Hurtigruten - Norwegian Coastal Steamer
Itinerary for this fascinating voyage is below. For info on the ships, select from this menu!
The Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Hurtigruten
12 Days - Bergen Bergen - unescorted
Every day, 365 days a year, a Coastal Express ship leaves Bergen for Kirkenes. The Worlds Most Beautiful Voyage has begun. For the next 11 days you will sail 2500n.miles and visit 34 ports. At some, the ship pauses for no longer than it takes to offload maybe 6/7 pallets of cargo and take on some local produce, or passenger. At other ports there will be time for a stroll and shopping and "optional shore excursions". Mind you the ship shop sells everything from Norwegian knitted garments and glassware, films, snacks and souvenirs, postcards, stamps and toiletries.
You can sail in a "grand old lady" like MS Lofoten or Harald Jarl or you may prefer the very newest Nordkapp, Richard With, Nordlys or the upgraded ships built in the 80s, the Midnatsol, Narvik or Vesteralen. All 11 are different. They do not pretend to be luxury liners as they are working ships providing the main "bus service" along Norways long and rugged coastline. Mail, bikes, cars, trucks, animals and passengers all come and go at the various ports often at night on the way north but will be seen in the day on the way south. A ticket for the Coastal Express, or Hurtigruten as it is known, is a ticket to the theatre, an 11 day drama in which new acts unfold every day.
Day 1 Bergen (Depart at 10.30pm for Stadt)
Day 2 Maloy Torvik Alesund Molde Kristiansund
Passing Floro during the night, am sea crossing to Stadt, before rounding the West Cape and heading for Torvik. You will have three hours in the Art Nouveau fishing town of Alesund. Sailing to the jazz festival town of Molde. Across the Hustadvika the ship docks at 11pm in Kristiansund.
Day 3 Trondheim Rorvik
Early am arrival Trondheim Norways 3rd biggest town and we have 6 hours to explore before sailing at noon. Ahead lies the longest stretch of the voyage through Stoksund passing some 6,000 small islands. At dusk we cross Folda, before arrival Rorvik. (watch out for giants and trolls!)
Day 4 Ornes Bodo Stamsund Svolvaer
Early am crossing of the Arctic Circle, on to the land of the Midnight Sun. The mighty Borvass mountains follow around lunch time as we head for Bodo. Along Vest Fjord and across to the Lofoten Wall rising up like a huge troll from the sea. Early evening Stamsund then on to Svolvaer.
Day 5 Harstad Finnsnes Tromso Skjervoy
Night falls over the fading silhouette of Lofoten, and we arrive Harstad early am. Through Vagsfjord and Malangen before arriving Tromso capital of Arctic Norway. 3 hours here before leaving for Lopphavet awaking next day in Hammerfest worlds most northerly town.
Day 6 Hammerfest Havoysund Honningsvag Mehamn Berlevag Kirkenes
Crossing the Country Border into Finnmark, narrow straits and mountain peaks give way to all powerful wind, weather and icebergs. Wintertime you can experience the extraordinary light as we move to Havoysund, 3 hours later in Honningsvag it is already dark. In summer however you have 24 hours daylight to enjoy Finnmark and an optional bus tour here to the North Cape which of course is a must see.
Day 7 Kirkenes Vadso Vardo Batsford Berlevag
After 2 hours at the border with the new Russia we leave Kirkenes. Southwards it is day where going north it was night so new adventures await. On to Vadso then Vardo in the afternoon. Northwesterly now at the mercy of Austhavet.
Day 8 Honningsvag Havoysund Hammerfest Oksfjord Skjervo Tromso
Sailing along the beautiful leeward side of Mageroya Island we arrive Honningsvag early am. On to Haveysund before we stop for two hours in Hammerfest.
Day 9 Harstad Risoyhamn Sortland Stokmarknes Svolvaer Stamsund
Beautiful Vesteralen and Lofoten Island groups linked by the Raftsundet, are highlights of the voyage. Leaving Harstad early am the next 12 hours takes us through the Risoyrenna Channel where the clear green seawaters flow over shallow sandbanks. Impressive bridges seem to brush the ships funnel then with a few yards clearance we slip through the Raftsundet Channel between 3000 feet mountains if weather and time permits we may detour into wild and desolate Trollfjord. Early evening arrival Stamsund after a classic day then on to Bodo via Vestfjord.
Day 10 Ornes Nesna Sandnessjoen Bronnoysund Rorvik
Depart Bodo 0400 early am to Ornes then back and forth between small and large islands through narrow straits between lush pastures. On the coast of Helgelanf every mountain peak has its local myths and legends. Across the Arctic Circle again, on to Nesua and Sandnessjoen ancient seat of a Viking Chieftan, passing the seven sisters before arrival Bronnoysund. Finally Rorvik at 9.30pm.
Day 11 Trondheim Kristiansund Molde
Early am in Trondheim. Visit Norways largest church, the Middle Ages Nidaros Cathedral. Across Trondheimsleia past Hitra Island with its deer, past Smola before the lighthouse of Grip. Kristiansund at 5pm then farewell City of Roses, Molde 9.15pm.
Day 12 Flora Bergen
Several hours of Vestland scenery, the holly trees on Svanoy, the mouth of the Sognefjord then the beautiful archipelago welcomes you home to Bergen. The heavenly voyage may be over but the memories are forever.
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