Norways Capital and the Arctic Circle
Norways Capital and the Arctic Circle
Norways Capital and the Arctic Circle
Norways Capital and the Arctic Circle
- Sail the Norwegian coast, one of the world’s longest coastlines, all the way from capital city Oslo in the south to Tromsø, above the Arctic Circle
- Come aboard exceptionally designed MS Trollfjord, freshly refurbished in 2023 with the finest materials and ship craftsmanship
- Learn about local communities all along the coast, across a range of latitudes, and join a range of exciting optional seasonal excursions
- Choose to sail in autumn, winter, or spring and experience warmer climate in the south to snow-covered mountains and maybe even the Northern Lights in the Arctic
Join us as we make history by sailing from Oslo for the first time ever, on an autumn, winter, or spring trip you’ll never forget. See the stunning beauty of the Norwegian coast from the southernmost point in Lindesnes all the way to Tromsø, above the Arctic Circle.
DAY 1 : Oslo
Welcome to Norway! You’ll likely want to explore the many charms of Oslo before you board the ship. Why not make your way to the city centre, making sure to take snaps of the architecturally distinct Rådhuset town hall, Royal Palace, and Oslo Cathedral.
Along the waterfront, there’s Aker Brygge for popular eateries, the imposing Akershus Fortress, and the gleaming new buildings around Bjørvika waterfront. The latter is where you’ll find modern attractions such as the Oslo Opera House and landmark new Edvard Munch Museum which, as you’d expect, has the world’s largest collection of works by the iconic Norwegian artist.
MS Trollfjord will be waiting for you at the pier, ready to depart by early evening. Once we’ve welcomed you aboard and you’ve settled into your cabin or suite, you’ll meet your Coastal Experience Team. You’ll get to know each member of the team well as they give lectures and organise onboard activities for you throughout your voyage.
Meet your fellow guests in the ship’s two-storey panorama lounge and mark the moment we make history by sailing from Oslo for the first time. Watch as the capital’s twinkling lights fade into the distance and admire the scenery and various points of interests seen along Oslofjord.
DAY 2 : Kristiansand and Farsund
The city of lighthouses
Sitting along the southern tip of the country, Kristiansand is Norway’s fifth largest city, with a population of 112,000 people. We aim to be alongside in the early morning, giving you a few hours to explore.
As you enjoy a guided walk, you might notice that the city is built on a very uniform grid plan, with several straight roads running from the harbour all the way through the city. Along these roads, you’ll find architecture from different eras, speaking to the extensive rebuilds the city had to go through after major fires in the 18th and 19th centuries, and even a World War II attack.
On an optional excursion that starts from Kristiansand, you’ll be able to visit the working Lindesnes Lighthouse, which marks Norway’s southernmost point. See the beacon that has been guiding seafarers to safety on dark nights since the early 20th century, and learn about the long history of the site that goes all the way back to 1656.
In the late afternoon, we’ll continue to Farsund. There, you’ll get the chance to hike the sandy beaches of Lista and see Lista Lighthouse. This is where guests who went to Lindesnes Lighthouse will also catch up with the ship.
It may also be possible to visit a German fortress in Farsund. This fortress was used in World War II and is remarkably well-preserved with many of the original barracks still intact. Learn all about the war history of the area on a guided tour of this historic site, before rejoining the ship in the evening.
Highlights of the South Coast & South CapeJoin our guide on an overland exploration of southern Norway. Admire varied Nordic scenery, taste exquisite wine, and have lunch at Norway’s southernmost point.
Kristiansand WWII History TourStep into the past as you learn about southern Norway’s WWII history on a tour of Kristiansand’s historical sites.
Norwegian Christmas at Skraastad FarmHow do Norwegians celebrate Christmas? This tour will answer that question, and many more you might have about Norwegian culture and local traditions.
Farsund Town WalkJoin the Port Guard or a local guide to learn about the history of Farsund, and enjoy great views of the town from Varbak Hill.
DAY 3 : Haugesund and Hardangerfjord
As we sail past the southern tip of Norway, we’ll begin heading north along the west coast. Just past Stavanger, we’ll reach Haugesund, the ‘Home of the Viking Kings’.
The nickname is inspired by sites such as St. Olav’s Church, built in 1250 by King Håkon Hå. There’s also Haraldshaugen, a national monument reputed to be the first king’s burial site. Why not step back in time to the Viking Age at Nordvegen Visiting Centre which features exhibitions presented by a fictional Harald Fairhair himself.
After a short stay in Haugesund, you’ll rejoin the ship for some scenic cruising in Hardangerfjord. At 179 kilometres in length, it is the second longest fjord in the country, and fifth longest in the world.
The stunning waterway is one of Norway’s finest. See mountain scenery everywhere you look, with the white peaks that tower over the fjord being reflected in the shimmering water below.
The region is famous for its apple products, from jams and juice to its award-winning cider, which one food writer described as ‘Nordic Champagne’.
Weather permitting, we may be able to dock at Rosendal or one of the other picturesque settlements that cling to the shores by the fjord. A small, charming village, Rosendal’s main highlight is the 16th century Barony, a manor famous for its beautiful rose garden and landscaped grounds.
E-Bike the Coast of HaugesundLet the e-bike take the strain as you roll through the beautiful nature and rich history of the homeland of the Viking kings.
Haugesund Viking Tour by BusImmerse yourself in the rich Viking heritage and coastal culture of Avaldsnes, Norway’s oldest royal seat.
Haugesund Art Walk with a Local ArtistGlassblowing, architecture and Marilyn Monroe – there’s more to this art walk through picturesque Haugesund than you might expect!
Viking Experience by RIBGet a unique perspective on Norway’s Viking history as you whoosh along the beautiful, narrow strait that gave Norway its name.
DAY 4 : Ålesund
A picturesque town
After a hearty breakfast on the ship, we’ll dock mid-morning at a town that spreads out across a string of islands. With almost an entire day to explore, you’ll have plenty of time to see all that Ålesund has to offer.
As we approach the shore, you might first notice the distinctive style of architecture. Every detail of the buildings, from the bright colours to the rounded spires, were all inspired by the Art Nouveau style, which was popular in the early 1900s. Almost the entire town received a makeover in the style when it was rebuilt after a major fire in 1904.
As you leave the waterfront, you’ll find yourself in a fairy-tale town, wandering narrow streets lined with unique houses. If your camera’s memory card isn’t already full after this, you can get impressive photos of the archipelago from the nearby Mount Aksla viewpoint. The 418 steps leading there might look intimidating, but the views are well worth the effort.
You can also visit the Atlantic Sea Park, Norway’s first marine science centre. This is one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums, providing a home to seals, otters, and crabs, as well as many other kinds of marine life. You can even see Humboldt Penguins here, a species otherwise absent north of the equator.
Optional activities may include a fjord tour of either Geirangerfjord or Hjørundfjord. If weather allows, kayaking may even be an option. Imagine gliding across the surface of the fjord, skimming your hand over the pristine water as marine life swims in the depths below you.
Saga Islands Bus Tour to Alnes - WinterJoin this bus tour to experience two islands, one lighthouse and countless tales of the Vikings. The scenery is impressive too!
Architecture & Breweries - Ålesund on FootExplore Ålesund’s remarkable Art Nouveau architecture then taste some of the best small-brewery beer from the local area.
DAY 5 : Brønnøysund
Surrounded by islands and water, Brønnøysund sits on a narrow peninsula that juts out of the mainland. Around 5,000 people live in this small town, many in colourful houses against a backdrop of gentle slopes and dramatic mountain peaks.
Enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the harbour and take a walk along Havnegata. Drop into one of the pubs for a snack, or treat yourself to a meal in a local restaurant. Wander the visitors’ marina, or visit an 1870 Neo-Gothic stone church. For some extra excitement, you may be able to go kayaking, or island-hopping on a RIB safari.
You can also look forward to visiting the Vega Islands. Made up of over 6,500 islands, reefs, and skerries, this island chain has apparently been inhabited since the Stone Age. The archipelago received status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, in recognition of the sustainable lifestyle led by generations of islanders and their practice of farming eider down.
On an island south of Brønnøysund, you’ll find Torghatten mountain, recognisable by a natural tunnel that runs through the centre. According to local lore, the hole is the result of a troll who fired an arrow at a young woman who had rejected his advances. As the Troll King threw his hat to protect her, the sun began to rise, turning the hat to stone with a hole in the middle from the arrow.
On an optional excursion, you can take an hour’s walk up to the hole in the mountain. Peer through the tunnel and enjoy the view of the islands around.
We’ll continue sailing north in the afternoon, leaving the Helgeland coast behind us as we cross the Arctic Circle around midnight.
Winter’s Walk and Mini-Concert in BrønnøysundDiscover Brønnøysund’s fascinating history, geology and musical talent on this guided winter walk through the town’s highlights.
Legends of Torghatten and Brønnøysund by Bus - WinterSee Brønnøysund’s sights by bus then follow in the footsteps of trolls to a mythologised mountain with a hole right through it.
DAY 6 : Svolvær and Stokmarknes
Lofoten islands and our historic birthplace
Today, we explore Lofoten, a striking group of islands that rise out of the Norwegian Sea. As soon as you see the towering peaks around you with fishing villages clinging to their sides, you’ll understand why this island chain is so often praised as one of Norway’s most stunning locations.
We’ll dock in the town of Svolvær mid-morning. Located on the island of Austvågøya in the south of Lofoten, Svolvær is the biggest town of the archipelago, humming with shops, restaurants, galleries, and cafés to enjoy. You can also admire views of the Svolvær Goat, a nearby mountain named for resembling a goat and its horns.
A variety of optional excursions are available from Svolvær, which may include snowshoe hikes, scenic bus tours to Lofoten’s highlights, or an exhilarating horse ride along a white sandy beach.
We can’t visit the area without spending some time in Stokmarknes. This historic town is part of Vesterålen, an archipelago just northeast of Lofoten. Of all the places we visit, this one is particularly special to us. It was here that the Original Coastal Express was founded in 1893 by shipping pioneer Richard With.
The Coastal Express soon became a lifeline for Norway’s remote coastal communities, and fittingly, our legacy has been immortalised in the place where it all began. Standing on the waterfront, you’ll find our 1956 ship MS Finnmarken, encased in a glass building like a ship in a bottle.
This is Hurtigrutemuseet, the museum that chronicles our history as Norway’s leading expedition cruise line from start to now. On a guided tour, you can explore the retired vessel and experience the atmosphere of a past era.
Lofoten Winter - Art, Aquarium, and HenningsværSee history, marine life, and timeless art in SKREI, and soak up the fishing village atmosphere of Henningsvær.
Winter fishing in LofotenTry your hand at sea fishing aboard a traditional Norwegian fishing boat from 1917 and bring your catch back for dinner on the ship.
Kayaking in Lofoten - WinterTake to the water and see Svolvær’s coastline from a different perspective as you follow a local guide and paddle aboard your own two-person kayak.
The Coastal Express Heritage TourTake an exclusive tour of the Hurtigruten Museum, home to our full-sized retired ship, in our birthplace of Stokmarknes.
Best of Vesterålen Winter - History, Arts & Culture TourExperience breathtaking views, rich culture and coastal heritage on a bus tour of the stunning Vesterålen archipelago.
DAY 7 : Tromsø
The capital of the Arctic
Today, you’ll arrive at the Arctic Capital itself, sitting around 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
You’ve sailed on The North Cape Express, exploring just a few of Norway’s coastal cities and villages. During the journey, you’ll have experienced Norway’s varied climate, seen majestic mountains and fjords, and maybe gazed up in awe at the Northern Lights once or even a few times.
We hope you’ll cherish each of the memories of The North Cape Express that you’ll take home with you. Come sail with us again soon on another iconic voyage of our spectacular home: the Norwegian coast.
Included in your voyage
Cabin on ship
- Choice of cabin number on MS Trollfjord
- Norway’s Coastal Kitchen welcome basket
Food and drink on board
- Full board with all-day dining
- Drinks package (wine, beer, soft drinks) 1
- Complimentary water, tea, and coffee
- Afternoon tea and cakes in the bar
Life on board
- Complimentary Wi-Fi 2
- English-speaking Coastal Experience Team
- Visit to the bridge 3
- Five-excursions package 4
1. Only valid in the onboard restaurants during mealtimes
2. Guests on the Select fare will need to register on our free 1893 Ambassador loyalty programme to access the Wi-Fi
3. At the discretion of the Captain and subject to safety restrictions
4. Choose from available seasonal excursions
Please see our fares page and read more about the Select and Suite fare options for this voyage.