Classic Voyage Tour code HUR2016CV
Travel to Norway to chase the Northern Lights with London Flights from £1224 per person full board
regional airports add £110pp
12 days | Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen
The Classic Round Voyage with Hurtigruten is a spectacular journey. Enjoy the changing landscape of over 2,400km of coastline. Direct exclusive charter flights from a choice of regional airports to Bergen throughout the year.
The is an amazing list of optional excursions available including: The Arctic capital Tromso, Kirkenes Snow Hotel, The North Cape, Trondheim Catherdral.
Sailing on various ships in the Hurtigruten fleet, these voyages depart the UNESCO-listed city of Bergen sailing north to Kirkenes and back. You will enjoy 12 relaxing days of majestic scenery, welcoming towns and friendly, like-minded travellers.
Sailings available for every season in Norway: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
Selected dates in 2016 & 2017
NOW FROM £1,224 pp based on 23/1/2017 departure
This offer is only available new bookings. Available for two people sharing a twin cabin. The wine package is a bottle of wine per couple each dinner. The beer package is two beers per person during dinner.
DAY 1 Bergen, Gateway to the Fjords
Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, and was the capital of Norway for several years. It has retained a great deal of local character and history. One example is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs that date back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming and compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the Fish Market.
After embarkation it’s time for a tasty dinner buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, heading to the high north. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you take in the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in our panorama lounges. There are several pre-voyage programmes available before departure.
DAY 2 Ålesund, Geirangerfjord/Hjørundfjord
Waking up early gives you chance to admire the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord. Sailing past the West Cape, we experience one of the few ventures into open sea during the voyage. Ålesund is a town renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. Join the city walk to get a closer look.
In the summer months we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord. The optional excursion begins with a drive up Ørneveien with its magnificent views. Enjoy a picturesque ferry ride from the beautiful Eidsdalen Lake. Then we head for the stark, wild, high-alpine areas. One of the many highlights is the series of 11 hairpin bends down the winding Trollstigen Pass. The excursion ends with a dinner in Molde before embarking the Hurtigruten ship again.
In autumn we explore Hjørundfjord, situated in the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. The unspoiled natural landscape give this fjord its special character: We sail past steep rock walls, green meadows, lonely mountain farms and small villages far from the tourist bustle. Join the excursion ‘A taste of Norway’ for a different experience. First stop is Urke, where you can see local history in various forms. A bus tour through ‘Norway’s narrowest valley’ – Norangsdalen ends at historic Hotel Union Øye, that has housed many famous explorers, royalties and authors; Roald Amundsen, William Cecil Slingsby, Emperor Wilhelm II, Queen Maud, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Karen Blixen among others.
DAY 3 Trondheim, the Medieval Capital
Few large cities have managed to preserve their intimacy as effectively as Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. The Viking King Olav Tryggvason founded the city in 997 AD. Be sure to enjoy the views from Gamle Bybrua (the Old Town Bridge) dating back to 1861 and the restored wooden buildings of the Bakkland district.
We offer tours of Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral. This is Norway’s only Gothic style cathedral built over the burial place of St. Olav, Norway’s patron saint. Marvel at the cathedral’s incredible architectural details and exquisite works of art. On one of these excursions we continue to the Ringve Museum of Musical History, where the history of Norway’s music will be brought to life. This beautiful manor house is surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden, with fantastic views of both the city and the fjord.
In autumn you can join the trip out to Munkholmen. This was an execution place, before becoming a Benedictine monastery around 1000 AD. In 1658 it was made into a fortress and prison, and later a customs station. A boat trip on the beautiful Trondheim Fjord is an experience in itself. Enjoy the city from the sea, and visiting the fortress will take you thousands of years back in time.
The afternoon is spent sailing past the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. After sailing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship arrives at charming Rørvik.
DAY 4 Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands
If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time the captain will make sure that the occasion is a memorable event, when you participate in the Arctic Circle ceremony on deck.
The Arctic Circle marks the border to the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight – often referred to as the ‘Midnight Sun’. In winter being above this degree of latitude gives you the best chance of experiencing the Northern Lights.
Near Ørnes you find Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier. Join us for a trip to the Svartisen Tourist Centre, where you can admire the beauty of this mysterious cap of ice. In Bodø you can enjoy an adventure in harmony with nature, eagles and the deep blue sea. We head to Saltstraumen in a RIB, where you will witness the world’s most powerful tidal current. On this exciting journey through the wild landscape, there is also a good chance to observe sea eagles.
The Lofoten Islands will charm you with its small, picturesque fishing villages and bohemian atmosphere. The nature is an experience out of the ordinary with majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. Take a stroll between the stockfish racks and ‘rorbuer’, the traditional fisherman’s huts. Join an historical journey to the Lofotr Viking Museum in Stamsund on an overland trip between Stamsund and Svolvær. We are invited into the Chieftain’s house; a full size reconstruction featuring exhibits of finds dating back to the Viking age.
After sailing through the narrow Raftsund, the captain will show his skills while sailing into the Trollfjord and turn around before sailing out again.
DAY 5 Tromsø and Arctic Excitement
Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever the season! After several intense hours on the open sea, we set our course to Senja, known as ‘Norway in Miniature’ and re-join the Hurtigruten ship at Finnsnes, just in time for lunch!
The ship continues to Tromsø for a prolonged stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. During winter and the polar night, the only lights you’ll see come from the headlamps, the starry sky, and if you’re lucky; the magical Northern Lights.
After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. Now we are in the area where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between October and March, and we gather on deck to search for this spectacular phenomenon.
DAY 6 North Cape, Crossing the 71st Parallel
After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund we arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. The excursion to the North Cape Plateau puts you at 71°10’21”N, only 2,000km from the Geographical North Pole. Standing on top the 307m North Cape plateau gives you a sublime feeling of being at the end of the world. After all, you can’t get any further north in mainland Europe. The tour includes a visit to the North Cape Hall, where there is an impressive panoramic film about Finnmark and the North Cape. In summer, you might see herds of grazing reindeer and a small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people.
Close to the North Cape you find one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. During the nesting season this area is teeming with life as mighty sea eagles hover above in search of prey. Meanwhile guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, Arctic skuas, northern fulmars, Brünnich’s guillemots, and the large northern gannet fill the air with a cacophony of shrieks and screeches. In the autumn you can also catch a glimpse of Europe’s smallest seabird, the British storm petrel.
Continuing north, we are sailing in the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka. The trip continues up to the Finnmark plateau, 300m above sea level, where you might also see reindeer in their natural habitat.
If you want some winter action we recommend the unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Experience the snow-clad valleys, the fresh winter air and perhaps the mesmerizing Northern Lights in the clear, starry sky.
DAY 7 Kirkenes and the Arctic Wilderness
The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes, just a few kilometres from the Russian border. We arrive in Vadsø early in the morning. This is one of the most attractive and popular bird-watching areas in the Arctic due to it being directly in the path of birds migrating from east to west. The advantageous biotopes combined with the rich resources in the adjacent Arctic Ocean attract myriad species and numbers of birds.
Just after breakfast we arrive in Kirkenes, putting us at 30° East, further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. This is Hurtigruten’s turning point, known as the capital of the Barents region and the gateway to the east. The Russian border is close by, and all the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
Kirkenes is home to the fantastic Snow Hotel, the base for several exciting excursions in wintertime. During spring you may still be able to participate in our winter activities and excursions. Explore the Arctic on a snowmobile, driving over a frozen fjord. On our husky sledge adventure the huskies eagerly take you through the arctic wilderness.
DAY 7 Kirkenes, the Voyage South Begins
Leaving Kirkenes, you’ve only seen half of what the coast has to offer. Prepare yourself for many new experiences. The ports previously visited by night on the northbound journey are now seen by day. In the afternoon the ship docks in Vardø again, Norway’s easternmost port. If you feel like being a true Arctic hero, come with us and take a bath in Arctic Ocean during winter. We continue along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening – the hometown of one of Norway’s most famous men’s choirs, consisting mostly of local fishermen.
DAY 8 North Cape, Lyngenfjord and Tromsø
In the middle of the night we dock at Mehamn, where it is possible to join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas.
Hammerfest was Norway’s polar capital, acting as a base for hunting expeditions to the high Arctic. See the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise measurement of the globe. Join the mountain hike in summer to explore the area even more. We continue south to Øksfjord. After crossing open water, we will make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy before sailing through the beautiful Lyngenfjord in spring. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps. Here you might get a taste of freshly caught prawns on deck.
As we arrive in the charming city Tromsø, known as ‘the Paris of the North,’ you may choose to book a seat at the Midnight Concert at the Arctic Cathedral, or you could check out one of the town’s many friendly pubs.
DAY 9 A Full Day in Lofoten
The daylight sailing through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight for many of our guests. The region is renowned for its natural beauty with steep mountains, wild nature and small, picturesque fishing villages. This day also offers several exciting excursions that will make you feel like a natural born explorer.
Lofoten and Vesterålen offer some of the most stunning scenery you will see during your coastal voyage. Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants, and we make a short stop here to deliver passengers, groceries and mail. Then we continue via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago.
Continuing south it looks like we are sailing straight into the mountain wall, but the captain finds an opening and sails through the narrow Raftsund. Now we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2km long and 100m wide and surrounded by mountains. The captain might take a detour in here. The steep cliffs hug the ships side, and the dramatic landscape will take you to a land of trolls and fairy tales. Trollfjord is the realm of the sea eagle.
Onto Svolvær and continuing on to Stamsund, where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten wall can be viewed. We leave the islands during the evening and set course for the mainland.
DAY 10 Arctic Circle and Seven Sisters
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’ today. We celebrate this with a taste of our Arctic traditions out on deck. Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven mountains are between 900 and 1,100 m high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ have influenced ancient myths. According to Norwegian folk tales, trolls are turned to stone if they do not hide before the sun rises. This was also the case for these seven beautiful sisters who, still beautiful, are now also mountains.
We take a short stop in Nesna, an idyllic old trading post before moving on to Sandnessjøen.
DAY 11 Trondheim and West Coast Cities
Today gives you another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim.
Then back on board, the ship heads out of the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 170km long and up to 25km wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords it is deep, 577m at most.
Kristiansund’s location has provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. This town is now regarded as Norway’s ‘cured cod capital’ because of its long time export of salted dry fish.
After a short sightseeing tour in Kristiansund we continue to Averøy and visit Kvernes Stave Church. As we cross the open sea to Molde, known as the ‘city of roses’, you will notice the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
DAY 12 Bergen, the Last Chapter of the Ferry Tale
Before we dock in Bergen there are still a few nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead of us, such as the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedals glacier. The fjord widens to the east and forges 90km inland to Loen and Olden. The rugged coastal areas are a striking contrast to the inner fjord areas where the wind is less fierce and there is less rain. Fertile fruit gardens and the fingers of glaciers stretch out towards glistening lakes and gushing rapids. Both types of landscape have their own distinctive charm and tourists are well advised to experience both.
After a morning call at Florø, we navigate the inlet of the mighty Sognefjord. You also get the best views of the archipelago en route. And finally you disembark in Bergen, taking with you memories of a unique journey filled with impressions, experiences and meetings with the locals, wildlife and the stunning nature.