The cruise itinerary of your journey begins in Bergen, a harbor town established by the Viking King Olav more than nine hundred years ago. It quickly became the center of Norway’s vibrant commercial trade, especially in dried cod, with northern Europe and the British Isles. By the late Middle Ages, the Hanseatic League had set up a trading post on the Bryggen waterfront. Some of those buildings with seaward-facing gables you’ll see along the wharf date back to the fourteenth century!
From Bergen, your cruise itinerary has you sail north to Kirkenes, an arctic outpost near the Russian border, stopping at 34 uniquely picturesque ports along the way. The ship then turns around, and sails south back to Bergen. She’ll call on the same ports, but those visited during the day on the northbound voyage will now be visited during the night on the southbound voyage. For passengers who seek immersion in the landscape and culture of Norway, this roundtrip voyage is a compelling choice.
Passengers with less time may choose to experience the cruise itinerary of a one-way voyage: the 7-day northbound journey embarking in Bergen and ending in Kirkenes, or the 6-day southbound return from Kirkenes to Bergen.
Regardless of your trip’s length, you are guaranteed days filled with majestic scenery-spectacular fjords, snow-capped mountains, and an astonishing variety of flora and fauna. Make sure to pack your camera and binoculars for this “The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage.”
Call now to reserve with Margreet Pettersen our Hurtigruten expert.
Day 1: Bergen – Bergen is the bustling capital of Norway’s fjord district. If you arrive a few hours before departure, stroll around the old wooden buildings in the Bryggen Wharf, remnants of its Hanseatic past. In travel’s early days, it was easier to get from Bergen to the Continent by sea than it was to get to Oslo-a fact apparent in this city’s architecture and culture. You board the Norwegian Coastal Voyage this evening.
Day 2: Maløy – Torvik – Ålesund – Molde – Kristiansund – Today you’ll stop in the beautiful Art Nouveau town of Ålesund. (Between April 15 and September 14, all ships call at Geiranger in the Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to see the beautiful Brudesløret, Friaren, and the Seven Sisters waterfalls.) After a call at Molde—its magnificent view of the Romsdal Alps made it a favorite vacation spot of Henrik Ibsen—the ship will navigate the Hustadvika, a belt of islets and skerries, before docking at Kristiansund.
Day 3: Trondheim – Rørvik – The ship arrives early this morning in ancient Trondheim, where you’ll have time to explore this jewel of a city, Norway’s first capital. Did you know that the first Viking sale of goods from “the new found land” took place here about 1000 AD? Timber from Leif Eriksson’s Vinland estate was sold to a Bremen merchant. Walk the charming streets, sit by the peaceful harbor, or cross the old city bridge to see the restored wooden buildings in Bakklandet and the great gothic cathedral of Nidaros, where the new kings of old Norway once received their official blessing. From Trondheim, the ship sails on to Rørvik, where the southbound and northbound coastal ships meet.
Day 4: Ørnes – Bodø – Stamsund – Svolvaer – Today you’ll cross the Arctic Circle. After Bodø, the ship heads out to open sea for the Lofoten Islands with their picturesque cabins on stilts and weathered wooden racks with drying cod. In the evening, she’ll navigate the narrow Raftsund Strait, passing the looming crags of the Trollfjord.
Day 5: Harstad – Finnsnes – Tromsø – Skjervøy – This morning you’ll pass the medieval Trondenes church before calling at Harstad for breakfast. Afterward, you’ll sail across the Vagsfjord past the great island of Senja with its diverse countryside of farmland, pine trees, and plunging peaks. Later you’ll stop at Tromsø, the “Paris of the North.” In the 19th century, Russian, British, Dutch, and German ships called here before heading off on Arctic expeditions for hunting whales, walruses and seals.
Day 6-7: Hammerfest – Havøysund – Honningsvåg – Kjøllefjord – Mehamn – Berlevåg – Kirkenes – Finnmark’s landscape is austere in its beauty, teeming with wildlife. Watch for rookeries of puffins and gannets along the cliffs and pods of orca hunting for herring. After calling at Honningsvåg, the capital of the North Cape, the ship heads east toward the pretty fishing villages of Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, and Berlevåg. On the seventh day, you’ll arrive at Kirkenes, the journey’s northern terminus and turning point.
Day 7: Kirkenes – Vardø – Båtsfjord – Berlevåg – After a few hours docked at Kirkenes, the ship will depart upon the southbound half of her voyage, calling during the day at ports passed at night on the trip northward. Crossing Varangerfjord, Norway’s only east-facing fjord and a fabled bird-watching site, you’ll arrive in Vardø, the easternmost point of the country. Next the ship will round the Varanger peninsula, where archaeologists excavated a community believed to date from 9000 BC. In the evening, the ship calls at Båtsfjord, which also boasts the remains of a Stone Age settlement, and Berlevåg.
Day 8: Honningsvåg – Havøysund – Hammerfest – Oksfjord – Skjervøy – Tromsø – The ship arrives at Honningsvåg in the early morning. After calling at Havøysund, she will stop for 1 1/2 hours in Hammerfest, the world’s most northerly town. Despite its remote location, it was the first Norwegian town to have electric street lighting and its own power station. She then heads south to Oksfjord, whose glacier calves directly into the sea. After crossing open water, the ship calls at the old trading post of Skjervøy. You’ll dock in Tromsø just in time to savor its nightlife.
Day 9: Harstad – Risøyhamn – Sortland – Stokmarknes – Svolvaer – Stamsund – The island groups of Lofoten and Vesterålen have some of the most stunning scenery on this journey. Before your arrival, you’ll see the captain skillfully maneuver the ship through the shallow waters of the Risoyrenna Channel, where sand banks are visible through the green water on both sides of the channel. The ship will negotiate the narrow Raftsund Strait leading into the breathtaking Trollfjord, before arriving in Svolvaer and Stamsund. Later, the ship heads east across Vestfjord toward Bodø.
Day 10: Ørnes – Nesna – Sandnessjøen – Brønnøysund – Rørvik – From Ørnes, you’ll travel through crystalline waters and go by lush agricultural fields. On the approach to Brønnøysund, which you reach this afternoon, you’ll spy the mythical Seven Sisters Mountains. Make sure you’re on deck when the ship departs Brønnøysund.
Day 11: Trondheim – Kristiansund – Molde – Arrive in Trondheim early, with time to visit Norway’s largest medieval church, Nidaros Cathedral, and the restored Archbishop’s Residence. You’ll then sail out through the beautiful Trondheimsfjord, past Hitra, island of deer, and lonely Grip. At day’s end, you’ll call at Molde, before arriving in Ålesund late in the evening in time for a stroll on shore.
Day 12: Torvik – Måløy – Florø – Bergen – During the night, the ship will call at Torvik, Måløy, and Florø. The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage is drawing to a close. Yet still ahead lies mile after mile of spectacular west Norway scenery: holly trees on Svanøy, the mouth of Sognefjord, and the beautiful archipelago on the approach to Bergen.
For more information, or to make a reservation, please contact our Hurtigruten expert, Margreet Pettersen. Margreet may be reached at 206-780-5010 or click to email Margreet.