Norway & North Cape – Magic of the Arctic Winter
12 days with Hurtigruten Rating:
Day 1 Bergen
Before your expedition starts, take some time to explore Bergen. Why not kick-start your winter adventure with a cable car ride to the top of Mount Fløyen or Mount Ulriken? There are great views over the city from both.
Bergen’s Bryggen UNESCO-listed area is one of the most popular attractions in Bergen. Some of the wooden buildings are more than 300 years old, and St. Mary’s Church dates back to the 11th century. The narrow alleyways and overhanging balconies create a special, medieval atmosphere. Other attractions include the Fish Market, Bergenhus Fortress, and cafés, restaurants, and shops. Bergen also has excellent shopping, from well-known brand stores to small niche shops. Another tip is to take a walk through.
Once on board, we suggest you spend some time getting to know the ship. Meet the expedition team and prepare yourself for exciting experiences ahead.
Day 2 Ålesund - Half Day
Ålesund is a town renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. A devastating fire burned a large part of the city to the ground in 1904. The entire city was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, Art Nouveau. Take a walk around town and take in all the architectural details that make these houses so beautiful.
Today you are invited on an active tour to learn about Norwegian marine life. The Atlanterhavsparken is one of the most distinctive aquariums in all of Europe, as the aquarium itself is built into the coastal landscape, with its fish tanks display the sealife in its authentic habitat..
The aquarium boasts a spectacular outdoor area with a view to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as a penguin park, seal bay and underwater observatory.
Day 3 Brønnøysund - Half Day
By now, you may have joined in several of the expedition team’s lectures. Or maybe you´ve enjoyed a soak in the ship’s hot tub while gazing out at the winter landscape.
Brønnøysund is our next port of call. Join the local guides for a town walk to learn more about this attractive coastal community whose life revolves around the harbor for trade and fishing.
One of Norway’s most famous landmarks is located close to Brønnøysund. The mountain Torghatten, with a distinctive hole right the middle, is said to be the Brønnøy troll king’s hat. It plays a key role in the Nordland region’s fairy tales, where it is said that trolls caught out at sunrise are turned to stone and thus became the mountains along this stretch of coastline.
Join the optional excursion to the UNESCO-listed Vega Islands. Here you’ll learn more about Norwegian coastal culture. For 1,500 years, island fishermen and farmers maintained a sustainable way of life based on the unique tradition of eider duck farming.
In the evening, we sail past the small islet of Vikingen. The Arctic Circle crosses here and is marked by a small globe statue. Within the Arctic Circle, your chances to see the northern lights increases.
Day 4 Reine and Svolvær - Full Day
We are now in the auroral zone. The northern lights often appear directly above our ship. We can't control the weather, but we can sail past any cloud cover in a matter of minutes for a clearer view of the sky. Unlike a stationary viewpoint, we are a floating northern lights observatory. Traveling by sea, we are far away from artificial light pollution on land. This increases your chances of seeing the aurora.
You will never forget your first approach to Lofoten. The sight of the massive Lofoten Wall with snow-covered mountains rising straight out of the sea is truly awesome.
We dock at Reine in the morning hours - a perfect spot to continue your winter adventure. Join the included excursion to the small fishing village of Å. Here you can visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum. Walk among the old coastal buildings to get a sense of everyday life at the Lofoten fisheries over the last 250 years. We also offer optional excursions to explore more of the winter nature in Lofoten.
We continue to Svolvær and visit a fishing village steeped in age-old seagoing traditions. Take part in exciting activities to explore the surrounding islands, steep mountains, beautiful beaches, and sheltered bays. Shops, galleries, cafés, and restaurants are scattered throughout the town.
After spending the whole day in Lofoten, we continue to amazing Trollfjord. Here, vertical mountain walls rise right out of the sea. In winter, it is not possible to sail into the fjord, so we admire this natural wonder at its entrance.
Day 5 Tromsø - Full Day
If you’re looking for an adventurous winter wonderland, Tromsø is the perfect destination. The city’s attractions include wildlife and nature, as well as history, culture, and bold architecture.
Tromsø is situated among large islands and high mountains. With an abundance of bars, shops, and restaurants, Tromsø more than lives up to its reputation as the ‘Paris of the North’.
The Ølhallen pub in Tromsø opened in 1928 in the cellar of Mack Bryggeri, the world’s northernmost brewery. Locals of all ages stop by here for a pint and a chat. You can easily find Ølhallen at the southern end of Tromsø’s main street. Ask for a tour of the microbrewery or just enjoy a satisfying Norwegian beer among the local regulars.
Your included activity today is a ride in the sky on the Fjellheisen cable car, with breathtaking views of the city, mountains, fjord, and hopefully the northern lights. Another highlight is the Arctic Cathedral, featuring an enormous stained-glass window.
You also can join such optional excursions hikes with our expedition team, or scenic bus rides, husky tours, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing when the snow arrives.
Day 6 Honningsvåg - Full Day
We are now sailing into the heart of Arctic wilderness. This is home to the magnificent North Cape, known as the one of the northernmost points on the European mainland.
Start your day with a bus ride from Honningsvåg, passing small bays and tiny villages, and crossing a mountain plateau before arriving at North Cape.
Standing at the edge puts you at 71°10’21´N, just under 800 miles away from the North Pole. Look out from the cliff by the iconic globe monument and gaze across the sea. Only the Svalbard Islands separate you from the top of the Earth. The vistas extend to where ocean meets horizon, so North Cape feels like the end of the world. Of course, it´s a great place to take stunning photos. And visit the North Cape Hall to enjoy a short film about your surroundings.
Back at Honningsvåg, you can explore the town on your own and admire charming houses and visit nice shops. During the evening, you can join an exclusive optional excursion to keep looking for the aurora. Experiencing the northern lights on the northernmost point of mainland Europe is a truly exceptional experience.
Day 7 Alta - Half Day
Discover how Alta became the epicenter of ground-breaking research on the northern lights. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland was determined to find out the reason for this phenomenon. The northern lights had frightened and amazed people for thousands of years. Learn all about the aurora in an interactive exhibition located in the Northern Lights Cathedral.
Alta lies well above the Arctic Circle at a latitude of 70° North. It is the biggest city in the vast wilderness of Finnmark County. It’s also the perfect adventure destination, offering a wide range of activities with an authentic, non-touristy feel. Join optional excursions such as visiting a Sámi family and an ice hotel, or going dog sledding.
Alta lies directly under the Northern Light Oval, so your chances of seeing northern lights here are very good. We will spend the rest of the evening hunting the northern lights from aboard ship.
Day 8 Narvik - Half Day
Historic Narvik is situated in beautiful Arctic nature. The occupation of Norway during World War II started here in 1940. Join the included excursion to the Narvik War Museum to learn more about this specific time, as well as universal issues related to war, conflict, and human rights.
If you’d rather spend the day outdoors in winter nature, you have several great options.
Join an excursion by cable car to a mountain top for breathtaking views or spend the day in the world’s northernmost wildlife park. See bears, foxes, lynx, wolves, moose, muskox, and other Arctic animals.
Day 9 Sandnessjøen - Half Day
The Seven Sisters mountain range might be Sandessjøen's primary claim to fame. You'll have great views to the peaks from deck as we approach the town.
Sandnessjøen also has a rich Viking history, and today we invite you to learn more about the local clansmen. Northern Norway’s most powerful chieftain’s homesteadhas been recreated at Sandnes in Sandnessjøen. This venue is just a 10-minute walk from the harbor. Learn about the Viking Age’s rich history from some of its most powerful figures, such as Sigrid of Sandnes - one of the very few women ever mentioned in the Sagas, who was renowned for the respect she earned from her people.
You may also join an optional excursion to learn more about Norwegian poet and priest Petter Dass. You can visit the modern museum in combination with a visit to the medieval church in Alstahaug.
Day 10 Kristiansund and Molde - Half Day
Kristiansund’s location on four sea islands in the Norwegian Sea has provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding, and oil industries. Today, Kristiansund is known as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its longtime export of salted dry fish.
Our included activity today is a scenic bus ride along the renowned Atlantic Road - one of Norway’s most-visited tourist destinations. The 5-mile long highway – one of Norway’s National Scenic Routes – spans a total of eight bridges and is surrounded by amazing landscapes and the open sea. The excursion ends in Molde, where you rejoin the ship.
Molde is known as the ‘City of Roses,’due to the city’s many lush, blooming rose gardens. The city’s viewpoint affords fantastic views across Molde, the fjords, archipelagos, and the distant snowy peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Day 11 Fjærland - Full Day
In the morning, we sail into the longest fjord in Norway, the scenic Sognefjord. We cruise deep into the fjord to the tiny hamlet of Fjærland. Enjoy going ashore to discover this idyllic village with only 300 inhabitants and many charming old buildings.
Jostedalsbreen (the Jostedal Glacier) is the largest glacier on the European continent. It has several smaller glacial arms stretching out in many directions. In Fjærland, you can get very close to two of these glacier extensions, Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen. Fjærland is the perfect place to learn more about how glaciers created the beautiful fjords of Norway. Join a very interesting visit to the Norwegian Glacier Museum. You will also get the opportunity to personally experience a glacier, with its white and blue limbs extending down steep mountainsides.
Explore wandering the charming ‘Norwegian Book Town of Fjærland,’ with many picturesque, second-hand book shops around the village housed in unlikely places, or join several exciting optional excursions.
Day 12 Bergen
In the early morning, we arrive in Bergen, where you disembark the ship. Hopefully you will have seen the magical northern lights several times, and enjoyed delightful, unique and authentic experiences of Norway’s culture, history, wildlife, and stunning nature. We look forward to seeing you on board again for new adventures in the very near future.
All This Included
The spectacular northern lights are the most famous reason to explore Norway in the winter, but the coast has so much more to offer. Sail with us to discover an Arctic landscape filled with impressive mountains, deep fjords, and charming coastal towns. Discover Norway’s hidden pearls, and feel the adrenaline of exciting winter activities as we hunt for the magical aurora.
Everything you need for an adventure:
Engaging on-board activities and lectures:
Premium on-board comfort:
Included Excursions in Your Expedition:
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Otto Sverdrup or MS Eirik Raude
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.