Bergen to Kirkenes Return (The Original Norwegian Coastal Express)

Bergen to Kirkenes Return (The Original Norwegian Coastal Express)

12 Days / 11 Nights

Price fromRequest

The coast of Norway is often rated as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Discover the full range of this natural treasure on a 12 day round trip voyage. Call on 34 ports, sail world-famous fjords and encounter unforgettable scenery along the way. Onboard lectures and presentations on history, biology, geography, geology and culture provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience.

The day-by-day programme will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage, 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 expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

Highlights include: Discover the entire original coastal route with 34 ports of call, sail past more than 1,000 fjords and 1,000 mountains, cross the Arctic Circle and hunt the northern lights in winter and enjoy 24 hours of daylight under the midnight sun in summer.

Bergen to Kirkenes Return (The Original Norwegian Coastal Express) map

Day 1: Bergen Your voyage starts in the lovely city of Bergen. Before departure, you may want to explore this colourful gateway to the fjords. Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, and retains a great deal of its character, charm and history. Visit the UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs dating back to the 14th century. You may enjoy a stroll in the cobblestone alleyways, a bite at an outdoor café or restaurant, a trip on the Floibanen funicular or a visit to the famous fish market.

Day 2: Floro > Molde Enjoy early morning in the breathtaking Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. Then sail past West Cape for the approach to Alesund, which is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and famed Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium. The tour to the aquarium includes a visit to see resident penguins before continuing to nearby Mount Aksla for an amazing view.

In the summer, set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing sheer, 800 metre high cliffs and dramatic waterfalls. In autumn, explore Hjorundfjord in the majestic Sunnmore Alps. The fjord's pristine natural landscape of steep rock walls, lush green meadows, lonely mountain farms and tiny villages is unforgettable. Molde is known as the 'City of Roses' because of its lovely municipal gardens. This attractive coastal town has an amazing view of 222 mountain peaks across the fjord, called 'the Molde Panorama'.

Day 3: Kristiansund > Rorvik Charming Trondheim is home to great history and a rich cultural life. Founded by Viking king Olav Tryggvason in 997, Trondheim today is a unique mix of the ancient and modern. Join an optional excursion to the soaring Nidaros Cathedral, Norway's only gothic cathedral and the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason). Marvel at the cathedral's exquisite works of art, architectural details and medieval statues.

In spring and summer, continue to Ringve Museum of Musical History, where Norwegian music's past is brought to life in a grand manor with a fantastic view. From September to May, experience Trondheim with a unique carriage tour on the world's northernmost tram line. You can also explore Trondheim by kayak on the River Nid or experience the city by bicycle. Be sure to ride the world's only bicycle lift, near the quaint Bakklandet neighbourhood, from April to September. You can also join the Hurtigruten guides for a hike to discover more of the area.

In the afternoon, the ship sails northwest, passing the Kjeungskjaer lighthouse, islets and rocky reefs. After that the ship heads towards charming Rorvik.

Day 4: Bronnoysund > Svolvaer Cross the Arctic Circle, marking your best chance to see northern lights in winter and experience the midnight sun in summer. The occasion is marked with a fun Arctic Circle ceremony on deck.

Ornes is the site of Norway's second-largest glacier, Svartisen. In summer, join a trip to the Svartisen Tourist Centre to admire this enigmatic world of ice, and visit a moose farm. Then sail along the beautiful coast of Helgeland to Bodo, where you can experience Saltstraumen, the world's most powerful maelstrom, by small boat. That afternoon, the 1,000 metre high Lofoten Wall looms on the horizon, ushering us towards majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches.

At Stamsund, visit the Lofotr Viking Museum, where you are welcomed into the chieftain's house for a real Viking feast. Between Stamsund and Svolvaer, you can experience life on an organic herb and cheese farm, or visit the Lofoten's only craft brewery located in Svolvaer.

In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle means an intensified hunt for the northern lights, and the ship presents a multimedia show, 'The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis'. Sail through the narrow Raftsund, and stop at the entrance to Trollfjord, a dramatic natural wonder that should not be missed.

Day 5: Stokmarknes > Skjervoy Briefly dock at Risoyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes in the morning before sailing to the Arctic exploration capital of Tromso for a prolonged stay. Join a 'Polar History Walk' in winter to learn more about explorers and Arctic hunters, and taste beer from the world's northernmost brewery.

In winter and spring, you can complete your stay in Tromso with a thrilling dog-sledge ride, as huskies pull you over the frozen landscape past stunning views of the snowy plateaus. The only light during the polar night comes from headlamps, the starry sky, and, if you're lucky, the magical northern lights. Why not have some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure, or go deep-sea fishing on an Arctic fjord? All year, you can join the Hurtigruten guides for hikes and discover more of the Tromso area. Want to experience serenity on the sea? Join a kayaking excursion in summer along Tromso's coastline - a great way to get close to marine wildlife. Sailing from Tromso, continue to search for the northern lights from September to March.

Day 6: Oksfjord > Berlevag Enjoy magnificent landscapes as the ship sails to the North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent. In summer, you may see herds of reindeer and small camps of indigenous Sami people in the area. After a brief stop in Hammerfest, arrive in Havoysund. Join a small boat excursion here to see the North Cape from the sea, visit the world's northernmost fishing village and ride by bus to North Cape plateau. The ship continues to Honningsvag, from where you can join a bird-watching excursion to Gjesvaerstappan, home to millions of birds during nesting season. Continue north into the heartland of the Sami people and visit Kjollefjord, where you can learn about the Sami way of life and hear traditional joiking (song). In winter, you can join an unforgettable snowmobile trip across snowy plains and perhaps spot the northern lights in the starry sky. 'Sami Autumn' is a fall excursion to learn about the Arctic natural 'pantry and pharmacy', sampling dried-reindeer meat, crowberry juice, herbal tea (nettle) and roseroot tincture. You may also feel the presence of the Sami shaman, Noaidi.

Day 7: Batsfjord > Berlevag Arrive early in Vadso before docking in Kirkenes - the ship's turning point for the return journey. The Russian border is a just few kilometres from Kirkenes and you'll notice local road signs in both Norwegian and Russian. There are many ways to visit the Russian frontier with year round bus tours, riverboat safari via canoe, hiking and ATV quad biking in summer. You can also join an excursion to catch and eat giant king crab from the Barents Sea. Kirkenes offers a wide range of classic winter activities, such as dog-sledging, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and visiting an Arctic Ice Dome.

As the ship starts its voyage south, remember that you've seen only half of what Norway's coastline offers. The ports visited by night going north are now seen by day. Docking again at Vardo, you may be invited to swim in the icy Arctic Ocean in winter before cruising along Varanger peninsula to Batsfjord and Berlevag, home to a famous male choir of local fishermen.

Day 8: Mehamn > Tromso Around midnight the ship docks at Mehamn with the option in winter to join a snowmobile trip to hunt the Aurora. Then dock at Honningsvag, where you can join an excursion that includes eating breakfast at North Cape. The ship continues to Hammerfest, where you can see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column. There is also the option to join a mini-mountain expedition and learn about local polar hero Adolf Lindstrom.

Continue south to Oksfjord with a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervoy. The ship will then dock at Tromso, just in time to enjoy a midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. You can also explore Tromso under the midnight sun by boat in summer. You may want to drop by the classic pub Olhallen for a friendly beer.

Day 9: Tromso > Stamsund Arrive in Harstad, where you can join the excursion 'A taste of Vesteralen'. The island groups of Lofoten and Vesteralen offer some of the most stunning natural scenery of the entire voyage. Lofoten is renowned for its steep mountains, sandy beaches, wild nature and picturesque fishing villages. Make a short stop at Risoyhamn, population 200, to deliver passengers, groceries and mail, and then continue to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 125 years ago. Go ashore and visit the Hurtigruten Museum. Continuing south, slip through a passage into the narrow Raftsund, past peaks rising 1,000 metres from the sea.

Reach spectacular Trollfjord, only 2 kilometres long, 100 metres wide and surrounded by majestic mountains. If possible, the ship will sail inside, where the dramatic landscape inspires images of fairy tales and trolls. Just north, you can opt to see sea eagles up close by boat. At Svolvaer, you can select several excursion options, including a sunset horseback ride on a beach, fast boat ride or a guided fishing village walk. Then proceed to Stamsund along the massive Lofoten wall.

Day 10: Bodo > Rorvik Celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle with a 'taste' of Arctic tradition - a fun ceremony highlighted by a spoonful of cod liver oil. Sailing along the Helgeland coast, you'll see the strange mountain Torghatten, famous for its distinctive hole in the centre. The opening is 160 metres long, 35 metres high and 20 metres wide, and was created during the ice age. If the weather allows, join a hike with your guides up the mountain. The ship will also sail past the Seven Sisters mountain range - with peaks up to 1,100 metres high. The story goes that seven beautiful troll sisters got caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus the seven beautiful peaks.

Next make a short stop at Nesna, before moving on to Sandnessjoen where you can join an optional excursion in summer to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Vega Islands. Bronnoysund is a pretty little town that offers a charming high street and marina. You can join an excursion to the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre for an interesting tour and taste of fresh salmon from April throughout October.

Day 11: Trondheim > Alesund Revisit Trondheim to further explore its colourful history. Next is Kristiansund, a city spread across four islands with an excellent harbour that has been active since the Stone Age. Today, it is Norway's 'cured cod capital' because of its centuries-old export of dried fish. Join an excursion to the renowned Atlantic Road - one of the most scenic routes in the world. Another interesting excursion is to Bergtatt marble mine, which includes going inside a mountain and sailing across an illuminated subterranean lake, before enjoying a meal in the mine's 'Grand Hall'. Those choosing to stay on board at Kristiansund will cross the open sea to Molde, known as Norway's 'City of Roses'. Along the way, you will take in the steep peaks of the Romsdal Alps on the horizon.

Day 12: Alesund > Bergen During the night, the ship calls at Alesund, Torvik and Maloy, as the voyage draws to a close. But before the ship docks in Bergen, there is some fascinating scenery ahead including glaciers and lush farmland. Sail through picturesque Nordfjord beneath Jostedal Glacier. This rugged coastal region features farms with fruit orchards and glacial fingers that stretch towards glistening lakes. In the morning, call at Floro before navigating to the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord and enjoy superb views of the island-studded coastline before you disembark in Bergen.

• 11 night cruise in the cabin category of your choice • English-speaking tour leader on board • Onboard lectures and presentations • Captain's dinner and farewell event • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners

Pricing (per person) $NZD


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Daily, year round (some exclusions apply)

Booking conditions

• Some sightseeing excursions are optional and to be paid separately • Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system - all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability • Prices shown are starting prices and may change at any time until confirmed • The applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking

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