Cultural Sailings: Southbound

Kirkenes - Bergen

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 5 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 EUROs 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 

Southbound

  • Presentation: Witch process in Vardø
  • Presentation: Polar History Presentation on "fishery“ and the importance for Norway through history.
  • Points of interest out on deck bundled with coastal kitchen tasting
  • Concert on board between Trondheim and Bergen.

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 Kirkenes, Norway
Day 1
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Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen Photo

The Arctic adventure begins


Location: Kirkenes

Your adventure starts at the turning point of Hurtigruten. As the ship begins 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. In the afternoon the ship docks in Vardø, 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. 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.
  • Excursion to the Witch Monument in Vardø
Day 2
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Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen Photo

The extreme north


Location: Mehamn-Tromsø

In the middle of the night we dock at Mehamn, where it is possible to join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas in winter. In Honningsvåg you can enjoy an excursion and breakfast at the North Cape while discovering hidden parts of Finnmark. Before stopping in Hammerfest, you can enjoy an ‘Energy coffee’ and a short introduction to ‘Melkøya - The northernmost natural gas terminal’ on board. In autumn we invite you to taste dried reindeer meat on deck. In Hammerfest you can participate on a mountain hike or join a city guiding and see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise measurement of the globe. We continue south to Øksfjord. In winter our crew will teach you how to tie maritime knots on deck. After crossing open water, we will make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy before sailing through the beautiful Lyngenfjord in spring. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps, we may be visited by a local fisherman and enjoy a taste of local freshly caught prawns. We dock in Tromsø known as “the gateway to the Arctic” just in time to enjoy a Midnight Concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Alternatively a walk around town will give you the chance to enjoy a local brew in one of the many friendly pubs.

Cultural events 

Included:

  • Presentation on board: Norwegian traditions
  • Hear more about points of interest on deck, and enjoy a taste of the specialties from the area.
Day 3
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Photo: Nina Helland Photo

Welcome to Lofoten


Location: Tromsø-Stamsund

We arrive at Harstad this morning, where you have the opportunity to participate in one of the classics in Hurtigruten’s excursion programme: A taste of Vesterålen. The Risøyrenna channel is just 7m deep, and was made especially for Hurtigruten in the 1920s, providing an "inside route" between Harstad and Sortland. The sand banks are visible through the clear, green water.  Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants, and we make a short stop here to deliver passengers, groceries and mail. From this port you can also join in on a spectacular whale watching experience during wintertime.

Then we continue via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. Continuing south it looks like we are sailing straight into the mountain wall, but the captain finds an opening and sails through the narrow Raftsund. As a tribute to the fishing history in this region, our chef shows how to fillet the catch of the day on deck in winter. Now we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2km long and 100m wide, with majestic mountains surrounding it. If the weather and time permits it – the captain will take a detour in here. Join a sea eagle excursion to see the king of birds up close. Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several excursion options in summer, spring and winter. From Svolvær we continue on to Stamsund, where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten wall can be viewed. We leave the islands during the evening and set course for the mainland.

Cultural event 

Included

  • Hear more about points of interest on deck, and enjoy a taste of the specialties from the area.

Cultural package (optional)

  • Concert in an old fish-oil tank in Vesterålen.
Day 4
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A date with the Seven Sisters


Location: Bodø-Rørvik

Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’ today. We celebrate this with a taste of our Arctic traditions out on deck. Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven mountains are between 900 and 1,100 metres high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ have inspired ancient myths. We take 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 close to our call in Sandnessjøen and can be visited on an optional excursion during summer. In Brønnøysund we offer an excursion to the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre. 

Day 5
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Photo: Jan Menge / Guest Photo Photo

The old cities and the sea


Location: Trondheim-Ålesund

Today gives you another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. The city walk through Trondheim is a journey through its 1,000-year history. Back on board, the ship heads out of the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 170km long and up to 25km wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords it is deep, 577m at most. As we sail along the coast you’ll realise the importance of fish to Norwegian coastal communities. Kristiansund’s location has provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. This town is now regarded as Norway’s ‘cured cod capital’ because of its long time export of salted dry fish. Here you can join a trip to the Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most visited tourist destinations. As we cross the open sea to Molde, known as the ‘city of roses’, you will notice the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.

Cultural events 

  • Included: Presentation on board - The importance of fish through the Norwegian history
Day 6
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Photo: Dave Derbis / Guest Photo Photo

The final chapter of the fairytale


Location: Bergen

During the night, the ship will call at Ålesund, Torvik, Måløy as the world’s most beautiful voyage is drawing to a close. But before we dock in Bergen there are still a few nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead of us, such as the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedals glacier. We will make a call at Florø, a modern town which is the oldest in Sogn og Fjordane county and the westernmost in Norway. A few nautical miles south of Florø we navigate the estuary of the mighty Sognefjord. You also get the best views of the archipelago en route. And finally you disembark in Bergen.

Cultural events 

Included:

  • Concert on board: Grieg’s most famous musical works and romances.

Cultural package (optional)

  • Opera concert at Bergtatt – an old industrial mining cave in the mountains between Kristansund and Molde.

April, October & November 2017

Location Bergen, Norway
Your ship

Young Explorers Programme

From 1 April 2017, kids aged 7-13 can partake in our complimentary Young Explorers Programme. It is designed for children travelling with adults to magnificent destinations where the focus is on education, fun, and participation.

Things to see and do

Southbound Excursions

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.

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 Kirkenes and Bergen. 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 Kirkenes and Bergen.