The Cruise North

Bergen - Kirkenes

The Cruise North is a journey of cultural exploration as you travel to the major coastal cities and remote communities, continuing north into the Arctic Circle. Explore the rugged coastline as you go face-to-face with natural wonders and experience thrilling excursions.

  • Visit the legendary Geirangerfjord on summer voyages
  • Visit the Hjørundfjord, Norway's most beautiful fjord, on autumn voyages
  • Cross the Arctic Circle under the midnight sun (summer voyages) or under the northern lights (winter voyages)
  • Be active and adventurous by joining our exciting sea- and land-based excursions

Overview

We sail from Bergen to Kirkenes on this seven-day cruise, where you will see incredible landscapes – each one more dramatic than the next and enjoy the atmosphere and culture in cities such as Bergen, Ålesund, and Tromsø that are filled with coastal history. This cruise will give you spectacular experiences you will never forget.

Dense in Attractions

Your Hurtigruten boat sets sail from Bergen harbor in the evening, heading for the Arctic. As we sail along the coast, a wealth of experiences await: the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, and a detour into one of the world’s most beautiful fjords, the Geirangerfjord, on summer cruises. We continue north to the medieval town of Trondheim, where the Nidaros Cathedral is a highlight for many of our guests. Experience the exitement as we cross the Arctic Circle and visit Tromsø before we continue even further north and arrive at Kirkenes. This city is right on the Russian border. We are actually as far east as St. Petersburg!

Travel Through the Seasons

No matter what time of the year you travel with Hurtigruten, you will be surrounded by beautiful nature wherever you turn. But every season has its own special charm.

Winter is a special time to explore the wild and untamed Norwegian scenery. The landscape is a magical winter wonderland covered in white snow, and perfect for action-filled winter excursions such as dog sledding, whale watching, or snowmobiling. On deck the air is fresh and crisp. Clusters of cozy houses glow on the shores like embers. The snow-clad mountains are stunning in the polar twilight. And hopefully you will experiene the mesmerizing northern lights.

During springtime, the contrast between southern and northern Norway is huge. From Bergen to Trondheim you will sail through a lush and green landscape in bloom – and  close to summer temperatures! Further north in the Arctic region, winter struggles to maintain its grip. As you cross the Arctic Circle sailing toward the North Cape and Finnmark – it is usually full winter, and from mid-May the midnight sun offers 24 hours of daylight, even if the temperature and weather is more like winter. It is like experiencing three seasons on one cruise!

Summer is the most popular time of the year to explore Norway’s coast. The long, light days during the summer months seem to energize both nature and people. Even as far south as Bergen you can experience 19 hours of daylight. Flowers bloom, rivers fill with fish, and giant waterfalls cascade toward the ocean, creating a picture-perfect setting for a summer vacation cruise.

As summer fades, the first cool evenings summon the colors of autumn. The fresh and clear coastal air enhances the intense reds and yellows that fill mountainsides, hilltops, and woods. From the deck, you may see the sharp profiles of the highest peaks sprinkled with the first snow, and against the background of an ice-blue sky. Gradually, the evenings get darker and the days shorter. With a bit of luck, the northern lights will make an appearance and give you a magical experience.

No matter which season in which you choose to travel, a trip with Hurtigruten from south to north will create lifelong memories and wonderful adventure. 

Your cruise prices includes 

  • Cruise in the cabin category of your choice, on a full-board basis
  • English-speaking tour leader on board

Not included 

  • Flights and transfers
  • Travel protection
  • Optional excursions 
  • Luggage handling

Please note

  • Prices are in USD per person based on an inside cabin, double occupancy
  • Not all categories are available for all departures
  • Single cabin pricing available on request
  • Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability.

Other Classic Voyages in Norway:

Itinerary

Voyage Itinerary

Learn more about what you will experience on the Classic Voyage North. The day-by-day program will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage, but this itinerary is only an indication of what you can experience. This is a sailing where the elements rule and weather conditions vary, which is why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

Departure Varies by season

Daily Departures, Year-Round

Departure port Bergen
Day 1

The Journey Begins at the Gateway to the Fjords


Location : Bergen

Your cruise starts in Bergen, a city surrounded by seven mountains. Before departure you may want to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. Bergen was founded in 1070 A.D., 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 its local historical character.

One example is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with colorful wharfs dating back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming, 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 our tasty dinner buffet, based on the best and freshest coastal ingredients. 

We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings used on their way to the Shetland Islands and beyond. We are heading to the High North. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing and admiring the spectacular landscapes, either from on deck or in the panorama lounge. Before your cruise 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 world with breathtaking fjords, rural villages, and the spectacular Flåm Mountain Railway. Our pre and post programs and Land Adventures are a great way to complement your cruise and see more of inland Norway.

Day 2

A Day for Architectural and Natural Masterpieces


Location : Florø - Molde

If you wake up early the next day, you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we enter the open ocean, before navigating through skerries and islands to reach Ålesund. Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers, and ornate buildings, Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. A devastating fire in 1904 burned a large proportion of the city to the ground, and it was 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 saltwater aquariums, which 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 get an amazing panorama of the area. In the summer months, we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing sheer, 2,500 ft cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route.

In autumn, we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amid the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character, far from the tourist bustle. We take our passengers past steep rock walls that you can nearly reach out and touch, emerald green meadows, lonely mountain farms and small villages.

Day 3

Discover Medieval Spirit in the Old Capital


Location : Kristiansund – Rørvik

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 in 997. Join our optional excursion to Norway’s national shrine, the Nidaros Cathedral, the country's only Gothic-style cathedral and built over the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason), Norway’s patron saint.

On this tour you can marvel at the cathedral’s incredible architectural details and exquisite artworks. Then 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. You can also explore Trondheim from sea level in a kayak along the River Nid from June to September, or experience the city on a bicycle and try out the world’s only bicycle lift from April to September. In summer, you can join the expedition team for explorer boat activities to discover more of Trondheim and its surroundings.

In the afternoon, the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous islets and rocky reefs. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship heads toward charming Rørvik.

Day 4

Welcome to the Arctic Region!


Location : Brønnøysund - Svolvær

Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66° 33’ North and demarcates the Arctic region. In summer, this means 24-hour daylight and the midnight sun. During winter, this latitude provides the best chances to experience the northern lights. Even if you aren’t awake when we cross the Arctic Circle, the captain makes sure that the occasion is memorable. If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you may participate in a daytime Arctic Circle ceremony out on deck. Near the village of Ørnes is Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier. Join us for a trip to the Svartisen Tourist Center in summer and admire the beauty of this enigmatic ice world. Afterward, the excursion continues along the beautiful Helgeland coastline to Bodø, where you rejoin the ship. In Bodø, you can join an adventure in harmony with nature, eagles, and the deep blue sea. The excursion heads to Saltstraumen in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), where you witness the world’s most powerful tidal current. There is also a good chance you'll observe sea eagles on this exciting journey through wild landscape. Later the same afternoon, we spot the 3,000 ft high Lofoten Wall on the horizon. Tucked between tall mountains, majestic granite cliffs and white-sand beaches, Lofoten is a truly extraordinary experience. The charm of the Lofoten Islands is partly revealed in its small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere.

Take a stroll between stockfish racks and traditional fisherman’s huts called 'rorbuer'. At Stamsund, join a historical journey to the Lofotr Viking Museum, where you are invited into the chieftain’s house, a full-size reconstruction that features exhibits of finds dating back to the Viking Age. The chieftain and lady of the house invite you to join them for a real Viking meal in the banquet hall, providing a taste of the Viking Age and complete with traditional food, drinks, costumes, singing, and dancing. Between Stamsund and Svolvær, you have the opportunity to experience life on an organic herb and cheese farm, or visit the Lofoten’s only craft brewery, situated in an old fish landing facility.

In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when our hunt for the northern lights begins. We celebrate the event by presenting a multimedia show entitled '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 fishcakes 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!

Day 5

Feeling Like a Polar Hero


Location : Stokmarknes – Skjervøy

Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever season in which you are travelling! During the morning hours, we briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad, and Finnsnes. The ship then proceeds to Tromsø, the Capital of the Arctic, for a prolonged stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. Join our Polar History Walk excursion 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 people. In winter and spring, you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling dog-sled 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 our headlamps, the starry sky, and, if we’re lucky, the magical northern lights. Or, why not test your coordination skills and have some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure. In summer, you can join the expedition team for explorer boat activities and discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings.

If you want to experience peace and quiet on the sea, join us for a kayaking excursion in summer. Paddle through waters in and around Tromsø with mountains as a stunning backdrop. This is a great way to quietly explore the coastline and get close to marine wildlife. Speaking of quiet, you can also join a silent winter whale safari in the Kaldfjord. Guided by an expert crew trained in responsible wildlife tourism, you are transported by 'Opal', a carbon-neutral, oak sailing boat. The only sound you hear are the whales surfacing and spouting from their blowholes, as well as your heart beating a little bit faster than normal!

After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter, the captain invites his guests on deck to taste stockfish. The ship is now sailing in waters where you have the best chances to see the northern lights between October and March. We gather on deck to search the skies for this remarkable cosmic phenomenon.

Day 6

At the Top of the World - North Cape


Location : Øksfjord – Berlevåg

Enjoy magnificent sub-Arctic landscapes as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey toward the North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent. In summer, you may see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. After brief, early stops at 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 1,250 miles away from the Geographic North Pole. Standing atop the 1,000 ft high North Cape plateau imparts a sublime sense of being at the top of the world. While admiring the view, be sure to get some photographic evidence of this amazing place. Close to North Cape you find one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. Join us for a birdwatching safari to experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins, together with large numbers of kittiwakes. During the nesting season, this area teems with life, and mighty sea eagles hover above in search of prey. Guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, Arctic skuas, northern fulmars, Brünnich’s guillemots, and the large northern gannet fill the air with a cacophony of shrieks and screeches.

If you want to learn more about local life in this remote region, join a fishing village tour that takes you across the island of Magerøya's fantastic scenery to the fishing communities of Kamøyvær and Skarsvåg. Along the way, your guide tells you about the area's nature, its local culture, and its history. The ship then continues north, sailing into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation of Finnkirka, as we approach our next stop, the fishing village of Kjøllefjord. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people, and explore the wonderful surrounding landscape.

Other optional excursions include learning about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hearing traditional Sámi 'joiking' (song). In winter, you can join us on an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Along the way, the guides tell you about the Sámi people, the geographic and climatic conditions, life on the Finnmark coast, and how the local population effectively utilizes nature in both summer and winter. Experience snowy valleys, the fresh winter air, and perhaps the mesmerizing northern lights in the starry sky. Sámi Autumn is an excursion where you learn about the Arctic natural 'pantry' and 'pharmacy', and you will sample dried-reindeer meat, crowberry juice, herbal tea (nettle), and roseroot tincture. You may also feel the presence of the Sámi shaman, Noaidi. In Berlevåg, you can join a unique two-day winter expedition into the Arctic wilderness, including both dog-sledding and snowmobiling.

Day 7

Capital of the Barents Region and Turning Point


Location : Kirkenes

The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes, the end of your northbound cruise. We arrive early in nearby Vadsø and just after breakfast, we arrive in Kirkenes. At 30° East, Kirkenes is further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. It is also Hurtigruten’s turning point for the return trip southbound. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and the gateway to the east. The Russian frontier is a just few miles away from Kirkenes. You may find it intriguing that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Depending on the season, there are many ways to visit the Russian border: Travel by bus (all year), enjoy a riverboat safari, or join an action-packed trip on ATV/quad-bikes. Kirkenes also boasts several fascinating small museums recounting the remote region's remarkably rich history and heritage. Spending time in Kirkenes provides the opportunity to take part in several adventurous activities into the Arctic outback.

In winter, Kirkenes is home to the fantastic Snowhotel, a base for several exciting excursions. You can also greet the reindeer that reside on the grounds. During spring, you can still enjoy winter activities and excursions, for example, exploring the Arctic wilderness on a snowmobile and driving over a frozen fjord. During the adventure, guides tell you all about the history of the Sámi people, the extreme Arctic climate, and the area's unique wildlife. On our dog-sled adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic tundra. You can also catch and eat giant king crab from the Barents Sea. In summer, you can hike across mountainous terrain with your own husky companion. 

Take this opportunity to explore Kirkenes before you head home!

Arrival Varies by season

Location Kirkenes
Your Ship

Ships Sailing the Norwegian Coast

These are the ships that sail the Classic Voyage North. Each of our ships has a different atmosphere, style, and identity, so you can choose how you want to experience the Norwegian coast.

Experiences

Northbound Excursions

These are the available excursions for this Voyage. We recommend that you add them to your voyage during the online booking process, but you can also book the excursions on board the ship if the excursion still has capacity.

Ports

Discover the natural wonders, ports, and wildlife you may come across during your Cultural Voyage in Norway.

Articles

Learn about the experience of sailing in beautiful Norway, get tips from insiders, read about Norwegian culture and etiquette, and find out what to pack for your journey.

Attractions

Discover the natural wonders, ports and wildlife you may come across during your voyage to Norway.

Videos

Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a Cultural Voyage.

Extend Your Voyage

Flight Packages

Please contact us if you want to add on a flight from the US to Bergen or from Kirkenes to the US. All flight packages include transfers. (We also have an arrival package that includes transfers and an overnight hotel stay in Bergen.)

Pre and Post Programs

Complete your vacation in Norway with an extension program before your voyage in Bergen or after your voyage in Kirkenes. Choose between excursions of several hours and multi-day tours that include overnight hotel stays.