Hamburg to North Cape Adventure – Norway and the Northern Lights

Hamburg to North Cape Adventure – Norway and the Northern Lights

Hamburg to North Cape Adventure – Norway and the Northern Lights

Hamburg to North Cape Adventure – Norway and the Northern Lights

Travel information 15 days MS Fridtjof Nansen
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Discover majestic fjords and serene fishing villages along Norway’s magical shoreline as we hunt for the northern lights aboard our state-of-the-art hybrid ship MS Fridtjof Nansen. 

From Germany to the Norwegian coast

 Adventure awaits on an expedition cruise from Germany to Norway’s legendary coastline. Starting in the historic port city of Hamburg, you’ll sail towards Ålesund, with its Art Nouveau architecture and fantastic aquarium. Norway has some of the most striking scenery on the planet. You won’t easily forget your visit to picture-perfect Lofoten or the first time you see the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky.  

Tiny villages and historic cities

As we cruise along Norway’s coast, you visit picturesque fishing villages and modern cities to learn more about Norway, its history, people, and culture. Throughout your journey, you’ll have impressive mountains and glaciers serving as perfect backdrops. Visit iconic churches like the Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta and Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral. Journey to North Cape via Honningsvåg, the northernmost point in Europe. 

The art of relaxation

You’ll have many opportunities to relax, learn and connect with nature and yourself on your expedition cruise. Your brand new hybrid-powered expedition vessel, MS Fridtjof Nansen, features a lecture hall and a Science Center for learning. After a day of adventure, you can recharge your batteries in the hot tubs or sauna. Our experienced Expedition Team will be on hand to ensure you get the best experience. 

Hamburg to North Cape Adventure – Norway and the Northern Lights Hamburg to North Cape Adventure – Norway and the Northern Lights
  • Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Embark on the adventure

    It’s fitting that your expedition cruise starts in Hamburg, a city that wears its maritime heritage boldly on its sleeve. If you have the time, you won’t regret spending some time exploring Germany’s second-largest city and biggest port. Hamburg offers fascinating history, magnificent museums, and an abundance of culture. 

    Hamburg is defined by its waterways. Often called the ‘Venice of the North’, you can enjoy a boat tour to explore the city’s canals and harbour front. Visit the old floating dock of Landungsbrücken and take in views of old ships, waterfront buildings and colourful souvenir shops. Be sure to visit the Old Elbe Tunnel nearby for a nostalgic and atmospheric walk.   

    Your comfortable expedition ship will be waiting for you at the port. Exiting the Hamburg channel, we’ll make a brief stop in historic Cuxhaven, a popular haunt for German seafarers and emigrants for hundreds of years.  

    You’ll take part in a farewell ceremony to celebrate the start of your journey to Norway. You can look forward to performances from a local sea shanty choir and a guided tour of the museum of the Hapag-Halle.  

    Our expedition team will prime you for what’s to come in the land of the Northern Lights. This unique natural phenomenon results from disturbances caused by solar wind - creating a cosmic light show of dazzling colour and complexity. Your chances of experiencing the Northern Lights will improve the farther north we go. By the time you sink into an armchair in our Explorer lounge, drink in hand, you’ll be ready for adventure.  


    We recommend booking our optional Pre-Programme, which includes a city tour taking in the main sights of this modern yet historic city. Also included is a visit to the fantastic Elbphilharmonie concert hall’s observation deck.  

    • Included Ceremony with shanty performance and a visit of Hapag Hallen.
    Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Embark on the adventure

  • Day 2-3
    At Sea

    Norway bound

    Enjoy a day at sea as we head north to the Norwegian coastline. 

    As we sail across the North Sea, you may want to get to know your expedition ship. Find the Science Center, the sauna and hot tubs. Scout out a comfortable chair in the Explorer Lounge, find a window table you like in the ship’s restaurant or locate a good spot on deck for viewing Norway’s incredible coastline.  

    Meet our Expedition Team, who’ll prepare you for exciting adventures ahead. Listen in on talks by these experienced explorers. They’ll share their extensive knowledge about places, people and natural phenomena we’re likely to encounter, like the Northern Lights.  

    Or maybe you just want to kick back and relax. Admire the views, try some of the ship’s cuisine that caught your eye on the menu, or settle into a good book while enjoying this day at sea.  

    In the morning hours of our second day at sea, you’ll get your first glimpse of the Norwegian coast as small islands and mountains appear on the horizon. We’ll leave the North Sea and enter scenic straits and fjords on our way to Ålesund.   

    We aim to sail as deep as possible into imposing Lysefjord towards the iconic viewpoint at Preikestolen. Lysefjord is 40 kilometres long and boasts some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords. Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock, is perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Norway and the popular subject of many social media posts. As we approach Preikestolen, we hope to be treated to a fine view of this incredible rock formation from below. 

    Day 2-3
    At Sea

    Norway bound

  • Day 4
    Alesund, Norway

    Art Nouveau and aquatic species

    Welcome to Ålesund! This charming city is renowned for its beautiful architecture. After a devastating fire that burned a large part of the city to the ground in 1904, the entire town was subsequently rebuilt in the fashionable art nouveau style of the time. 

    Norway is a seafood nation, and Ålesund is its fisheries capital. You’ll find Ålesund’s famous fisheries museum Holmbua right by the harbour. Built in 1861, it managed to remain unscathed by the great fire and now holds fascinating exhibits on fishing history. Enjoy stimulating displays on traditional Ålesund life and learn more about the town’s production of dried cod and other fish produce. 

    Wander around Ålesund’s charming cobblestone streets and admire the numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings. If you want to learn more about the architecture and the fire that gave birth to it, head to the Art Nouveau Centre. Take a stroll through the many rooms in the building known as “The Swan Pharmacy” and take in the beauty of the authentic décor.   

    Climb up the 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla, right in the centre of the town. On the way up, you’ll encounter the statue of the Viking King Gange Rolv, who founded the Viking Kingdom – a supposed ancestor of William the Conqueror. 

    Built directly into the rocky coastline, the Norwegian Aquarium is also an architectural marvel. It features an exotic and colourful range of fish, algae, and marine animals seen through large landscape tanks filled with water directly from the sea.  Outdoors, you’ll have a chance to see otters, seals, and even Humboldt penguins.  

    If you’d like to delve deeper into Ålesund, choose one of our optional excursions in and around this fascinating coastal Norwegian city. 

    • Included Ålesund - The Norwegian Aquarium
    Day 4
    Alesund, Norway

    Art Nouveau and aquatic species

  • Day 5
    Brønnøysund, Norway

    Home of the famous Torghatten

    You are now at the halfway mark along Norway’s lengthy coastline. Welcome to Brønnøysund - a vibrant and pretty little town of 5,000 folks located on a narrow peninsula surrounded by islands and sea. Brønnøysund is probably best known for Torghatten, the mountain outside the town with a distinctive hole straight through its centre. 

    Get to know this tiny coastal town through a tour. You can grab a map and explore the map at your leisure or tap into the knowledge of the available guides. One of the stops on your walk will be a beautiful stone church, where you’ll enjoy a short concert featuring local artists. Along the way, you will taste typical local snacks, including the regional speciality “Vega lefsen.” 

    You’ll want to stay out on deck as we leave Brønnøysund and sail along the coast of Helgeland. Overlooking the sea is a majestic chain of peaks called the Seven Sisters. Towering 1,000 metres above the shoreline, they form a dramatic background to the coastal landscape. Legend has it that seven troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, creating the seven beautiful peaks. 

    In the evening, we cross the Arctic Circle – and your chances to witness the Aurora grow. 

    • Included Brønnøysund Town Walk and Concert
    Day 5
    Brønnøysund, Norway

    Home of the famous Torghatten

  • Day 6
    Svolvær, Norway

    Majestic beauty of the Lofoten Islands

    You’ll likely never forget your first approach to Lofoten. As we approach the archipelago, the sight of the massive wall of mountains and dramatic peaks rising out of the sea will take your breath away. It’s this coveted combination of mountain scenery, sheltered coves, and pristine waters that make the Lofoten Islands one of the most spectacular locations in Norway.   

    Lofoten is also known for its picturesque villages, sandy beaches, history, and culture. This group of untamed islands has cultural roots closely associated with the Vikings and are a must-see for history buffs and nature lovers alike.   

    Svolvær is the largest town in Lofoten. Harvesting the seas has been a way of life here for centuries. The town owes its existence to the abundant numbers of cod found in its waters – most of the 4,800 residents here are fishermen. You’ll be delighted with their photogenic fishing huts – or rorbu – which are set out in rows along the shore. Originally built to house those who would migrate here seasonally to fish for cod, these cabins give Svolvær a genuinely old-world feel. 

    Of course, there’s more to Svolvær than fishing. With the feel of a much bigger town, Svolvær comes complete with shops and art galleries to explore and admire. You can browse shops along the seafront promenade looking for souvenirs with the signature scent of drying cod in the air. 

    Day 6
    Svolvær, Norway

    Majestic beauty of the Lofoten Islands

  • Day 7
    Alta, Norway

    Sami culture

    A Sami settlement in medieval times, fast-froward 500 years and Alta has grown into a small city, the largest in this part of Norway. Its Sami roots are still evident among the population, and sometimes you can hear Sami being spoken in the streets.  

    If the heavens aren’t overcast, and the conditions are right, you might be in for a show. Alta is directly beneath the Auroral Oval, a zone known for consistent Northern Lights activity. Many of the dogsledding teams that participate in the Finnmark race are located here, you can even visit some of the kennels. 

    Take in the sights and sounds of Alta on a city tour. The Northern Lights Cathedral is a prominent cultural landmark in the city centre. The titanium-clad building and its spiral belfry dominate the skyline here, all the more impressive when illuminated at night.  

    An interactive exhibition in the cathedral chronicles how Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland established Alta as an epicentre for ground-breaking Northern Lights research in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

    After a guided tour of the church, you will make your way through the BorealisAlta interactive exhibition, which weaves together the story of the Northern Lights – from the magic to the scientific truth. Learn more about the aurora as you explore at your own pace and in as much detail as you like. 

    Alta is also home to two UNESCO sites. The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest to the Black Sea. At The Rock art centre, you’ll see rock carvings dating back 7000 years. When more snow falls as winter progresses, Alta is also prime territory for visits to snow hotels, dog sledging and snowmobiling.

    • Included Experience the Northern Lights Cathedral
    Day 7
    Alta, Norway

    Sami culture

  • Day 8
    Honningsvåg, Norway

    Edge of the world

    Today we visit one of the northernmost points in Europe, North Cape. This is also as far north as we go on this winter expedition cruise. 

    Your day starts with a scenic bus ride from the town of Honningsvåg. You’ll drive past small bays and tiny villages, then cross a mountain plateau before arriving at spectacular North Cape. At 71°10’21´N, North Cape is just 2,100 km away from the Geographic North Pole! 

    Stand at the edge of the cliff and gaze out on the sea. Only the Svalbard Archipelago separates you from the North Pole. North Cape feels like the end of the world. There’s the obligatory selfie at the Globe Monument to snap before visiting the North Cape Hall for several exhibits and a short film that chronicles the cape’s history.   

    Back in Honningsvåg, you can opt to explore the town. Enjoy a stroll by the pretty harbour, browsing the charming shops. As you explore the town, you’ll find excellent shops and novel Arctic dining experiences.  

    Visit the North Cape Museum to learn about the cape’s history, Finnmark’s coastal culture and the town’s occupation in WW2. Ten minutes away from the museum, you’ll find Honningsvåg Church, the oldest building in the area and the only structure left standing after the second world war. 

    Like many towns in northern Norway, fishing is the main source of income here. The local restaurants offer fresh fish and seafood, with king crabs available all year round. Honningsvåg marks the ship’s turning point and from here, we start our return trip southbound. 

    • Included Honningsvåg - The North Cape
    Day 8
    Honningsvåg, Norway

    Edge of the world

  • Day 9
    Tromsø, Norway

    Gateway to the Arctic

    Tromsø brims with fascinating history, culture and bold architecture. In olden times, it was a frontier town for returning hunters and explorers and acted as a launch point for several Arctic expeditions. Today, the city is often called the ‘Paris of the North’ because of its international and cultural diversity. You can busy yourself by browsing the shops or sampling the region’s fresh produce in a range of restaurants.  

    The Arctic Cathedral is a prominent landmark visible all the way from the Tromsø Sound. The sight of its beguiling stained-glass mosaic catching the light is one to behold. Care to meet some friendly locals? 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 beer. 

    Tromsø is the perfect destination for winter activities. It boasts a wide range of optional excursions to choose from depending on your interests. Enjoy a ride into the sky on the Fjellheisen cable car, with breathtaking views of the city, mountains, fjords - and hopefully the Aurora. Or, join optional excursions with our Expedition Team on nature hikes and Aurora-focused bus rides. Tromsø is so far north that you may see the Northern Lights directly overhead.

    • Included Polaria Arctic Experience Centre
    Day 9
    Tromsø, Norway

    Gateway to the Arctic

  • Day 10
    Narvik, Norway

    History and mountains

    Today, we call on Narvik, a city bordered by majestic mountains. When the skies are clear, this is a fantastic place for observing the Northern Lights.  

    Despite its location on the edge of an Arctic wilderness, Narvik is a town with an urban touch. Against a scenic mountain backdrop, you can enjoy exploring galleries, boutique shops, and museums. Being a coastal town, Narvik enjoys locally sourced seafood from the fjords and reindeer meat from the mountains.  

    For a truly authentic culinary experience, visit Fiskehallen, Narvik’s famous fish market. Found right in the city centre, it’s a local treasure that daily delivers fresh fish and seafood. The market also features a restaurant known for big portions and a delicious fish soup. Make sure you’re hungry.  

    Discover Northern Norway’s war history under one roof at the Narvik War Museum located 15 minutes from the port. Narvik played an essential role during World War II as it provided an ice-free harbour in the North Atlantic for iron ore transported by railway from Kiruna in Sweden. Both sides in the war were hellbent on securing this iron supply for themselves and denying it to the enemy.  

    As you walk through the three floors of this interactive and modern museum, you’ll learn about the German attack on Narvik and Norway in 1940 and the following five years of war and occupation. The museum sets these events in the context of universal issues related to war, conflict, and human rights. 

    Today, Narvik is an Arctic adventure capital offering a range of outdoor activities. Take the cable car to the summit of Fagernesfjellet, which on clear days offers impressive views of the fjord below. 

    • Included Narvik War Museum Visit
    Day 10
    Narvik, Norway

    History and mountains

  • Day 11
    At sea

    Serenity of the sea

    There’s nothing quite like a day at sea to catch your breath and recharge your batteries. Today you can spend time in the ship’s Explorer Lounge, soaking in a hot tub or out on deck watching for the aurora. Our Expedition Team and onboard photography expert can help you locate the Northern Lights and take good pictures. 

    The Expedition Team will also continue their onboard lecture series. They’ll share their vast knowledge and experience about the geography, culture and history of Norway’s long and varied coastline. They may also summarise the voyage so far and let you know the plans for the days ahead. 

    Naturally, one of the best things about any day at sea is the opportunity to turn off your devices and experience a digital detox. Away from the constant pings of emails and messages, you’ll be able to truly relax and connect with your beautiful surroundings out on deck, or from the comfort of our Explorer Lounge.  

    Day 11
    At sea

    Serenity of the sea

  • Day 12
    Kristiansund & Molde, Norway

    Norwegian Alps and Viking battles

    Our journey to Kristiansund sees us sailing past beautiful island scenery, ancient cultural monuments and some of Norway’s smallest communities. Kristiansund’s urban area is spread across four islands with bustling waterfronts, scenic marinas, and distinctive architecture, decorated in red, yellow, and green shades.  

    Kristiansund, like many of Norway’s coastal cities, has made its living from the sea: fishing, shipping and oil and gas. Take a walk around the lively port and take in the sights and smells of Norway’s “cured cod capital” – a nickname won from generations of exporting salted fish or bacalao, known locally as klippfisk.  

    Head to the local Norwegian Bacalao Museum housed in a 250-year-old building to learn more about the city’s history and fishing heritage. Learn about the decisive battle between Danish and Norwegian Vikings, which was fought near here in 955 and later noted in the famous ‘Lives of the Norse Kings’ by Snorre Sturlasson. 

    Take some time to stroll along the waterfront of this attractive city, past old shipyards and marinas, and see what you can find.  If you have time, it’s an easy walk to the Varden viewpoint, an old watchtower that looks like a small lighthouse. Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Kristiansund and its neighbouring islands. 

    There are also optional excursions to sign up for, led by our Expedition Team. Perhaps you’ll join an excursion along the Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most-visited tourist destinations, spanning eight bridges through picturesque landscapes and across the open sea. The excursion ends in Molde, ‘City of Roses’, where you’ll rejoin the ship. 

    • Included Kristiansund - The Atlantic Ocean Road
    • Included Molde: The Atlantic Road
    Day 12
    Kristiansund & Molde, Norway

    Norwegian Alps and Viking battles

  • Day 13
    Bergen, Norway

    Beautiful Bergen

    We arrive in Bergen, one of Norway’s must-see cities and a great place to explore by 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.  

     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 half-litre of local Hansa beer.    

    If you want to immerse yourself in Bergen’s history, then head to the Old Bergen Museum. It’s an open-air museum showcasing what Bergen was like in the 1700s and 1800s. Another historic highlight is Fantoft Stave Church’s ancient architecture – a beautiful combination of pagan and Christian styles.     

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

    Back on the ship, you can spend the evening relaxing, maybe in the panoramic lounge or out on deck. While its less likely the Northern Lights will appear this far south, it does happen. 

    • Included Ulrikenbanen
    Day 13
    Bergen, Norway

    Beautiful Bergen

  • Day 14
    At sea

    Relax and unwind

    Today is our final day at sea. As we cross the North Sea, you may spot the giant gas flares atop one of the many oil and gas platforms. 

    You can find a quiet nook on the ship and curl up with that book you’ve meant to finish. Or you might like to flick through all the photos you’ve taken and take stock of your highlights. Which moments took your breath away? Where would you like to return?  

    Alternatively, you may want to take one last soak in the hot tub, relax in the ship’s lounge or join the Expedition Team as they review the best parts of your memorable winter expedition cruise to the coast of Norway. 

    Day 14
    At sea

    Relax and unwind

  • Day 15
    Hamburg, Germany

    Return to Hamburg

    Your expedition comes to an end in Hamburg. After breakfast, it will be time to say a fond farewell to your home for the past 14 days. 

    If you have time, you can visit some of the highlights you missed the first time. Climb the 433 ft. bell tower of the famous St. Michael’s Church for sweeping views over the city. Many places of interest are concentrated in the Altstadt or Old Town. Check out St. Catherine’s Church and the St. Nikolai Memorial. Discover the timber-framed houses of Deichstraße Historic Street and see the impressive City Hall on Rathausmarkt Square. 

    Kontorhausviertel, Speicherstadt, and Chilehaus make up Hamburg’s lauded warehouse district – a recent addition to UNESCO’s World Heritage list. A sea of neo-Gothic red brick, the architecture is stunning. Head to Hamburg Kunsthalle, which ranks as the nation’s best art museum. When you’ve worked up an appetite, stop for some traditional Hamburger fare like aalsuppe, a ham soup with dried fruits, or labskaus, corned beef with potato and pickles. 

    As you head ashore, you’ll take with you the lifetime memories of Norway in winter - wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and cities, friendly people, and the magical Northern Lights. 


    We recommend booking one of our Post-Programmes to explore the city and beyond further. The programme includes an overnight stay in a centrally located hotel and a city tour, including a visit to the fantastic Elbphilharmonie concert hall’s observation deck.

    Day 15
    Hamburg, Germany

    Return to Hamburg


Current offers on this cruise:

  • Northern Lights Promise

    The beautiful Aurora Borealis is Mother Nature’s ultimate light show. We know that no trip to the Arctic Circle is quite complete without experiencing this highlight at least once on your journey.

    If the Northern Lights do not appear on your expedition cruise to Norway, we will give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage FREE OF CHARGE.
    See Special Offer
  • No single supplement on selected departures

    Solo travellers who prefer their own space while still travelling with others, have the opportunity to save on select voyages departing in 2022. For a limited time, pay no single supplement if you book one of the below expedition cruises. This offer applies to a selection of departures that you can find on each voyage page.
    See Special Offer

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 and Fredheim 
  • A la carte restaurant Lindstrom included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection.  Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English and German-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included excursions 

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, biological and geological microscopes and samples 
  • Citizen Science programme 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, outdoor pool, panoramic sauna, indoor and outdoor gym 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • 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


  • 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 
  • Please note that this expedition cruise departing 27 February 2022 will visit Narvik, Tromsø, Alta, Svolvær in a different order 
A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Pool area on MS Fridtjof Nansen
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Science Center
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
Your ship

MS Fridtjof Nansen

Year built 2020
Shipyard Kleven Yards, Norway
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots
A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

Suite MD on MS Roald Amundsen
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon

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