Northern Lights Expedition Cruise from Dover

Northern Lights Expedition Cruise from Dover

Northern Lights Expedition Cruise from Dover

Northern Lights Expedition Cruise from Dover

Travel information 15 days MS Maud
Departures
20 departures between Oct 2022 and Mar 2024
Price from $ 7,257
$ 6,531
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Sail direct from Dover to the best of the Norwegian coast above and below the Arctic Circle. You’ll enjoy adventure under the active Auroral Zone, assured by our Northern Lights Promise of a free voyage if the aurora doesn’t occur. Engage in exciting optional winter excursions while you visit cosy cities, historic towns, and beautiful villages. 

From the White Cliffs of Dover to Norway’s Arctic ... 

Board comfortable MS Maud in Dover bound for Norway. Our first stop is Loen at the foot of Mount Hoven, the summit of which has views of Jostedalsbreen Glacier. We’ll head to the exceptionally pretty fishing villages of Reine and Å in the Lofoten Islands before sailing to Alta, the ‘city of the Northern Lights.’ Perhaps you’ll see the aurora appear above its artistic Northern Lights Cathedral. 

… and back again!  

Discover Tromsø, the ‘Paris of the North’ and its Polar Museum. You’ll learn the importance of this polar city and enjoy optional winter excursions before brushing up on British WWII history in Narvik. We’ll spend two wild days ‘on expedition’ discovering the hidden natural gems of mid-Norway before arriving in the bustling city of Bergen and ride the funicular to the panorama at Mount Fløyen. After soaking up the cosy vibe of Egersund, your expedition will end back where it started in Dover.  

Northern Lights Expedition Cruise from Dover Northern Lights Expedition Cruise from Dover
  • Day 1
    Dover, U.K.

    Setting off from the White Cliffs

    Estimated time of departure is 4:00 PM

    All aboard at Dover! MS Maud is at the port, waiting to sail north to Norway´s magical landscapes to hunt for one of nature’s greatest spectacles: The Northern Lights.

    Once you board the ship, pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, and settle into your cabin. Feel free to explore the ship before attending a mandatory safety drill. After the first of many sumptuous dinners and a welcome toast by the captain, you’ll meet your expert Expedition Team. They’ll be your knowledgeable lecturers, warm hosts, and good-natured guides throughout your journey. Many of them grew up and live in the places you’ll visit, and they are passionate about sharing their homes with you. But first and foremost, they’ll keep you safe and sound. Their first priority will be to run through important health and safety information with you and your shipmates.

    As the ship sets sail, we’ll pass by the White Cliffs of Dover and head up to the North Sea. Stretch your sea legs and explore MS Maud, your cozy home away from home. Weather permitting, let the salty sea air envelop you from the deck, or grab a relaxing glass of wine in the Explorer Lounge and Bar while the world passes you by through the panoramic windows. Your adventure to the Arctic under the Auroral Zone is officially underway!

    Day 1
    Dover, U.K.

    Setting off from the White Cliffs

  • Day 2-3
    At sea

    Day at sea

    This day at sea gives you all the time you’ll need to ease into your journey. Start enjoying the range of onboard facilities such as the hot tubs, the sauna, and the indoor gym. But you’ll likely also be striking up conversations with the Expedition Team members as well as other crew members and guests.

    The Expedition Team will begin their series of insightful lectures over in the Science Center. Each member of the Expedition Team specializes in a different subject. You’ll see that they are walking, talking, treasure troves of stories and information. They’ll share their extensive knowledge about the places, history, nature, people, and natural phenomena we’ll likely encounter during this winter cruise along the Norwegian coast. Today’s topics might include the geology of the North Sea, the science behind the Northern Lights, or Hurtigruten’s history as a Norwegian national icon.

    It’s not a sure thing, but you can expect wind and waves on the North Sea, which are known to be choppy this time of year. Our captain’s goal is to bring us into Bergen the next day, but Mother Nature is the boss and nothing is set in stone. This is all part and parcel of the expedition experience, adding extra suspense and excitement to your adventure. Rest assured, we’ll do our best to make the cruise as safe and smooth as possible, even if we have to be flexible and adapt our plans to factor in the elements.

    Day 2-3
    At sea

    Day at sea

  • Day 4
    Nordfjord & Loen - Anchored - Full Day

    From the fjord to the mountaintop

    Start the day with a scenic cruise into the Nordfjord. Early in the morning, we’ll pass by Hornelen, Europe’s highest sea cliff. The fjord runs offs from Jostedalsbreen, the Jostedal Glacier, Europe's largest mainland glacier, and flows west into the ocean just south of the Stadlandet Peninsula.

    Thanks to the small size of our expedition ship, we can take you through straits and channels that larger vessels can’t navigate. You’ll be that much closer to the fjords and mountains the Norwegian coast is so famous for. Our small ships also mean better access to small communities that few get to visit, giving you an intimate glimpse of the Norwegian culture and way of life.

    As you might expect, today’s lectures center on Norway’s geology, including the formation of its fjords, mountains, and glaciers. You might also learn more about the Vikings who used to inhabit the region; their thirst for exploration still beats in the hearts of Norwegians today.

    You’ll spot numerous old fishing communities located along the fjord that actually date back to pre-Viking times. One such place is Loen, and we expect to dock around noon. At the very heart of the Nordfjord, in the shadow of the mighty Jostedal Glacier, Loen is the perfect place to explore this gorgeous area.

    We’ll use our small boats (RIBs) to land on a floating jetty, the starting point for the Loen Skylift. The cable car climbs over 3,300 feet, in just five minutes, to the top of Mount Hoven. At the summit, you’ll be treated to unforgettable views over the fjord. Gaze at Mount Skåla and Lake Lo to the east, with the Jostedal Glacier and Olden to the south. With this scenery as your backdrop, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in one of several optional winter activities on the mountain, such as snowshoeing or sledding. Time- and weather-permitting, you might also have an opportunity to do some exciting winter kayaking on the fjord.

    • Included Loen Skylift
    Day 4
    Nordfjord & Loen - Anchored - Full Day

    From the fjord to the mountaintop

  • Day 5
    At sea - At sea

    At the Arctic Circle’s doorstep

    Spend time in the ship’s lounge today, soak in a hot tub, or step out on deck. Whatever you do, don’t take your eyes off the scenery as we sail through Helgeland county and the thousands of islands of the lowland area. Count the peaks of the Seven Sisters mountain range, long fabled to be the petrified bodies of seven troll sisters caught out at sunrise. Let the Torghatten mountain amaze you, with its distinct hole right through the middle. Local legend has it that the mountain was a hat worn by the troll-king, which turned to stone when it was pierced by an arrow.

    We have now reached the halfway mark of your expedition along Norway’s long coastline. You’re not far from the Arctic Circle! This point of the trip is an exciting time, as the farther north we sail, the greater your chances are of seeing the Northern Lights. This natural phenomenon occurs when charged particles carried by solar wind disturb the Earth’s upper atmosphere, creating mesmerizing ripples and rays. The end result is a cosmic light show of dazzling, dancing color. Our route along the Norwegian coast will take us directly under the Auroral Zone, a prime area for viewing the Northern Lights. We hope for multiple sightings of the Northern Lights in different locations.

    The weather in northern Norway is noticeably colder, and the amount of snow will steadily increase as well, making the landscapes seem brighter. Depending on when you sail in the winter season, daylight hours will be short, and will shorten even more as you approach the Arctic Circle. It’s not complete darkness, though—you’ll be one of the few to experience the very romantic ‘blue hour’. This extended twilight can last several hours. As the winter sun glows just below the horizon, it bathes Norway’s fjords and mountains in a dreamy cobalt-blue light.

    The Expedition Team will continue their onboard lectures, ranging from local folklore and fairy tales to the history of navigation, from lighthouses to satellites, along the coast. You might also learn about the concept of friluftsliv, the quintessentially Norwegian love of the outdoors. You can also pick up tips from the professional onboard expedition photographer about how best to capture the Northern Lights when they appear.

    Day 5
    At sea - At sea

    At the Arctic Circle’s doorstep

  • Day 6
    Reine

    Idyllic island life

    In the morning, we’ll dock at the picture-perfect fishing village of Reine, tucked into the Lofoten Islands. This is where red-painted rorbuer cling to a string of islands beneath sharp granite mountain ranges. The nearly 1,500-foot-tall Reinebringen is one of the most distinctive peaks and is especially dramatic with a dusting of snow. This contrast of settings and colors makes Reine one of the most photographed landscapes in all of Norway. Cross your fingers that the Northern Lights are active above the village, which would be the cherry on top of this little slice of paradise.

    After admiring the exceptional scenery in Reine, you’ll go on your included activity for today. A 30-minute bus ride will take you to Å, one of the best-preserved traditional fishing villages in Norway. The Norwegian Fishing Village Museum sits at the heart of this tiny village, and covers fishing’s importance and the development in Lofoten over the past 250 years. Explore at your leisure and you’ll discover that the village is a museum, and the museum is the village!

    Later on, you’ll return to Reine, where you may have an opportunity to do some hiking with the Expedition Team, or even try some winter kayaking. The views you see here will certainly make those options tempting. Then rejoin the ship and marvel at the surrounding scenery, which is spellbinding whether it is bathed in the Northern Lights or not.

    • Included Reine - The Fishing Village of Å
    Day 6
    Reine

    Idyllic island life

  • Day 7
    Alta, 70° North

    The City of the Northern Lights

    Alta lies in the vast wilderness of Finnmark county, well above the Arctic Circle at 70 degrees north. Welcome to the turning point of your expedition and one of the northernmost towns in the world, with a population of about 10,000. We’ll arrive here in the early afternoon. The plan is to stay past midnight to stargaze and watch for the Northern Lights in Alta’s usually clear skies. The town is directly beneath the Auroral Oval, a zone known for consistent Northern Lights activity. If the heavens aren’t overcast and the conditions are right, get ready for nature’s most spectacular show...

    You’ll learn more about the Aurora at the modern Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta. This titanium-clad building and its spiral belfry dominate the skyline here. It’s even more impressive when illuminated at night. An interactive exhibition here chronicles how Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland established Alta as the epicenter for groundbreaking Northern Lights research in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll also be treated to a classical music concert in the cathedral as part of your visit.

    Troms and Finnmark county form part of the traditional territory of the indigenous Sámi people, whose livelihoods still revolve around semi-nomadic reindeer herding. In Alta, the Expedition Team may also speak about Sámi culture. Not far from Alta is Máze, a Sámi village located along the Kautokeino River, which may be visitable as part of an optional excursion. When more snow falls and deep winter arrives, Alta is prime territory for visits to ice hotels, dog sledding, and snowmobiling.

    • Included Experience the Northern Lights Cathedral
    Day 7
    Alta, 70° North

    The City of the Northern Lights

  • Day 8
    Tromsø

    Gateway to the Arctic

    It’s time to explore Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic. But before we do, we’ll be on the lookout for humpback whales out on deck or from the Explorer Lounge. These gentle giants are known to frequent the winter waters here, feeding on a smorgasbord of herring. The Expedition Team will also be on the lookout and alert you to any sightings.

    We’ll reach the city of Tromsø around lunchtime and will spend the day and evening here exploring its captivating history, culture, and bold architecture. One of the most striking landmarks in Tromsø is the Arctic Cathedral, especially when it’s lit up at night. Its eye-catching, massive stained-class window and modern architecture are well worth seeing up close.

    Historically, Tromsø was a frontier town visited mostly by hunters and explorers. It also served as a launching point for several Arctic expeditions. Today, the city has been called the ‘Paris of the North’, because of its international and cultural diversity. Browse its shops or try one of its many restaurants to sample the region’s fresh and locally sourced foods. Feel like meeting some of the friendly locals? Tromsø is home to the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Bryggeri, which also runs Ølhallen, a lively pub filled with locals chatting and enjoying a pint or two.

    Your included activity in Tromsø is a visit to the Polar Museum, which is housed in a converted 1830s warehouse on the seafront. You’ll enjoy exhibitions that cover the city’s heritage as a base for the famous trappers Henry Rudi and Wanny Wolstad. Wanny was the first female hunter in Svalbard. Tromsø also played a crucial role in the expeditions of legendary explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen.

    Winter activities available in Tromsø include optional excursions with our Expedition Team on nature hikes, snowshoeing, and hunting the Northern Lights on a bus ride. And like many places in Arctic Norway, when there is enough snow later in winter, the landscape becomes the ideal place to engage in some exhilarating dog sledding.

    • Included The Polar Museum
    Day 8
    Tromsø

    Gateway to the Arctic

  • Day 9
    Narvik, Ofoten

    The Battle of Narvik

    We arrive at Narvik in the morning. This town is spectacularly situated on a peninsula surrounded by three fjords: Ototfjord, Rombaken, and Beisfjord. The mountains also shelter the popular ski slopes from strong coastal winds. While Narvik is one of the northernmost towns in the world, some 137 miles into the Arctic Circle, the North Atlantic Current provides it a milder climate than some would expect.

    Narvik traces its history back to the Bronze Age, and was a Viking settlement a while as well. Modern Narvik made its name as year-round port for Swedish iron mining, making the town a strategic target for Germany during World War II. Visit the Narvik War Museum to see exhibits and artifacts from the war, and learn about the heroism of the British and Allied troops who liberated the town from the Nazis.

    In the spring of 1940, the British Admiralty launched Operation Wilfred to protect Narvik. In turn, this prompted Germany to invade the town with ten destroyers, each loaded with 200 mountain infantry soldiers. The Royal Navy quickly responded, taking control of the coast and laying waste to the destroyers. Under the command of British General Mackesy, the Allied forces launched an offensive to recapture Narvik. Mackesy refused orders from the Admiralty to bombard the town, choosing instead to prioritize the safety of the Norwegian civilians and wait for the snow to melt to initiate his ground attack. Two months later, the ensuing Battle of Narvik is considered to be the first Allied infantry victory in World War II.

    Aside from the museum, you can enjoy galleries, shops, and restaurants specializing in seafood that is locally sourced from the fjords. Feeling adventurous? Try the reindeer! Ride the cable car for breathtaking views at the top of Mount Narvik, or go on an optional excursion, where you can hike, go snowshoeing, or kayak on the fjords. The day’s lectures will most likely focus on Narvik’s World War II history, or perhaps about the mammals of northern Norway.

    • Included Narvik War Museum Visit
    Day 9
    Narvik, Ofoten

    The Battle of Narvik

  • Day 10-11
    At sea - At sea

    Science on the sea

    One part of embarking on an expedition is knowing how to slow down and enjoy the moment. Take time to reconnect with nature and the world around you while you settle down in the panoramic Explorer Lounge, or soak in a hot tub out on deck. Either way, sit back and take in the serene scenery that rolls quietly by. We’ll be passing through the Vega Archipelago today, made up of some 6,500 islands, islets, and skerries.

    There’s more to learn during lectures from the expert Expedition Team, and you can dabble in a bit of science with the microscopes and library of slides in the onboard Science Center. We also support a number of Citizen Science projects, which we encourage you to join. These include the Happywhale project, where your photographs help identify and track whales across the planet. You may also join the Globe Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions with satellite data. Not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining a better understanding of the world around you.

    Day 10-11
    At sea - At sea

    Science on the sea

  • Day 12
    Bergen

    The City of Seven Mountains

    In the morning, you’ll get your first glimpse of the Norwegian coast as small islands and mountains appear on the horizon. We’ll leave the North Sea and enter scenic straits and fjords on our way to the Hanseatic city of Bergen. Weather conditions on the North Sea permitting, we aim to arrive in Bergen in the afternoon. As our first port of call in Norway, we arrive at Bergen, one of the country’s most picturesque cities. Founded in 1070 A.D., Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years, and you’ll see that the city hasn’t lost any of its local character, heritage, and charm.

    Your included activity in Bergen is an excursion to Mount Fløyen. We’ll hop on Hurtigruten buses from where the ship docks and drive to the Fløibanen funicular (cable car). The ride to the mountaintop takes just six minutes. The summit is over 1,000 feet up, and you can bask in stunning views of city and its surroundings: seven mountains and the sea. If we have time, we might also venture into the alpine forest here for a short hike.

    Back in the center of the thriving and compact city of Bergen, spend time strolling along its cobblestone streets and alleyways. Don’t miss the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with colorful wooden houses along the wharf. This area dates back to the 14th century and now houses boutique stores selling Norwegian arts and crafts. Across from Bryggen is Bergen’s famous fish market, where you can savor a host of sights, sounds, and scents.

    • Included Bergen - The Fløibanen Funicular
    Day 12
    Bergen

    The City of Seven Mountains

  • Day 13
    Bergen, Norway

    The City of Seven Mountains

    Weather conditions on the North Sea permitting, we aim to arrive in Bergen in the afternoon. As our first port of call in Norway, we arrive at Bergen, one of the country’s most picturesque cities. Founded in 1070 A.D., Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years. You’ll see that the city hasn’t lost any of its local character, heritage, or charm.

    Your included activity in Bergen is an excursion to Mount Fløyen. We’ll hop on Hurtigruten buses from where the ship docks and drive to the Fløibanen funicular (cable car). The ride to the mountaintop takes just six minutes. The summit is over 1,000 feet up, and you can bask in stunning views of city and its surroundings: seven mountains and the sea. If we have time, we might also venture into the alpine forest here for a short hike.

    Once back in the center of Bergen, don’t miss the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with colorful wooden houses along the wharf. This area dates back to the 14th century and now houses boutique stores selling Norwegian arts and crafts. Across from Bryggen is Bergen’s famous fish market, where you can savor a host of sights, sounds, and scents.

    Day 13
    Bergen, Norway

    The City of Seven Mountains

  • Day 14
    At sea

    Headed home

    The end of the expedition is on the horizon. By this stage of your journey, you’ll likely regard your fellow explorers as friends, after finding so much in common in your interests and passion for nature. Chat with your shipmates over a snack at the bistro-style Fredheim restaurant and share your favorite stories from the expedition so far. Enjoy drinks at the Explorer Bar over friendly banter and share stories of past adventures. You might even spot a few members of the crew and Expedition Team here too.

    If you’d rather spend this last day at sea in quiet contemplation, just check out your camera roll—you’ll hopefully have multiple images of the Northern Lights to sift through. Or head to the gym to clear your mind and take stock of everything you’ve seen and experienced, then relax one last time in the soothing sauna.

    Day 14
    At sea

    Headed home

  • Day 15
    Dover

    Back to Dover

    Estimated time of arrival is 9:00 AM

    We pass the White Cliffs of Dover in the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbor. After a final breakfast, the time has come to bid a fond farewell to the ship, the captain, the crew, the Expedition Team, and your new-found friends.

    As you head ashore, you’ll take with you special memories of Norway in winter: wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and cities, friendly people, and the magical Northern Lights.

    We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon!

    Day 15
    Dover

    Back to Dover

Departures

2022

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
October:
6.
20.
November:
3.
December:
8.

2023

January:
5.
February:
4.
18.
September:
30.
October:
14.
28.
November:
11.
25.
December:
9.

2024

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
January:
6.
20.
February:
3.
17.
March:
2.
16.
30.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

  • Save up to 10% + $1,000 Air Credit

    Book an expedition cruise aboard the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship or any of our other ships to destinations, and you’ll save up to 20% as well as receive up to a $1,000 air credit per person!
    See Special Offer
  • Kids Save up to 50%

    Young Explorers Save up to 50% off
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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim 
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Trekking poles, head lamps and walking poles available if necessary 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings 

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected 
MS Maud
Interior in restaurant Lindstrøm
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your Ship

MS Maud

Year built 2003
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 500
Gross tonnage 16,151 T
Length 445 ft
Beam 70.5 ft
Speed 15 knots

Formerly the MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Maud

Science center - MS Maud
Photo: Oscar Farrera
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