Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover

Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover

Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover

Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover

Travel information 11 days MS Maud
Departure
17 November 2022
Price from
3665 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Join us on a one-way winter expedition to the landscapes of the Norwegian coast, exploring its fjords, towns, and cities on the hunt for the Northern Lights. 

Norway’s Beautiful fjords 

Sailing from Dover, this expedition cruise will take you to famous and rarely visited areas of the Norwegian coast. Soak up Egersund’s cosy vibe before heading to Bergen, where the Fløibanen funicular will take you to a viewpoint 320 metres above water level for wonderful view of the city. Don’t miss the UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its colourful wooden wharfs.  

We then continue on to Sognefjorden, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Here you will visit the tiny hamlet of Fjærland, not far from the largest glacier on the European continent, Jostedalsbreen. Next is breathtaking Hjørundfjorden, surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps with peaks soaring 1,700 metres straight up from the sea.  

Polar nights and Northern Lights 

The hours of daylight shorten once we cross the Arctic Circle, replaced by dim blue twilight that makes the snowy scenery of the coast even more magical. Explore the Lofoten archipelago and the town of Svolvær, with the impressive jagged peaks of granite mountains as a dramatic backdrop. Next up, visit the war museum in Narvik to understand the central role this town had during World War II.  

After discovering the beauty of Vesterålen, your expedition cruise ends in Tromsø, known as “Paris of the North” for its cosmopolitan vibes and as the “Gateway to the Arctic” for its long history of polar exploration.  

Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover
  • Day 1
    Dover, UK

    Setting course for Tromsø

    17 November 2022
    Estimated time of departure is 4:00 PM

    All aboard at Dover! MS Maud is here, ready and waiting to bring you north to Tromsø in the Arctic. We’ll be on the hunt for one of nature’s greatest spectacles: the Northern Lights. 

    If you’ve time, take a walk alongside or atop the iconic White Cliffs of Dover that have become a symbol for England. One of the best places to do so is at St. Margaret’s Bay which offers great views of the chalky coastline from its wide shingle beach. 

    Once on board the ship, you’ll pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, settle into your cabin, explore the ship and attend a mandatory safety drill. After the first of many delicious dinners and a welcome toast by the Captain, you’ll meet your expert Expedition Team.  

    They are your knowledgeable lecturers, warm hosts, and good-natured guides throughout your journey. Many grew up and live in the places you’ll be visiting and are passionate about sharing their home with you.  

    First and foremost though, they are there to keep you safe and well. They’ll be making it a priority to run through important health and safety aspects with you and your fellow guests.   

    When the ship sets sail, we’ll pass the white cliffs of Dover and head up to the North Sea. Stretch your sea legs and get to know MS Maud, your cosy home away from home. Head to the Explorer Lounge and Bar to watch the world go by from the panoramic windows, maybe together with a relaxing glass of wine? Your adventure to the Arctic is officially underway! 

    Later in the evening, we’ll call on the port of Harwich, which is one of the most important ports on the Essex coast and boasts a rich maritime heritage. Famous explorers such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Richard Hawkins, and Sir Martin Frobisher all departed from here on several expeditions of discovery. Perhaps most famously, the town was the home port of the Pilgrim ship ‘Mayflower’ and birthplace of its captain, Christopher Jones.  

    In keeping with Harwich tradition, and to celebrate the start of our journey, you’ll enjoy a local sea shanty performance before crossing the North Sea.

    Day 1
    Dover, UK

    Setting course for Tromsø

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Norway bound

    18 November 2022

    This day at sea gives you all the time you need to ease into your journey. You’ll definitely want to start enjoying onboard facilities like the hot tubs, sauna, and indoor gym. But you’ll likely also be striking up a camaraderie with the Expedition Team as well as other crew members and guests.  

    The Expedition Team will begin the first in their series of insightful lectures over at the Science Center. Each member of the Expedition Team are experts on different subjects and you’ll find them to be walking, talking treasure troves of stories and information.  

    They’ll share their extensive knowledge about the places, history, nature, people and natural phenomena we are likely to encounter during this winter cruise along the Norwegian coast. Today’s topics might include the geology of the North Sea or the science behind the Northern Lights. 

    Even as no one can completely predict the weather, wind and waves on the North Sea are known to be a bit choppy at this time of year. Our Captain’s goal is to bring us into Egersund the next day, but where nature is involved, nothing can be completely set in stone.  

    This is just part and parcel of the expedition experience, adding extra suspense and excitement to your adventure. Rest assured that we’ll be doing our best to make your cruise as safe and as smooth as possible, even if it means being flexible and adapting our plans to factor in the elements. 

    Day 2
    At sea

    Norway bound

  • Day 3
    Egersund, Norway

    Picturesque town of wooden houses 

    19 November 2022

    You’ll love Egersund, with its cosy vibe. The town is famous for its brightly coloured, wooden houses – a real departure from the white-painted dwellings of many of Norway’s towns, and a welcome sight as you approach the harbour.  

    People have lived around the area of Egersund since the Stone Age. There are several places around the town where you’ll find ruins of settlements dating back to the early migrations around 400 – 600 BCE, and ancient runes have been found carved into rocks nearby. It’s also one of the best natural harbours in Norway, and it used to be the largest in the country when measured in quantity of fish landed each year.  

    Enjoy exploring the bijoux town centre, which has preserved some of the best examples of wooden houses – a few even dating back 160 years. The varied landscape surrounding the town is great for walking.  

    Day 3
    Egersund, Norway

    Picturesque town of wooden houses 

  • Day 4
    Bergen, Norway

    City of Seven Mountains

    20 November 2022

    Welcome to Bergen, one of Norway’s most beautiful cities and a great place to explore on foot. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years, and you’ll see that the city has retained a great deal of its local character, heritage and charm.  

    Your included activity in Bergen is an excursion to Mount Fløyen. We’ll hop on Hurtigruten buses from where the ship docks and drive to the Fløibanen funicular. The ride to the top of the mountain takes just six minutes. At the summit, 320 metres high, bask in stunning views over the city surrounded by seven mountains and the sea. If there’s time, we might also have an opportunity to venture into the alpine forest here for a short hike. 

    Once back in the centre of Bergen, be sure to stroll through the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its colourful wooden wharfs. The area dates back to the 14th century and now houses boutique stores selling a range of Norwegian arts and crafts. Across from Bryggen is Bergen’s famous fish market which is full of sights, sounds and scents to savour. 

    • Included Bergen - The Fløibanen Funicular
    Day 4
    Bergen, Norway

    City of Seven Mountains

  • Day 5
    Fjærland, Norway

    The longest fjord in Norway

    21 November 2022

    In the morning we sail into Sognefjorden, nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’, as it is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Stretching 205 kilometres inland from the coast, we plan to cruise deep into the fjord to the tiny hamlet of Fjærland.  

    Only 300 people live here, and you get to go ashore to discover this idyllic village with many charming old buildings. Fjærland is a designated Norwegian Book Town, and picturesque second-hand book shops and stands can be found all over the small village.  

    This is also the place where Sognefjorden meets one of Norway’s best-known glaciers, Jostedalsbreen. It’s the largest glacier on the European continent and has several smaller glacier arms stretching out in many directions, including Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen.  

    This makes Fjærland a perfect place to learn more about how glaciers created the beautiful fjords of Norway, which makes a visit to the Norwegian Glacier Museum a perfect included activity of the day. 

    At the award-winning museum, designed by world famous architect Sverre Fehn, you’ll engage with hands-on exhibits that explain why glacier ice is blue and how the fjords were formed. You can even perform a few experiments with 1,000-year-old glacier ice and watch a panoramic film about Europe’s largest glacier. 

    • Included Fjærland: Understanding Norway’s Glaciers
    Day 5
    Fjærland, Norway

    The longest fjord in Norway

  • Day 6
    Hjørundfjorden, Norway (Urke or Sæbø)

    Exceptional natural beauty

    22 November 2022

    Like famous Geirangerfjord next door, Hjørundfjord is part of the UNESCO designated Fjords Norway area which is notable for “exceptional natural beauty”. Surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps with peaks soaring 1,700 metres straight up from the sea, it is one of the most scenic fjords in all of Norway and still undiscovered by most other cruise lines.  

    On a clear day, you’ll get the full 360° sensory experience: the bluest skies, the coniferous forests, perhaps in fall foliage and grazing pastures covering the mountainsides. The still, pristine waters then reflect the superb scenery in all its glory, merging the fjord and landscape perfectly.  

    We’ll anchor close to either Urke or Sæbø, both settlements in the fjord and a local tender boat will take you ashore to experience Norwegian nature and culture.   

    Sign up for optional excursions to explore the area further. Join a guided walk taking in villages along the Hjørundfjord and learn about the history, nature and royal connections of this splendid beauty spot.  

    Alternatively, you can opt for more exhilarating, pulse-raising excursions such as hiking up the mountain for incredible views. Or find yourself kayaking along the fjord, the exquisite silence broken only by the sound of your own paddle.

    • Included Hjørundfjord - Fjord Village Visit and Concert
    Day 6
    Hjørundfjorden, Norway (Urke or Sæbø)

    Exceptional natural beauty

  • Day 7
    Trøndelag, Norway

    ‘Kos’ and ‘frilufsliv’ combined

    23 November 2022

    Today, we’ll explore rarely seen areas of the rugged and raw coast of Trøndelag on our way north towards Lofoten.  

    This region of Norway lies at the heart of the Norwegian coast, both geographically and culturally. The beautiful city of Trondheim used to be the country’s capital and King Olav, later beatified as Saint Olav, is buried in the city’s Notre-Dame-inspired Nidaros Cathedral. King Olav fell during a battle at Stiklestad, also found along Trøndelag’s coast. His martyrdom there subsequently paved the way for the conversion of Norway from paganism to Christianity. 

    When Hurtigruten started sailing north of Trøndelag in 1893, much was still unknown about the coastline. Over the years, we’ve become experts in these waters. Today, we are the only ones with the maritime knowledge and skill to take you through the many skerries and islets, and past fjord after fjord.  

    Trøndelag is also the home of kos – a uniquely Norwegian state of mind that celebrates the simple pleasures of warmth, kindness and togetherness. As we explore Trøndelag’s coast, you’ll combine kos with another quintessentially Norwegian concept: an intense love of nature and the great outdoors known as friluftsliv. 

    As part of an authentic adventure, it’s the weather that will determine our exact route and activities today. If the weather is pleasant, we can stay out among the islands along the coast. If otherwise, we can head into one of the many deep fjords. What may often look like a small gap in the coastline actually hides a deep fjord system which few ever visit. Unless you’re sailing with us, like you are! 

    Once the elements have helped us decide on our destination for the day, we’ll drop anchor and use our small exploration boats to get to shore. If conditions are right, you’ll be able to pick optional excursion hikes or kayaking, or possibly even both. 

    Day 7
    Trøndelag, Norway

    ‘Kos’ and ‘frilufsliv’ combined

  • Day 8
    Svolvær, Norway

    Enchantment in the Lofoten Islands

    24 November 2022

    There are just a few places on Earth where you can sail north of the Arctic Circle in wintertime. The Norwegian coast is one of them. The ship will officially cross over the Arctic Circle sometime in the morning.  

    To mark the occasion in the tradition of Norwegian sailors, we’ll be inviting you out on deck for a special ceremony. Exactly what happens is something you’ll just have to find out on your cruise! 

    The Lofoten Islands are one of the most spectacular locations in all of Norway and maybe even the world. We sail along Vestfjord and arrive in Svolvær in the morning. This is the largest town in Lofoten with about 4,800 residents, many of whom work as fishermen. There are shops and art galleries to browse along the seafront promenade and rows of rorbuer, fishing huts, to admire.  

    You might spot wooden racks called hjell dotted around the shores of the town too. Locally caught cod is dried on these racks and later turned into tørrfisk, or stockfish in English, and prized as a local delicacy. Fishing is clearly an important way of life in Lofoten and the lecture for the day may focus on how cod effectively helped to build Norway into a country.  

    From where you get off the ship, it’s a short walk to your inclusive visit to the multicoloured Magic Ice bar. The former fish-freezing warehouse now displays a range of selfie-suitable ice sculptures that depict Lofoten life and Viking culture. Enjoy a signature spirit to warm you up, served in an ice glass of course!  

    Your expert Expedition Team will also flex their local knowledge by handpicking safe and spectacular hiking trails or snowshoeing areas to offer as optional excursions. 

    Day 8
    Svolvær, Norway

    Enchantment in the Lofoten Islands

  • Day 9
    Narvik, Norway

    The Battle of Narvik

    25 November 2022

    We arrive in Narvik late in the evening and we’ll stay in port until tomorrow afternoon, giving you time to really explore. The town has a spectacular setting on a peninsula surrounded by three fjords: The Ofotfjord, Rombaken, and Beisfjord.  

    The multiple mountains also help to shelter its popular ski slopes from strong coastal winds. And while Narvik is one of the most northerly towns in the world, some 220 kilometres within the Arctic Circle, it enjoys a milder climate than expected thanks to the North Atlantic Current. 

     Modern Narvik developed as an all-year port for Swedish iron mines, which made the town a strategic target for Germany during World War II. You’ll visit the Narvik War Museum to see exhibits and artifacts from the war, learning about the heroism of British and Allied troops in liberating the town from the Nazis.  

    Aside from the museum, you can enjoy galleries, shops, and restaurants which specialise in locally-sourced seafood from the fjords and reindeer meat from the mountains.  

    Optional excursions including riding the cable car to the top of Mount Narvik for the breathtaking views or hikes, snowshoeing or kayaking on the fjords. You might also go ice-fishing in small lakes close to Narvik or meet local Sámi who are indigenous to the area.  

    There could also be an optional excursion to Polarparken, the largest and northernmost animal park in the world. The likes of wolves, bears, lynx, moose, and reindeer roam within huge enclosures. If you visit at feeding time, you might be able to glimpse these animals close up. 

    • Included Narvik War Museum Visit
    Day 9
    Narvik, Norway

    The Battle of Narvik

  • Day 10
    Risøyhamn/Sortland, Norway

    A hiker’s paradise

    26 November 2022

    We arrive in Vesterålen early in the morning. It spans an area from Andøya in the north to Sortland in the south. Few have heard of Vesterålen and even fewer has ever explored its beauty. Our plan is to let you spend the entire day doing so.  

    Vesterålen is known as a hiker's paradise, offering both easy hikes for great view and more challenging hikes. We also plan to put our kayaks in the water while we are in port, giving you the possibility to join an optional kayak activity. Whales are often spotted in this area in the winter, so you might even get to see them from your kayak. 

    Depending on the weather for the day, we will dock in Sortland, Risøyhamn or Harstad. Sortland is the administrative centre of the area, and with a population of about 10,000 people, it’s the largest town in Vesterålen. It’s nicknamed ‘the blue city in the straight’, due to the many blue houses in the city centre.  

    Risøyhamn has approximately 200 inhabitants, making it a small village even by Norwegian standards. But the first settlements here date back to the Stone Age thanks to teeming fishing grounds and natural shelter from wind and waves. To get to Risøyhamn, we have to sail through Risøyrenna, an artificial channel finished in 1922 specifically for Hurtigruten to get access to Vesterålen and Risøyhamn. 

    Should the weather conditions be harsh today, we will port in Harstad, located a little further inland. The church just outside of Harstad is considered to be the world’s northernmost medieval church. Next to is Trondenes Historical Center and the ‘Adolfkanonen’, an enormous cannon from WWII and the last remaining one of four built by the Nazis. Harstad also has a lot of splendid scenery for you to explore on an optional hike.  

    Day 10
    Risøyhamn/Sortland, Norway

    A hiker’s paradise

  • Day 11
    Tromsø, Norway

    The end of an adventure

    27 November 2022
    Estimated time of arrival is 6:00 AM

    Your expedition cruise along the coast of Norway has come to an end as we arrive in Tromsø in the morning. After saying goodbye to the ship and its crew, you can leave for home or continue your adventure by exploring more of what Tromsø has to offer.  

    Historically, Tromsø was a frontier town for returning hunters and explorers and acted as a launch point for several Arctic expeditions. Compared to the barren tundra they experienced, Tromsø was like Paris because of the fashion and food they found there, hence the nickname, ‘Paris of the North.’ 

    There are numerous winter activities you might want to engage in if you have the time, like dogsledding and Northern Lights or whale safaris.  

    If you want to focus on the city itself, the striking Arctic Cathedral with its huge stained-glass window makes for a natural first stop. Browse the shops for some last-minute souvenir shopping or sample the region’s fresh produce in one of the restaurants. Join the friendly locals in one of the pubs here and try a pint from one of the world’s northernmost breweries.  

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure! 

    • Included The Polar Museum
    Day 11
    Tromsø, Norway

    The end of an adventure

Departures

2022

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What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Trekking poles and head lamps available if necessary
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected
MS Maud
Interior in restaurant Lindstrøm
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your ship

MS Maud

Year built 2003
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 500
Gross tonnage 16,151 T
Length 135,75 m
Beam 21.5 m
Speed 15 knots

Formerly the MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Maud

Science center - MS Maud
Photo: Oscar Farrera
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