Norway - Off the Beaten track

Bremerhaven, Germany - Tromsø, Norway

Explore a side of coastal Norway not seen by many - on this 12-day voyage from Bremerhaven to Tromsø we call at ports and islands that aren't visited on classic Hurtigruten voyages. Discover the hidden secrets of Norway's rich maritime culture and visit the majestic Lofoten Islands with a dedicated Expedition Team, your hosts at sea and on land.

  • Learn more about the fascinating maritime culture and history of Norway
  • Stay active and adventurous with our exciting sea and land based excursions, tailor made for this voyage
  • Visit beautiful islands and ports along the Norwegian coast not seen or visited by many others
  • Travel with an on-board Expedition Team - experts on Norwegian history and culture


With a coastline stretching from 58 to 71° N, no wonder there are fascinating places overlooked by other seafarers and major cruise lines. Departing from Bremerhaven, Germany, we will explore parts of coastal Norway not seen by many, with fascinating maritime traditions, navigation marks and numerous lighthouses.

The home of the Vikings

First stop is Haugesund on the south-western coast. Vikings used to rule this land, making it a great starting point before setting sail for the westernmost archipelago of Norway. Here we will make several landings to small islands situated at the mouth of the fjord and under the majestic mountain Alden. Then we sail inside the narrow fjord-system to reach Dalsfjord, a place known for its mines, excellent stonemasons and a lighthouse museum.

Kayaking in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Going north you will get closely acquainted with birds ands fjords, as we head towards Bud and Bjørnsund, once the biggest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim. From the island Frøya with more than 5,400 surrounding islets and reefs we are now sailing into what is reckoned as part of the Northern coastline. The Vega archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the population’s unique practice of eider-down harvest. Watch out for island hoppers in kayaks, or jump into one yourself.

NASA rocket range

Continuing north we cross the Arctic Circle before entering Lofoten, calling at the tiny island of Værøy. Hikes and tastings from the sea awaits you as we sail through the Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands, observe a NASA rocket range and visit the island Senja, where you can choose from dragging fish up from the sea or dragging yourself to the top of one of the majestic mountains overlooking the fjords. Disembarkation is in Tromsø, but you don't have to rest if you don't want to: Tromsø is not only the Gateway to the Arctic but also often referred to as Paris of the North due to its many cafés and buzzing nightlife. 

With the Expedition Team from the past to the present

On this voyage we will present you with a taste of maritime life along the Norwegian coast through history and the present. Navigational marks and lighthouses are and have always been an important part of the waterway and will be the red thread of this voyage. Our Expedition Team will give lectures about Costal Culture, Coastal Navigation and Lighthouses. We plan to visit a variety of towns, villages and some lighthouses as they all play an important part of Norway’s maritime life and coastal culture.

Price includes: 

  • Cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Wind and water resistant jacket
  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats and activities onboard and ashore
  • Professional English speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions and gratuities


  • Prices are in USD ($) per person
  • All planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • All itineraries are subject to change
  • Medical questionnaire mandatory
  • Free rubber boot rental service on board

Voyage Itinerary

From beautiful Bremerhaven, across the North sea towards the high Arctic of Norway, this day-by-day program will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your voyage.

7 May 2017

Departure port Bremerhaven, Germany
Day 1
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Photo: Olaf Schulz / Shutterstock Photo

A unique metropolis

Location : Bremerhaven

Spend a day in one of the largest port cities in Europe, Bremerhaven. The city is an intergral part of Germany's trade - a popular hive of heritage, science, high technology and space industry keep up the innovation pace. This 1,200-year-old Hanseatic city has a unique quality that ensures a metropolitan experience like no other. Explore the wonders of the city before you board the ship in the evening.

Day 2
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Photo: Barbara Schoog Photo

Be at one with the ocean

Location : Crossing the North Sea

As we cross the North Sea our Expedition team will give lectures on various topics to prepare you for your upcoming expedition in Norway. You will also have ample time to unpack, relax and acquaint yourself with your home for the next 11 days.

Day 3
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Photo: Alri / Shutterstock Photo

In the wake of the Viking Kings

Location : Haugesund

Haugesund calls itself the Homeland of the Viking Kings, and not without reason. This is where the Vikings ruled the land that gave name to Norway, “the way north”. Despite being only a small village back in the medieval times, King Harald Fairhair lived at Avaldsnes, very close to the modern town of Haugesund. During the last decades the town has moved from fishery to petroleum and tourism as new sources of income. Even so, the town continues to have a special maritime flavor to it. Participate on one of our optional excursions, or discover the city on your own. 

Day 4
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Photo: Hans Ree Photo

Exploring the western region

Location : Værlandet/Bulandet and Atløy/Nærvik

We find ourselves in the westernmost archipelago of Norway. Here, at the mouth of the Sognefjord, under the majestic mountain Alden, the islands appear like a string of pearls. We will attempt to make landings both in the morning and in the afternoon, taking you to some of the most interesting sites of the area. Our Expedition Leader Karin is planning to open her private boat house for us, so that you can get a deeper understanding of how her ancestors made a life for themselves and their families.

Day 5
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Photo: Michal Hykel / Shutterstock Photo

Builders of maritime life

Location : Ulsteinvik

Ulsteinvik is reached after passing by the restricted bird mountain of Runde. Runde is also known for having one of the oldest lighthouses in Norway. In Ulsteinvik the main industry is ship related, and four of the Hurtigruten ships are built in this region; Polarlys, Nordkapp, Nordnorge and Finnmarken. In the evening we will sail inside the narrow fjordsystem to reach Dalsfjord where a group of workers where known as good miners and stonemasons. They where hired to build a stone tower at Runde and the lighthouse autorities was so pleased with them that they was rehired to bulid lighthoses, marks and mooring rings. The work was later passed out from father to son for many years and gathered skilled workmen from the close villages, and together they established a knowledge about lighthouses that made this fjord known and respected through generations. We will stay in Ulsteinvik from morning to afternoon, so that you have ample time to explore the town or join an excursion to learn more about the area.

Day 6

Exploring villages and lighthouses

Location : Bud and Bjørnsund

In the 16th and 17th century Bud was the biggest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim. Still today, it is an active and charming fishing village. Bjørnsund is a deserted island with an idyllic atmosphere. We will use our Polarcirkel boats to reach the villages which are interesting both in history and for hikes and other activities. In Bud we will take you to a visit to the Ergan coastal fort, which is a museum dedicated to the “Atlantic wall” built during the second world war. A visit to the marine archeology museum is also included. In Bjørnsund we will take a stroll in the village and hike to the lighthouse to see it up close. Sailing north this afternoon we will see a handful of interesting lighthouses from a distance, and you'll hear the stories about most of them. 

Day 7
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Photo: Jurgen Gregor Photo

Navigating the reefs

Location : Frøya

The Island Frøya is located off the coast of Trøndelag, and is surrounded by more than 5,400 islets and reefs. The landscape on Frøya is hilly yet relatively flat. The highest point is only 74 meters. Around 4,200 people inhabit the Frøya islands, most of them on Frøya itself but also some of the surrounding islets are inhabited.

Experience the wild, beautiful and unspoilt nature by taking part in one of our excurions, or spend the day on your own getting to know the settlement.

Day 8
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The star of Helgeland

Location : Vega

The exiting islands of the Vega Archipelago are full of contrasts. Some have sheltered locations between islets and skerries, while others are in exposed positions. There are large islands with groups of houses, a trading post and a steamship quay, and small islets where only one single family lived.

The Archipelago is inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage for the following reason: “The Vega Archipelago reflects the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider-down harvesting, and it also celebrates the contribution of women to the eider-down process”.

We will make a landing at Vega that includes a visit to the Eider Museum. In addition we offer optional excursions for smaller groups

Day 9
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Crossing the Arctic Circle

Location : Træna and Vikingen

This morning we will visit Træna which is part of an archipelago off the coast of Helgeland and one of the smallest councils of Norway. It holds more than 1000 islets, rocks and skerries and less than 500 inhabitants.

Træna is situated on the Arctic Circle, 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sandnessjøen. We will arrive Træna in the morning, and weather permitted, go ashore. Later this day we will attempt to visit the island Vikingen which holds the statue of the Arctic Circle symbol, and here King Neptun will conduct an arctic ceremony for you!

Day 10
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Exploring the beauty of the Lofoten Islands

Location : Værøy, Lofoten

During the night we have continued north to pay a visit one of the southernmost islands of Lofoten, Værøy. The Island has a lively fishing village, high bird cliffs and good hiking options. The old airport was sold to a private owner, who made into an exclusive chocolate factory and their private home. In Værøy there is also a local gallery and a traditional church. We have included a guided walk in Værøy for you, so that you can aquiant yourselv with this lovely village.

Today we will sail through Lofoten at daytime and enjoy the scenery as we head for Trollfjorden and Raftsundet on our way to Andenes. During the day we plan to make a landing at one of the best perserved fishermen villages from the 1800’s where we will offer an included tour with tastings from the sea.

Day 11
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Photo: Gudrun Lauterbach Photo

Life in modern fishing villages

Location : Vesterålen and Senja

At the tip of Andøya we find Andenes, the largest fishing village in the area where you'll find both interesting museums and a NASA rocket range. At the pier in Andenes you find the old lighthouse from 1859 with a 40 meter high tower, today it serves as a live museum. Our optional tour of the day will take you out to Spacesentre Aurora.

Later we pay a visit to Gryllefjord in Senja. The fjord has high mountains which rises over the lively fishing village and the area offers many opportunities for excursions and hikes as well as fishing trips. We will be met by local guides in Gryllefjord, and you will get an included walk of the village to learn more about life in a modern fishing village.

Day 12
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Photo: Kristen Berndt Photo

The Gateway to the Arctic

Location : Tromsø

Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic, is a lively and beautiful city surrounded by the dramatic Lyngen Alps, blue fjords and hundreds of islands. Exploring the city is a great way of ending this varied and eventful adventure. In the crisp and clear May air there are still good chances of snow.

If you want to stay for a day or two in Tromsø to explore all it has to offer, we recommend calling us to book a hotel and join one of our tailor made extension programmes. One of the programmes includes a trip to gorgeous Sommarøy Island, a must-see for anyone visiting Tromsø.

18 May 2017

Location Tromsø, Norway
Your Ship Experiences


These are the available excursions for Norway - Off the Beaten Track. You can add them to your voyage in the booking process online, or buy them on board the ship.


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


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