Northern Lights Norway coastal cruise by Hurtigruten and Aussie Explorers
Amazing adventure cruise up the Norwegian Coast visiting gorgeous remote coastal villages, plenty of activities on our 7 day adventure. Fantastic opportunity to view the Northern Lights spending 7 days cruising up the coast of Norway, add on in Kirkenes even better place to view the Northern Lights which are seasonal from September to March. Am currently working on Norway in a Nutshell Oslo to Bergen and Kirkenes snow hotel plus return journey!
MS Nordkapp was refurbished in 2016 and now features a modern, Arctic-inspired interior. On board are three different restaurants, a Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. Out on deck you can enjoy the view from one of our two hot tubs. We also have a cosy bar at the front of the ship where you can enjoy a nice traditional drink. The ship additionally has a large compass area with reception, a tour guide, conference room and shop.
MS Nordkapp was christened by Norway´s Queen Sonja in 1996 and her maiden voyage was to the Shetland Islands. The ship started sailing the Norwegian coast in April 1996. Since 2007, the vessel has been part of Hurtigruten´s fleet of ships dedicated to sailing the Norwegian coastline.
Your voyage starts in Bergen, the second-largest city in Norway and gateway to the fjords. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen boasts architecture influenced by prosperous 14th-century German trading organisation, the Hanseatic League.
If you’ve time before your ship departs, visit the UNESCO-listed wharfs of the colourful Bryggen district, now an artisan quarter complete with cobblestone streets. Just across the street is the famous Fish Market which serves delicious seafood. There’s also the Fløibanen funicular which takes you up to the top of Mount Fløyen for views of the city.
To get the most out of your visit to Norway, don’t forget that we can also help you to arrange tours before or after your voyage, such as the Norway in a Nutshell programme.
Your voyage begins
Before boarding, you can relax in our comfortable guest lounge at the terminal. Once aboard, enjoy the first of many delicious meals made from fresh coastal produce as we depart Bergen and sail the old Viking route along Hjeltefjord.
You’ll also meet your ship’s Coastal Experience Team who will be your guides as we cruise Norway’s coastline, organising lectures, onboard activities, and optional hikes.
Time in port:
- Bergen: 14:45 – 20:30
Iconic Architecture and Fantastic Fjords
Enjoy early morning in the Nordfjord near Torvik. We then sail past West Cape for our approach to Ålesund.
Art Nouveau city
Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and Atlanterhavsparken, one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums. If you’re travelling with us in spring or winter, you’ll have most of the day to explore this picturesque town.
Into the fjords
In the summer, from June to August, we set course for UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord. This is a protected and preserved piece of paradise with towering mountain cliffs and waterfalls like the famous Seven Sisters cascading into the fjord.
In spring, from April to May*, and in autumn, from September to October, your ship will sail to Hjørundfjord, hidden away in the Sunnmøre Alps. There’ll also be a call at the scenic village of Urke to gaze at the view of thousand-year-old farms, the fjord, and the lush mountainsides.
*Only on voyages departing in 2025-26.
Mountains and roses
The last port of the day is Molde. In summer, there might just be enough daylight to see the amazing view of 222 mountain peaks across the fjord, called ‘the Molde Panorama’.
From mid-June to late August, the streets and gardens here will be adorned with the sight and scent of roses of all shades, living up to Molde’s nickname as ‘The City of Roses’.
Time in port:
- Florø: 02:45 – 03:00
- Måløy: 05:15 – 05:30
- Torvik: 08:20 – 08:30
- (01.11-31.03) Ålesund: 09:45 – 20:00
- (01.04 – 31.05* & 01.09-31.10) Ålesund: 09:45 – 10:00 & 18:00 – 20:00
- (01.04-31.05* & 01.09-31.10) Urke: 12:15 – 15:45
- (01.06-31.08) Ålesund: 09:45 – 10:00 & 19:00 – 20:00
- (01.06-31.08) Geiranger: 14:25 – 14:45
- Molde: 22:35 – 23:05
City of Kings and Palaces
This section of the voyage sees us enter the Trøndelag region of Norway, marked by crumpled hills, fields dotted with farmsteads, and low-lying coastal settlements.
Magical, medieval, and modern
Founded by Viking king Olav Tryggvason in 997, Trondheim today is Norway’s third largest city and a mix of historic buildings and a vibrant student population.
You’ll have three hours to explore Trondheim and its array of highlights, either by yourself or on one of the optional excursions we offer.
A must-see site of the city is Nidaros Cathedral, nicknamed “Norway’s Notre Dame” for its Gothic style and considered the most sacred building in all of Norway. Next door to the cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace where Norway’s crown jewels are on display.
Nearby, the old city bridge Gamle Bybro sits over Nid River, marking the entrance to the old Hanseatic district of Bakklandet. The neighbourhood’s colourful wooden wharves propped up on stilts by the river’s edge now house a variety of eateries. Up from Bakklandet is Kristiansten Fort which has beautiful panoramas of the city and fjord.
Back on board
In the afternoon, the ship sails northwest, passing the ochre-coloured Kjeungskjær Lighthouse, islets, and rocky reefs. After that, we head towards charming Rørvik.
Time in port:
Into the Arctic
We cross the Arctic Circle early in the morning, beginning your Arctic tour of Norway. We mark the moment with a traditional ceremony that’s sure to wake you up.
Above the Arctic Circle, you can see the sun 24 hours a day in summer, while in winter, your chances of seeing the Northern Lights greatly improve.
Forces of nature
At 10:00, we call into Ørnes, near to Norway’s second-largest glacier, Svartisen. The pier here is popular for the Love Bench where sweethearts have declared their lasting romance with a padlock.
We then sail to Bodø, the second largest city in Northern Norway, overlooked by the Børvass peaks. Admire fabulous street art or join an optional boat excursion to Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful maelstrom.
Welcome to Lofoten
That afternoon, the ship enters the Lofoten archipelago. The 1,000 metre-high Lofoten Wall is a stunning sight on the horizon, as if there to welcome us.
Stamsund is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the islands and busiest between January and April when Arctic cod, known locally as skrei, swim from the Barents Sea in the north down to Vestfjord to spawn.
Come evening, when you see rows of traditional fisherman’s huts on stilts, known as rorbuer, you’ve arrived in the pretty harbour of Svolvær, the main town of the Lofoten Islands.
Time in port:
- Brønnøysund: 01:35 – 01:45
- Sandnessjøen: 04:35 – 04:50
- Nesna: 06:00 – 06:10
- Ørnes: 10:00 – 10:10
- Bodø: 13:05 – 15:20
- Stamsund: 19:15 – 19:40
- Svolvær: 21:20 – 22:15
Capital of the Arctic
We dock into Harstad just after 07:00. You can go for a peaceful early morning stroll around town.
The ship will then continue to Finnsnes which connects the beautiful island of Senja via the impressive Gisund Bridge. Keep on the lookout for a variety of seabirds with several colonies nearby, including puffins.
Gateway to the Arctic
We then sail to the historic Arctic exploration capital of Tromsø where you’ll have four hours to explore the city or join an optional excursion.
Along the waterfront you’ll find Polaria, a centre exhibiting environmental research in the Arctic with a small aquarium. 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 cafés offering delicious cinnamon buns 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.
Leaving Tromsø in the early evening, 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.
Time in port:
- Stokmarknes: 01:30 – 01:40
- Sortland: 02:55 – 03:10
- Risøyhamn: 04:35 – 04:50
- Harstad: 07:10 – 07:45
- Finnsnes: 11:00 – 11:30
- Tromsø: 14:15 – 18:15
- Skjervøy: 22:10 – 22:25
Norway’s Northern Frontier
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. An optional excursion will take you to North Cape from Honningsvåg by bus, passing herds of reindeer on the way, depending on the season.
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 summer excursion to meet local Sámi, learn about their life reindeer herding, and listen to joik folk songs.
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.
Time in port:
- Øksfjord: 01:50 – 02:00
- Hammerfest: 05:05 – 05:45
- Havøysund: 08:30 – 08:45
- Honningsvåg: 10:55 – 14:30
- Kjøllefjord: 16:40 – 17:00
- Mehamn: 18:55 – 19:15
- Berlevåg: 22:00 – 22:10
Norway’s Eastern Edge
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.
Near the Norwegian border
Kirkenes is just a few miles from the edge of Norway’s territory. This is where your Norwegian coastal cruise ends and you’ll have travelled further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. We look forward to seeing you again, maybe for the Classic Voyage South next time!
Time in port:
Fabulous opportunity to explore Norway and its beautiful coastline and spot the Northern Lights! Cabins on hold are: 02D Polar Outside, 03 Polar Outside & N2 Polar Outside
Inside twin share $2776 Polar Outside (Middle deck window) $3593 Single price $5299 Polar Outside (Middle Deck double bed) single price $3760 Polar Outside (Middle Deck twin beds) $3760 single price $5499
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For the full itinerary and facilities on board please visit: https://www.hurtigruten.com/en-au/voyages/classic-voyage-north-bergen-kirkenes#overview