The Cruise South

Kirkenes - Bergen

Awaken the explorer in you on this adventure from the Arctic wilderness of northern Norway to the world's most beautiful islands and fjords along the coast. Explore the rugged coastline as you go face-to-face with natural wonders and experience thrilling excursions.

  • Experience magical Lofoten during the daytime
  • See the magnificent coast of Helgeland during the daytime
  • Enjoy breakfast on the North Cape (not during winter voyages)
  • Stay active and adventurous by joining our exciting sea- and land-based excursions

Overview

The Norwegian coast is one of the most exciting and varied adventure destinations in the world, with its stirring and varied landscapes. A voyage with Hurtigruten lets you explore highlights of this epic coast, and take you up close to the culture and the everyday life of people living here. Have breakfast at the North Cape, challenge yourself on a mountain hike in Hammerfest or Lofoten, explore the wilderness on a snowmobile or on a dog sledge, enjoy a hi-octane RIB adventure or discover cultural highlights.

North to South – A Beautiful Adventure

The northern shores of Norway offer spectacular scenery, including Finnmark’s wide plains, the North Cape and the Vesterålen and Lofoten Islands. As you cross the Polar Circle, the climate and landscapes become milder, but none the less impressive. On this southbound trip, we stop in Harstad, Lofoten and Trollfjorden during daytime. From there, we sail south along the Helgeland coast, passing the Seven Sisters mountains. You will continue to be impressed, when we sail through the overwhelmingly beautiful, unspoilt west coast landscapes.

Authentic Norway

Visiting 34 ports along the route is a great way to experience genuine Norway. See small settlements with less than 200 inhabitants and the big cities teeming with life. As you reach Bergen, the last port of call, you have completed a journey that has taken place along the Norwegian coast every day for the last 120 years. How’s that for authentic?

Natural Wonders During All Seasons

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

Hopefully you will see the mesmerising Northern Lights, when sailing with Hurtigruten during wintertime. Above the Artic Circle, Hurtigruten will provide the best chances of experiencing the magic colour show as it changes from light green to dark purple, flickering silently across the Arctic sky.

Traveling between Kirkenes and Bergen during spring is an awesome experience. The contrast between northern and southern Norway is huge. Being above the Arctic circle, it is usually full winter and from mid May the midnight sun offers 24 hours of sun. As you sail south from Trondheim to Bergen, you will experience lush and green landscape in blossom in close to summer temperatures. It is just like experiencing three seasons in one journey. An absolute highlight on this trip during springtime, is the idyllic sailing through Lyngenfjorden.

Summer means Midnight Sun, which is literally sunshine at midnight. This is a natural phenomenon you can only experience north of the Arctic Circle. This means you have a chance to see all northern destinations in daylight. Daylight in the middle of the night is an intense experience, and you may have to force yourself to go to bed. Many of the 34 ports we call on along the route, are small ports that other cruise liners do not visit. With Hurtigruten, you will see more of Norway and experience more of its culture and traditions.

As summer fades, the first cool evenings summon the colors of autumn. The fresh and clear coastal air enhances the intense red and yellow that fills mountainsides, hilltops and woods. From the deck, you may see the sharp profiles of the highest peaks sprinkled with the first snow, 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 appear and give you a magical experience.

No matter which season you choose, a trip from north to south will create memories for life. As we dock in Bergen, you will have experienced a lot in a short amount of time, and you will most definitely long back for this adventure.

125th Anniversary Offer

Save $100 per person

Offer valid for Select and Premium fares for travel dates between April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019. See offer details.

Yourc ruise prices includes 

  • Voyage in the cabin category of your choice, on a full-board basis
  • English-speaking Tour Leader on board

Not included 

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

Please note

  • Prices are in USD ($) per person in 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

Cruise Itinerary

Learn more about what you will experience on the Classic Voyage South. 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

Departs from Kirkenes
Day 1

Capital of the Barents Region and Turning Point


Location : Kirkenes

 At 30° East, Kirkenes is farther east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul! 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. Kirkenes also boasts several fascinating small museums recounting the remote region’s remarkably rich history and heritage. 

As the ship starts its journey southward, you can enjoy lunch, followed by viewing the surrounding Arctic landscapes from out on deck or from the panorama lounge. Prepare yourself for many new experiences. In the afternoon, the ship docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice swimming in the Arctic Ocean. In spring, on board we show a presentation about shorebirds along the Nordic coastline. Heading west, we cruise along the Varanger Peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening. Berlevåg is home to one of Norway’s most famous male choirs, consisting mainly of local fishermen.

Even before your cruise starts, you can explore more of Norway with our Land Adventures.

Day 2

Surrounded by Excitement


Location : Mehamn – Tromsø

In the middle of the night we dock at Mehamn. During wintertime you can 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 even the mesmerizing northern lights in the clear, starry sky.

At Honningsvåg, you can join a coach excursion that features breakfast at the North Cape, and discover hidden parts of Finnmark along the way between May and October. Before arriving in Hammerfest, you may want to enjoy an ‘energy coffee’ and a short onboard introduction to nearby Melkøya – the world’s northernmost natural gas terminal. In autumn, we invite you out on deck to taste dried reindeer meat. The town of 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. In winter, 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 then continue south to Øksfjord. In winter, our crew teaches you how to tie maritime knots out on deck. After crossing open water, we make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy. In spring, we sail through the beautiful Lyngenfjord, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps, and where a local fisherman may visit and share fresh, locally caught prawns. We then dock at Tromsø, just in time to enjoy a magical midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. In summer, you can join a midnight excursion under the midnight sun, and explore Tromsø by sea in a RIB boat. Or, a walk around the town provides you the chance to enjoy a local brew at one of the city’s many friendly pubs.

In summer, you can also join the expedition team for small explorer boat activities to discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings. 

Day 3

Lofoten, Where Nature Amazes


Location : Tromsø – Stamsund

This morning we arrive at Harstad, where you can participate in one of Hurtigruten’s most beloved and renowned excursions: A Taste of Vesterålen. Experience history, beautiful scenery, and a selection of breathtaking sights, including 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 toward the Risøyrenna, a shallow, 23 ft deep channel made for Hurtigruten in the 1920s to provide an ‘inside route’ between Harstad and Sortland. Sandbanks 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 see during the entire coastal cruise. 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 heritage, our chef shows guests 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 visit the Hurtigruten museum here. Continuing southward, it looks like we are sailing straight into a mountain wall, but we slip through an opening leading to the narrow Raftsund. This 12-mile passage between Lofoten and Vesterålen takes you through mountains soaring 3,300 ft directly out of the sea.

Then we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only one mile long, 330 ft wide, and surrounded by majestic mountains. If weather and time permit, the captain will make a detour into the fjord. Steep cliffs hug the ship’s sides, and the dramatic landscape conjures images of an imaginary land of trolls. The Trollfjord is also the realm of the sea eagle. Should you choose to take the optional sea eagle safari to see these magnificent birds up close, you will be transferred to a smaller vessel before we reach the Trollfjord. Then the Hurtigruten ship turns around in the narrow fjord, a magnificent sight! The sea eagle safari begins in earnest after leaving the Trollfjord, passing through narrow channels flanked by steep mountains where the birds dwell and can be viewed. These beautiful, rare birds of prey circle the boat a few times before we toss fish into the sea for them to snatch and devour. Be sure to take along your camera! 

Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several excursion options. Join our Lofoten Islands tour to learn more about the archipelago’s fishing communities, beautiful scenery, and local art. You can also join a horseback ride and experience a sunset trot through powdery white sand on a beach along the Norwegian Sea. If you want more of an adrenaline rush, join one of our high-octane excursions by RIB boat. Lofoten is known for its excellent fishing, and in winter and spring you can join a fishing trip to try your luck at catching cod. If you prefer dry land, a guided fishing village walk provides insight into local history and culture.  From Svolvær, we continue 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.

Day 4

The Seven Sisters


Location : Bodø – Rørvik

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! Sailing along the Helgeland coast, we pass hundreds of islets, fertile farmland, and steep granite walls rich in local lore. On deck you can see the strange mountain Torghatten (rising 850 ft above sea level), famous for its distinctive hole right through the middle. The hole is 525 ft long, 115 ft high, and 65 ft wide, and was created during the Ice Age.

Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven peaks are between 2,800 and 3,600 ft high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ led to an ancient myth. The story goes that there were seven troll sisters, the daughters of King Sulis, who kept them under strict control. One night, when the king fell into a deep sleep, the seven maidens slipped out. Vågekallen, who was eager for a wife, was lying in wait. He pursued the sisters, who fled southward down the coast. Several other trolls joined the chase to either capture or rescue the maidens. When night turned to morning, the troll sisters and their pursuers were petrified, as the sun turns all trolls to stone. They became the rocks and mountains that make the Helgeland coastline one of the most beautiful places on Earth. 

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 nearby 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 the island population. Learn how the fishermen and farmers have cultivated a centuries-old symbiotic relationship with the ducks, and how this relationship continues to contribute to the livelihood of the community who harvests the eiderdown and makes down-filled duvets.

As we arrive in Brønnøysund, you can join an excursion to visit to the Norwegian Aquaculture Center near Brønnøysund from April through October, and enjoy an informative tour and a taste of fresh salmon.

Day 5

In Cod We Trust


Location : Trondheim – Ålesund

Today provides another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. Back on board, the ship heads out into the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 105 miles long and up to 16 miles wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords, it is deep, plunging to 1,900 ft.

As we sail along the coast, you realize the importance of fishing to Norwegian coastal communities. Kristiansund’s location has steadily provided the town with abundant opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding, and oil industries. Kristiansund is today regarded as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’, because of its longtime export of the salted, dried fish. Here you can join an excursion to the renowned Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most visited tourist destinations. It is five miles long, includes a total of eight bridges, and is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and open sea.

Another interesting excursion is to the Bergtatt marble mine, which includes going inside a mountain, sailing across an illuminated subterranean lake, and enjoying a meal in the mine’s ‘grand hall’. 

Those choosing to stay on board at Kristiansund will experience the ship crossing open sea on our way to Molde, known as Norway’s ‘City of Roses’. Along the way you see the steep, gray, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.

Day 6

Final Chapter of the Fairy Tale


Location : Bergen

During the night, the ship calls at Ålesund, Torvik, and Måløy, as the world’s most beautiful cruise draws to a close. Before we dock in Bergen, there are still some nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead, including the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedal Glacier. Here the fjord widens to the east and stretches 56 miles inland to Loen and Olden. The rugged coastal areas are a striking contrast to the inner fjord regions, where the wind is gentler and less rain falls. Fertile fruit orchards and glacial fingers stretch toward glistening lakes and gushing rapids. This landscape has its own distinctive charm and you are encouraged to experience it. In the morning, we call at Florø, a modern coastal seaport that is also the region’s oldest town and Norway’s westernmost community. Despite constant changes, the city of Florø has maintained its special features.

A few nautical miles south of Florø, we navigate the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord and admire superb views of this magnificent island-studded coastline along the way. Finally, you disembark in Bergen, taking with you memories of a unique journey filled with unforgettable experiences and interactions with local people, diverse wildlife, and stunning nature.

If you want to see more of Norway, we highly recommend our Land Adventures to experience more Norwegian cuisine, culture, and scenery. 

Read more about our Land Adventures here

Arrival Varies by season

Location Bergen
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.

Seasons in Norway

The presence of four distinct seasons will influence your cruise along the Norwegian coast. Read more about them below, why they are so different, and find out which season is your favorite.

Experiences

Southbound Excursions

These are the available excursions for the Classic Southbound 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.

Southbound Excursions

Challenge your inner explorer and experience everything that Norway has to offer with our diverse range of optional excursions on the southbound sailing between Kirkenes and Bergen. These excursions are available between April 1, 2018 - May 31, 2020.

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.

Flight Packages

Pre and Post Programs

Complete your holiday in Norway with a pre or post extension program in Kirkenes and Bergen. Choose between excursions of several hours and multi-day tours including hotels.

Flight Packages

Please contact us if you want to add on a flight between the US and Kirkenes. All flight packages include transfers. We also have arrival and departure packages that include transfers and overnight hotel stays in Bergen and a departure package that includes transfers, an overnight hotel stay in Bergen, rail from Bergen to Oslo, and an overnight stay at a hotel in Oslo.