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12 days - Classic independent tour and Hurtigruten voyage through Norway.
This classic independent 12-day tour begins in Oslo and takes you across the mountains to the western fjords of Norway. You will enjoy a ride on the famous Flåm Railway, as well as a fjord cruise under towering cliffs. The Hurtigruten coastal voyage begins in Bergen and calls at 34 ports as you make your fascinating journey north.
Special Northern Lights departures with an expert astronomer on board, departs from Bergen seven times each winter. Read more details about the Northern Lights voyages here.
After crossing the Arctic Circle, you’ll notice the landscape change to suit the cooler climate before reaching your final destination, Kirkenes, a remote outpost of Northern Europe next to the Russian border. With daily departures from Bergen and eleven vessels to choose from, there will be a Norwegian cruise to suit your taste, ensuring a unique and memorable experience.
- Day 1
- Arrive Oslo
- Day 2
- Explore Oslo's highlights, including the Viking Ship, Kontiki & Fram museums, the Vigeland Sculpture Park and Ekerbergeparken
- Day 3
- Depart Oslo by early train and enjoy the spectacular journey to Flåm
- Day 4
- Start with a spectacular 2 hour cruise from Flåm, marvel at the fjords and villages then head to Bergen
- Day 5
- Guided tour in Bergen and then board your Hurtigruten ship
- Day 6
- Ålesund and Geirangerfjord
- Day 7
- Be enlightened by the Medieval Spirit - The Royal City of Trondheim
- Day 8
- Discover your inner explorer - Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands
- Day 9
- Excitement in the Arctic
- Day 10
- Explore the Northern Soul & Cape - Honningsvåg and the North Cape
- Day 11
- Disembark in Kirkenes and go crabbing for giant King Crab!
- Day 12
- Kirkenes and then flight back to Oslo
- Start/End Place
- Oslo, Norway
- Country Visited
- 12 Days
- Easy independent holiday suitable for singles & couples
Train from Oslo to Bergen, Hurtigruten ferry from Bergen to Kirkenes and flight Kirkenes to Oslo.
- Arrival transfer from Oslo Airport
- Norway in a Nutshell® tour (by train, boat & bus) from Oslo to Bergen
- Luggage porter transfer during the Norway in a Nutshell® tour.
- Overnight in comfortable hotels in Oslo, Flåm and Bergen in Superior or Deluxe rooms incl. breakfast
- 3 hr private guided walking tour of Oslo and Bergen
- Hurtigruten voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes 6 nights in a Arctic Superior outside cabin with toilet & shower (twin or double beds depending on departure date)
- Full board on board the Hurtigruten ship, other meals as per itinerary
- Flight Kirkenes to Oslo
- Transfer to Kirkenes Airport
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
Full board on the Hurtigruten voyage includes buffet breakfasts & lunches, tea & coffee with meals and a 3 course sit down dinner in the evening. You are presented a menu when you check in. Visiting 34 ports, Hurtigruten have an exceptional opportunity to get fresh produce from local suppliers everyday. This means delicious new and fresh ingredients, both from coastal and inland areas.
Rates fluctuate daily and we can often find discounts up to 25% depending on departure date and proximity to travel. Please ask us for a specific quote for your preferred dates.
International flights, travel insurance, luggage handling & optional excursions.
Arrive to Oslo and make your own way to your central hotel in the heart of Oslo. The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer for the discerning traveller. If you arrive early, we can recommend a walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle & the Harbor area.
The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer the discerning traveller, and with your own private guided tour, you have time to discover Oslo's highlights, including the Viking Ship, Kontiki & Fram museums, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Ekerbergeparken and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. A walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle, the Harbour area and the new Opera House is well worth it during the afternoon.
We recommend taking the tram up to the Ekebergparken sculpture park and then wandering through the park up to the Ekebergrestauranten. Enjoy stunning views of the inner Oslo fjord, the city and the Opera house on the patio.
Optional Add Ons
Catch an early morning train from Oslo to Myrdal. The train journey over Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau is spectacular. In the comfort of your train, watch fjord scenery with beautiful waterfalls, flowing rivers, deep valleys and mountains.
In the afternoon, you check into the cosy mountain hotel in Flåm. Overnight in Fretheim Hotel.
Optional Add Ons
The day starts with a spectacular 2-hour fjord cruise from Flåm to the tiny fjord village of Gudvangen. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Aurlandsfjord & the Næroyfjord-a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Gudvangen you change to the connecting bus to Voss, taking you through the beautiful Stalheim canyon with the Stalheimskleiven hairpin road (May to September). In Voss you change to a train that takes you to Bergen. Overnight Clarion Hotel Admiral or similar with breakfast.
Bergen offers many attractions and sights - many within walking distance. With your private guide, see the recommended sights of interests; the Hanseatic harbor Bryggen, Fløibanen Funicular, Troldhaugen, the Fish and Flower market, Bergen Aquarium and Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen Open Air Museum).
In the evening your Hurtigruten voyage sets off through the Hjeltefjord, following in the wake of the Vikings who sailed from here to the Shetland Islands and beyond. This tour's price is based on a Polar outside twin share cabin with window and private facilities.
Transportation3 hour guided tour of Bergen
Optional Add Ons
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 the summer months, the next destination will be the spectacular UNE SCO-listed Geirangerfjord. En route to the end of this beautiful fjord you pass sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls.
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. New hiking opportunities get you into the hills overlooking this fjord.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass, Art Nouveau Tour, Hiking tours and Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla and the A Taste of Norway which visits the historic Hotel Union.
Optional Add Ons
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. New optional activities will have you kayaking on the river Nid and into the city's smaller channels or during winter time, you have the opportunity to try typical Norwegian winter activities such as skiing, tobogganing and sledding.
You then set a course for the northwest, past the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and thousands of little islands and picturesque rocky outcrops. In autumn, you will learn more about navigation and lighthouses along the Norwegian coast during the Captain's talk. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship will arrive at charming Rørvik.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Nidaros Cathedral and Ringve Museum, Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral, Munkholmen boat trip & the new cycling and kayaking tours. During winter, you can experience Winter Games.
Optional Add Ons
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. The Arctic Circle marks the border of the the Arctic reiong. In summer this means 24-hour daylight - often referred to as the 'Midnight Sun'. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude gives you the best chance of experiencing the Northern Lights.
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. This ceremony is tremendous fun to watch on the deck.
In the afternoon, your ship gradually closes in on the 3,280 feet high Lofoten Wall towering above the tiny and colourful fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands. This is an extraordinary place to disembark and take a stroll.
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.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Glacier Adventure, Winter Hike, Rib Safari to Saltstraumen & Meet the Vikings.
Optional Add Ons
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.
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.
After Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter the Captain invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship now sails inot the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March, and we gather on deck to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Wilderness Adventure Camp, the Arctic Capital Tromsø, Dog Sledding, Scenery and Huskies, Mountain hiking, Polar History Walk and Kayaking.
Optional Add Ons
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, including the ever cute puffins. In summer, you might see herds of reindeer and campsites belonging to the indigenous Sami people. In winter, experience the snow-clad valleys, the fresh winter air and your best chances to see the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
During winter and spring, if you are lucky, local fishermen from the village of Kjøllefjord visit us to share their catch of the day (King Crab & cod).
This evening, as you approach Kjøllefjord, you pass a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sámi people, Finnkjerka.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: The North Cape, Birdwatching Safari, A Taste of Lapland, Sami Autumn and Snowmobile trip in Lapland.
Optional Add Ons
Ports visited today: Båtsfjord, Berlevåg, Vardø, Vadsø, Kirkenes.
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.
Transfer to your hotel and settle in. Head out for a King Crab Fishing Safari. This safari changes with the seasons - either on ice or by boat.
After breakfast, head to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.
Dates & Prices
Prices are per person twin/double share. Ask us for solo travel rates.
Please NOTE that all prices depend on the Hurtigruten cabin type availability, and that rates fluctuate daily depending on supply/demand. We can often find discounts up to 25% depending on departure date and proximity to travel. Please ask us for a specific quote for your preferred dates.
11 May 2018
27 May 2018
26 Jun 2018
27 Jul 2018
31 Aug 2018
30 Sep 2018
31 Oct 2018
27 Dec 2018
When securing your cabin with us, please take note of the dimensions of the cabin to ensure that you are satisfied with it's 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.
Alcohol can be expensive on board the Hurtigruten ship due to taxes imposed. You can only bring the same amount of alcohol that you can get through customs. There is a wine package available on board.
You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are on board 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.
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical Information before your Hurtigruten Voyage
Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable, as shown in the Hurtigruten brochure and the above detailed 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.
We accept VISA, American Express, Eurocard, Diners Club and JBC International, plus most currencies. On board MS Lofoten and MS Nordstjernen currently only VISA and Mastercard are accepted.
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, except MS Lofoten 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 except MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten.
Be sure to bring some swimming attire for the jacuzzi!
All ships, except MS Lofoten, 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.
Hurtigruten 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, except MS Lofoten. 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 Lofoten, 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.
On all ships except MS Vesterålen, MS Nordstjernen and MS Lofoten.
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. Hurtigruten 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.
Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway
Norway has a few items that typically surprise travellers when visiting Norway for the first time. Alcohol and luxury items are heavily taxed and therefore prices are higher than you would expect. On the other hand, necessities such as bread and milk, are taxed low and therefore are great value.
We recommend that you bring all the alcohol you’re allowed to bring into the country when you arrive. There are many lovely parks and balconies where you can enjoy your duty free. However, be sure not to bring more than you’re allowed!
As of May 2014, the allowances according to Visit Norway are:
Minimum age: 18/ 20*
1 litre of beverages with more than 22% up to and including 60% alcohol per volume as well as 1½ litre with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume or three litres with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume
2 litres of beer with more than 2.5 % or other beverages with more than 2.5% up to and including 4.7% alcohol per volume.
This means that you may for example bring with you five litres of beer provided you do not have any other alcoholic beverages with you.
*For importing alcoholic beverages with more than 22% alcohol per volume the minimum age is 20.
It’s illegal to bring extra alcohol into Norway and can end up costing you. Another thing you should bring and not buy in Norway is razor blades. Good razor blades in Norway are expensive.
Norway in a Nutshell luggage porter service
We include a porter service which offers a safe and secure transportation of your luggage between Oslo and Voss/Bergen (the Norway in the Nutshell component of the tour).
Please leave your luggage at the hotel reception before 6:30AM and the Porter service will then pick your luggage up and bring it to your destination hotel, where it will be available at 9:00PM the same day.
The luggage service allows you to travel between Oslo and Bergen with just a small day/overnight bag.
Please note that 1 piece of luggage per person is included unless otherwise specified.