Trip reference number: 146749
Trip Operator: Best Served Scandinavia
Hurtigruten's ships have long sailed the Norwegian coast, originally to deliver mail and freight to remote outposts far north of the Arctic Circle. It's a truly spectacular journey, passing endlessly rocky coastlines, remote archipelagos, vast mountain ranges and the most northerly point in mainland Europe to reach Kirkenes, just a short hop from the Russian border. On this round-trip voyage, you'll explore some of Norway’s best-loved coastal towns, navigate through world famous fjords and strike out on optional adventures including snowmobiling (from December) and Sami cultural tours. Look out for the Northern Lights in winter, while summer sailings are set aglow by the ethereal Midnight Sun.
Day 1: Bergen
Arrive in Bergen and board your Hurtigruten cruise ship to begin your voyage north. Your ship won't depart until evening, so take the time to explore the myriad delights of Norway's second city, from its Hanseastic wharf to its famous fish market, You might even have time to ride the Floibanen funicular for sweeping views across town and the fjord and mountains beyond.
Day 2: Ålesund
On summer sailings, the ship arrives early into Ålesund, home to a rare concentration of Art Nouveau buildings and stunning views from the top of Mount Aksla. It's then on to Geiranger in the heart of the western fjords – a truly spectacular setting. In winter, you'll have more time to take in Ålesund's architectural wonders, perhaps tagging on a trip to the city's aquarium to meet the resident penguiins before summiting Mount Aksla for more wonderful views. In the evening, you'll sail north to Molde, arriving late in the evening.
Day 3: Trondheim
Arrive in Norway’s former capital and visit its colourful wharves and warehouses, delightful wooden buildings and impressive 14th-century cathedral. In spring and summer, your day her includes a visit to the Ringve Museum of Musical History, where Norway's musical heritage is brought to life in a series of fascinating exhibits all set to a wonderful view. Between September and May, you'll be treated to a ride on the world's northernmost tram line, while there's also the chance to go kayaking on the River Nid or explore the city by bike. Back on board, you'll cruise past rocky islets and the Kjeungskjær lighthouse en route to Rorvik.
Day 4: Lofoten Islands
Cross the Arctic Circle, marking the moment with an on-deck ceremony, as you head towards the Lofoten Islands where you’ll have the chance to join a Lofotr Viking feast and explore the bustling fishing port of Svolvær. There's also the chance to go organic at a local herb and cheese farm, or visit Lofoten's only craft brewery. Then, in winter, as night descends, keep an eye on the sky for your first glimpse of the Northern Lights. In summer, of course, the magnificent landscapes are illuminated by the Midnight Sun.
Day 5: Tromso
After brief stops in the ports of Risøyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes in the morning, you'll get a taste for Arctic city life in Tromso, where optional excursions include a guided husky safari in winter and a visit to the Tromsø Wilderness Centre on Kvaløya Island in summer. There's also the opportunity of a kayaking trip along the coast, getting close to local wildlife, or a guided city tour, taking in the pretty harbour and grand Arctic cathedral. From September onwards, don't forget to cast your eyes skywards for the chance to glimpse the Northern Lights. This evening, you'll continue your voyage north, arriving in Skjervoy at around 10:30pm.
Day 6: North Cape & Honningsvag
Enjoy uninterrupted views of northern Norway's magnificent coast as you sail to the very tip of the continent. Then, having dropped anchor Honningsvåg, you'll stand at the North Cape, looking out across the sea towards the North Pole, just 1,300 miles away. This evening you’ll call at Kjøllefjord, the heartland of the Samí people. Take the chance to learn more of their semi-nomadic existence and hear a traditional song, known as a joik. If you're sailing in autumn, don't miss out on the learning about the region's natural pantry, tasting the likes of dried reindeer meat and crowberry juice. In winter, jump on a snowmobile to chase the aurora's dancing lights.
Day 7: Kirkenes
The furthest point of your voyage is Kirkenes, where the street names are in Norwegian and Russian and you can explore on all manner of seasonal activities. In winter, perhaps join a snowmobile tour or visit the Kirkenes Snowhotel and its resident reindeer (extra cost), while in summer, there are hikes, canoe trips and riverboat safaris. There's even the chance to catch and eat giant king crabs, fresh from the Barents Sea. Then, as you sail back south, pause a Vardo for the chance to take a bracing dip in the icy waters.
Day 8: Tromso
Having docked in Mehamn at midnight to chase the Northern Lights by snowmobile, and paused once more at North Cape for breakfast, today's sailing sees you past the magnificent Lyngenfjord and Lyngen Alps en route to Tromso, where you'll be treated to a special midnight concert at the city’s Arctic Cathedral. In summer, there's also the chance for a boat cruise under the Midnight Sun and a chance to visit a pub in Ølhallen to meet the locals and perhaps enjoy a couple of beers.
Day 9: Lofoten Islands
Sail the ‘inside route’ between Harstad and Sortland as you continue south to Stamsund. Today's voyage is particularly spectacular as you explore the likes of Vesterålen and Stokmarknes, Hurtigruten's birthplace. Finally, you'll make port in Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands where options range from a guided coach tour of the islands to an expert-led excursion to go in search of Trollfjord's magnificent sea eagles.
Day 10: ...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust