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 coastal pearls and feel the adrenaline of exciting winter activities as we hunt for the magical aurora.
– Take advantage of the very best chances of seeing the Northern Lights in the Norwegian Arctic
– Benefit from our 126 years of experience to see the hidden highlights of the Norwegian coast
– Discover the magical winter landscape of Lofoten
– Explore fascinating Tromsø, Ålesund and the unforgettable North Cape
Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather conditions set the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly present – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.
Before your expedition starts, you might have some time to explore Bergen. Why not kick start your winter adventure with a cable car trip to the top of Mount Fløyen or Mount Ulriken? There are great views over the city from both.
Bergen also has great shopping from well-known brand stores to small niche shops. Another tip is to take a walk through Bryggen. This 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 galleries create a special medieval atmosphere. Other attractions are the Fish Market, Bergenhus Fortress, and cafés, restaurants and shops.
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.
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 town was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, Art Nouveau. Take a walk around town and take in all the small details that make these houses so beautiful.
The Atlanterhavsparken is one of the most distinctive aquariums in Europe, and today you are invited on an active tour learning about the Norwegian fish.The aquarium is built into the coastal landscape and the fish tanks display the sea life 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.
By now, you might 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 harbour 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. It seems trolls caught out at sunrise 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 now 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. Now your chances to see the Northern Lights grow.
We are now in the aurora 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 skies. Unlike a stationary viewpoint, we are a floating Northern Lights observatory. Travelling 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 raising straight out of the sea is truly awesome.
We dock at Reine in the morning hours – a perfect spot to start your polar 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 now 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, cafes 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.
If you’re looking for an adventurous winter wonderland, Tromsø is the perfect destination. The city’s attractions include wildlife, 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. Local folks of all ages stop by here for a pint (half-litre) 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 mosaic.
You also can join such optional excursions hikes with our Expedition Team, or scenic bus rides, husky tours, snow shoeing, or cross-country skiing when the snow arrives.
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 coach ride from Honningsvåg, passing small bays and tiny villages, crossing a mountain plateau before arriving at North Cape.
Standing at the edge puts you at 71°10’21´N, just 2,100 km 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, 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 on your surroundings.
Back at Honningsvåg, you can explore the town on your own and find charming houses and 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 truly unique.
Discover how Alta became the epicentre 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 with an interactive exhibition located in the Northern Lights Cathedral.
Alta lies well above the Arctic Circle at a latitude of 70 degrees north. It is the biggest city in the vast wilderness of Finnmark County. It’s also the perfect adventure destination, serving up a wide range of activities with a personal, non-touristy feel. Join optional excursions like visiting a Sami family and an ice hotel or go dog-sledging.
Alta lies directly under the Northern Light Oval, so your chances of seeing Northern Lights are very good. We will use the rest of the evening hunting the Northern Lights from aboard ship.
Historic Narvik is situated in beautiful Arctic nature. The occupation of Norway during WWII started here in 1940. Join the included excursion to Narvik War Museum to learn more in exhibits that depict the conflict 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.
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 has a rich Viking history, and today we invite you to learn more about the local tribes. Northern Norway’s most powerful chieftain has been recreated at Sandnes in Sandnessjøen. This venue is situated just a 10-minute walk from the harbour. Learn the rich history from the Viking Age and 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 the Norwegian poet and priest, Petter Dass. You can visit the modern museum in combination with a visit to the medieval church in Alstahaug.
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 long-time 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 8.2 km long highway – one of Norway’s National Scenic Routes – spans a total of eight bridges and is surrounded by amazing landscapes and open sea. The excursion ends in Molde, where you rejoin the ship.
Molde is known as the ‘City of Roses’. This is a 100-year-old description based on the city’s many lush blooming rose gardens. The city’s viewpoint affords fantastic views across Molde, the fjords, archipelagos and distant snowy peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
The morning we sail into the longest fjord in Norway, Sognefjorden. 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 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 experience a glacier, with its white and blue limbs extending down steep mountainsides.
In Fjærland, you´ll find Norwegian Book Town with picturesque, second-hand book shops around the village. Explore charming Fjærland and join several exciting optional excursions.
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.