Cultural Sailings: Northbound

Bergen - Kirkenes

Welcome to ten special sailings along the breathtaking coast that focuses on the music, culture, art and history of Norway. With many on board activities and events included, and many special excursions - you will obtain in-depth knowledge and authentic experiences of the Norwegian culture that no one else can offer.

  • Learn about Norwegian art, music and history as you journey through the landscape that shaped it
  • Take part in 6 unique cultural events on board, all included in your voyage
  • Discover Norway's entire coastal route with 34 ports, more than 100 fjords and 1000 mountains
  • Join additional cultural excursions on land, some in spectacular and unorthodox venues

Overview

We offer five cultural sailings in spring and five in autumn. Experience Norwegian culture at its best, either when the coastline awakens after a long winter or during the autumn gold. Sailing along the coast, there are several exciting cultural activities to participate in, both on board the ships and ashore.

Some of our concerts will be set in unusual surroundings and the on-board activities will trigger all of your senses, being a mix of lectures, concerts and tastings of scrumptious specialties sourced along the areas we visit.

Music to your ears

No Norwegian cultural voyage would be complete without concerts celebrating the mesmerizing music of Norway’s famous classical composer Edvard Grieg. Enjoy a series of live concerts of Grieg and other musical artists both onboard and ashore in unique venues such as a cave, a mine, and even an old industrial fish-oil tank!

Insider insights

We’ve been exploring Norway’s coast and culture for 123 years, so the insights we bring our guests in the form of lectures and on-deck presentations are truly priceless. It’ll be our pleasure to introduce you to Norway’s traditions, history, industry, folklore, native Sámi, and many other gems of precious knowledge.

Norway’s Coastal Kitchen

The delectable dishes we serve on board our ships are traditional, fresh, and homely. We take great pride in sourcing our ingredients straight from the surrounding sea and landscape. Flavours are skilfully preserved, enhanced, and presented by our talented team of chefs, be it the buffet or the refined à la carte dining option.

Easy on the eyes


Your eyes will be in for a true treat with the breathtaking panoramas of Norway’s famous fjords and mountains. These magnificent views are captured in paintings on display in local art galleries which can be visited as part of the cultural voyage. Each ship also has its own collection of art on board, to further inspire your inner explorer.

Price includes: 

  • Voyage in cabin category of your choice on a full-board basis
  • English-speaking Tour Leader on board
  • Tour Manager and lectures
  • Select onboard activities including a lecture series, concerts, and food tastings

Not included: 

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

Please note:

  • All prices shown are in EURO per person, based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin cabin
  • Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date, the applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking.
  • Single cabin pricing available on request
  • Some J, AJ, and L cabin categories have a limited view

Included cultural events 

Northbound

  • Presentation: Norwegian Culture
  • Presentation: Norwegian myths & Legends
  • Guided Tour: "Art on board“
  • Presentation: Norwegian traditions
  • Points of interest out on deck bundled with coastal kitchen tasting
  • Concert on board when crossing Vestfjorden

Same voyage with different duration:

Itinerary

The itinerary

Learn more about what you will experience on the Cultural Sailings. The day-by-day program will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage, but bear in mind that this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience. After all, this is a sailing where the elements rule and weather conditions might vary, which is why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

April, October & November 2017

Departs From Bergen, Norway
Day 1
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Photo: Mark and Anna Wilson Photo

The journey begins


Location: Bergen

Our expedition start in Bergen, a city surrounded by its famed seven mountains. Before departure you may wish to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. After embarkation we invite you to enjoy our tasty dinner buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once sailed to the Shetland Islands and beyond – we are heading to the high north. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you take in the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in our panorama lounges.

Cultural event

Optional: Piano concert in Bergen - Grieg at Trollhaugen before departure

Day 2
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Photo: Tim Couttreel / Guest Photo Photo

A day for masterpieces


Location: Florø–Molde

If you wake up early the next day you have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we experience a rare venture into open sea. Then the ship navigates through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund. In the summer months we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord passing sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route. In autumn we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. In addition to the excursion “A taste of Norway”, we offer two new mountain hikes here. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape give this fjord its special character. In winter you can enjoy a colourful and enlightening presentation about the Aurora Borealis on board.

Cutural events

  • Included: Presentation on board: Norwegian culture.
  • Cultural package (optional); An organ recital in the local church of Ålesund.
Day 3
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Photo: Maggie Strutt / Guest Photo Photo

In the footsteps of the Vikings


Location: Kristiansund–Rørvik

Today you wake up in beautiful Trondheim. The architecture and surroundings in Trondheim create a beautiful and almost mythical setting for any outing, whether you prefer a guided tour of the Nidaros Cathedral, kayaking on the river Nid and into the city’s smaller channels, or a casual walk or by bicycle through the Bakkland district. In autumn you can join the trip out to Munkholmen. Originally this was an ancient place of execution, before becoming a Benedictine monastery around the year 1000. In 1658 it was made into a fortress and prison, and later a customs station. In the afternoon the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. In autumn you can learn more about navigation and lighthouses along the Norwegian coast during the Captain’s talk. After passing through the narrow Stoksund, the ship arrives at charming Rørvik. 

Cultural events

Included: Presentation on board: Norwegian legends and myths.

Day 4
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Photo: Kochneva Tetyana Photo

Crossing the Arctic Circle


Location: Brønnøysund-Svolvær

The Arctic Circle marks the border to the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight - often referred to as the ‘Midnight Sun’. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude provides the best chances of experiencing the Northern Lights. We continue sailing along the beautiful coast of Helgeland up to Bodø. In spring there will be a presentation on board where your can learn more about the millions of migrating birds returning to the Arctic Coast during the nesting period. Later this afternoon the sight of the 1,000m high Lofoten Wall will appear on the horizon. The charms of the Lofoten Islands are revealed in all the small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere. In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when the hunt for the Arctic light begins. We celebrate this with a presentation of ‘The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis’, where you can experience this phenomenon via pictures, words and music. After sailing through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to the enthralling Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You will also hear the story of ‘The battle of Trollfjord’, which took place here in the winter of 1890.

Cultural events

Included:

  • Guided art tour on board the ship.
  • Onboard concert when crossing Vestfjorden.
  • Hear more about points of interest on deck, and enjoy a taste of the specialties from the area.

Cultural package (optional)

  • Concert at “Stormen” in Bodø, the cultural centre in Bodø.
Day 5
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Photo: David Gonzalez Photo

Into the wild


Location: Stokmarknes-Skjervøy

In summer, early birds can go ashore in Risøyhamn for our whale-watching excursion. The ship continues to Tromsø for a prolonged stay. In winter and spring you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. If you want to experience the peace and tranquillity of the sea in summer, why not join us on a kayaking excursion, or participate on a mountain hike on one of the mountains close to the city. The air up here is fresh and clear, and we get a beautiful view of the city and the impressive mountain chains around it.

After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter the Captain invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship is now sailing into the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March, and we gather on deck to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.

Day 6
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Photo: Kateryna Moskalenko Photo

The Northern Lights and the North Cape


Location: Øksfjord-Berlevåg

Enjoy the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the continent. In summer, you might see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund we arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. Close to the North Cape you find one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. Join the bird-watching safari during spring and summer to experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins, together with large numbers of kittiwakes.  

The Hurtigruten ship continues north, sailing in the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka, and as we approach our next stop, the fishing village Kjøllefjord. Ever so often local fishermen visit us during winter and spring to share their catch of the day (King Crab and Cod) with us out on deck. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people, as well as exploring the wonderful scenery all year round on our different excursions. In winter you can join us on an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. 

Cultural events 

  • Included: Presentation onboard - Sami Culture
Day 7
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Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen Photo

The extreme north


Location: Kirkenes

Early birds can see Vadsø and just after breakfast we arrive in Kirkenes, putting us at 30° East, further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The Russian border is close by, and you may find it intriguing that the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Depending on the season, there are several ways to make a visit to the Russian border.  During spring you may still be able to participate in our winter activities and excursions. You could explore the Arctic winter on a snowmobile, driving over a frozen fjord. On our dog sledge adventure the huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen landscape, taking you through the arctic wilderness. You can also visit the Snow Hotel and see the reindeer. Our Arctic bush craft excursion in autumn provides you with an insight into this season; how people have harvested, stored, hunted and fished for centuries.

As the ship starts its voyage south, you can first enjoy a wonderful lunch followed by views of arctic wilderness from deck or the panorama lounge. There will be a presentation on Pomor trade history in the winter season.The ports previously visited by night on the northbound journey are now seen by day. In the afternoon the ship docks in Vardø again, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean during winter season. On board there will also be a presentation of "Life in the sea" in spring, and in winter local Arctic divers will bring displays and give a lecture out on deck about life in the ocean. We continue along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.

Cultural events

Included:

  • Presentation on board: The witch process in Vardø.
  • Hear more about points of interest on deck, and enjoy a taste of the specialties from the area.

Cultural package (optional)

  • Morning concert in the “Andersgrotta” cave.

Location Kirkenes, Norway
Your ship Things to see and do

Northbound Excursions

Challenge your inner explorer and experience everything that Norway has to offer with our diverse range of optional excursions available on the northbound sailing between Bergen and Kirkenes.

Ports

Learn more about the charming ports and cities you will visit on this voyage.

Articles

Learn more about the experience of sailing the beautiful Norwegian coast

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 voyage in Norway.

Extend your holiday

Pre and post programmes

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

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Bergen and Kirkenes.