Norway | Polar History, North Cape and Arctic Wilderness

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Norway | Polar History, North Cape and Arctic Wilderness

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Travel information 3 days
Departures Regular departures, all year
Price from
236 €
  • Admire the rugged Arctic landscapes of Northern Norway
  • Chances of experiencing the Northern Lights in winter or the Midnight Sun in summer
  • Explore charming fishing villages like Honningsvåg
Tromsø to Kirkenes

Itinerary

Boarding your ship in Tromsø already puts you in the Arctic, with the possibility of the Northern Lights appearing from October to March or the Midnight Sun present from June to August. Visit Europe’s northernmost point at North Cape or learn more about the indigenous Sámi culture through a selection of optional excursions.

DAY 1 : Tromsø - Skjervøy

Gateway to the Arctic

A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Arriving in Tromsø at night.

Welcome to the historic Arctic capital of Tromsø. If you’ve arrived in the morning or afternoon, you’ll have time to explore the city before your ship departs in the early evening.

You’ll find Polaria, the world’s northernmost aquarium, on the waterfront. Take your pick from the many shops and restaurants in the city centre, including Mack Brewery and favourite local watering hole Ølhallen pub. There are also trendy cafés plying delicious cinnamon buns and where baristas create innovative coffee art.

Across the fjord from where the ship docks, you should be able to see the iconic Arctic Cathedral with its beautiful stained-glass mosaic. You can also take Fjellheisen Tromsø , a cable car ride up 450m above sea level to a viewpoint on Mount Storsteinen for breathtaking scenery.

Leaving Tromsø, we head north for the trading post of Skjervøy, founded in 1622. On our way, we’ll pass the Lyngen Alps which rise majestically from the sea.

A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Arriving in Tromsø at night.
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
Photo: Filip Hoel
Experience life in coastal towns like Hammerfest
Experience life in coastal towns like Hammerfest
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen

DAY 2 : Øksfjord - Berlevåg

Norway’s Northern Frontier

The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
Photo: Filip Hoel

The ship reaches the town of Hammerfest on the island of Kvaløya early in the morning. In summer, the island has herds of reindeer migrating here in their thousands.

You’ll know we’ve reached Havøysund when you see the wind turbines of the landmark Havøyglaven wind farm which produces enough electricity to power 6,000 local homes.

At the top of Europe

We arrive at Honningsvåg mid-morning, portal to the North Cape where a globe monument marks the top of continental Europe. The optional excursion up to the dramatic promontory is very popular, so you’ll want to book early.

Sámi heartlands

Near the entrance of Kjøllefjord village, look out for the striking, building-like rock formation Finnkirka, an ancient sacrificial site once used by the indigenous Sámi. You can join an optional excursion to meet local Sámi, learn about their life reindeer herding, and listen to joik folk songs.

Continuing north

We reach our northernmost port of call, Mehamn, in the evening. If visiting in the months of February and March, you might spot tons of cod drying on outdoor wooden racks called hjell, mainly destined for export.

The ship then sets off for Berlevåg. On the way, we pass the tall Slettnes Lighthouse, the northernmost mainland lighthouse on Earth.

Optional excursions
  • The North Cape
    Cross the 71st parallel and visit North Cape, the northernmost point on the European continent, marked by the photogenic globe monument.
  • Birdwatching Safari
    Join us on this excursion to see one of Norway´s largest and most impressive bird cliffs in the Gjesværstappan islands.
  • Sámi Culture
    Meet an indigenous Sámi family in their traditional lavvo tent to learn more from them about their way of life and their remarkable culture.
  • Snowmobile Trip In The Arctic
    Drive your own snowmobile through a beautiful winter landscape from one port to the next, hopefully under the Northern Lights.
  • Sami Autumn
    Hear tales about the Sámi Shaman, discover Sámi culinary traditions, and learn about the restorative powers of local medicinal herbs.
  • The North Cape Exclusive
    This private tour of the North Cape with your own guide is an exclusive experience reserved for our Platinum fare guests.
  • Fishing Village Visit
    Join us on a tour to visit two colourful fishing villages and discover Christmas, whatever the time of year, at the very top of Norway.
  • RIB Expedition at 71 Degrees North
    Join a thrilling boat ride to North Cape and see the rugged coastline of Troms and Finnmark county from water level.

DAY 3 : Båtsfjord – Kirkenes

Where Norway Meets Russia

The traditional fishing boads at dock in Kirkenes. In the back you can see Hurtigrutens ship sailing past the harbor. Snow covered peaks in the background.
Photo: Jaap Griep / Hurtigruten

We call at Båtsfjord and Vardø in the night, before docking at Vadsø early in the morning.

Looking to the skies

The area around Vadsø is one of the most scenic and popular birdwatching spots in the Arctic, lying directly under the migration path of birds flying from east to west. Watch for hooded crows and sea eagles.

Next door neighbours

Kirkenes is just a few miles from the Russian border and has many influences from Norway’s neighbour; from road signs in both Norwegian and Russian, a monthly Russian market, or the WWII Russian Monument.

This is where your Norwegian coastal cruise ends and you’ll have travelled further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul.

As we arrive in Kirkenes around 9am, you might have some time to explore this fascinating town by yourself, ahead of your onward journey. Go to the border crossing at Storskog, call in at the Varanger Museum, or why not book our Post-Programme at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, staying either in a cosy Snow Suite or a wooden Gamme Cabin.

The traditional fishing boads at dock in Kirkenes. In the back you can see Hurtigrutens ship sailing past the harbor. Snow covered peaks in the background.
Photo: Jaap Griep / Hurtigruten
Explore the small Norwegian city of Kirkenes - further east than Istanbul.
Explore the small Norwegian city of Kirkenes - further east than Istanbul.
Photo: Toma Babovic
The day-by-day programme will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage in Norway, but bear in mind that this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience. After all, this is a sailing where the elements rule and weather conditions might vary, which is why every voyage with Hurtigruten is unique.

What's included

Included in your voyage

  • Cruise with Hurtigruten in an unspecified cabin
    Your cabin will be allocated when you check in

Not included in your voyage

  • Flights & transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Luggage handling

Notes

  • Prices are per person based on two people travelling together sharing a twin cabin
  • Not all cabin categories are available for all departures
  • Single cabin pricing available on request
  • Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability.