- Encounter the glaciers, fjords and wildlife of the Norwegian coast in winter.
- Experience snowshoeing, dog sledding, cross-country skiing (Dec–Apr) or whale spotting (Oct–Feb), and watch for the Northern Lights (Sep–Mar), when you’ll sail with the assurance of our Northern Lights Promise.
- Visit tiny fishing villages and vibrant cities, and see some of Norway’s most jaw-dropping scenery including the northernmost point of Europe, the North Cape.
Current offers on this cruise:
Northern Lights PromiseThe beautiful Aurora Borealis is the ultimate light show and a must-see. We promise that if the Northern Lights do not appear on your voyage in Norway, we will give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage free of charge.Terms and conditions apply.See Special Offer
This two-week winter voyage sails from Hamburg and along the coast of Norway. We’ll head north across the Arctic Circle and into the Auroral Zone hoping to see the incredible spectacle of the Northern Lights. Along the way we’ll experience fjords, fishing villages, cultural city gems, and rugged natural beauty.
DAY 1 : Hamburg
Setting sail for Norway
All aboard at Hamburg! MS Otto Sverdrup is here, ready and waiting to bring you north to Norway's magical landscapes on the hunt for one of nature’s greatest spectacles – the Northern Lights.
Once aboard the ship, you’ll pick up your complimentary jacket, get acquainted with your cabin, explore the ship, and attend a mandatory safety drill.
After the first of many sumptuous dinners and a welcome toast by the Captain, you’ll meet your expert Coastal Experience 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, they’re 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.
DAY 2 : Esbjerg
A taste of Denmark
In the morning we arrive at Esbjerg, on the west coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. As we sail in, look out for the giant and iconic “Men at Sea” statues sitting by the shore.
Esbjerg is a blend of historic charm and modern Scandinavian chic It’s easy to get around on foot, and a shuttle bus will take you into the centre so you can explore at leisure.
You’re in Denmark, so for lunch why not try one of the country’s specialities – the famous open rye bread sandwiches called smørrebrød. You’ll see them displayed in the windows of bakeries, and in the same place you can delight in the huge variety of Danish pastries (called ‘Vienna bread’ here) the country is known for.
After lunch it’s time to say goodbye to Denmark as we set sail for Norway. Your Coastal Experience Team will be on hand to present the programme for the adventure ahead.
DAY 3 : Lysefjord
An exhilarating first day in Norway
Welcome to Norway! Today we arrive at one of the most photographed and iconic places in the country. Lysefjord is a 26-mile-long fjord, named after the light-coloured granite rocks that flank it. The fjord is world-famous for the imposing Pulpit Rock – aka Preikestolen – as well as Kjerag Bolt, a huge boulder wedged in a mountain crevice.
Sailing in to this impressive fjord will give you your first taste of the immensity of the Norwegian landscape. It’s our chance to explore, heading to places of interest based on the Coastal Experience Team’s intimate knowledge of the area.
If weather conditions allow, you’ll have an optional excursion to do the five-hour guided hike to the Preikestolen viewpoint 1,982 ft above Lysefjord.
If you remain on the ship, you can spend time out on deck admiring the magnificent scenery and looking up at the majestic mountains towering around you.
Whatever we end up doing, you’re guaranteed a exhilarating and adventurous first day in Norway!
DAY 4 : Ålesund
Aquarium and Art Nouveau architecture
Today we arrive at the charming coastal city of Ålesund. The small city clings to the shores of a thin island chain. Its waterfront buildings, once wharves and warehouses and now apartments, are painted in pastel yellows and reds. Walk its cobblestone streets and admire the numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings. Look closely and spot the variety of stone statues carved into the buildings
Due to a devasting fire in 1904, much of the city was rebuilt in the architectural style so fashionable at the time: Art Nouveau. The extensive project was partly funded by Kaiser Wilheim of Germany who enjoyed vacationing in the Sunnmøre region. He was such a fan that he is known to have visited Norway at least 22 times!
Approximately 20 master builders and 30 Norwegian architects educated in Trondheim and Berlin drew inspiration from all over Europe when designing the many buildings that still stand here today.
As Norway’s fishing capital, Ålesund is also the site of the Atlantic Sea Park, recently granted status as Norway’s first marine science centre. A visit here is your included activity for the day. Built in the coastal landscape at Tueneset, you’ll find a spacious Humboldt penguin park and Europe’s biggest seal pool together with an underwater observatory. The park’s Otter Island is home to three sociable and adorable otters who go by the names of Nusse, Muffe, and Pia.
There’s also a decent hike to the summit of nearby Mount Aksla, giving you views over the city and the other islands. Once you reach the top, you can refuel with an ice cream at the café. Or perhaps tuck into svele while here, a thick, crescent-shaped pancake popular in these parts. For an added, bold Norwegian twist, add a slice of brunost, Norwegian brown cheese, so it melts in the middle.
IncludedÅlesund - The Norwegian AquariumLearn more about local marine life on a visit to Northern Europe's largest saltwater aquarium.
DAY 5 : At sea
Today is all about expecting the unexpected, and the plan is that there isn’t one! After all, where’s the sense of fun and adventure if everything is scripted beforehand? The day’s activities will therefore be decided at the discretion of the Coastal Experience Team. They will draw on their knowledge of the area to pick out the most interesting sites for you to explore based on the local weather conditions.
The Coastal Experience Team will continue their onboard lectures which may cover local folklore and fairy tales or a history of navigation along the coast, from ancient lighthouses to modern satellites. You might also learn about the quintessentially Norwegian love of the outdoors known as friluftsliv.
DAY 6 : Svolvær
Enchantment in the Lofoten Islands
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 early 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 weather in northern Norway will be noticeably nippier and the amount of snow you’ll see will normally start to increase as well, which actually has the effect of making the landscapes seem brighter. Depending on when in the winter season you sail, the periods of daylight will be fairly short and grow even more brief above the Arctic Circle.
It’s not complete darkness though as you’ll also get to experience the very romantic ‘blue hour’. This is an extended twilight that can actually be several hours long. The winter sun glows just below the horizon, bathing Norway’s fjords and mountains in a dreamy cobalt-blue light.
The Lofoten Islands are one of the most spectacular locations in all of Norway and maybe even the world. As we approach the archipelago, the sight of the massive wall of mountains and dramatic peaks rising up out of the sea is something you’ll never forget. Serene fishing villages sit nestled in the sheltered coves, all the more charming if dusted with the season’s snow and if the aurora is seen swirling above.
We sail along Vestfjord and arrive in Svolvær in the afternoon. This is the largest town in Lofoten with about 4,800 residents, many of whom work as fisherfolk. 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.
Your Coastal Experience Team will also flex their local knowledge by handpicking safe and spectacular hiking trails or snowshoeing areas to offer as optional excursions.
IncludedFishing Village WalkExplore the urban fishing village of Svolvær with a local guide.
DAY 7 : Alta
The city of the Northern Lights
Alta lies in the vast wilderness of Finnmark county, well above the Arctic Circle at 70 degrees north. Welcome to one of the northernmost towns in the world with a population over 10,000.
We’ll arrive here in the afternoon and plan to stay past midnight to stargaze and watch for the aurora. Alta is directly beneath the Auroral Oval, a zone known for consistent Northern Lights activity. If the heavens aren’t overcast, and the conditions are right, you might well be in for quite the show.
You’ll learn more about the aurora at the modern Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta. The titanium-clad building and its spiral belfry dominate the skyline here, all the more impressive when illuminated at night. There is an interactive exhibition here that 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.
Troms and Finnmark county also form part of the traditional lands of the indigenous Sámi whose livelihoods revolve around semi-nomadic reindeer herding. The Coastal Experience Team may take the opportunity being in Alta to talk more about Sámi culture.
Not far from Alta is Máze, a Sámi village located along the Kautokeino river and visitable as part of an optional excursion. When more snow falls as winter progresses, Alta is also prime territory for visits to ice hotels, dog sledding, and snowmobiling.
IncludedExperience the Northern Lights CathedralVisit a striking cultural landmark with extraordinary architecture inspired by the Northern Lights.
DAY 8 : Honningsvåg
At the edge of Europe
Start the day by arriving at the small town of Honningsvåg. You’ll now visit one of the northernmost points in Europe as part of an included excursion. The scenic bus ride from Honningsvåg passes small bays and tiny villages, then crosses a mountain plateau before arriving at spectacular North Cape. At 71°10’21´N, it is just 2,100 kilometres away from the Geographic North Pole, with only the Svalbard Archipelago in between.
Stand at the cliff’s edge and gaze out across the sparkling sea. The North Cape is the closest you may ever get to the top 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 which chronicle the history of the cape.
Back in Honningsvåg, enjoy a stroll by the pretty harbour, browsing the charming shops, houses and church. 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. This is the ship’s turning point and from here, we start our return trip southbound.
IncludedHonningsvåg - The North CapeJoin a guided bus tour to the North Cape and Globe Monument at Europe’s northernmost point.
DAY 9 : Tromsø
The Gateway to the Arctic
We’ll reach the city of Tromsø in the morning and spend the rest of the day and evening exploring its fascinating history, culture and bold architecture. The Arctic Cathedral is one of the most striking landmarks in Tromsø, especially when lit up at night. It features an attractive, huge 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. 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.
Feel like meeting some of the 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 few pints.
Your included activity in Tromsø is a visit to the Polar Museum which is housed in a converted 1830s warehouse on the seafront. You’ll enjoy exhibitions that cover the city’s heritage as a base for famous trappers Henry Rudi and Wanny Wolstad, the first female hunter in Svalbard. Tromsø also played a crucial role in the expeditions of legendary explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen.
Other winter activities available in Tromsø include optional excursions with our Coastal Experience Team on nature or snowshoe hikes. And, like many places in Arctic Norway, when there is enough snow later in winter, the landscape becomes the ideal place to engage in some exhilarating dog sledding.
IncludedThe Polar MuseumVisit Tromsø’s Polar Museum for a fascinating tour of Arctic exploration and polar expeditions.
DAY 10 : Reine
Idyllic island life
In the morning, we dock into the picture-perfect fishing village of Reine back in the Lofoten Islands. This is where red-painted rorbuer cling to a string of islands beneath sharp granite mountain ranges. The 450-metre tall Reinebringen is one of the most distinctive peaks, particularly dramatic when layered with snow.
The combination of setting and colour makes Reine one of the most photographed landscapes in all of Norway. You’ll be hoping the Northern Lights are active above the village when we are there, completing the composition of your own photo of this piece of paradise.
After spending some time wandering around Reine, you’ll go on your included activity for today. A 30-minute bus ride will take you to Å, one of the best-preserved traditional fishing villages in Norway.
At the heart of the tiny village is the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum which covers the importance and development of fishing in Lofoten over the last 250 years. Exploring at your leisure, you’ll soon discover that the village is the museum and the museum is the village.
IncludedReine - The Fishing Village of ÅWelcome to Å, a small village at the end of King Olav’s Road, the main road through the Lofoten Islands.
DAY 11 : At sea
Today you can spend time in the ship’s lounge, soaking in a hot tub, or getting some fresh air out on deck. Whatever you do, don’t take your eyes off the jaw-dropping scenery as we journey through Helgeland county. Some of the small, picturesque islands and skerries we sail amidst seem close enough to reach out and touch – keep your camera at the ready!
Pick out the peaks of the Seven Sisters mountain range which legend says are the petrified bodies of seven troll sisters caught out at sunrise. You’ll likely be amazed by Torghatten mountain too, with its distinct hole right through the middle. Local myth states that the mountain was in fact a troll king’s hat which turned to stone when it was pierced through by an arrow as the first rays of the sun spread across the landscape.
DAY 12 : Outside Loen
Fjord side to mountain top in five
We start the day with some scenic cruising into Nordfjord. The fjord run offs from Jostedalsbreen, Europe's largest mainland glacier, and flows west into the ocean just south of the Stadlandet peninsula.
Thanks to the smaller size of our ship, we’ll be taking you through straits and channels that larger vessels simply can’t fit through. This allows you to get that much closer to the fjords and mountains that the Norwegian coast is so famous for. It also means we can access small communities that few ever get to visit, giving you an intimate glimpse into the culture and way of life here.
It would make sense if lectures for today focus on the geology of Norway, covering the formation of its fjords, mountains and glaciers. You might also learn more about the Viking culture that used to inhabit the region and their thirst for exploration that still beats in the hearts of Norwegians today.
You’ll spot numerous old fishing communities located along the fjord that actually date back to pre-Viking times. One such place is Loen, where we arrive around noon. In the shadow of the mighty Jostedalsbreen glacier, at the very heart of Nordfjord, Loen is the perfect place to explore the gorgeous surrounds.
IncludedLoen SkyliftTake the Loen Skylift from sea level to top the of mountain Hoven in 5 minutes. Enjoy spectacular views to mountains, glaciers and the fjord.
DAY 13 : Bergen
City of seven mountains
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, spend some time wandering the cobblestone streets and alleyways of this thriving, compact city. 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.
This is our last day in Norway, so if there are any special souvenirs or gifts to buy, now’s your chance.
IncludedBergen - The Fløibanen FunicularTake in panoramic views of the city from the top of Mount Fløyen and enjoy a short funicular ride.
DAY 14 : At sea
Headed for Hamburg
Your voyage is fast coming to an end. By this stage of your journey, you’ll have made friends with your fellow explorers, finding that you have much in common in terms of your interests and passion for nature. You can spend time chatting with them over a snack at the bistro-like Fredheim, perhaps recalling the best moments of your voyage together.
Enjoy drinks at the Explorer Lounge & Bar while swapping friendly banter and stories of past adventures. You might even catch a couple of the crew and Coastal Experience Team here too.
If you’d rather spend this last day at sea in quiet contemplation, you’ll likely have multiple memory cards full of Northern Lights photos and more to sift through and reminisce on. Why not take stock of everything you’ve seen and experienced with a blood-pumping session in the gym and then relax in the soothing steam of the sauna one last time.
DAY 15 : Hamburg
End of an enchanting voyage
It’ll be time to say a fond farewell to the ship, the Captain, crew, the Coastal Experience Team, and your new-found friends.
As you head ashore, you’ll take with you special memories of Norway in winter: wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and cities, friendly people, and the magical Northern Lights.
We look forward to welcoming you aboard again with us soon!
Included in your voyage
- A stay in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
- À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
- Complimentary wind and water-resistant jacket
- German- and English-speaking Coastal Experience Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water
†Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to, and streaming is not supported.
- Daily themed lectures, photography guidance, arts and crafts hosted by the Coastal Experience Team
- Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional Coastal Experience Team
- Use of the ship’s outside pool, hot tubs, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms
- Informal gatherings with the Coastal Experience Team for daily briefings
- Selection of equipment for outdoor activities
- Photographers on hand to assist you
- Escorted tendering
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Coastal Experience Team
- Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
- All planned activities are subject to weather
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities expected