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Norway & North Cape – Summer Along the Coastline

12 days with Hurtigruten   Rating: First Class

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Itinerary
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Day 1 Bergen
Your special summer expedition cruise starts in Bergen – one of Norway’s most beautiful cities and perfect for exploring on foot.
 
Bergen was founded in 1070 A.D. and has retained much of its local character, charm, and history. Stroll the UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with colorful wharfs dating back to the 14th century. Wander cobblestone streets and slip into narrow alleyways fronted by old wooden houses. Sample pickled herring or buy fresh shrimp right off the boat at Bergen’s famous fish market. Drop into one of the city’s many outdoor restaurants or beer gardens and sip a local Hansa pilsner. You can also see artwork by such famous artists as Edvard Munch, or enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen funicular, where you can admire sweeping views of the surrounding fjords, islands, and seven mountains encircling the city.
 
After departing Bergen, sit down to a delicious dinner and watch the scenery glide by. We’re sailing to the High North on a route once plied by the Vikings. Perhaps spend the rest of the evening getting to know members of the expedition team and other passengers, or relax on deck in the late spring and summer sunshine.
 
Day 2 Ålesund - Half Day
This morning, we navigate the open sea around Norway’s most western point, Vestkapp, and arrive at Ålesund after breakfast.
 
Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. Today’s included activity is hiking with the expedition team up the 418 steps to the summit of Mt. Aksla (620 feet above sea level). Along the way, we pass statues of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Viking Gange-Rolf, or Rollo, who reputedly is the forefather of William the Conqueror. Atop Mount Aksla, you get outstanding views of the surrounding archipelago, beautiful town center, and the amazing Sunnmøre Alps.
 
You can also choose optional activities in Ålesund, including city walks, longer hikes, biking and kayaking tours, and a visit to the nearby Norwegian Aquarium, which is built directly into the rocky coastline and features native fish species, octopus, seals, and penguins.  
 
Departing Ålesund, we sail past small islands and fjords. We later pass the remote island of Grip, where storms occasionally sweep buildings into the sea. Miraculously, Grip’s tiny 15th century church has always been left standing. Later, we pass the city of Kristiansund and the islands of Smøla and Hitra.
 
Day 3 Brønnøysund - Half Day
Today we arrive at Brønnøysund, an attractive town of 5,000 inhabitants that’s at the halfway point along Norway’s long coastline.
 
Nearby is the famous mountain with a hole in the middle – Torghatten.  Join local guides and our expedition team on an epic hike up the mountain and into the hole. It’s an inspiring experience that you won’t forget!
 
Brønnøysund is also the gateway to Vega Island – a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the way the community demonstrates its centuries-old sustainable way of life.
 
Islanders thrived in this location for more than a millennium by practicing the unique livelihood of eider duck ‘farming’ for their soft, warm eider down. You can choose an optional excursion to this fascinating historic island from Brønnøysund.
 
Next, we proceed along the coast of Helgeland – passing the Seven Sisters mountain range. The story goes that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus creating these seven beautiful peaks.
 
That evening, we sail by the small island of Vikingen, through which the Arctic Circle passes. We have now entered the Land of Midnight Sun, where the sun shines 24 hours a day in summer.
 
Day 4 Stokmarknes and Risøyhamn - Full Day
Vesterålen in summer is an archipelago of lush green islands, surrounded by blue sea frequented by whales, seals, and seabirds.
 
Our first port of call today is Stokmarknes – where Hurtigruten was founded in 1893. For more than 126 years, Hurtigruten has been an essential part of life of coastal Norway, tying cities and communities together, and carrying goods and people up and down coastal Norway’s main highway – the sea. As an included activity, you can explore the Hurtigruten Museum, which tells Hurtigruten’s remarkable story.
 
You can also join optional excursions such as hiking, kayaking, and going on scenic bus rides to small fishing communities and along Norway’s National Scenic Route on Andøya. The waters surrounding Vesterålen are known for its many whales, and you get the opportunity here to join our optional whale safari excursion. A close encounter with whales is the experience of a lifetime.
 
After Stokmarknes, we continue cruising through the beautiful scenery of Vesterålen and arrive at the port of Risøyhamn, where we pick up those who went on a scenic bus ride or whale safari.
 
Day 5 Tromsø - Full Day
Tromsø is an exceptionally lively city during summer.
 
If you’re looking for adventure, this is the place. Tromsø’s numerous summer activities include hiking and biking tours, kayaking on the fjord, and a ride on the Fjellheisen Cable Car to the top of a mountain for amazing vistas.
 
Tromsø also features fascinating history. It was the starting point for many Arctic expeditions and the first stop for hunters and explorers returning to civilization. The city is known for great shopping and creative cuisine featuring fresh produce, hence its nickname as the ‘Paris of the North.’ Tromsø is also recognized for its bold architecture. The Arctic Cathedral is one of the highlights, featuring an enormous stained-glass window.
 
Today´s included activity is a visit to the Polaria Arctic experience center. Look, feel, experience, and understand why life in the sea and on land are inextricably linked.
 
Polaria is also one of only two places in Europe where you can see bearded seals at close range.
 
You can join other optional excursions such as hikes with our expedition team, as well as fjord boat trips and scenic bus rides.
 
Day 6 Honningsvåg - Full Day
Welcome to the small fishing village of Honningsvåg – the gateway to spectacular North Cape.
 
We start the day with a scenic bus ride from Honningsvåg, passing small bays with tiny hamlets and crossing a mountain plateau before arriving at North Cape – just 1,305 miles away from the North Pole. Stand at the edge of the 1,007 foot high cliff with the iconic globe statue and gaze across the Barents Sea. Only the Svalbard archipelago separates you from the top of the world. Looking out at vistas reaching beyond the horizon, you’ll feel as though you’re at the end of the world. North Cape is an ideal place for taking amazing photos. Inside the North Cape Hall, you can enjoy a short film and exhibits about your surroundings.  
 
Back in Honningsvåg, stroll past quaint houses, nice shops, and a church that was the only building left standing at the end of World War II. You can also join optional excursion such as an exciting hike with the expedition team, a king crab safari, and a town walk with local guides.
 
You can also take an optional excursion to Gjesværstappan, one of the biggest and busiest bird cliffs in Norway and inhabited by almost 1 million puffins.
 
Day 7 Havnnes - Full Day
We start this morning by sailing into a fjord along the base of the magnificent Lyngen Alps – a spectacular sight.
 
As we reach Årøybukt, those joining the optional excursion to the world's northernmost whiskey distillery (and learning about World War II history and enjoying a scenic bus ride) are tendered ashore.
 
The rest of us sail to the charming seaside trading post of Havnnes, which has just 33 inhabitants. Stockfish and salted fish are still produced here in the traditional way.
 
Havnnes will take you back 100 years to the days of steam and sail. Interact with the locals and enjoy the vintage general store. You can also explore the local museum, an old wooden building on the pier featuring a photo exhibition about the life of Annie Giæver – who took photographs of the area during the first half of the 20th century.
 
Looking for more excitement? Join optional excursions such as nature hikes, kayaking, or riverboating in Reisa National Park, a landscape of canyons, valleys, a salmon river, and mountain plateau.
 
Day 8 Svolvær and Reine - Full Day
We start the day by sailing into the magnificent Trollfjord.
 
This natural wonder is surrounded by mountains reaching more than 3,200 feet skyward from the sea in a narrow passage that cuts deeply and dramatically into heart of the island. We carefully navigate into the channel, at times so narrow it feels as though you can reach out and touch the mountain walls.
 
Lofoten´s distinctive scenery of dramatic peaks, sheltered bays, and untouched beaches is world-famous. We dock at Svolvær to enjoy a choice of optional Lofoten excursions, including a road trip past steep mountains, beautiful sandy beaches, and sheltered bays. Svolvær itself has lots of interesting shops, galleries, cafés, pubs, and restaurants.
 
Departing late morning, we sail along the massive Lofoten mountain wall to Reine. Red and white fishermen’s huts dotting the shoreline and surrounding granite peaks jutting out of the fjord make Reine one of the most photographed landscapes in Norway.
 
Here you can join our included excursion to explore the tiny time-honored fishing village of Å, where you can visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum. As you walk among these old coastal buildings, you will get a taste of everyday life at the Lofoten fisheries over the last 250 years.
 
Day 9 Træna - Full Day
In the morning hours, we sail along the coast of Helgeland with nothing but sky and sea ahead. In the distance, you can see mountains rising up from the horizon. This is Træna, the site of one of the first human settlements in the far north, located right on the Arctic Circle.
 
Today, the community hosts music festivals and interesting excursions, offering unfiltered adventure.
 
Træna is also Norway’s oldest fishing community. We dock at the island of Husøya – where most of the 454 inhabitants live.
 
Ready for fun? Join delightful summer activities such as island hopping, taking a sauna in an old boat house, observing sea eagles, tasting local fish products, swimming in the Norwegian Sea, or hiking through a 2,300 foot long tunnel that leads you to the top of a mountain.
 
And the end of our stay in Træna, we go to the island of Sanna and enjoy a memorable concert in spectacular Kirkhelleren, a gigantic cathedral-like cave with wonderful acoustics. In fact, Norway's oldest human settlement was discovered in Kirkhelleren!
 
As we leave Træna, we enjoy the evening with the dramatic Helgeland coastline as a backdrop.
 
Day 10 Trondheim - Half Day
In the morning, we pass the octagonal Kjeungskjær lighthouse on our way to docking at Trondheim.
 
Founded as a Viking trading post in 997, Trondheim was the capital of Norway for 200 years. Today, the city has reputedly the most restaurants and cafés per person in Norway. You may want to find a table at one of the outdoor cafés along the city’s main square and adapt to the laid-back summertime rhythm of the locals.
 
There is plenty to see and do in this historic city. Today’s included activity is a visit to beautiful Nidaros Cathedral, the country’s only Gothic-style cathedral, built over the burial site of St. Olav (Olav Haraldsson), Norway’s patron saint. Marvel at the religious artwork, architectural details, and medieval statues on the facade.
 
There are a number of exciting summer activities to choose from too, including hiking and biking tours, kayaking through the city center on the River Nid, museum visits, and city walks.
 
After departing Trondheim, we pass the island of Munkholmen, where many executions took place during the Viking Age. Today, Munkolmen is a popular spot for summer outings.
 
Day 11 Urke - Full Day
Hjørundfjord stands out from other popular fjords in its solitary beauty, located far off the beaten tourist track.
 
Considered one of the most beautiful fjords in all of Norway, Hjørundfjord is surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps, with peaks soaring 5,500 feet straight up from the sea.
 
The steep mountains have made it impossible to cultivate the land here. Still, a few tiny farms cling to the mountainsides and small villages such as Urke nestle along the shoreline.
 
We anchor offshore Urke and a small boat takes you ashore. Here you can join a 4-mile hike up to a mountain hut through incredibly beautiful scenery.
 
You can also partake in optional excursions to explore other villages along Hjørundfjord, or go on more demanding hikes and kayaking tours along the fjord. One choice is to join a scenic excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geirangerfjord, and the famous Trollstigen road (the troll’s ladder). This excursion ends in Ålesund, where you rejoin the ship.
 
Day 12 Bergen
In the early morning, we arrive back in Bergen. As you disembark, take away with you rich memories of a unique expedition cruise filled with unforgettable experiences, meetings with happy Norwegians, wildlife sightings, and encounters with stunning nature.
 
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
Join us on a fantastic summer expedition to discover the very best of Norway’s coastline, both the hidden pearls and the famous highlights. Experience Lofoten, Vesterålen, and North Cape; join in exciting activities; visit colorful towns; and encounter remote villages under the extraordinary light-filled days of the Arctic summer.
 
  • Hurtigruten expedition cruise in the cabin grade of your choice
 
Everything you need for an adventure:
  • A rich program of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations we visit, including onshore exploration with the expedition team
  • Professional English-speaking expedition team – an international handpicked team of highly educated experts from various academic fields and with profound knowledge of the regions in which we sail
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Loan of trekking poles, and all equipment needed for optional and included activities
 
Engaging onboard activities and lectures:
  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology, and/or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience  
  • Explorer Science Program, with educational and Citizen Science activities that help you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing meaningfully to scientific research
  • Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment, and tips & tricks, and a selection of photos from the voyage shared in an Expedition Logbook
  • Opportunities to casually engage with the expedition team and other guests, including a welcome event, and daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the expedition team and officers 
  • Destination-focused onboard library
  • Port presentations providing destination insight
  • A farewell event
 
Premium onboard comfort:
  • All meals, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water in all ship restaurants)
  • Coffee and tea included throughout the day
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Fredheim restaurant meals included 
  • À la carte restaurant (included for suite guests; available for purchase by other guests) 
  • Gym, hot tubs, and sauna
  • Free Wi-Fi on board for all guests. (However, be aware that we may sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.)
  • No gratuities expected   
 
Included Excursions in Your Expedition:
  • Day 2: Ålesund - Hike up Mt. Aksla
  • Day 3: Brønnøysund - Explore Torghatten
  • Day 4: Vesterålen (Stokmarknes and Risøyhamn) - Visit the Hurtigruten Museum
  • Day 5: Tromsø - Polaria experience center
  • Day 6: Honningsvåg - Scenic bus ride to the North Cape
  • Day 7: Lyngen Alps - Discover the old trading post of Havnnes
  • Day 8: Lofoten (Svolvær and Reine) - Experience Å
  • Day 9: Træna - Concert in a sea cave
  • Day 10: Trondheim - Living history at the Nidaros Cathedral
  • Day 11: Hjørundfjord - Hike to a mountain hut
Highlights
  • Explore the ideal summer coastal route with the Norway experts.
  • Enjoy an epic concert in a cathedral-like cave, far out in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Discover the amazing landscape of Vesterålen, Lofoten, and the North Cape.
  • Step back in time in the charming fishing villages of Lofoten, Lyngen, and Træna.
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Otto Sverdrup or MS Eirik Raude
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Not included: international flights, optional shore excursions with our local partners or our expedition team, travel protection plan, luggage handling.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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.