The Classic Voyage North
7 days with Hurtigruten Rating:
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 colorful wharfs dating back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming, compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen funicular, or visit the famous fish market. After embarkation, we invite you to our tasty dinner buffet, based on the best and freshest 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 on deck or in the panorama lounge. Before your cruise starts, you can explore more of Norway with our Land Adventures. We offer a variety of packages at our main ports across coastal Norway. 'Norway in a Nutshell' starts in Bergen and takes you to some of the most magnificent scenery in the world with breathtaking fjords, rural villages, and the spectacular Flåm Mountain Railway. Our pre and post programs and Land Adventures are a great way to complement your cruise and see more of inland Norway.
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 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, which includes a visit to the open-air pool to see the resident penguins. After visiting Atlanterhavsparken, we continue onwards and upwards to Mount Aksla, where you get an amazing panorama of the area. In the summer months, we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing sheer, 2,500 ft cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route.
In autumn, we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amid the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character, far from the tourist bustle. We take our passengers past steep rock walls that you can nearly reach out and touch, emerald green meadows, lonely mountain farms and small villages.
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, the Nidaros Cathedral, the country's only Gothic-style cathedral and built over the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason), Norway’s patron saint.
On this tour you can marvel at the cathedral’s incredible architectural details and exquisite artworks. Then 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. You can also explore Trondheim from sea level in a kayak along the River Nid from June to September, or experience the city on a bicycle and try out the world’s only bicycle lift from April to September. In summer, you can join the expedition team for explorer boat activities to discover more of Trondheim and its surroundings.
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..
Day 4 Welcome to the Arctic Region!
Location : Brønnøysund - Svolvær
Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66° 33’ North and demarcates the Arctic region. In summer, this means 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 makes sure that the occasion is memorable. If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you may participate in a daytime Arctic Circle ceremony out on 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. Afterward, 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 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, Lofoten is a truly extraordinary experience. The charm of the Lofoten Islands is partly 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 that features 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 and complete with traditional food, drinks, costumes, singing, and dancing. Between Stamsund and Svolvær, you have the opportunity 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 winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when our hunt for the northern lights begins. We celebrate the event by presenting a multimedia show entitled 'The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis', featuring pictures, words, and music. As we sail through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fishcakes out on deck. You also hear the story of the battle of Trollfjord, which took place here in the winter of 1890. If you look closely, you might see trolls up in the steep mountains!
Day 5 Feeling Like a Polar Hero
Location : Stokmarknes – Skjervøy
Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever season in which you are travelling! 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. Or take part in an excursion to meet the Arctic's indigenous reindeer herders, the Sámi people. In winter and spring, you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling dog-sled 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. Or, why not test your coordination skills and have some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure. In summer, you can join the expedition team for explorer boat activities and discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings.
If you want to experience peace and quiet on the sea, join us for a kayaking excursion in summer. Paddle through waters in and around Tromsø with mountains as a stunning backdrop. This is a great way to quietly explore the coastline and get close to marine wildlife. Speaking of quiet, you can also join a silent winter whale safari in the Kaldfjord. Guided by an expert crew trained in responsible wildlife tourism, you are transported by 'Opal', a carbon-neutral, oak sailing boat. The only sound you hear are the whales surfacing and spouting from their blowholes, as well as your heart beating a little bit faster than normal!
After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter, the captain invites his guests on deck to taste stockfish. The ship is now sailing in waters where you have the best chances to see the northern lights between October and March. We gather on deck to search the skies for this remarkable cosmic phenomenon.
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 brief, early stops at Hammerfest and Havøysund, we arrive 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 1,250 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 top of the world. While admiring the view, be sure to get some photographic evidence of this amazing place. Close to 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, together with large numbers 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 tour 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 its 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 surrounding landscape.
Other optional excursions include learning about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hearing 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, the 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, the fresh winter air, and perhaps the mesmerizing northern lights in the starry sky. Sámi Autumn is an excursion where you learn about the Arctic natural 'pantry' and 'pharmacy', and you will sample dried-reindeer meat, crowberry juice, herbal tea (nettle), and roseroot tincture. You may also feel the presence of the Sámi shaman, Noaidi. In Berlevåg, you can join a unique two-day winter expedition into the Arctic wilderness, including both dog-sledding and snowmobiling.
Day 7 Capital of the Barents Region and the Turning Point
Location : Kirkenes
The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes, the end of your northbound cruise. We arrive early in nearby Vadsø and just after breakfast, we arrive in Kirkenes. At 30° East, Kirkenes is further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. It is also Hurtigruten’s turning point for the return trip southbound. 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 by bus (all year), enjoy a riverboat safari, or join an action-packed trip on ATV/quad-bikes. 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 several adventurous activities into the Arctic outback.
Take this opportunity to explore Kirkenes before you head home!
All This Included
The Cruise North is a journey of cultural exploration as you travel to the major coastal cities and remote communities, continuing north into the Arctic Circle. Explore the rugged coastline as you go face-to-face with natural wonders and experience thrilling excursions.
Set sail from Bergen to Kirkenes on this seven-day cruise, where you will see incredible landscapes – each one more dramatic than the next and enjoy the atmosphere and culture in cities such as Bergen, Ålesund, and Tromsø that are filled with coastal history. This cruise will give you spectacular experiences you will never forget. These classic Hurtigruten sailings along the Norwegian coast are available year-round.
Inside cabin onboard MS Midnastol, Spitsbergen, Trollfjord, Finnmarken, Nordnorge, Nordkapp, Polarys, Nordlys, Richard With, Kong Harald, Vesteralen, or Lofoten
Terms and Conditions
For Hurtigruten terms and conditions, please click here.
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.