The classic journey – northbound: Bergen – Kirkenes
- Experience the world-renowned Geirangerfjord in the summer
- In the autumn we visit the Hjørundfjord, which is perhaps Norway’s most beautiful fjord.
- Cross the Arctic Circle under the midnight sun in the summer, or perhaps the Northern Lights in the winter
- Explore the historic harbor towns of Ålesund, Trondheim, Bodø and Tromsø
On the northbound journey from Bergen to Kirkenes you get many opportunities to explore both culture and nature. We visit both the large coastal towns and tiny fishing villages, cross the polar circle and continue even further north. In seven days you will experience deep fjords, changing scenery, UNESCO World Heritage sites and exciting excursions. Enjoy the atmosphere in cities such as Bergen, Ålesund, Trondheim and Tromsø. These coastal towns have a lot in common and rich in charm and heritage, but you also get to see the differences. On the stretches between the ports we visit, the pristine and beautiful nature lies like pearls on a string.
The gate to the fjords
The journey starts in Bergen , the city which is surrounded by seven mountains. The city was founded in 1070 and was a period of Norway’s capital. This is a central place to start traveling in Norway. Bergen has preserved much of its charming character through the ages. An example is the UNESCO-listed Bryggen with its colorful quay area dating from the 14th century. Take a stroll around the city, sit down at an outdoor cafe or restaurant, take the funicular to the top of the city or visit the famous fish market.
Architecture and nature's own artwork
If you wake up early in the morning, you bring beautiful Nordfjord before breakfast. As we pass Vestkapp, we are out on the open sea. Shortly after, we sail through a beautiful archipelago before adding a quay in Ålesund . This coastal town is known for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, characterized by towers, ornaments and spiers. The city was rebuilt in this style after the city burned down in 1904. Are you concerned about marine life? Then we recommend a visit to the Atlantic Park – one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums. On the excursion we also visit the penguin pool. Then we move up the hill to the mountain Aksla, which gives you fantastic views of the city. You can also explore the Art Nouveau town from a sea kayak.
Medieval atmosphere in the old capital
Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city, and was founded by the Viking King Olav Tryggvason in the year 997. Join us on our excursion to Nidaros Cathedral, declared as Norway’s national sanctuary. This is the country’s only cathedral, with architectural details and exquisite artistic design. In spring and summer, continue to Ringve Musikkmuseum, which is Norway’s national music museum. This b eautiful manor house is surrounded by a magnificent botanical garden, where you have great views of both the city and the fjord.
Welcome to the Arctic!
Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is 66 degrees and 33 minutes north and marks the border with the Arctic. In the summer, the northern location provides 24 hours of daylight – also called the midnight sun . In the winter you have the greatest chance of experiencing the northern lights the further north you are. Even if you are not awake when crossing the Arctic Circle, the Captain will make it a memorable experience afterwards. If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you can participate in a Arctic Circle Baptism on deck.
Feel like a polar hero
Get ready for an active day, whatever the season! During the morning hours we make some quick stops in Risøyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes. Then we continue towards Tromsø , “The Capital of the Arctic”, where we have a longer stay. A number of famous Arctic expeditions started in Tromsø. In the winter you can join the hike, “Polarhistorical city walk”, where you will learn more about explorers and hunters in the Arctic, and you will taste beer from the world’s northernmost brewery.
On top of the world - North Cape
Enjoy the magnificent sub-arctic landscape as we cross the 71th latitude of our journey towards North Cape , one of the northernmost points of the European continent. In the summer, you can see flocks of grazing reindeer and small tent pitches that the Sami have set up. After a short stop in Hammerfest we come to Havøysund. Here you can get off the ship and car on a different excursion to the North Cape in the summer; First it becomes a fast-paced ride in RIB past beautiful bird cliffs, so we land ashore in Hornvika and go up the historic route to the North Cape plateau.
The extreme north
Nature is becoming more and more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes . We add to the harbor Vardø in the morning. Not long after breakfast we come to Kirkenes, which is actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg! This is the place where Hurtigruten turns and starts the journey south again. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and the gate to the east.
The Russian border is just a few miles away. You may find it strange that the road signs are both in Norwegian and Russian. Depending on the season, there are many ways to get to the Russian border. You can travel by bus (all year), join a river boat safari, or go on an action-filled ATV (four-wheel drive) ride. In Kirkenes you will also find a number of fascinating, small museums that show the region’s rich heritage and history.