This ultimate voyage with Hurtigruten is described as `The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage´. From Bergen to Kirkenes and back in 12 days, see 34 ports and cover over 2,500 nautical miles, which allows you to explore every inch of the coastal magic Norway has to offer. The drama of the scenery and the wildlife will stir the explorer in you. Twenty-two of the ports lie north of the Arctic Circle – Whatever you miss on the northbound sailing during the night, you can see in daylight.
Winter is perhaps the most special time to explore wild and untamed Norwegian scenery. The landscape is covered in white snow and the air is fresh, pure and crisp. Clusters of cosy houses glow on the shores like embers. The stunning backdrop of snow-clad mountains reflects the polar twilight. Sailing with Hurtigruten to Norway’s northern reaches, you can experience a magical winter wonderland and hopefully see the mesmerising Aurora Borealis. For thousands of years, locals, visitors, artists and scientists in the northern part of the world have marvelled at the spectacular displays that occasionally light up the night sky. Sailing with Hurtigruten provides the best chances of experiencing this magic colour show as it changes from light green to dark purple, flickering across the Arctic sky.
On board you will meet dedicated experts with one single mission: to enhance your experience by leading activities and interpreting the cultural and natural treasures you will see during your voyage. When you sail with us, you not only observe – you have the chance to truly interact with the landscape you sail through. Not only do you experience one of the most beautiful areas on the globe, you have the chance to taste fresh local specialties prepared by Norwegian artisans. Guests from Norway and abroad love us - they want the original. They want to go where no one else goes, with a crew and a ship that belongs there. They want to experience and learn from guides who truly know this coast, who have Norway not only in their DNA but also in their soul. We invite you to join our Expedition Team on outdoor activities and hikes in Ålesund, Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø, Honningsvåg, Kirkenes, Lofoten, and Brønnøysund amongst others
Your voyage starts in Bergen, a city surrounded by seven mountains. Before departure you may wish to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, and was the capital of Norway for several years. The city is a central point for Norwegian travel, and has retained a great deal of local character and history. One example of this is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs that date back to the 14thcentury. Take a stroll around this charming and compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the famous fish market.
After embarkation, we invite you to enjoy our tasty dinner buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once plied to the Shetland Islands and beyond. We are heading to the high north. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you admire the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in our panorama lounges.
Even before your voyage starts, you can explore more of Norway with our Land Adventures. We offer a variety of packages at our main ports across coastal Norway. ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ starts in Bergen and takes you to some of the most magnificent scenery in the region with breathtaking fjords, rural villages and the spectacular Flåm Mountain Railway. These land adventures are great ways to complement your voyage and see more of inland Norway.
If you wake up early the next day, you have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we are out on the open sea. The ship then navigates through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund. Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings, Ålesund is a town renowned for its beautiful art nouveau architecture. It owes this to a devastating fire that burned a large proportion of the city to the ground in 1904. The entire town was subsequently rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, art nouveau. If you like marine life, join us on a visit to Atlanterhavsparken - one of Northern Europe’s largest salt-water aquariums. The tour includes a visit to the open-air pool to see the resident penguins. After visiting Atlanterhavsparken, we continue onwards and upwards to Mount Aksla where you will get an amazing panorama of the area.
Few large cities have managed to preserve their intimacy as effectively as Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. Viking king, Olav Tryggvason, founded this ancient city as early as 997. Join our optional excursion to Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral, the country´s only Gothic-style cathedral built over the burial place of St. Olav, Norway’s patron saint. Here you can marvel at the cathedral’s incredible architectural details and exquisite works of art. We continue to the Ringve Museum of Musical History, where the history of Norway’s music is brought to life. This beautiful manor house is surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden, and provides fantastic views of both the city and the fjord. In the afternoon, the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship heads towards charming Rørvik.
Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66 degrees 33 minutes north and marks the border to the Arctic Region. During winter, being above this latitude provides the best chances for experiencing the Northern Lights. Even if you aren’t awake to see the Arctic Circle, the captain makes sure that the occasion is a memorable event. If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you can participate in a daytime Arctic Circle ceremony on deck.
In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when the hunt for the Northern Light begins. We celebrate the event by presenting a multimedia show, ‘The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis’, featuring pictures, words and music. As we sail through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You also hear the story of ‘The battle of Trollfjord’, which took place here in the winter of 1890. If you look closely, you might see trolls up in the steep mountains. Or you might not.
Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever the season! During the morning hours, we briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes. The ship then continues to Tromsø, `Capital of the Arctic´, for a prolonged stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. Join our `Polar History Walk´ in winter to learn more about the explorers and Arctic hunters, and to taste beer made at the world´s northernmost brewery. Or take part in an excursion to meet the Arctic´s indigenous reindeer herders, the Sámi.
In winter we can complete our stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. On this mini polar expedition, the huskies pull you over the frozen landscape while you enjoy stunning views of the ocean, mountains and open plateaus. During the polar night, the only light comes from headlamps, the starry sky, and, if we’re lucky, the magical Northern Lights. Why not test your coordination skills and have some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure.
After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. The captain will invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship is now sailing into waters where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between October and March. We gather on deck to search the skies for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Enjoy magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent.
After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund, we arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. An optional excursion to the North Cape plateau puts you at 71°10’21´N, only 2,000 km away from the geographic North Pole. Standing on top the 307 m high North Cape plateau imparts a sublime sense of being at the end of the world. While admiring the view, make sure you get some photographic evidence of this amazing place. The ship then continues north, sailing into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka, as we approach our next stop, the fishing village Kjøllefjord. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people, as well as to explore the wonderful landscape. Learn about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hear traditional Sámi joiking (song). Join an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Along the way, guides tell you about the Sámi people, the geographic and climatic conditions, life on the Finnmark coast, and how the local population effectively utilises nature during both the summer and winter seasons. Experience snow-clad valleys, fresh winter air and perhaps the mesmerizing Northern Lights in the clear, starry sky. ‘
The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes. We arrive in nearby Vadsø early in the morning and just after breakfast, arrive in Kirkenes, at 30° East, further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. This is Hurtigruten’s turning point for the return journey southwards. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and gateway to the east. The Russian border is a just few miles away. You may find it intriguing that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
Spending time in Kirkenes provides the opportunity to take part in numerous adventurous activities into the Arctic environment. In winter, Kirkenes is home to the fantastic Snow Hotel, a base for several exciting excursions. You can also greet the reindeer living on the grounds. On our dog-sledge adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic landscape. You can also catch and eat giant king crab from the Barents Sea. As the ship starts its voyage south, you can first enjoy lunch followed by views of the surrounding Arctic landscape on deck or from the panorama lounge. As we depart Kirkenes, you’ve only seen half of what our voyage along the Norwegian coastline has to offer. Prepare yourself for many new experiences. The ports previously visited by night on the northbound journey are now seen by day. In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean. Heading south, we cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
In the middle of the night, we dock at Mehamn, where it is possible to join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Experience snow-clad valleys, fresh winter air and perhaps the mesmerizing Northern Lights in the clear, starry sky.
At Honningsvåg, you can join an excursion that features breakfast at North Cape and the discovery of hidden parts of Finnmark along the way. Before stopping in Hammerfest, you can enjoy an ‘energy coffee’ and short on-board introduction to Melkøya - the world´s northernmost natural gas terminal’. In autumn, we invite you to taste dried-reindeer meat on deck. Hammerfest was founded in 1789, and over time became Norway’s polar capital, serving as a base for hunting expeditions into the high Arctic. Here you can see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise, geographic measurement of the globe. You can also join a mini-mountain expedition to experience the Arctic outdoors and learn about local polar hero and cook, Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm.
We continue south to Øksfjord. In winter, our crew teaches you how to tie maritime knots on deck. After crossing open water, we make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy, where Hurtigruten founder, Richard With, was born. We then dock at Tromsø, just in time to enjoy a magical midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Alternatively, a walk around the town provides you the chance to enjoy a local brew at one of the city´s many friendly pubs.
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 7m-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 m directly out of the sea.
Now we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2 km long and 100 m 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.
Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several excursion options in winter we can join a fishing trip to try our luck at catching cod. 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.
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’. Today we celebrate the event out on deck with a `taste´ of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil. As we sail along the Helgeland coast, you pass hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls rich in local lore. On deck you can see the strange mountain Torghatten (rising 258 m above sea level), famous for its distinctive hole right through the middle. The hole is 160 m long, 35 m high and 20 m wide, and was created during the ice age.
Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven mountains are between 900 and 1,100 m high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ influenced ancient myths. Next we make a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post before moving on to Sandnessjøen. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vega Islands is close to Sandnessjøen and can be visited on an optional excursion during summer. This unique cultural landscape consists of dozens of islands. The UNESCO designation was awarded due to the unique interaction between the eider duck and island population. Learn how the fishermen and farmers have cultivated a centuries-old symbiotic relationship with the ducks, and how it continues to contribute to a livelihood of eiderdown harvesting and making down-filled duvets.
Today provides another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. Join the Explorer Team to discover even more of the surroundings on explorer boat activities offered during summer. Back on board, the ship heads out into the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 170 km long and up to 25 km wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords, it is deep, plunging to 577 m.
Another interesting excursion is to the Bergtatt marble mine, which includes entering a mountain and sailing across an illuminated subterranean lake, before enjoying a meal in the mine´s ‘Grand Hall’. In winter, you can enjoy beautiful scenery under the stars as you mingle with sledge dogs and experience the thrill of ice fishing. Together with a sledge team of Alaskan huskies, you take a memorable ride into the winter forest, stopping along the way to ice fish on a lake. Those choosing to stay on board at Kristiansund will experience the ship´s crossing the open sea on our way to Molde, known as Norway´s ‘City of Roses’. Along the way you see see the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
During the night, the ship calls at Ålesund, Torvik, Måløy, as the world’s most beautiful voyage draws to a close. Before we dock in Bergen, there are some nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead of us, including the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedal Glacier. Here the fjord widens to the east and forges 90 km inland to Loen and OldenIn the morning, we call at Florø, a modern coastal seaport that is also the Sogn og Fjordane region´s oldest town and Norway’s westernmost community. Despite constant changes, the city of Florø has maintained its special features. The small-town atmosphere is very much alive with a charming high street and good selection of shops.
A few nautical miles south of Florø, we navigate the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord, and enjoy superb views of this magnificent island-studded coastline en route. Finally, you disembark in Bergen, taking with you memories of a unique journey filled with unforgettable experiences and meetings with local people, wildlife and stunning nature. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but we hope to see you on board for new adventures in the very near future.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Solos was formed in 1982 specifically to meet the needs of the single traveller. They were the first holiday company to specialise in this way, and since that time, they've stayed true to their roots and their expertise has been recognised by an ever-growing and loyal community of customers. They are still the UK's number one singles holiday company.
As you would expect after 30 years of operating, they've created a unique combination of quality and choice for the single traveller. Over the years they've listened to their customers and have now added a great range of Discovery Tours.
Solos Holidays enable solo travellers to holiday together, to share and enjoy experiences and to establish life-long friendships. You’ll travel as part of a friendly group who’ll share your passion for life, a desire to embrace new experiences and enjoy discovering new and exciting destinations.
Solos isn’t just another holiday company; they’re a friendly travel community who offer a warm welcome to new and regular customers choosing to holiday with them in the UK, across Europe and around the world.
You can contact Solos Holidays directly by: