Day 1. Arrival in Kirkenes and excursion to the Russian border
Upon arriving in Kirkenes you find yourself at the gate to the East. Here you are further east than both Istanbul and St. Petersburg, and you are only a few kilometres from the Russian border. This is further illustrated by the signs in the area which are in both Norwegian and Russian. You start your adventure with an excursion with a local English-speaking guide who will take you out into the polar darkness to the Russian border in search of the breath-taking Northern Lights. The local guide from Kirkenes has studied the forecasts for magnetic activity in preparation for the excursion, which will last approx. 2 hours. Afterwards, you will be driven to your hotel, where you can relax and get a good night's sleep.
Day 2. Boarding Hurtigruten's expedition ship
You start the day with a delicious breakfast at your hotel in Kirkenes, before leaving for the harbour where you'll board the Hurtigruten ship. Up until now, you'll only have seen a fraction of what the Norwegian coast has to offer, and exciting adventures lies ahead. You can enjoy a delicious lunch on board the ship while sailing out from Kirkenes on the Varangerfjord.
Leaving Kirkenes with the wild and untamed Barents Sea as a backdrop, you will get a good insight into the dramatic coastal scenery found this far north. Later, the ship docks in Vardø, where your first impression of the coastal culture awaits you. Vardø is a small fishing and trading town with an old fortress from 1737. From here, we sail on to Båtsfjord and Berlevåg.
Day 3. The capital of the Arctic and the Northern Lights
Today we say goodbye to the wilderness of the Finnmark. In the middle of the night we will dock in Mehamn. Don't close your eyes yet! Instead, put on some warm clothes and go out into the polar night to see if you can spot the magical Northern Lights. Along the way, we sail past some of the most northern fishing communities, and at Fruholmen stands Europe's northernmost lighthouse. In Hammerfest you can take a walk in what is traditionally called "the northernmost city of the world". The last destination of the day is Tromsø, where we dock in time for you to go on an excursion to the spectacular Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral. In and around Tromsø you'll find the best conditions to spot the Northern Lights, so if you're lucky the polar night will offer up an enchanting view of the Northern Lights dancing across the dark starry sky.
Recommended excursions (Extras):
Day 4. Harstad and dramatic Lofoten
Don't sleep in! For many, it's one of the highlights of the day to sail in the beautiful Vesterålen archipelago to magical Lofoten. The area is known for its beautiful landscape with high mountains, wild nature and charming small fishing villages. On the excursion "A taste of Vesterålen" you can see the unspoiled nature at Harstad and Trondenes Church, which is one of the country's most beautiful sites remaining from the Middle Ages. If you stay aboard, you can see the church when we sail towards Risøyrenna, which is an only 7 m deep gorge that was dug for Hurtigruten in the 1920s.
We continue from Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. Heading south, it looks as if we will sail straight into the mountain wall, but at Raftsundet there is an opening between the mountains where we can slip through to reach the narrow Trollfjord. As darkness has fallen, we cannot sail into the fjord. We end the day at Svolvær – also known as Lofoten. Here you can, for example, go to the ice gallery Magic Ice, where you can see various ice sculptures (not part of Hurtigruten's excursions).
Recommended excursion (Extra):
Day 5. The Helgeland Coast and the Arctic Circle
In the morning we cross the Arctic Circle and leave the Arctic North, which is marked by a ceremony out on deck. Crossing the Arctic Circle is definitely one of the highlights of the day. The line for the Arctic Circle is marked with a globe on a small island. We all gather on the deck where everyone is offered a 'taste' of the Arctic - a spoonful of cod liver oil, which is super healthy for the body. If you accept the challenge, you get to keep the spoon and can take it home with you as an extra little memento from your voyage.
The Helgeland coast has countless islets, fertile agricultural areas and steep mountains. The magical mountains stands tall one after the other. There are many myths and legends about this part of the coast. For example, on this stretch you will experience the Seven Sisters mountain range which is between 910 and 1072 m high. According to legend, the seven troll sisters turned to stone because they forgot to hide from the sun.
Day 6. Trondheim, the old towns and the sea
Early in the morning you arrive in Trondheim. Here you can see Norway's only cathedral built in the Gothic style - the mighty Nidaros Cathedral. Hurtigruten sails out through the Trondheim Fjord which is 170 km long and up to 25 km wide. We sail past Munkholmen and thousands of islands before docking at Norway's 'dried cod capital', the fishing community Kristiansund. From here we cross the open sea on the way to Molde.
Recommended excursion (Extra):
Day 7. From Ålesund to Bergen
The world's most beautiful sea voyage is drawing to a close. Before reaching the end of the journey, the ship calls at Ålesund, Torvik, Måløy and Florø. You'll check out of your cabin and can then enjoy the last part of the coast before we dock in Bergen. You'll now have completed the approx. 1300 nautical miles that makes up this unique and unforgettable coastal adventure. Upon arrival at the port, a shuttle bus will take you directly to the airport where you will fly back to Copenhagen the same day.