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

North to South – a Beautiful Adventure

The shores of northern Norway offer spectacular scenery, including Finnmark’s wide plains, the North Cape, and the Vesterålen and Lofoten Islands. As you cross the Arctic Circle, the climate and landscapes become milder, but not less impressive. On this southbound cruise, we stop in Harstad, Lofoten, and the Trollfjord during the daytime. Then we sail south along the Helgeland coast, and pass the Seven Sisters mountain range. You will continue to be impressed when we sail through the stunninly beautiful, unspoilt west coast landscapes.

Authentic Norway

Visiting 34 ports along the route is a great way to experience authentic, genuine Norway. See small settlements with fewer than 200 inhabitants, and 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 on a coastal cruise with Hurtigruten, you will be surrounded by beautiful nature wherever you turn. But every season has its own special charm.

Hopefully you will see the mesmerizing northern lights, when sailing with Hurtigruten during wintertime. Above the Artic Circle, a Hurtigruten cruise will provide the best chances of experiencing the magical, light 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 tremendous. 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, green landscapes in bloom – and close to summer temperatures. It is just like experiencing three seasons in one! A highlight of the southbound cruise during springtime is the idyllic sailing through the Lyngenfjord.

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 an opportunity to see all northern destinations in daylight. Daylight in the middle of the night is an intense, exhilerating experience, and you may have to force yourself to go to bed. Moreover, 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 reds and yellows that fill the 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 offer you a magical experience.

No matter which season in which you choose to travel, a southbound trip with Hurtigruten will create special, lifelong memories, and when we dock in Bergen, you will have experienced a lot in a short period of time!

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

Voyage 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

Departure port Kirkenes
Day 1

Capital of the Barents Region and Turning Point


Location : Kirkenes

You emark 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 sounthbound. 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.

As a southbound cruise guests, many of our Kirkenes excursions will be available to you before departure. Please talk to a Customer Sales Center for more information. 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 before your cruise 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. As the ship starts its cruise southward, you will enjoy lunch, and then view the surrounding Arctic landscape from our on deck or in the panorama lounge. 

In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean. Onboard in spring, 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.

Day 2

Surrounded by Excitement


Location : Mehamn – Tromsø

In the middle of the night, we dock at Mehamn, where 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 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. Before arriving in Hammerfest, you may want to enjoy an'energy coffee' and short onboard introduction to nearby Melkøya - the world's northernmost natural gas terminal. In autumn, we invite you 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 Earth. 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 on deck. After crossing open water, we make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy, where Hurtigruten founder Richard With was born.

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. Then we dock at Tromsø, just in time to enjoy a magical Midnight Concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Or, walk around the town and enjoy a local brew at one of the city's many friendly pubs. In summer, you can join the expedition team for 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 classic excursions: A Taste of Vesterålen. On this tour you'll 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 onboard 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 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 pay a visit to the Hurtigruten museum here. Continuing southward, it looks like we are sailing straight into a mountain wall, but we end up slipping 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 and 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 the imaginary land of trolls.

Trollfjord is also the realm of the sea eagle. Just north of the fjord, a smaller vessel awaits you to take you to see this magnificent bird up close on an optional sea eagle safari. To join the safari, you transfer to a smaller tour boat on the Trollfjord. To do this, the Hurtigruten ship must turn around in the narrow fjord, a magnificent sight and accomplishment in its own right! The 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 will circle the boat a few times before we toss fish into the sea for them to snatch and devour. Don't forget your camera!

Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several optional excursions. 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. Lofoten is known for its excellent fishing, and in winter you can join a fishing trip to try your luck catching cod. Or, take a guided fishing village walk that provides insight into the 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 thid mountain range led to ancient myths. 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 sisters. When night turned to morning, the troll sisters and their pursuers were petrified as the sun turns all trolls to stone.

These 'trolls' became the rocks and mountains that today 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 on nearby Sandnessjøen and can be visited on an optional excursion during summer. This unique landscape consists of dozens of islands. The UNESCO designation was awarded due to the unique interaction between the eider duck and island population. Learn how the fishermen and farmers have cultivated a centuries-old symbiotic relationship with the eider ducks, and how this tradition continues to contribute to a livelihood of eiderdown harvesting and making down-filled duvets.

On another optional excursion between Sandnessjøen and Brønnøysund you can experience an exciting blend of culture, nature, and architecture. Visit the museum at Alstahaug, which is dedicated to the life of Petter Dass (1647-1707), the foremost Norwegian poet of his generation. The museum consists of several buildings, the oldest being the old vicarage from the mid-1700s, are features continuous exhibitions. The museum, church, and graveyard are preserved and protected by the Norwegian Cultural Heritage.

Day 5

In Cod We Trust


Location : Trondheim – Ålesund

Today provides another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. Join the explorer team to discover even more of the city and its surroundings on explorer boat activities offered in summer. 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 discover the importance of fishing to the Norwegian coastal communities. Kristiansund’s location has steadily provided the town with abundant opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding, and oil industries. Today, Kristiansund is regarded as Norway’s 'dried cod capital' because of its longtime export of salted, dried codfish. Here you can join an excursion to the renowned Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most visited tourist destinations. It is five miles long, built on a total of eight bridges, and surrounded by picturesque landscapes and open sea. You can also choose a sightseeing tour of Kristiansund, and visit Kvernes Stave Church on the nearby island of Averøy.

Day 6

Final Chapter of the Fairy Tale


Location : Bergen

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. You disembark in Bergen, taking with you memories of a unique journey filled with unforgettable, immersive experiences and authentic interactions with local people, diverse wildlife, and stunning nature. If you'd like to explore more of Norway, add on a few extra nights with our Land Adventures program, where you can see breathtaking fjords; explore steep mountain landscapes in Lofoten; take an extraordinary train ride; experience Norway’s capital city, Oslo; or discover the jewel in the crown of Arctic Norway: Svalbard. We highly recommend staying a couple of nights in one of our featured cities and regions (Kirkenes, Tromsø, Lofoten, Bergen, Oslo, or Longyearbyen) to experience even more Norwegian cuisine, culture, and scenery. All accommodations are especially selected to offer the best and most authentic Norwegian experience.

Click here to read more about our Land Adventures.

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.

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.

Northbound Excursions 2018/19

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 1 April 2018 - 31 March 2019.

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.