Hurtigruten Handy Hints
Our 'helpful hints' guide to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage with Hurtigruten. Many of our Scandinavian staff have travelled on a coastal voyage and offer detailed explanations to how it works on-board.
Our staff will respond to your query promptly and provide detailed information to your questions.
12 days - Classic Norwegian Coastal Voyage with an Astronomy expert.
Voyage the beautiful Norwegian Coast from Bergen to Kirkenes return. A spectacular voyage examining the inseparable links between Norway's rich heritage and the sea, the Classic Round Voyage is the ultimate way to experience the full majesty and culture of Norway's coastline.
Please note that all our itineraries, inclusions, dates and prices displayed on this website may change at any time. If you book an itinerary today and have this confirmed it will be the itinerary that is delivered to you. However, the online itinerary on our website may change in the meantime.
Norwegian Ferry boat
Flights, travel insurance, luggage handling & optional excursions.
Welcome to Bergen, once the bustling trading centre of the Hanseatic League in the North. Bergen is the perfect strolling town and a free detailed guide of Bergen is available from the Tourist Office centrally located on Fisketorget. As you explore the historical centre of Bergen you'll be transported back to a time when Bergen was the centre of political power and trade for the entire North Atlantic. It was the Capital of the Kingdom of Norway for a short period, before the capital was moved to Oslo in 1299, and the town grew to become the largest in Scandinavia. The Hanseatic League established itself here in 1350 and had a trade monopoly that lasted 200 years. While in Bergen you might wish to visit the UNESCO heritage listed historical area around the harbour known as the Bryggen district, and the home of Edvard Grieg, Troldhaugen, Norway's internationally famous composer. Be sure to visit the new Bergen Fish Market - a fantastic modern architectural designed building.
Representative Service in Norway
Hurtigruten's representative service in Norway in based in Bergen and may be contacted on +47 9094 6905
24-Hour Emergency number +61 280 695 866
Your Hurtigruten ship will sail from the Hurtigruten Terminalen, located at Nostegarten 30, 5010 Bergen. Telephone +47 5554 3631. Please ask us about the Hurtigruten transfer shuttle.
The terminal is staffed from 13:00 (1pm) and is open from 15:00 (3pm) for baggage check-in. Embarkation takes place from 16:00 (4pm) and your cabin will be available from approximately 18:00 (6pm). Dinner (buffet style) will be available from 18:00 (6pm). There are no restaurant facilities in the terminal, and should you arrive early to the terminal, you are free to explore Bergen independently until embarkation time. Leftluggage lockers are available in the terminal, however, you will need local currency (Norwegian Kroner) to access them. Please note you carry your own luggage onboard from the pier to your cabin.
Your ship departs at 20:00 (8pm).
An information meeting is usually held on the evening of departure from Bergen and includes details of safety onboard. There is an information folder in each cabin and safety procedures are illustrated on the back of your cabin door and in public areas. The Tour Leader on board will assist with general information and the shore excursion programme.
Ports visited today: Florø, Måløy, Torvik, Ålesund, Molde.
Your ship navigates the skerries and islands further north before reaching Ålesund. Marvel at the inspiring architecture in the Apotekergate and Kongensgate pedestrian precinct, perfect examples of the Art Nouveau style. Don’t miss out on the view from Mount Aksla but beware, there are 418 steps to the top!
In Autumn, you will explore the Hjørundfjord, amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character.
Ports visited today: Kristiansund, Trondheim, Rørvik.
When visiting the old royal city of Trondheim, be sure to get a good view from the Gamle Bybrua (“Old Town Bridge”). Dating from 1861, this neo-gothic wooden bridge used to be the only way into the town centre. Nidaros Cathedral, built between1070 and 1300, is Norway’s largest Gothic religious edifice. In the neighbouring Archbishop’s Palace, the Norwegian Crown Jewels are kept. In Trondheim itself, the Hanseatic, waterside storehouses built on wooden stilts are just as charming as the Rococo-style Stiftsgården, the largest wooden building in Norway and residence for the Royal Family when visiting Trondheim. You then set a course for the northwest, past the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and thousands of little islands and picturesque rocky outcrops. After passing through Stokksund, the ship will arrive at Rørvik.
Ports visited today: Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Nesna, Ørnes, Bodø, Stamsund, Svolvær.
This morning, between Nesna and Ørnes, you pass a globe on a small islet which heralds your crossing of the Arctic Circle. Passengers sailing in Arctic waters for the first time are given an Arctic Circle baptism by Njord, the ruler of the Seven Seas. This comes in the form of an ice cube down your front or back, but is entirely optional. In the evening you reach Svolvær, the main settlement on the Lofoten Islands. These islands are renowned for their small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere surrounded by majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. Complete your visit with a stroll between the stockfish racks and ‘rorbuer’, the traditional, red fishermen’s residences. The Lofoten Islands are a truly extraordinary experience.
Ports visited today: Stokmarknes, Sortland, Risøyhamn, Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø, Skjervøy.
During the night the ship navigates the narrow Raftsund strait. After a stop in Harstad, situated on the largest island of Norway, Hinnøya, you continue via Finnsnes to Tromsø for a prolonged stay. Many of the epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point; the famous explorer Roald Amundsen sourced both crew and supplies here. With the presence of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the city has cemented its position as the Polar Capital of Norway.
ON THIS SPECIAL VOYAGE, You will spend time at the Science of Northern Norway visiting their exhibits and installations on the Northern Lights. The Planetarium, part of the Science Centre, is the northernmost planetarium in the world and the largest in Norway. It has a full dome ceiling offering 360 degree views, with room for 100 visitors, and high quality digital projectors showing daily films about 'Experiencing the Aurora' and the constellations.
Ishavskatedralen, the Arctic Cathedral, is the most famous landmark with its modern design and extraordinary stained glass window. Tromsø is also home to the world’s northernmost university and the large number of people arriving here has created a vibrant cultural scene with numerous restaurants and cafes constantly teeming with life.
Ports visited today: Øksfjord, Hammerfest, Havøysund, Honningsvåg, Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, Berlevåg.
Following the scenic sailing through Magerøysund and after an early stop in Hammerfest, you arrive in Honningsvåg. This small port is the gateway to the wonders of the spectacular North Cape which rises 300m from the ocean, and at 71° 10’ 21” north it puts you a mere 2,000 kilometres from the Geographical North Pole. Standing atop the North Cape Plateau you’ll get the eerie feeling of being at the end of the world. The area is also known for its birdlife, and Gjesværstappan, a bird sanctuary with up to 250,000 seabirds is home to some High Arctic species that can only be observed here on the Norwegian mainland. This evening, as you approach Kjøllefjord, you pass a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sámi people, Finnkjerka.
Ports visited today: Båtsfjord, Vardø, Vadsø, Kirkenes, Berlevåg.
The last port on the Voyage North is Kirkenes. And at longitude 30 east, you are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The well-policed Russian border and the Kola peninsula are close by which explains why the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Being at the north-easterly terminus of Hurtigruten, the only choice from here is to set south again but spending a few days in Kirkenes offers you the opportunity to take part in some of the adventurous Arctic activities available nearby.
On 1 October 1908 the Hurtigruten route was extended from Vadsø to a small settlement with a church (Norw. kirke) on a promontory (nes), or Kirkenes. For the 3,500 inhabitants, the main sources of income are fishing and tourism. More recently, jobs have been made available at the re-commissioned iron ore mine. As you turn south, the northbound ports previously visited by night are now seen by day. In the afternoon the ship docks in Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. You continue along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
Optional excursions depending on the season: The Russian Border, Riverboat Safari, Snowmobile Safari, King Crab Safari, Kirkenes Snow Hotel, ATV/Quad-Safari to the Russian Border and Husky Adventure.
Ports visited today: Mehamn, Kjøllefjord, Honningsvåg, Havøysund, Hammerfest, Øksfjord, Skjervøy, Tromsø.
Breakfast at the North Cape including a visit to a Sámi family form part of an early morning excursion (at extra cost). Your next stop, Hammerfest, was a settlement back to the Stone Age and is still playing an important role as a fishing port. Founded in 1789 to develop trade with Russia, Hammerfest reconfirmed its position as Norway’s Polar capital of its time, acting as a base for hunting expeditions to the High Arctic. In Hammerfest the Meridian Column, erected in 1854, commemorates the first precise measurement of the globe, an achievement so important that it’s become a UNE SCO World Heritage Site. As early as 1891, wave energy provided power to the first electric street lighting in Northern Europe, and energy innovation is still a signature for Hammerfest with its large Liquid Gas Plant just outside town.
From here, your next major stop will be Tromsø where you are invited to take part in a very special musical experience, The Arctic Cathedral Midnight Concert. Or why not head to one of the town’s many friendly pubs and sample the local brew, Mack’s Arctic Beer.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Snowmobile trip in the Polar Night, Breakfast at the North Cape, the Northernmost Town in the world Hammerfest and Midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral.
Ports visited today: Tromsø, Finnsnes, Harstad, Risøyhamn, Sortland, Stokmarknes, Svolvær, Stamsund.
The Vesterålen and Lofoten Island are amongst today’s highlights. Before you reach them, you pass through Risøyrenna, a channel that was specially constructed for Hurtigruten, providing the vessels an ‘inside route’ between Harstad and Sortland. Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded, is the location of the Hurtigruten Museum. Entry is free for all Hurtigruten passengers. You continue through the narrow Raftsund, the picturesque narrow channel between the Vesterålen and Lofoten Islands, where, time and weather permitting, you’ll take a detour into the spectacular Trollfjord where steep cliffs hug the ship’s sides.
Then it’s on to Svolvær, the main settlement on the Lofoten Islands followed by Stamsund where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten Wall can be viewed. You leave the islands during the evening and set course for the mainland.
Ports visited today: Bodø, Ørnes, Nesna, Sandnessjøen, Brønnøysund, Rørvik.
The Helgeland coast with hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls is worth getting up early to experience. Today will also be your last one north of the Arctic Circle as you cross it between Ørnes and Nesna. This part of the coast is rich in local lore with stories including the legend of the Seven Sisters, a picturesque row of peaks, and the myth about how the arrow from Hestmannen’s bow formed the hole in Torghatten Mountain. The Vega Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is close to our call in Sandnessjøen. The islands were inscribed on this prestigious list due to the unique interaction between man and nature – over centuries the local population have protected the eider duck nests in return for the highly valuable down from the birds.
Optional Activities depending on the season: Unesco Islands Vega and Visit a Salmon Farm.
Ports visited today: Trondheim, Kristiansund, Molde, Ålesund.
Today gives you another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. Nidaros Cathedral, in which three Queens and seven Kings have been crowned, is Scandinavia’s largest medieval building, and Norway’s crown jewels are kept in the adjacent Archbishop’s Residence. Passing the islands of Munkholmen and Hitra you then cross the open sea to Molde, known as the ‘city of roses’ due to its lush Gulf Stream location. You will notice the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps glinting in the sun. The town of Kristiansund, located on the scenic Atlantic Road, holds the rather obscure title of Norway’s ‘cured cod capital’ because of the nature of its main export.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: The Atlantic Road, Nidaros Cathedral and Ringve Museum, Marble Mine tour, Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral, Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum and Trondheim City Walk.
Ports visited today: Ålesund, Torvik, Måløy, Florø, Bergen.
Today, your Hurtigruten voyage will come to an end when you arrive in the City of Seven Mountains, Bergen. But before that, you still have a few nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead of you such as the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedalsbreen glacier, Norway’s longest fjord - the mighty Sognefjord and the picturesque Bergen Archipelago. Take home your memories of the world’s most beautiful voyage and the many seafaring companions and friends you’ve made along the way.
Enjoy an optional city walk in Bergen.
When securing your cabin with us, please take note of the dimensions of the cabin to ensure that you are satisfied with its size. There is additional storage room available on board if you wish and you just need to contact staff to request it when you are on board.
You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are onboard and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out. It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions.
NOTE: Hurtigruten offer a Northern Lights promise - that the lights will make an appearance during your 12 day Hurtigruten voyage in Norway, that if they don't, Hurtigruten give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage with half board FREE OF CHARGE *Please consider that the lights can be quite often hard to see or fleeting and not as the photos appear.
Your lecturers on board:
Dr John Mason - An Applied Physicist by profession, Dr John Mason is currently the Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1976, and is a full member of the International Astronomical Union. He has appeared many times with Sir Patrick Moore on BBC TV's 'The Sky at Night.'
Ian Ridpath - Ian Ridpath is an internationally renowned author and lecturer on astronomy and space. He is editor of the authoritative Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and author of several widely used night sky guides for beginners. Ian is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society’s team of outreach speakers and has been lecturing on Hurtigruten voyages since 2010. He is a winner of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's award for ‘outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy’.
Dr Sadie Jones - Dr Sadie Jones is the Astronomy Public Engagement Leader at the University of Southampton. In January 2020, she assisted members of the Space Environment Physics group on an expedition to Svalbard, Norway to observe the aurora and collect research data. She also runs talks and school workshops on aurora research to promote ‘The Aurora Zoo’, a citizen science platform where the public analyse short videos of aurora displays.
Tom Kerss - Tom Kerss F.R.A.S. is an astronomer, astrophotographer, author and consultant. Having previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, he is the founder of Stargazing✦London, which delivers world-class online astronomy courses. Tom has authored numerous best-selling astronomy books for adults and children, including Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide to Auroras, which offers a complete introduction to nature's most magical sky-illuminating phenomenon.
Our 'helpful hints' guide to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage with Hurtigruten. Many of our Scandinavian staff have travelled on a coastal voyage and offer detailed explanations to how it works on-board.
Get ready for travelling in the Nordic winter weather - ideas for travelling smoothly in the snow.
Norway is well known as a 'Northern Lights' hotspot and there is good reason. Above the Arctic Circle, many cities in Norway offer terrific chances to see the lights between mid-September to early April.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. The safety of our travellers, staff and operators is a major priority of 50 Degrees North. With an operational office in Norway, 50 Degrees North has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.
Norwegian coastal ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable, and a set itinerary, carrying goods, vehicles and foot passengers between ports, by night and day, as an integral part of Norwegian daily life (some noise may be experienced during docking and loading/unloading). It may very occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail stops due to weather or other conditions. Some stops may be very short and some are at night. As Christmas approaches itineraries may change in order for ships to host dinners and celebrations for local communities. Please ensure you are back onboard by sailing time, especially if the ship has arrived late, as it may leave as scheduled to make up time.
The departure time is advertised at the gangway and vessels are NOT able to wait for passengers who are late. If you miss the ship it is your responsibility to make arrangements to rejoin the voyage at the next possible stop or return home.
This is generally available 24 hours a day serving beverages, sandwiches and a small selection of hot and cold dishes. On some departures the catering service at night will be managed by the reception staff.
If you are travelling by car further information on vehicles and parking at ports is available from Hurtigruten. Access to the vehicle deck is only permitted when the ship is moored.
Ships generally accept VISA, American Express, Eurocard, Diners Club and JBC International, plus most currencies.
We recommend that passengers acquire a cruise card to make payments on board. This may be obtained from reception onboard and used to make payments throughout the ship. They accept credit cards or cash as a deposit. You need to get the bill sorted on the last night to be sure it is finalised.
Special diets, such as vegetarian must be ordered well before departure.
All ships have lifts and cabins for disabled guests. People with severe disabilities or who are unable to take care of themselves must be accompanied by a carer.
The ships are licensed to sell drinks onboard, however please note the price of alcohol in Norway due to heavy taxes. The water package can be included into your voyage at a small extra cost
220 V AC 2 pin, and a continental adaptor is required.
Available on all ships.
Be sure to bring some swimming attire for the jacuzzi!
All ships offer internet access via satellite. In most harbours, mobile/cellular networks (3G) are available if bringing your own PC and a mobile access subscription. The wireless coverage varies from ship to ship and will be improved yearly. The passengers have to contact the reception on board for information on how to get access to the internet (free of charge). No internet access in the cabins (except in some suites). Internet cafe (if present), with minimum 2 PCs.
Kystruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set schedule, carrying vehicles, cargo and foot passengers by day and night (some noise may be noticed during docking or loading). Some stops are short and/or are during the night. It may occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail visits due to weather/local conditions, and you will be notified of this.
Most ships have laundry facilities with washing machines and tumble dryers. Tokens may be purchased from reception.
A daily baggage service is available in Bergen from the airport and selected city-centre hotels to the Hurtigruten terminal. For groups, luggage handling must be agreed with Hurtigruten prior to travel. This in not included in the price of your voyage.
Meals are served at set times in the restaurant. In high season, times may vary if there are several sittings. A breakfast buffet (open seating) with a wide selection is served 07.30hrs -10.00hrs. A buffet lunch (open seating) with hot and cold dishes and desserts is usually served 12hrs-14.30hrs and a three course set dinner 18.30hrs-21.00hrs. In Bergen a buffet is usually served 18.30hrs-21.30hrs. Exact times are given on board. Tea and coffee facilities are only provided in cabins above U Class. Tea and coffee are available free of charge after lunch and dinner but can be purchased around the clock. Please read our news articles about dining on board Hurtigruten.
It is recommended that pets are not brought on long journeys and special rules apply to the transport of animals; contact us for further information. We do however welcome guide dogs on board.
As there are only short distances between ports there is neither a doctor nor a pharmacy on board.
Most ships have a playroom except MS Midnatsol and MS Trollfjord.
Do not forget to bring your binoculars, camera and/or a video camera. Take practical, warm and windproof clothing for going out on deck. Smart, but casual clothes are recommended on board. Good comfortable footwear is vital for excursions.
Souvenirs, knitwear, postcards, DVDs of the journey, stamps and a small supply of toiletries are sold on board.
Smoking is not permitted in cabins or public areas. It is allowed up on the open deck but prohibited at all times when the ships are in port.
For reasons of safety it may sometimes be necessary to keep cabin ventilators/port-holes obscured.
All ships have payphones and a fax machine. There is generally good coverage for mobile phones.
There is a tour leader on board all year round. On some departures this service is managed by reception. External tour leaders (groups) are requested to contact the reception for information on practical details.
We can offer transfers in Bergen, Trondheim and Kirkenes.
There is a safe in reception. Ships accept no responsibility for valuables and money kept in cabins.
When arriving at night disembarking passengers are woken between half an hour and one hour before arrival.
Temperatures usually vary between 2°C and -10°C in winter. Summer temperatures in northern Norway vary between 10°C and 30°C depending on latitude.
On your final morning of your voyage, be sure to take everything with you when you go for breakfast. The ship gets prepared for the next voyage and your rooms will be cleaned promptly. You may be charged for re-entry.
You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are onboard and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out. It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions. During quieter months, some excursions may not get the numbers required so please ask us when booking about the minimum numbers needed for each excursion.
In winter, Norway becomes a picturesque world of snow and ice. As beautiful as this is, it's also incredibly cold. Here's how to dress for travel near the arctic during the coldest parts of the year:
One of the most effective ways to stay warm in cold weather is to invest in a good set of thermal underwear. This bottom layer helps trap the heat your body produces, and effectively uses your own warmth as a radiator.
When it comes to choosing long underwear, you have to give the material serious thought. Most thermal underwear is made of either wool or high-tech yarn. To be truly warm, you'll want to go for something that's designed with channels that trap your heat while also wicking away any moisture you produce. Damp clothes in the arctic is a recipe for disaster, so focus on materials that will keep you warm and dry.
Your long underwear should cover your entire torso, and your arms and legs down to your wrists and ankles. You might also find versions of this layer that include a turtle neck, which gives you an extra protected area.
These are the layers you'll have exposed when you're out of the elements - basically, this layer is your chance to show off your sense of style. Norwegian fashion is the epitome of form meets function, which means that sweaters and other knitwear make up the popular look during the cold season.
Go for choices that reflect your personality while still keeping you nice and warm. If you're a fan of skirts, make sure you've invested in a good pair of knit leggings that will keep you warm. However, it's a better bet to go for pants if you're really focused on comfort. Fleece-lined jeans are a great choice for the coldest time of year.
It might not be a bad idea to have a fashionable short-sleeved shirt between your bottom layer and this one, just in case you go into a particularly warm location. It's easy to end up overheated when you're wearing multiple insulating layers, so you'll thank yourself if you have an opportunity to shed one in a well-heated store or restaurant.
Depending on how far north you're heading, you'll want to be well-stocked in outer layers. For your upper half, wear a water and windproof shell or jacket, and then a full winter coat to wear over that. At least one of these should have a hood, but it's better if they both do.
If you're going to be trekking through lots of snow, or if you're just going to be in freezing weather for an extended period of time, you may also want to bring a layer of waterproof pants. Although you may feel awkward shedding and replacing these pants when you transition from indoors to outdoors, your legs will appreciate the extra protection.
Hands and feet
Your hands and feet are two of the most important parts of your body to protect in cold weather. Along with your ears and nose, these are the parts of your body most likely to end up with frost bite. That's why you need to have good socks, shoes and gloves when you're spending time in or near the arctic.
Wool, moisture-wicking socks are your best bet for keeping your toes warm when walking through snow and sleet. You'll also want to invest in a pair of heavy-duty snow boots. Good waterproof boots will keep your feet from getting soaked, and help you keep traction on slippery surfaces.
When it comes to your hands, you have a couple of good options. Your best bet for warmth is insulated mittens, as these trap the heat from your fingers. However, mittens aren't particularly functional. A good alternative that won't limit dexterity is a good pair of knit gloves. If you can, find a pair that will work with a touch screen. This way, you won't have to partially remove your glove if you need to make a phone call.
In addition to your coat and pants, you're going to want to pack plenty of warm accessories. Knit scarves and hats will help you protect your face and head from the chill. You'll also want to bring a warm pair of ear muffs to keep this sensitive area covered. Remember, your nose and ears are particularly at risk for developing frost bite, so you'll want to take extra care to make sure they're safe and warm.
Other Packing Tips
Consider getting a waterproof lining for your suitcase, since you'll probably be carrying it through snowy or wet conditions. If you have any electronics in your bag, these should absolutely be kept in a waterproof container for protection.
It's a good idea to bring an extra hat, scarf and piece of ear protection when you're out and about. These pieces are easy to drop - you'll appreciate having a spare on hand if your hat ends up covered in snow.
Although for most trips it's best to bring as little as possible, it's not a bad idea to err on the side of bringing too much when it comes to the arctic. You can always remove layers, but you can't add what you don't have.
_Information supplied by Hurtigruten USA. _