic Circle almost to Russia, is nothing short of gorgeous. You get to stop in big cities/towns like Tromso and Trondheim, but also in little villages,including one known as the farthest north in Europe. You also get to cruise down some beautiful fjords. One of the best features is that the ships double as cargo carriers along with passengers, so at every stop you can watch the crew load and unload the supplies that keep these far-north villages going all year round. (The summer trips are almost all 24-hour daylight, while the winter trips are mostly in darkness.) There's nothing fancy about these ships, and the food isn't as memorable as on some other ships, but the experience is hard to top. Hurtigruten has expanded beyond Norway, too, but I haven't taken any of their other trips.
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very cool Antarctic cruise

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
We had wanted to take an expedition style cruise to Antarctica for a while now. Having traveled previously on Hurtigruten along the Norwegian coast a number of years ago, when they started cruising to Antarctica last year at reasonable prices we were definitely interested. Antarctica promised to be a remote and unusual adventure with unique scenery and wildlife.

The Fram is a new ship (went into service in 2007) and is very comfortable with attractive Scandinavian modern style, and excellent public spaces, especially the observation deck on the 7th deck with comfortable chairs and floor to ceiling windows, and the 4th deck dining room, also with extensive windows and views.

Cabins:

We signed up for QJ mini suite with limited view. (Cabins below suite category are very SMALL--be aware of this before you book one). Initially we got less than we had expected or paid for: suite 503 instead of being a limited view suite was a NO view suite, with superstructure almost completely blocking the window and any views except at an extreme angle. After complaining to the Hotel Director, who confirmed that this should have been booked only as a no-view suite (as should the comparable one on the port side of the ship) and then, vehemently, to the Chief Purser, we were switched to suite 516, which was perfectly fine. Moderately roomy, with a comfortable queen bed, adequate floor space, good bathroom with shower, this suite had a decent outside view with only minor obstruction. Note: all the deck 5 QJ cabins have an accessible deck directly outside, so there is limited privacy unless the drapes are drawn.

Perks of having a suite on this cruise: 2 free shore excursions (Tierra del Fuego National Park and a tango show in Buenos Aires for us); a bottle of French Champagne in the suite, and free beverages with lunch and dinner (soft drinks, beer, mediocre wine).

Service: The dining room and cabin crew seemed to be almost exclusively Filipino. The staff were uniformly pleasant, courteous, and helpful, a real plus. We thought overall service levels were equivalent to the highly rated and expensive cruise lines like Regent and Silversea.

Shore excursions: Two a day while in Antarctica, and we didn't miss any because of bad weather which sometimes happening. These were the highlight of the cruise. Only 100 passengers are allowed ashore at one time, due to Antarctic regulations. So excursions were limited to 1 hour shore time. The Polar Cerkel boats which took us ashore are nicer than Zodiacs, with better protection from wind and spray. During the excursions, we could walk around on the snow and ice, climb small hills, walk past penguin rookeries (Gentoo, Adellie and Chinstrap Penguins) and past elephant seals and Antarctic birds. Vistas were spectacular, vast fields of white snow, white and blue snow and ice, icebergs, distant and mostly hidden mountains. It was foggy the entire trip, so we could never see the mountain peaks, which remained partially hidden and mysterious.

Food: This was usually good, never great. Most meals were buffet style, and we always were able to find something palatable. My vegetarian brother-in-law did fine. Best were the salads, fresh fruits, meat dishes. Not as much herring as I would have expected in a Norwegian line. (On the Norwegian coastal cruise there was abundant delicious herring preparations, salmon...) On the few set meals there was an alternate main dish offered (which had to be requested in advance, though).

Lectures: disappointing. We stopped going after the first few, as the lecturers weren't that interesting, mostly around Antarctic history. Not nearly enough about wildlife, our primary interest. Too anecdotal.

Entertainment: none that we went to, so I can't comment. Not much expected by us or offered.

Fitness: There is an adequately equipped fitness room which my wife used regularly. On decks 7 and 8 there are limited walking areas with excellent views. Two outdoor jacuzzis which we never had the opportunity to use.

Passengers: younger than we had expected,many people in their 40's and 50's and a few even younger. At least half seemed to be from the US, then about a third or more German, with some Asian, French and UK passengers as well. Announcements and lectures were offered in English and German.

Overall, we were all very pleased. The ship offered an extremely comfortable way to see this remote part of the world. Views from the ship were often spectacular, especially going (twice, once each way) through the Lemaire Channel. The shore excursions met all our expectations.
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Hurtigruten - bad experience on FRAM Cruise boat

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Hurtigruten is a cruise company operating in Norway, Greenland, Arctic and Antarctic. I booked a cruise in Greenland last june 2015 and i never had such a bad experience for an exploration cruise :
- i booked thru email and when they sent me the rate : there was no mention of the paying excursions (most of the excursions in fact) - when all their competitors included 2 excursions per day when possible. So i can't really compare the rates between cruises companies and i was trapped. For excursions, you can add 2000 euros for 10 days, so it's significant.
- cabin was very small with 2 tiny beds and a small bathroom. One of their towels had a huge hole and for such expensive cruise : it's unacceptable
- The boat was too big for exploration and i have few experiences in Artic and Antartica (4) with 100 passegers boat and with a smaller boat, it was more convenient for sighting and pictures. Hurtigruten Fram ship was too big with limited access to outside views despite its size (5th floor only for the front view, 7th floor for rear view and it's too high and far for good pictures on whales for instance).
- The cruise was supposed to be an exploration cruise and everybody was expecting to see wildlife : we didn't see much. The ship was cruising at night and was anchored all day in a harbour - so in fact, we visited only the cities and i was really bored
- this company was pushing a lot to buy excursions, to visit their shop and also was pushing a lot to buy alcohol with specials offers by 11 bottles - and for me it was annoying and shocking for alcohol because some people were drinking more than reasonnable on that boat.
So i don't recommend that company and there is more serious companies, with all excursions included with a normal attitude : no push to buy or drink.
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Check the cost of transfer package

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
This trip on the Finnmarken was a re-run of a similar cruise we had made several years ago on the M/S Lofoten. Onboard entertainment was limited mainly to port lectures but as we had travelled this way previously and also matured in age we were happy to relax with a book or watch the scenery drift by. The cabin on Deck 3 (N4) was larger than many others on the higher decks as the outside decks reduced the length of the cabin. It was on the same deck as the shore gangplank and one deck up to the dining room. The food was acceptable and the staff very helpful. When you have to join a queue to thank your waiter at the end of the trip you have some idea of how attentive the staff were. This is not a cruise ship but a working ship that makes several stops up and down the coast. Some port calls are long enough to go ashore and although we only did one excursion (ice hotel) we did go ashore whenever possible and enjoyed the local scenery.

We were well aware what to expect from this trip and and overall enjoyed the experience. Sadly we made the mistake of taking the transfer package, London/Bergen /ship at £660 for the two of us. Checking the Norwegian Air Shuttle web site against our tickets we discovered that the top airfare on those dates meant the coach element of this package was going to be very expensive to make up the difference. The figures went even further adrift we discovered that transfer coach tickets, port to airport, were being sold onboard at £15 each sector.

On our return I took this up with Hurtigruten, supported by a copy of the airline quote from their web site. The answer I received back the company was that they work on a contract price.

This is now history, the deal is done and Hurtigruten have their money. I was not convinced by their response and would suggest to anyone contemplating this deal to do your homework first. Taxi cost less than £30 to the port, this plus the airfare would still been cheaper than the package price.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

NorDisCruHur

Trip Excludes

  • Flights & transfers
  • Travel protection
  • Optional excursions 
  • Luggage handling

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