Lofoten, where nature amazes
We arrive at Harstad this morning, where you have the opportunity to participate in one of the classic Hurtigruten excursion programmes: A taste of Vesterålen. Experience history, beautiful scenery and a selection of breathtaking sites that include a visit to Trondenes Church, one of Norway's premier cultural heritage sites from the late Middle Ages.
Those who choose to stay on board can admire views of this old church as we sail towards the Risøyrenna, a shallow 7-metre-deep channel made especially for Hurtigruten in the 1920s to provide an 'inside route' between Harstad and Sortland. The sand banks along the Risøyrenna are visible through the clear, green water.
The island groups of Lofoten and Vesterålen offer some of the most stunning scenery you will see during the entire coastal voyage. The Lofoten region is renowned for its natural beauty with steep mountains, wild nature and small, picturesque fishing villages. The daylight sailing route through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight for many of our guests.
Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants, and we make a short stop here to deliver passengers, groceries and mail. As a springtime tribute to the region´s fishing history, our chef shows how to fillet the catch of the day on deck. We then continue south via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. Go ashore and pay a visit to the Hurtigruten museum here. Continuing southwards, it looks like we are sailing straight into the mountain wall, but we inevitably slip through an opening leading to the narrow Raftsund. This 20-km passage between Lofoten and Vesterålen takes you through mountains soaring 1,000 metres directly out of the sea.
Trollfjord and the Lofoten islands
Now we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2 km long and 100 metres wide, surrounded by majestic mountains. If the weather and time permit – the captain makes a detour into the fjord. Steep cliffs hug the ship´s sides and the dramatic landscape conjures fairy tale images of an imaginary land of trolls. Trollfjord is also the realm of the sea eagle.
Just north of the fjord, a smaller vessel awaits to take you out to see this magnificent bird up close on an optional sea eagle safari. To join the safari, you transfer to a smaller tour boat before we reach the Trollfjord. The Hurtigruten ship turns around in the narrow fjord, a magnificent sight in its own right! The eagle safari begins after leaving the Trollfjord, passing through narrow channels flanked by steep mountains where the sea eagles dwell and can be viewed. These beautiful, rare birds of prey circle the boat a few times before we toss fish into the sea for them to grab and devour. Be sure to bring a camera!
Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several excursion options. Join our Lofoten Islands tour to learn more about the fishing communities, beautiful scenery and art from this area. You can join a horseback ride and experience a sunset trot through powdery white sand on a beach along the Norwegian Sea. If you want more of an adrenaline rush, join one of our high-octane excursions by RIB.
If you prefer dry land, a guided fishing village walk provides in-depth insights into the history and culture. From Svolvær, we continue on to Stamsund, where we see the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten wall. We leave Lofoten during the evening and set course for the mainland.
Optional excursions on this day in the period 01 April 2018 - 31 May 2020:
All times are estimates and subject to change.