Bergen - North Cape - Bergen – Arctic Winter and Northern Lights Expedition

Duration: 12 days

Departures: 2021:  11 Jan / 22 Jan / 2 Feb / 13 Feb / 24 Feb / 26 Sep / 2 Oct / 7 Oct / 13 Oct / 18 Oct / 24 Oct / 29 Oct / 4 Nov / 9 Nov / 15 Nov / 20 Nov / 26 Nov / 1 Dec / 7 Dec / 12 Dec / 18 Dec / 23 Dec / 29 Dec
2022:  3 Jan / 9 Jan / 14 Jan / 20 Jan / 25 Jan / 31 Jan / 5 Feb / 11 Feb / 16 Feb / 22 Feb / 27 Feb
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Take advantage of the very best chances of seeing the Northern Lights in the Norwegian Arctic
  • Benefit from our 126 years of experience to see the hidden highlights of the Norwegian coast
  • Discover the magical winter landscape of Lofoten
  • Explore fascinating Tromsø, Ålesund and the unforgettable North Cape
Discover stunning Lofoten in winter.
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen
Bergen - North Cape - Bergen
Hunt the Northern Lights at North Cape.
Photo: Getty Images
Hunt the Northern Lights at North Cape.
Discover stunning Lofoten in winter.
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen

Itinerary

The spectacular Northern Lights are the most famous reason to explore Norway in the winter, but the coast has so much more to offer. Sail with us to discover an Arctic landscape filled with impressive mountains, deep fjords and charming coastal towns. Discover Norway’s coastal pearls and feel the adrenaline of exciting winter activities as we hunt for the magical aurora.
Day 1
Bergen
Discover Bergen Before Departure
Bryggen in Bergen during winter
History lives in lovely Bergen.
Photo: Shutterstock

Before your expedition starts, you might have some time to explore Bergen. Why not kick start your winter adventure with a cable car trip to the top of Mount Fløyen or Mount Ulriken? There are great views over the city from both. 

Bergen also has great shopping from well-known brand stores to small niche shops. Another tip is to take a walk through Bryggen. This UNESCO-listed area is one of the most popular attractions in Bergen. Some of the wooden buildings are more than 300 years old and St. Mary’s Church dates back to the 11th century. The narrow alleyways and overhanging galleries create a special medieval atmosphere. Other attractions are the Fish Market, Bergenhus Fortress, and cafés, restaurants and shops.

Once on board, we suggest you spend some time getting to know the ship. Meet the Expedition Team and prepare yourself for exciting experiences ahead.

Bryggen in Bergen during winter
History lives in lovely Bergen.
Photo: Shutterstock
View of Bergen from Mount Fløyen
Panoramic view of Bergen and surroundings.
Photo: Shutterstock
View of Ålesund during winter from Mount Aksla
Ålesund – city of Art Nouveau architecture.
Photo: Eivind Lande
Winter scenery
Winter wonderland close to the city.
Photo: Freya Rixen Cunow
Atlanterhavsparken, Ålesund
Learn about Norway´s rich undersea life.
Photo: Roger Engvik
Day 2
Ålesund - Half day
Art Nouveau and Undersea Wonder
Winter scenery
Winter wonderland close to the city.
Photo: Freya Rixen Cunow

Ålesund is a town renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. A devastating fire burned a large part of the city to the ground in 1904. The entire town was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, Art Nouveau. Take a walk around town and take in all the small details that make these houses so beautiful.

The Atlanterhavsparken is one of the most distinctive aquariums in Europe, and today you are invited on an active tour learning about the Norwegian fish.The aquarium is built into the coastal landscape and the fish tanks display the sea life in its authentic habitat.

The aquarium boasts a spectacular outdoor area with a view to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as a penguin park, seal bay and underwater observatory.

Day 3
Brønnøysund - Half day
Mountains, Myths and UNESCO Site
Torghatten mountain during winter
Stunning Arctic beauty at the famed Torghatten mountain.
Photo: Terje Solbakk

By now, you might have joined in several of the Expedition Team’s lectures. Or maybe you´ve enjoyed a soak in the ship’s hot tub while gazing out at the winter landscape.

Brønnøysund is our next port of call. Join the local guides for a town walk to learn more about this attractive coastal community whose life revolves around the harbour for trade and fishing.

One of Norway’s most famous landmarks is located close to Brønnøysund. The mountain Torghatten, with a distinctive hole right the middle, is said to be the Brønnøy troll king’s hat. It plays a key role in the Nordland region’s fairy tales. It seems trolls caught out at sunrise turned to stone and thus became the mountains along this stretch of coastline.

Join the optional excursion to the UNESCO-listed Vega Islands. Here you’ll learn more about Norwegian coastal culture. For 1,500 years, island fishermen and farmers maintained a sustainable way of life based on the now unique tradition of eider duck farming. 

In the evening, we sail past the small islet of Vikingen. The Arctic Circle crosses here and is marked by a small globe statue. Now your chances to see the Northern Lights grow.

Torghatten mountain during winter
Stunning Arctic beauty at the famed Torghatten mountain.
Photo: Terje Solbakk
A person standing next to a body of water
Our expert Expedition Team love to share their knowledge.
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
A harbor filled with water and a mountain in the background
Svolvær welcomes you to Lofoten.
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen
Northern Lights in Lofoten
This is prime Northern Lights territory.
Photo: Johannes Groll
Experience the majesty of Norwegian winter.
Experience the majesty of Norwegian winter.
Photo: Getty Images
Day 4
Reine and Svolvær - Full day
In the Aurora Zone
Northern Lights in Lofoten
This is prime Northern Lights territory.
Photo: Johannes Groll

We are now in the aurora zone. The Northern Lights often appear directly above our ship. We can't control the weather, but we can sail past any cloud cover in a matter of minutes for a clearer view of the skies. Unlike a stationary viewpoint, we are a floating Northern Lights observatory. Travelling by sea, we are far away from artificial light pollution on land. This increases your chances of seeing the Aurora.

You will never forget your first approach to Lofoten. The sight of the massive Lofoten Wall with snow-covered mountains raising straight out of the sea is truly awesome.

We dock at Reine in the morning hours - a perfect spot to start your polar adventure. Join the included excursion to the small fishing village of Å. Here you can visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum. Walk among the old coastal buildings to get a sense of everyday life at the Lofoten fisheries over the last 250 years. We also offer optional excursions to explore more of the winter nature in Lofoten.

We now continue to Svolvær and visit a fishing village steeped in age-old seagoing traditions. Take part in exciting activities to explore the surrounding islands, steep mountains, beautiful beaches and sheltered bays. Shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants are scattered throughout the town.

After spending the whole day in Lofoten, we continue to amazing Trollfjord. Here, vertical mountain walls rise right out of the sea. In winter, it is not possible to sail into the fjord, so we admire this natural wonder at its entrance.

Day 5
Tromsø - Full day
Gateway to the Arctic
A close up of a snow covered mountain
Join an excursion to hunt the Aurora.
Photo: Lightscape

If you’re looking for an adventurous winter wonderland, Tromsø is the perfect destination. The city’s attractions include wildlife, nature, as well as history, culture and bold architecture.

Tromsø is situated among large islands and high mountains. With an abundance of bars, shops and restaurants, Tromsø more than lives up to its reputation as the ‘Paris of the North’.

The Ølhallen pub in Tromsø opened in 1928 in the cellar of Mack Bryggeri, the world’s northernmost brewery. Local folks of all ages stop by here for a pint (half-litre) and a chat. You can easily find Ølhallen at the southern end of Tromsø’s main street. Ask for a tour of the microbrewery or just enjoy a satisfying Norwegian beer among the local regulars.

Your included activity today is a ride in the sky on the Fjellheisen Cable Car, with breathtaking views of the city, mountains, fjord and hopefully the Northern Lights. Another highlight is the Arctic Cathedral, featuring an enormous stained-glass mosaic.

You also can join such optional excursions hikes with our Expedition Team, or scenic bus rides, husky tours, snow shoeing, or cross-country skiing when the snow arrives.

A close up of a snow covered mountain
Join an excursion to hunt the Aurora.
Photo: Lightscape
A person wearing a red hat talking on a cell phone
Try skiing, snowshoeing or sledding with our Expedition Team.
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
Man and women in front of the globe on the North Cape plateau.
Magical light at the end of the world – North Cape.
Photo: Paul Finnegan
Northen lights above the North Cape plateau.
Lights dance in the sky above the North Cape plateau.
Photo: Getty Images
Honningsvåg dusted in snow.
Honningsvåg dusted in snow.
Photo: Stefan della Torre
Day 6
Honningsvåg - Full day
Edge of the World
Northen lights above the North Cape plateau.
Lights dance in the sky above the North Cape plateau.
Photo: Getty Images

We are now sailing into the heart of Arctic wilderness. This is home to the magnificent North Cape, known as the one of the northernmost points on the European mainland.

Start your day with a coach ride from Honningsvåg, passing small bays and tiny villages, crossing a mountain plateau before arriving at North Cape.

Standing at the edge puts you at 71°10’21´N, just 2,100 km away from the North Pole. Look out from the cliff by the iconic globe monument and gaze across the sea. Only the Svalbard Islands separate you from the top of the Earth. The vistas extend to where ocean meets horizon, North Cape feels like the end of the world. Of course, it´s a great place to take stunning photos. And visit the North Cape Hall to enjoy a short film on your surroundings.

Back at Honningsvåg, you can explore the town on your own and find charming houses and nice shops. 

Day 7
Alta - Half day
Aurora City
Dog sledding in Norway during winter
Dogsled is one of the best ways to explore the snowy landscape.
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon

Discover how Alta became the epicentre of ground-breaking research on the Northern Lights. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland was determined to find out the reason for this phenomenon. The Northern Lights had frightened and amazed people for thousands of years. Learn all about the aurora with an interactive exhibition located in the Northern Lights Cathedral.

Alta lies well above the Arctic Circle at a latitude of 70 degrees north. It is the biggest city in the vast wilderness of Finnmark County. It’s also the perfect adventure destination, serving up a wide range of activities with a personal, non-touristy feel. Join optional excursions like visiting a Sami family and an ice hotel or go dog-sledging.

Alta lies directly under the Northern Light Oval, so your chances of seeing Northern Lights are very good. We will use the rest of the evening hunting the Northern Lights from aboard ship.

Dog sledding in Norway during winter
Dogsled is one of the best ways to explore the snowy landscape.
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
See the Northern Lights on board a cruise ship
Far from sources of artificial light, the deck is a great place to search for the Northern Lights at sea.
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen
A wolf in the snow
See amazing wildlife at the world´s northernmost wildlife park.
Photo: Eckhoff
Cable cars below Northern Lights in Narvik
Enjoy the winter panorama from cable cars high above Narvik, perhaps lit by the Northern Lights.
Photo: Jan Arne Pettersen
The town was an important site of World War II conflicts.
The town was an important site of World War II conflicts.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 8
Narvik - Half day
Wilderness and War History
Cable cars below Northern Lights in Narvik
Enjoy the winter panorama from cable cars high above Narvik, perhaps lit by the Northern Lights.
Photo: Jan Arne Pettersen

Historic Narvik is situated in beautiful Arctic nature. The occupation of Norway during WWII started here in 1940. Join the included excursion to Narvik War Museum to learn more in exhibits that depict the conflict as well as universal issues related to war, conflict and human rights.

If you’d rather spend the day outdoors in winter nature, you have several great options.

Join an excursion by cable car to a mountain top for breathtaking views or spend the day in the world’s northernmost wildlife park. See bears, foxes, lynx, wolves, moose, muskox and other Arctic animals.   

Day 9
Sandnessjøen - Half day
Mountains and Viking History
Sandnessjøen covered in show
One of the many charming villages of the coast - Sandnessjøen.
Photo: Erlend Haarberg / visithelgeland.com

The Seven Sisters mountain range might be Sandessjøen's primary claim to fame. You'll have great views to the peaks from deck as we approach the town.

Sandnessjøen has a rich Viking history, and today we invite you to learn more about the local tribes. Northern Norway’s most powerful chieftain has been recreated at Sandnes in Sandnessjøen. This venue is situated just a 10-minute walk from the harbour. Learn the rich history from the Viking Age and powerful figures, such as Sigrid of Sandnes - one of the very few women ever mentioned in the Sagas, who was renowned for the respect she earned from her people.

You may also join an optional excursion to learn more about the Norwegian poet and priest, Petter Dass. You can visit the modern museum in combination with a visit to the medieval church in Alstahaug.

Sandnessjøen covered in show
One of the many charming villages of the coast - Sandnessjøen.
Photo: Erlend Haarberg / visithelgeland.com
Mountain range Seven Sisters
Incredible contrasts and unforgettable nature sailing by the Seven Sisters range.
Photo: Shutterstock
Kristiansund by night.
Kristiansund´s quaint charm.
Photo: David Vargas
Day 10
Kristiansund and Molde - Half day
From Bacalao to Roses
Kristiansund by night.
Kristiansund´s quaint charm.
Photo: David Vargas

Kristiansund’s location on four sea islands in the Norwegian Sea has provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. Today, Kristiansund is known as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its long-time export of salted dry fish.

Our included activity today is a scenic bus ride along the renowned Atlantic Road - one of Norway’s most-visited tourist destinations. The 8.2 km long highway – one of Norway’s National Scenic Routes - spans a total of eight bridges and is surrounded by amazing landscapes and open sea. The excursion ends in Molde, where you rejoin the ship.

Molde is known as the ‘City of Roses’. This is a 100-year-old description based on the city’s many lush blooming rose gardens. The city’s viewpoint affords fantastic views across Molde, the fjords, archipelagos and distant snowy peaks of the Romsdal Alps.

Day 11
Fjærland - Full day
Glaciers and Stunning Fjord Scenery
A house covered in snow
Visit the Glacier museum in Fjærland.
Photo: Norsk Bremuseum

The morning we sail into the longest fjord in Norway, Sognefjorden. We cruise deep into the fjord to the tiny hamlet of Fjærland. Enjoy going ashore to discover this idyllic village with only 300 inhabitants and many charming old buildings.

Jostedalsbreen Glacier is the largest glacier on the European continent. It has several smaller glacial arms stretching out in many directions. In Fjærland, you can get very close to two of these glacier extensions, Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen. Fjærland is the perfect place to learn more about how glaciers created the beautiful fjords of Norway. Join a very interesting visit to the Norwegian Glacier Museum. You will also get the opportunity to experience a glacier, with its white and blue limbs extending down steep mountainsides.

In Fjærland, you´ll find Norwegian Book Town with picturesque, second-hand book shops around the village. Explore charming Fjærland and join several exciting optional excursions.

A house covered in snow
Visit the Glacier museum in Fjærland.
Photo: Norsk Bremuseum
A large building with a mountain in the background
Winter in Bergen is full of charm.
Photo: Klaus-Peter Kappest
Day 12
Bergen
Looking Forward to the Next Adventure
A large building with a mountain in the background
Winter in Bergen is full of charm.
Photo: Klaus-Peter Kappest

In the early morning, we arrive in Bergen where you disembark the ship. Hopefully you will have seen the magical Northern Lights several times and enjoyed delightful, unique and authentic experiences of Norway’s culture, history, wildlife and stunning nature. We look forward to seeing you on board again for new adventures in the very near future.

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.

What's included

Included in your voyage

  • Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice

Everything you need for an adventure:

  • A rich programme of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team
  • Professional English - and German speaking Expedition Team - an international hand-picked team of highly educated experts of various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Loan of spikes and trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities

Engaging on-board activities and lectures:

  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience  
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  • Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips & tricks, selection of photos from the voyage shared in an Expedition Logbook
  • Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers  
  • Destination-focused on-board library
  • Port presentations providing destination insight
  • A farewell event

Premium on-board comfort:

  • All meals including beverages (beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all ship restaurants)
  • Coffee and tea included throughout the day
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Fredheim restaurant meals included 
  • A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests) 
  • Gym, hot tubs and sauna
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests. Be aware that we may sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • No gratuities expected   

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners or Expedition Team 
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling  

Notes

Included excursions:

  • Day 2: Ålesund - Visit the Norwegian Aquarium
  • Day 3: Brønnøysund - Enjoy a walk around town
  • Day 4: Reine and Svolvær - Experience Å
  • Day 5: Tromsø - Take a ride in the sky with cable car Fjellheisen
  • Day 6: Honningsvåg - Explore North Cape
  • Day 7: Alta - Visit the interactive Northern Lights Exhibition in the Northern Light Cathedral
  • Day 8: Narvik – A visit to the War Museum.
  • Day 9: Sandnessjøen - History lessons at the Viking Experience Center.
  • Day 10: Molde and Kristiandsund - A scenic ride on the Atlantic Road
  • Day 11: Fjærland - Visit the largest glacier in Europe and a glacier museum.

Ships

A dining room table
Photo: Hurtigruten

MS Otto Sverdrup

Year built 2002 (Year of refurbishment: 2020)
Shipyard Kleven Verft (N)
Beds 526
Gross tonnage 15,690 t
Length 138.5 m
Beam 21.5 m
Speed 15 knots

MS Otto Sverdrup is designed for exciting, sustainable expedition cruises along the Norwegian coastline

Read more about MS Otto Sverdrup

MS Eirik Raude

Year built 2003 (Year of refurbishment: 2021)
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk (N)
Beds 528
Gross tonnage 16,140
Length 135,75 m
Beam 21,5 m
Speed 15 knots

MS Eirik Raude is designed to explore the magnificent Norwegian coast and polar areas in ultimate comfort, with advanced equipment and a sustainable profile.

Read more about MS Eirik Raude

A room filled with furniture and a large window
Photo: Hurtigruten
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