North Cape & Norway – On the Cusp of Spring
12 days with Hurtigruten Rating:
Day 1 Bergen
Your winter expedition cruise starts in Bergen - a beautiful city surrounded by seven mountains. The ideal way to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords is by foot. Bergen was founded in 1070 A.D., and retains much of its character, charm, and history. Stroll in the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colorful wharfs dating back to the 14th century.
Take the cable car to the top of Mount Fløyen to soak in the sweeping views of the city, fjords, islands, and the distant North Sea. Back in town, spend some time in Bergen’s many cafés and restaurants, or visit the famous Fish Market.
After embarkation, sit down to a tasty dinner buffet featuring fresh coastal produce. We sail north along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once plied.
Spend the rest of the evening getting to know the expedition team and fellow passengers, relaxing in the lounge, or soaking in the hot tub on deck.
Day 2 Ålesund - Half Day
Today we dock in Ålesund, renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture. A devastating fire in 1904 burned most of the town down and it was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, Art Nouveau.
Feel like an invigorating hike? Climb the 412 steps to the top of Mount Aksla. Along the way, see two statues, one of Kaiser Wilhelm, and the other of the Viking Gange-Rolv, or Rollo, who is reputedly the forefather of William the Conqueror. At the summit, take in great views of Ålesund’s charming city center and the surrounding islands stretching into the Norwegian Sea.
Today’s included activity is visiting the Atlanterhavsparken. Built directly into the rocky coastline, the aquarium is another of Ålesund’s architectural wonders. Observe native fish species, octopus, seals, and penguins.
You can also join other interesting optional excursions.
Day 3 Brønnøysund - Half Day
Brønnøysund is a pretty little town of 5,000 that marks the halfway point along Norway’s long coastline and is known for dramatic Torghatten – a mountain with a huge natural tunnel in its center.
You can join local guides on an included walk around Brønnøysund, visiting the fishing boat docks and the beautiful parish church from the 19th century.
Brønnøysund is also known as the gateway to Vega Islands – a treasured UNESCO-listed archipelago. Join an optional excursion here to explore how generations of fishermen and farmers have maintained a sustainable way of life for centuries based on tradition of eider duck farming.
As we leave Brønnøysund, we will sail up along the coast of Helgeland – passing the Seven Sisters mountain range. Legend has it that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus creating the seven beautiful peaks.
In the evening, we sail past the small islet of Vikingen, through which the Arctic Circle passes.
Day 4 Reine and Svolvær - Full Day
Lofoten´s dramatic snowy peaks, hidden coves, and pristine beaches are world famous. It is also is known for excellent fishing and picturesque villages.
You will never forget your first approach to Lofoten, seeing the massive wall of mountains rising out of the sea.
In the morning we dock at idyllic Reine, where red and white fishermen’s huts dot the shoreline and surrounding snow-capped peaks shoot out of the sea. It’s no wonder Reine is one of Norway’s most frequently photographed landscapes.
If you want to learn more about the region’s history and culture, join us on an included excursion to the time-honored fishing village of Å to visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum and Lofoten Stockfish Museum. You can also join other optional excursions in Lofoten.
After a lovely morning in Reine, we sail along the Lofoten wall to Svolvær, where age-old seagoing traditions are preserved. The surrounding islands, steep mountains, beautiful beaches, and sheltered bays offer many exciting winter activity opportunities such as snowshoeing, skiing, and even surfing (at Unstad). Solvær’s shops, galleries, cafés, and restaurants provide a number of in-town activities.
After departing Lofoten, we sail to the incredibly beautiful and narrow Trollfjord, where mountain walls rise right out of the sea. In winter, it’s not possible to sail into the fjord, so we will marvel at this unique natural wonder from its entrance.
Day 5 Tromsø - Full Day
If you’re looking for a winter wonderland with plenty of adventure, Tromsø is the perfect destination.
Tromsø’s many winter activities include dog sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. You can also explore the city’s fascinating history, culture, and bold architecture. The Arctic Cathedral is a definite highlight, featuring an enormous stained-glass window and late-night Northern Lights Concerts until the end of March.
Your included activity in Tromsø is a ride in the sky on the Fjellheisen cable car, taking in breathtaking views across the city, mountains, and fjords, and quite possibly, the northern lights.
You also can join other optional excursions such as nature hikes with our expedition team, fjord boat trips, or scenic bus rides.
Day 6 Honningsvåg - Full Day
Today we dock at the small fishing town of Honningsvåg - the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. This is also where the ship turns around and heads south.
You start your day with a scenic bus ride from Honningsvåg, passing small bays and tiny villages, and crossing a mountain plateau before arriving at the North Cape. At 71°10’21´N, North Cape is just 1,305 miles away from the Geographic North Pole.
Stand at the edge of the 1,000 foot high cliff and gaze across the Barents Sea. Only the Svalbard Archipelago separate you from the North Pole. The views here surpass the horizon and feel like the end of the world. It’s a great place to take stunning photos. Enjoy an informative short film and exhibits at the North Cape hall.
Back at Honningsvåg, you may take a stroll past charming houses, stop into nice shops, and see a church that was the only building left standing at the end of World War II.
Day 7 Alta - Half Day
This is a perfect outdoor adventure destination, combining a wide range of winter activities with a personal, non-touristy vibe. You may join several optional excursions, such as visiting a Sámi family and an ice hotel, or going dog sledding.
Alta started out as a small Sámi settlement some 500 years ago and is now the largest city in this part of Norway.
Did you know that Alta is the epicenter for groundbreaking research on the northern lights? This amazing phenomenon has amazed and frightened people for thousands of years. Alta lies directly under the Northern Lights Oval, and stable weather creates good viewing conditions. The aurora is frequently seen here during winter. Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland even built an observatory near Alta, which led to his discovery of what causes the northern lights.
Hurtigruten invites you to learn about this mystical light show during today’s included activity - an interactive exhibition revealing the truth about the aurora borealis at the Northern Lights Cathedral.
Alta is also a big dog sledding town. Many of the dog sled teams competing in the annual Finnmark Race are located here, and some of those kennels can be visited.
Day 8 Narvik - Half Day
Exciting winter activity options in Narvik include a cable car ride to a mountain summit for breathtaking views and good alpine and cross-country skiing! Another option is spending the day at the world’s northernmost wildlife park, which is home to bears, foxes, lynx, wolves, moose, muskox, and other Arctic animals.
Flanked by islands to the west and surrounded by mountains in every other direction, Narvik is as rich in nature as it is in history.
A fierce naval battle was fought here in 1940. Today we invite you to learn about it at the Narvik War Museum – a modern facility with architectonic and interactive experiences. You can also take a trip on the Ofoten Railway.
Day 9 Sandnessjøen - Half Day
As we approach Sandnessjøen, you get a marvelous view of the snow-covered Seven Sisters mountain range. These peaks might be Sandnessjøen's main claim to fame, but the town is also rich in Viking history.
Today we invite you to learn more about the Vikings with a visit to Sandnes, the recreated ancient homestead of one of northern Norway’s most powerful chieftains. Hear fascinating stories about the Viking Age from leaders like Sigrid of Sandnes, one of the very few women ever mentioned in the Viking Sagas.
You can also join an optional excursion to learn more about Norwegian poet and priest Petter Dass, with visits to a modern museum and charming medieval church at Alstahaug.
Day 10 Kristiansund and Molde
Kristiansund’s location on four sea islands in the Norwegian Sea features incredible winter landscapes. Today’s included activity is a scenic bus ride south along the renowned Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s National Scenic Routes and most-visited tourist destinations. The 5-mile long highway spans a total of eight bridges and is surrounded by picturesque countryside in white and vistas to the open sea. The excursion ends in Molde, where you rejoin the ship.
Molde is known as the ‘City of Roses’ after its many rose gardens, which may still be covered in snow. Molde’s scenic viewpoint, Varden, is worth a visit, with its glorious views across the city, local fjords and archipelagos, and the snowy peaks of the Romsdal Alps in the distance.
Day 11 Fjærland - Half Day
This morning, we sail into Norway’s longest fjord, the scenic Sognefjord. We cruise deep into the fjord to the little village of Fjærland, an idyllic hamlet of just 300 inhabitants - a delightful place for a stroll. Explore wandering this charming ‘Norwegian Book Town,’ with many picturesque, second-hand book shops around the village housed in unlikely places.
Nearby Jostedalsbreen (the Jostedal Glacier) is the largest glacier on the European continent. Get close to two of the glacial limbs - Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen, and learn about how they shaped the mountains and beautiful fjords of Norway at the Norwegian Glacier Museum.
Day 12 Bergen
In the early morning, we arrive back in Bergen. When you disembark, take with you the memories of a unique Norway winter expedition cruise filled with unforgettable experiences and encounters with wildlife, stunning nature, and local people.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but we hope to see you on board for new adventures in the very near future.
All This Included
Experience an early spring Norwegian Arctic expedition to lovely Honningsvåg and the legendary North Cape. Enjoy exciting winter activities under snow-clad peaks and a sky that shifts from brilliant blue to all the colors of the rainbow. As we sail south to Bergen, enjoy the waterfalls fed by melting snow, and the season’s first wildflowers on this unforgettable journey.
Everything you need for an adventure:
Engaging onboard activities and lectures:
Premium onboard 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.