Travel information for The Svalbard Express and The North Cape Express

Sailing schedule

A table showing you departure dates for The Svalbard Express northbound and The Svalbard Express southbound throughout the summer months of 2023. 

Sailing timetable

See the table below for the arrival and departures times of MS Trollfjord for every port we visit as part of The Svalbard Express, northbound and southbound. 

Please make sure you are back on board the ship well before the departure time.  

Practical information

Before you go

If you book through a travel agent, all communication between you and The Norwegian Coastal Express will be via that travel agent. If booking your holiday directly with us, all relevant correspondence will be sent to the Lead Passenger on your booking. The Lead Passenger can be yourself or, if travelling with others, someone you chose within your travel group.  

If you’re booking during the high season when demand is greater, or if you book within eight weeks of departure, we may first have to request your cabin, flight, or hotel space before being able to confirm your booking. We will aim to confirm your booking at the earliest opportunity and to send out an invoice that will include any requested flights or extras.  

Once your booking is confirmed and fully paid, you’ll receive your travel documents 30 days before departure, or sooner depending on the time you book and your departure date. If you’re travelling with others but would each like to receive separate documents, please advise us at the time of booking. 

We recommend pre-booking excursions to avoid disappointment due to limited capacity. You can pre-book excursions up to four weeks before your voyage (two weeks if paid by credit card) at the prices presented in this brochure. Any remaining excursion places are sold on board and charged in Norwegian Kroner at the ship’s exchange rate which can fluctuate. 

We warmly welcome guests who are not fully mobile. MS Trollfjord will have at least three cabins equipped for wheelchair users. Wherever necessary, our sales consultants will also search for and book appropriate hotel rooms for you. You’ll need to bring your own standard size, foldable wheelchair. If you’re able to navigate around the ship unaided in a wheelchair, you don’t have to have a travel companion. Those who do need assistance may need to be accompanied. Please discuss with your booking agent. 

When the ship stops at ports on the Norwegian coast, there is typically a ramp or gangway to get on and off the ship. The exception to this is Urke where we do not go alongside a pier. Access to the village is only for those guests joining excursions there, which will be via tender boat and therefore not suitable for wheelchair users.  

Excursions have not been adapted specifically for guests who are not fully mobile. Please consult the Coastal Experience Team on board the ship who will be able to advise which excursions are suitable. 

It is essential you advise us of any mobility requirements you have at the time of booking to enable us to make the necessary arrangements for you. 

Our chefs can cater for special diets and some food allergies if you let us know ahead of time. It is very important that, at the time of booking, you make a point to tell us clearly about any food allergies you have. 

At the time of printing this brochure, there are no compulsory vaccinations or health requirements for travelling to Norway. It is the responsibility of all passengers to make sure they comply with any health requirements at the time of travel.  

The information and descriptions in this brochure have been checked by our staff and/or local agents so that they are correct to the best of our knowledge. However, changes may occur after the date of publication. We aim to let you know of any significant change as far in advance as we can. 

You’ll have seen that this brochure includes pictures and descriptions of wildlife and natural phenomena which may be seen from the ship and during excursions. Spending time outside increases your chance of spotting animals, but there are no guarantees of sightings.  

You’ll be glad to hear that the dress code on our ships is casual and there’s no need to pack formal attire for dinner. The weather in Norway can vary during your voyage, even during the day. We recommend you bring multiple layers of clothing, enabling you to adapt to the changes in temperature.  

You should also pack breathable, water- and windproof clothing, no matter the season. Sturdy shoes are key for shore excursions and hiking. 

On your way

All guests must present a passport or government-approved ID card with a validity of six months to enter Norway.  

Major credit cards are widely accepted, except possibly at smaller businesses. You may be asked to provide identification when you pay by credit card or exchange money.  

Any airfares that are included or offered are special package tour fares which cannot be altered or cancelled without charge. All flight package prices are based on specific booking classes. If the relevant booking class is not available, a supplement may apply.  

On most international flights and some domestic flights, drinks, meals, and snacks are included in economy class. If not included, drinks and snacks will usually be available for purchase on board the aircraft.  

We can offer upgrades to business class on some routes. Depending on the airline, this may also include seats with more legroom. Upgrades are not available on all flights.  

Luggage allowance varies between airlines and charges may apply if you exceed this limit, or carriage may be refused. Generally, each guest can carry a piece of hand luggage weighing approx. 6-8 kg (dimensions and weight depend on the respective airline) on board. Your baggage allowance is set to 1PC (23 kg) but may vary depending on the flight connection; please check with your airline. Further transport guidelines can be found in the respective terms and conditions of our flight partners.  

If you are planning to take a wheelchair or need assistance at the airport, please advise us at the time of booking.  

Flights may be scheduled early in the morning or late in the evening, as they are adapted to our travel arrangements and cruises. Please note that some flights may require transfers or stopovers (e.g., Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, or Amsterdam).  

Our common flight partners to/from Scandinavia are Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM/Air France, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, Widerøe, LATAM, Iberia, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Iceland Air.  

Please note that rebooking or reimbursement of an already issued ticket before departure is only possible for a fee. A transfer or refund of a ticket after departure is not possible. Any flight times advised at the time of booking are provisional and subject to change; please check before you travel. 

When embarking and disembarking in Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and Longyearbyen, we offer inclusive, unaccompanied bus transfers from the airport to the pier and hotels, and from the airport to the city centre in Oslo and Tromsø.  

In Bergen, we offer bus transfers to and from the railway station and hotels. Transfers are operated via chartered buses at fixed times or the official scheduled Airport Express bus. Waiting times for the bus at the airport are possible. The transfer from the airport to the dock takes between 20 and 45 minutes, depending on the city. You will receive our arrival/departure handbook containing all transfer times with your travel documents.  

For guests who are not fully mobile, we can arrange wheelchair-accessible transfers on request in Bergen and Longyearbyen at an extra charge. 

There is no official hotel rating system in Norway, but the standard of the hotels we use is equivalent to four-stars. All are centrally located, include breakfast, and rooms have private ensuite bathrooms. Single rooms may be smaller and less conveniently situated. They may be double rooms for sole occupancy or purpose-built single rooms. Hotels might also charge for some facilities, such as saunas.  

The Svalbard Express offers pre- and post-voyage packages that include a train ride between Oslo and Bergen. The train departures will take into account your other booked travel arrangements and allow ample time for transfers. In your travel documents, you will find your booking number which doubles as your ticket, as well as information about your booked train class and seat reservation. You can find timetable information at www.vy.no/en. 

Coming aboard

If you’re beginning your voyage in Bergen, our ships sail from Jektevikterminalen at Nøstegaten 30, N-5010 Bergen. All taxi drivers know the terminal as Jektevikterminalen and it is clearly marked on road signs and at street level. You’re free to explore Bergen up until embarkation time.  

We also have a newly built, exclusive guest lounge on the second floor of the terminal where you can relax with complimentary refreshments and snacks. There’s also a selfie wall there to commemorate the start of your voyage with us. 

The terminal is staffed and open for luggage check-in from 13pm to 3pm. Luggage lockers are also available in the terminal for a small fee.  

Whether departing from Oslo or Bergen, guest check-in on MS Trollfjord begins at 12pm and cabins are available from 2pm.  

Please be aware that luggage handling is not included in your voyage, unless embarking or disembarking the ship at the terminal in Bergen. You’ll need to carry your own luggage on and off the ship at all other ports. 

It is a requirement that all our passengers attend a compulsory safety briefing in Bergen, Longyearbyen, Tromsø, or Oslo, depending on where you first board the ship. If your voyage starts in Bergen, the safety briefing will be in the terminal lounge before embarkation. In Longyearbyen, Tromsø, or Oslo it will be on board the ship after embarkation. The briefing lasts between 10-15 minutes and is mandatory for all guests including those who have travelled with us before. 

The briefing will include a demonstration of how to put on a life jacket and the instructions to be followed in the unlikely event of an evacuation or other emergency during the voyage. There will be an opportunity to ask questions if you have any concerns. Please familiarise yourself with the emergency procedures as shown on the diagram on your cabin door and in public areas, and ask at reception if in doubt.  

You’ll have the option to explore the ports we visit at your leisure. Please ensure that you are back on board in time, especially if the ship arrives with a delay but departs on time to keep to the schedule. The departure time will always be clearly displayed at the gangway. Please note that the ship cannot wait for late passengers. If you miss your ship, you will need to arrange transport by yourself and at your own expense to the next port on the schedule. 

If your final disembarkation is in Bergen, your luggage will be delivered directly to the baggage belt in the terminal. Information regarding luggage handling and disembarkation at other ports is available when on board. 

When on board

All our ships along the Norwegian coast have a Coastal Experience Team who travel aboard with you and organise lectures, presentations, on-deck guiding, and photography sessions. Topics will be relevant for the season and region we’re sailing in at the time, drawing you closer to the surrounding landscapes and local culture. These activities are included in the voyage price and are optional to join.  

The Coastal Experience Team also issues a daily programme outlining excursions and guided hikes. Excursions and guided hikes are optional and not included in your voyage price. The Coastal Experience Team will also be more than happy to make suggestions for what you can see and do in various ports.  

Please note that all voyages and excursions are provisional and subject to change – current weather and sea conditions may affect our itinerary and the viability of certain excursions. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers.  

In many ports, you might notice a lot of activity on the quay with cars joining/leaving the ships and/or goods being loaded or unloaded. Please be alert to any vehicles whenever embarking and disembarking.  

Take extra care during winter months when the ground is usually icy and slippery, particularly on the outside decks and when disembarking the ship or getting down from coaches. Ice spikes and other winter clothing can be purchased in the ship’s store.  

As with all travels, it is recommended to keep your valuable items safe and out of sight, and not carry large amounts of cash.  

If you’re travelling on a Suite fare, you’ll be able to choose your cabin grade and cabin number at no extra charge (subject to availability). If you’re on a Select fare, you can pick your cabin number for a small fee.  

Please note that cabins on decks with access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view and/or have other passengers walking past their window. Some cabins may experience some noise and vibration during docking and loading of goods. This varies depending on the location of your cabin. Please ask our reservations team for advice on the best cabin location for you. 

Your voyage is full board with three meals a day included.  

As part of our Norway’s Coastal Kitchen concept, dishes are made from locally sourced ingredients, freshly fished, plucked, and farmed, and then delivered direct to our ships at the ports we visit.  

Breakfast is usually open from 7am and consists of a selection of cold meats, cheeses, eggs, cereals, and fruit, with freshly baked bread, pastries, and sveler pancakes. Lunch consists of a mixture of buffets and set menus, usually served from 12pm. Dinner starts from 6pm.  

On evenings with fixed seating, guests with a Suite fare can request their preferred dining time when booking, although this may be subject to availability. Guests on a Select fare will be assigned their dining time when they first check-in on board. 

Guests on Select fare have the option to enjoy an à la carte fine dining experience in the fine-dining restaurant for a small additional charge. All meals in the fine-dining restaurant are included for Suite fare guests.  Check the opening times when on board. 

We have significantly reduced single-use plastic on board and encourage our guests to do the same. For example, you can replace multiple disposable plastic bottles with just one refillable water bottle.  

Garbage sorting and recycling is standard practice aboard all ships. Please remember to turn off lights when leaving your cabin and unplug any electrical transformers when not in use. When ashore, kindly bring your litter back to the ship or dispose of it in public bins. 

Whenever we are near wildlife, please heed the advice of your Coastal Expert and excursion guides, and always act in a way that does not interfere with the wildlife’s natural behaviour. 

There will be a fully trained, qualified nurse on board. The ship is also never too far from land should urgent medical assistance be required. 

Norwegian and English are the official onboard languages. The Coastal Experience Team, reception staff, and crew may also speak German and often French as well.  

Most of our excursions can also be conducted in two or three languages. Please contact the Coastal Experience Team on board for further information. 

Private mobile phones may be used on board although the reception may vary. Check with your provider for rates when using your phone abroad. 

We offer complimentary Wi-Fi on board our ships. Guests on a Select fare will first need to register on our 1893 Ambassador loyalty programme to access the Wi-Fi. It’s free to sign up and you’ll also have access to discounts and a range of other benefits.  

Please note that the Wi-Fi signal varies depending on different locations on the ship. As the ship sails in remote regions of Norway, speeds may also be slower and not suitable for streaming services. 

The sockets used on board are the 220v AC, two-pin Continental type. Please bring your own adapters with you if needed. 

Laundry rooms with washing machines, dryers, and irons are available on all ships. You can buy tokens for the washing machines and dryers at reception. 

Norwegian Kroner (NOK) is the onboard currency. We operate a cashless system on board and accept Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Diners Card. You can also use your cabin card on board to order snacks, drinks, meals, excursions, and guided hikes. The balance is then settled at the end of your voyage. 

It is not standard practice to tip on MS Trollfjord, but if you feel that certain crew members should be rewarded for providing an exceptional service, there are tip boxes in the restaurant together with envelopes. 

All our ships have a shop carrying a selection of high-quality, handcrafted, local goods. We sell clothing by well-regarded Norwegian brands, outdoor equipment suitable for excursions and hikes, as well as authentic gifts and souvenirs. There is also a small selection of toiletries available for purchase.  

Smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping, is only permitted in designated areas on the outside decks. However, all forms of smoking are strictly forbidden even in designated areas when the ship is in port and refuelling. The crew will advise guests when this is the case.  

All our ships are equipped with stabilisers for a smoother sailing. Please be aware that they don’t guarantee there isn’t some swaying of the ship when winds and waves are high. 

Midnight sun

24-hour daylight above the Arctic Circle  

Location

First day  Last day
Træna 7 June  6 July 
Svolvær 26 May  18 July 
Tromsø 19 May  25 July 
North Cape  12 May  31 July 
Longyearbyen  19 April  24 August 

Polar Night 

24-hour nighttime above the Arctic Circle  

Location

First day  Last day
Svolvær 7 December  5 January 
Tromsø 28 November  14 January 
Alta 26 November  16 January 
North Cape  21 November  21 January 

Average temperatures (Celsius) 

Month Oslo Ålesund Brønnøysund Tromsø North Cape Longyearbyen
January -3 3 1 -3 -3 -8
February -2 3 0 -3 -4 -9
March 2 3 2 -2 -2 -11
April 7 6 5 1 1 -8
May 12 9 9 5 5 -1
June 16 11 12 9 8 4
July 18 14 15 12 10 7
August 17 14 15 11 11 6
September 12 12 11 8 8 3
October 7 9 7 3 4 -3
November 3 6 4 0 1 -6
December -2 4 2 -2 -1 -8