Famous Fjords & Rugged Coasts – Norway Expedition Cruise via Bohuslän & Skagen

Famous Fjords & Rugged Coasts – Norway Expedition Cruise via Bohuslän & Skagen

Famous Fjords & Rugged Coasts – Norway Expedition Cruise via Bohuslän & Skagen

Famous Fjords & Rugged Coasts – Norway Expedition Cruise via Bohuslän & Skagen

Travel information 17 Days MS Spitsbergen
Departure
6 October 2022
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Explore spectacular mountains, breathtaking fjords, remote islands and idyllic fishing villages on a cruise that showcases the diversity of Scandinavia’s glorious coasts. 

Three Nordic countries with magnificent coastal scenery  

This unique expedition cruise encompasses well-known towns and hidden gems that are well off the beaten track. You’ll take in Norway’s fjords and highlights, Sweden’s wild and wonderful Bohuslän coast, and Denmark’s inspiring Skagen – a former artists’ colony famed for its clear light. In the lesser-known southern part of Norway, you’ll find idyllic landscapes and picture-perfect fishing villages before we head north to the historic frontier city of Tromsø. 

Awe-inspiring fjords in western Norway 

You’ll witness some of the most enchanting panoramas to be seen in Norway’s spectacular fjords. Destination stops could include places such as: Lysefjord, which boasts striking vertical cliffs; Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the country; Hardangerfjord, whose apple orchards make an autumnal feast for the senses; or Hjørundfjord, surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps. In true expedition style, weather and local conditions will determine our explorations, but an amazing fjord experience is guaranteed! 

Beautiful autumn colours to inspire ‘friluftsliv’  

Sailing in autumn means Scandinavia will be a riot of colour. The mountainsides and hilltops will be covered in swathes of red, yellow and orange, crisp in the clear air. It’ll be perfect for embracing the Norwegian life philosophy of friluftsliv – a respect for nature and a love of the great outdoors. The onboard menu, activities and excursions will all reflect the season beautifully. 

Famous Fjords & Rugged Coasts – Norway Expedition Cruise via Bohuslän & Skagen Famous Fjords & Rugged Coasts – Norway Expedition Cruise via Bohuslän & Skagen
  • Day 1
    Bergen, Norway

    Your adventure begins

    6 October 2022

    Your journey starts in the bustling port city of Bergen. Founded in 1070 CE, this 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. 

    Hop aboard a funicular up to Mount Fløyen. The ride to the top of the mountain takes just six minutes. At the summit, you’ll bask in stunning views and see how the city is surrounded by seven mountains and the sea. You might even spot your expedition ship docked below.  

    Back in the centre, spend some time wandering the cobblestone streets and alleyways of this thriving, compact city. If you want a taste of a local speciality, drop into one of the many cafés or pubs and order a local Hansa beer.   

    Immerse yourself in local history by heading to the Old Bergen Museum. It’s an open-air showcase of what the city was like in the 1700s and 1800s. Another historic highlight is Fantoft Stave Church with its fascinating architecture – a beautiful combination of Norse pagan and Christian styles.    

    Also, be sure to stroll through the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its fish market and colourful wooden wharves. The area dates to the 14th century, and now houses boutique stores selling a range of Norwegian arts and crafts.   

    After boarding your expedition ship, you’ll be shown your cabin. There’s a mandatory safety drill just before departure, after which you can walk around to explore the ship. After meeting your Expedition Team, you’ll be ready to start your Scandinavian adventure. 

    Pre-Programme 

    Why not join our Pre-Programme, which takes in most of the mentioned highlights. Included in the package is an overnight stay in a centrally located hotel. An added bonus is you’ll likely get to meet some of your fellow explorers prior to boarding the ship.  

    Day 1
    Bergen, Norway

    Your adventure begins

  • Day 2-5
    Fjords of Norway

    Northbound to the fjords of Norway

    7 October 2022 - 10 October 2022

    Our goal for the next four days is to explore the beautiful coasts and landscapes of western Norway. It’s an area renowned for spectacular mountains, peaceful fjords and majestic glaciers. Depending on local conditions, we’ll use our small expedition boats and go on shore landings to explore the fjords and shores. In sheltered waters, you might be able to take in the coastal scenery while kayaking.  

    Local conditions will also determine exactly where you’ll visit and when. Here are just some the fjords we may visit.  

    Nordfjord 

    Nordfjord is the sixth-longest fjord in Norway. This fjord was created by the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Europe. Aside from breathtaking glaciers and fjords, you’ll see mountains, fertile valleys and beautiful sandy beaches. The picture-book fishing village of Loen is one of its main attractions. In the shadow of the mighty Jostedalsbreen glacier, at the very heart of Nordfjord, Loen is the perfect place to explore the gorgeous surroundings. 

    Sognefjord 

    Sognefjord is nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’, as it is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway, stretching 127 miles inland from the coast. Deep in the fjord lies the tiny hamlet of Fjærland, home to only 300 people. Fjærland is also the place where Sognefjorden meets one of Norway’s best-known glaciers, Josterdalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European continent. 

    Hardanger 

    Hardangerfjord is the fifth-longest fjord in the world and the second-longest in Norway. The climate here is mild, and the hillsides are home to some of the prettiest apple orchards in Norway. The region is understandably famous for its apple products, from jams and juice to its award-winning cider, which one food writer described as ‘Nordic Champagne’. 

    Lysefjord 

    Lysefjord boasts some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords. It’s home to the iconic viewpoint at Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock. The subject of many social media posts, it’s perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Norway. If we sail to Lysefjord, you may see this incredible rock formation from below, or even better, hike to the top on an optional excursion. 

    Whichever fjords we decide to visit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of Norway in its spectacular autumn colours. Thanks to the smaller size of our ship, you’ll get even closer to the scenery and small communities Norway is famous for. 

    You’ll also be invited to talks hosted by the Expedition Team, who will happily share their extensive knowledge of Norway with you. These added insights will enhance your experience and allow you to appreciate the region in greater depth.  

    Day 2-5
    Fjords of Norway

    Northbound to the fjords of Norway

  • Day 6
    Agder, Norway

    Scenic delight with a laid-back vibe

    11 October 2022

    Sørlandet - meaning the Southern Land – is one of Norway’s best kept secrets. The area boasts delightful coastal scenery, and it’s ideal for bird watching and shoreside walks. Agder, as the region is also known, is sometimes referred to as ‘The Norwegian Riviera’ due to its mild climate and is popular with holidaymakers.   

    With an enchanting mix of skerries, woods and hills, we’ll try to see the best of Agder. We’ll aim to visit Arendal, where small wooden houses are clustered by the sea and a bustling inner harbour creates an idyllic coastal town vibe. Take a leisurely stroll along the charming streets of the old town and soak up the relaxed southern approach to life on the coast. 

    Feeling energetic? Raet National Park, is perfect for some outdoor adventure. Running along the coast, the park features glacial geology and numerous walking trails. Depending on the weather and conditions, you’ll have the option to explore the area by hiking, kayaking or biking.  

    Day 6
    Agder, Norway

    Scenic delight with a laid-back vibe

  • Day 7
    Sweden’s laid-back coast

    Sweden’s west side story

    12 October 2022

    Welcome to Sweden! Today you’ll explore the fascinating Bohuslän coast, a distinctive rocky coastline characterised by smooth boulders, bustling towns, and small fishing villages. 

    We’ll stop at the island of South Koster – one of the two Koster Islands. North Koster and South Koster sit at the centre of Kosterhavet Marine National Park. On the southern one you can walk up Valfjäll - the highest point on the island. From the top you’ll be able to see the whole archipelago and as far as neighbouring Norway.  

    In the afternoon, we continue our scenic journey along Sweden’s coastline and head to Lysekil to enjoy the evening. You’ll want to be out on deck as we cruise along the channel past picturesque fishing villages set in glorious scenery.  

    Lysekil is a cosy seaside resort, so why not go on a stroll and discover the town’s beautiful buildings. The old town, Gamlestan, is a charming well-preserved neighbourhood, perfect for exploring on foot. Stop by some of the local cafés and restaurants to enjoy the region's renowned seafood. 

    After an active day of discovery, you’ll return to MS Spitsbergen ready for a delicious meal and a good night’s sleep.  

    Day 7
    Sweden’s laid-back coast

    Sweden’s west side story

  • Day 8
    Oslo, Norway

    Norway’s green capital of culture

    13 October 2022

    Awarded European Green Capital in 2019, Oslo is a fjord-side city surrounded by lakes and forested hills. As you explore this eco-friendly city, you’ll see its booming arts scene, modern beauty and culinary delights.  

    Oslo's compact size makes it ideal for discovering on foot. You can even tour the city on an Oslo City Bike, admiring the work of many world-renowned architects from the comfort of a saddle. The medieval Akershus Fortress dominates the harbourfront, while a stroll through the charming city centre will take you to the City Hall, Royal Palace, Parliament building and Oslo Cathedral. The new National Museum strikes a modern architectural contrast to the more classical buildings. 

    See the intriguing architecture east of the harbour in the Bjørvika neighbourhood. The angular, white marble and glass Opera House resembles a glacier emerging from the sea. Walk along its rooftop for panoramic views of the city and look across to the nearby Munch Museum. Across the bridge at Sørenga, you can stroll along the beach, go kayaking and even relax in a floating sauna.  

    When you want to take a break, you’ll find plenty of options for enjoying traditional Norwegian dishes or New Nordic cuisine. Choose from cosy cafés, hip coffee shops, modern fine dining, hot dog stands or maybe even a microbrewery. If you have time, you might take a walk in the forested hills that frame the city, or simply relax in one of Oslo’s many parks.  

    Day 8
    Oslo, Norway

    Norway’s green capital of culture

  • Day 9
    Skagen (morning) and Hirtshals (evening)

    Artists’ colony of clear light

    14 October 2022

    When you see the distinctive yellow houses with red roofs, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Skagen, one of Denmark’s most idyllic destinations. This atmospheric beach town is at the northernmost tip of Jutland, where the Baltic Sea meets the North Sea. During the summer months, the captivating light, wonderful nature and beautiful white sandy beaches are a big draw.  

    Skagen’s beautiful landscape was instrumental to the origin of a collective of artists known as Skagen Painters. In 1859, Denmark’s most famous writer Hans Christian Andersen encouraged artists to join him in Skagen. Word spread, leading to painters, musicians, writers and poets descending on the town, which was famed for its clear light.  

    If you’re interested in this art movement, visit Skagen Museum where you can see the works of the most famous painters, including Krøyer, Ancher and Tuxen. You’ll also learn about their considerable influence on Danish cultural history. 

    Wander around the lively town centre with its bustling marina, museums, galleries and boutiques, or head out along the walking trails to explore the beautiful coastal scenery.  Three miles north of Skagen is Grenen. Here, you’ll be at Denmark’s northernmost point, where the Skagerrak and the Kattegat straits meet – you may be able to see the waves of the two seas clash. Wander among sand dunes on foot or take the Sandormen, a tractor-driven wagon tour. The area is popular with birders. You’ll want to visit a famous church devoured by sand dunes. What appears to be a small 14th century chapel turns out to be the tower of Sankt Laurentii, once the largest church in northern Jutland. Sand migration buried the building, leaving only the tower visible. Further south is Råberg Mile, the closest thing Denmark has to a desert. Hike to the top of this huge 130 ft high migrating sand dune for great views.  If conditions allow, you’ll have the chance to hike or cycle from Skagen to Hirtshals. The beautiful scenery makes it one of the most picturesque routes in the region. 

    Day 9
    Skagen (morning) and Hirtshals (evening)

    Artists’ colony of clear light

  • Day 10
    Lindesnes, Norway

    Understated charm of the South Cape

    15 October 2022

    Your exploration of Norway’s long coastline starts at its southernmost point, Lindesnes. Sandwiched between the North Sea to the west and Skagerrak to the east, Lindesnes’ famously choppy waters have been a formidable challenge for seafarers down the centuries. Archaeologists uncovered a Viking era canal in nearby Spangereid built as a rudimentary solution to these rough seas. Luckily, unlike the Vikings of yore, you’ll be sailing on a modern explorer vessel specially designed for expedition cruising.

    While Nordkapp, 1,564 miles away, hogs most of the limelight, its southern cousin Lindesnes has a unique, understated charm. It’s located right in the heart of Sørlandet, the most popular summer destination for Norwegians. The area has some of the best beaches in southern Norway, making it ideal for bird watching and shoreside walks. Add unique skerries, lush forests and charming island lakes, and it's easy to see why Lindesnes has become such a popular destination.

    Rising majestically above the cape, the iconic red and white lighthouse is the most prominent feature in Lindesnes. Dating back to 1656, it’s Norway’s oldest lighthouse and marks the mainland’s southernmost point. Here you’ll find a restaurant, museums, exhibitions, shops, a cinema and – naturally – a stunning view from the top.

    If conditions allow and the weather is cooperating, the Expedition Team will lead the way in activities including sightseeing, hiking and kayaking.

    Day 10
    Lindesnes, Norway

    Understated charm of the South Cape

  • Day 11
    Vestland, Norway

    Exploration day

    16 October 2022

    A recent reorganisation of Norway’s regional map gave birth to Vestland, the result of Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane merging. With the stroke of a pen, some of Norway’s most famous fjords and highlights were now part of the same county – a county that boasts culture-packed Bergen as its capital.  

    Local conditions will determine where we end up visiting and what you’ll do. Depending on weather conditions, we’ll take you for scenic cruises in our small expedition boats or on shore excursions with our Expedition Team. In keeping with our trademark expedition style, we’ll surprise you with the exciting locations to be discovered in western Norway.  

    Day 11
    Vestland, Norway

    Exploration day

  • Day 12
    Hjørundfjord, Norway

    One of Norway’s most beautiful fjords

    17 October 2022

    A visit to one of the hidden gems of the west coast is in store for us today. 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 almost 5,600 ft straight up from the sea, it is one of the most scenic fjords in all of Norway and is still mostly undiscovered by most other cruise lines. 

    Our foray into this peaceful fjord reveals a landscape that has remained unchanged since the days of the early explorers. The majestic peaks of the Sunnmore Alps cast their shadows over the still waters of the fjord, providing a dramatic backdrop to the stunning scenery.  

    Cultivating the land here is a challenge due to the steep terrain, but you’ll see a few, tiny, isolated farms dotted about the shoreline as we sail by. How do the local farmers cope under such challenging circumstances?  The Expedition Team can inform you about the traditional methods that have been used here for centuries, handed down from generation to generation. 

    The 20-mile-deep Hjøjundfjord should be truly magical in the autumnal weather. We’ll explore its reaches and perhaps use our small expedition boats to go on shore landings and get closer to interesting natural highlights. All in all, this should be a very special day of exploration.  

    Day 12
    Hjørundfjord, Norway

    One of Norway’s most beautiful fjords

  • Day 13
    Frøya, Hitra, Smøla region

    Sailing into history

    18 October 2022

    Today you’ll explore the area around the windswept islands of mid-Norway, off the coast of Trøndelag. Notice how the islands facing the Norwegian Sea are in stark contrast to the sheltered fjords, as you’ll see from the small trees, bent by the strong winds. 

    This region lies at the heart of the Norwegian coast, both geographically and culturally. 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 Norse 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, and today we are the only ones with the maritime knowledge and skill to take you through the many skerries and islets.

    We plan to explore one of the islands in this area. Like any bona fide adventure, the elements will determine our exact route and activities today. If the weather is pleasant, we can stay out among the islands along the coast. Otherwise, we can head into one of the sheltered bays. 

    Frøya is one of the possible islands we will explore today. It’s a resting, nesting and wintering area for seabirds, like gulls, cormorants, ducks and Sea Eagles. If we go ashore, you may also see seals, mink, otter, hare, and deer.

    Once we’ve decided on our destination for the day, we’ll drop anchor and use our small expedition 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 13
    Frøya, Hitra, Smøla region

    Sailing into history

  • Day 14
    Helgeland, Norway

    A bit of Friluftsliv

    19 October 2022

    Today we’ll explore the coast of Helgeland on our way north towards Lofoten. Should we need to, we’ll use one of the ports in the area. However, if the weather is favourable, we’ll anchor and use our small expedition boats to visit one of the lesser-frequented islands.

    Norwegians have a great respect for nature and a love of the outdoors – something they call friluftsliv. Being on an expedition cruise is the best time not just to learn about this ideal but to live it. Today, you might be island hopping, observing Sea Eagles, kayaking, or taking in Helgeland’s scenic coastline on an invigorating hike.

    As we journey north, there will be lectures from the Expedition Team on possible subjects like the history of Hurtigruten, the first settlements in Norway, local myths and fairy tales, or the Arctic Circle.

    Day 14
    Helgeland, Norway

    A bit of Friluftsliv

  • Day 15
    Lofoten

    Lofoten Islands discovery

    20 October 2022

    The approach to Lofoten is not to be missed – a formidable wall of mountains greets you as you arrive. The islands here are probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The breathtaking scenery is a masterpiece of distinctive peaks, sheltered bays, untouched beaches, and paradisaic fishing villages. 

    We’ll land in idyllic Reine in the morning. You may recognise it as one of the most photographed natural landscapes in Norway – and for good reason. Characteristic red fishing huts, known as rorbuer, dot the shoreline against a backdrop of granite peak clusters jutting out of the fjord.

    As part of an included activity, you’ll board a bus to the picturesque old fishing village of Å, a unique and historical attraction. Here, you’ll see well-preserved houses, a blacksmith, an old cod liver oil press, and a bakery that might be making a fresh batch of lefse cakes. The local museum explains how cod fishing was key to establishing Norway as a country. 

    Day 15
    Lofoten

    Lofoten Islands discovery

  • Day 16
    Senja, Norway

    Norway in miniature

    21 October 2022

    Today, we call at Senja, one of Norway’s lesser-visited island gems. Quiet, untouched and ruggedly beautiful, you’ll quickly see why it made CNN Travel’s list of ‘10 of the world’s most beautiful islands.’ We aim to dock on the oceanside, but if the weather is rough, we’ll seek shelter in Finnsnes, also known as the Gateway to Senja. 

    Sometimes referred to as ‘Norway in Miniature’, Senja boasts diverse landscapes that seem to change in the blink of an eye. The northern coastline is characterised by lofty mountains plummeting straight into the sea, interspersed with isolated coves and sandy beaches that fringe crystal clear turquoise waters. Southern Senja is distinguished by a rocky coastline and pine forests and is home to Ånderdalen National Park. The eastern side has gentler, more forgiving landscapes with rolling hills and birch forests.

    Senja is Norway’s second-largest island but counts fewer than 8,000 inhabitants, most of whom are employed in fishing and aquaculture. In fact, around 100,000 tonnes of wild-caught seafood is landed here every year, as well as a similar quantity from aquaculture.

    As ever, the local conditions will decide our method of exploring Senja. One option is a guided road trip along the appropriately named National Scenic Route. You could also go hiking with the Expedition Team or enjoy the scenery at sea level in a kayak.

    Day 16
    Senja, Norway

    Norway in miniature

  • Day 17
    Tromsø, Norway

    A perfect place to end your adventure

    22 October 2022

    As your expedition cruise comes to an end, you’ll find Tromsø a fitting place to conclude the journey. As you head ashore, you’ll take with you some fantastic lifetime memories of Norway, including incredible fjords, unique nature, fascinating towns, and of course, all the friendly people you’ve met.

    If you have time, you’ll want to explore this historic city. The Arctic Cathedral is one of the most  striking landmarks in Tromsø. It features an immense stained-glass window that is well worth seeing up close.   

    Historically, Tromsø was a frontier town for returning hunters and explorers and acted as a launch point for several Arctic expeditions. Relieved to return to the relative comforts of Tromsø, they nicknamed it the ‘Paris of the North’. And it’s still a very hospitable place – today, Tromsø has more pubs and restaurants per capita than any other Norwegian city.

    You can busy yourself by browsing the shops or sampling the region’s fresh produce in a range of restaurants. Tromsø is home to the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Bryggeri, which also runs Ølhallen, a lively pub where townspeople go for a chat and a drink.

    Post-Programme

    If you feel like extending your adventure, we recommend booking our optional Post-Programme. It includes a cable car ride to the top of the city and one overnight stay in a nice, centrally located hotel in Tromsø.

    Day 17
    Tromsø, Norway

    A perfect place to end your adventure

Departures

2022

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October:
6.

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 restaurant Aune  
  • 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 and indoor gym  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats  
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings  

Not included in your voyage

  • Air Travel 
  • 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
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland
MS spitsbergen
A large bed in a room
Your ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Expedition sailings during the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

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Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
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