Norway | Lofoten, North Cape and Beyond

Svolvær - Kirkenes

Svolvær - Kirkenes

Norway | Lofoten, North Cape and Beyond

Svolvær - Kirkenes

Svolvær - Kirkenes

Travel information 4 days
Departures Regular departures, all year
  • Admire the rugged Arctic landscapes of Northern Norway
  • Chances of experiencing the Northern Lights in winter or the Midnight Sun in summer
  • Explore the beautiful city of Tromsø, known as the capital of the Arctic
Svolvær - Kirkenes

Itinerary

From Lofoten, your ship sails through the night to bring you to the city of Tromsø by afternoon the next day. Experience this ‘Paris of the North’ whether wandering around or on optional excursions. The next day offers a trip to the North Cape before we make our way to Kirkenes, near the Russian border.

DAY 1 : Svolvær

At the heart of Lofoten

A body of water with a mountain in the background
Lofoten offers some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.

Welcome to Norway and what is arguably its most scenic archipelago. You’ll board your ship in the late evening, giving you plenty of time to explore Svolvær if you arrive here earlier in the day.

This enchanting town is nestled in a picturesque location between the mountains and the sea, overlooked by Svolværgeita, or Svolvær Goat Mountain, with its two characteristic ‘horns’.

No wonder then that Svolvær is a place of inspiration for artists and photographers who feature their work in art galleries and the North Norwegian Art Centre.

Natural Phenomenon

From late May through mid-July, the Arctic sun stays above the horizon, a phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun. This 24-hour daylight means outdoor activities, such as kayaking and hiking, can be done whatever time of day or night.

In contrast, come winter, Lofoten’s position above the Arctic Circle and directly beneath the auroral zone make it ideal for viewing the spectacular Northern Lights.

A body of water with a mountain in the background
Lofoten offers some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.
Aurora, mountain and sea in spectacular Arctic Norway
Aurora, mountain and sea in spectacular Arctic Norway
Photo: Ole C Salomonsen
Get close to nature in Tromsø
Get close to nature in Tromsø
Photo: North Experience
Try a snowshoeing excursion
Try a snowshoeing excursion
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon

DAY 2 : Stokmarknes - Skjervøy

Capital of the Arctic

Get close to nature in Tromsø
Get close to nature in Tromsø
Photo: North Experience

We dock in Harstad just after 7 a.m. Feel free to have a peaceful early morning stroll around town.

The ship will then continue to Finnsnes, which connects the beautiful island of Senja via the impressive Gisund Bridge.

Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of seabirds, including puffins, as there are several colonies nearby. You may also spot whales in the waters here, especially during the winter season.

Gateway to the Arctic

Then we’ll sail to the historic Arctic exploration capital of Tromsø, where you’ll have four hours to explore the city or join an optional excursion.

You’ll find Polaria (the world’s northernmost aquarium) and the nice waterfront. Pop in to one of the many shops and restaurants in the city center, including Mack Brewery and the Ølhallen pub, a favorite local watering hole. There are also trendy cafés offering delicious cinnamon buns and where baristas create innovative coffee-foam art. Across the fjord from where the ship docks, check out the iconic Arctic Cathedral, with its beautiful stained-glass mosaic.

Leaving Tromsø in the early evening, we’ll head north for the trading post of Skjervøy, founded in 1622. On our way, we’ll pass the Lyngen Alps, which rise majestically from the sea.

Optional Excursions
  • Tromsø, the Arctic Capital
    Tour the city’s top sites, from the Arctic Cathedral to the world’s northernmost aquarium, including taking a cable car to mountaintop views over Tromsø.
  • Dog Sledding (Tromsø)
    Join us on a mini polar expedition across the snowy Arctic landscape just a half-hour drive from Tromsø, on the island of Kvaløya.
  • Scenery & Huskies
    Get close to huskies and their puppies during this visit to the Tromsø Wilderness Center. Go on a guided nature walk and learn about the sport of dog-sled racing.
  • Polar History Walk
    Take a guided walk through the city of Tromsø and learn about the Arctic capital’s fascinating history. Visit the Polar Museum and taste local beer at Tromsø’s oldest pub.
  • Cross-Country Skiing
    With fluffy, soft snow each winter, it’s no surprise that skiing is a popular pastime in Norway. Enjoy an introductory skiing lesson before going for a gentle cross-country skiing trip.
  • Snowshoeing in Tromsø
    Make your way across the snow on a pair of snowshoes and explore Tromsøya Island in a unique way. End the visit with a toboggan ride and a relaxing break by a bonfire.
  • Electric-boat Cruising in Tromsø
    Cruise Tromsø’s coast in a silent electric boat. Explore the waters depths with an underwater drone and sample Arctic foods as you listen to local guides.

DAY 3 : Øksfjord - Berlevåg

Norway’s Northern Frontier

The ship reaches the town of Hammerfest on the island of Kvaløya early in the morning. In the summer, herds of reindeer migrate to the island by the thousands.

You’ll know we’ve reached Havøysund when you see the wind turbines of the landmark Havøygavlen wind farm, which produces enough electricity to power 6,000 local homes.

At the top of Europe

In the mid-morning, we’ll arrive at Honningsvåg, the portal to the North Cape, where a globe monument marks the top of continental Europe. The optional excursion up to the dramatic promontory is very popular, so you’ll want to book early.

Sámi heartlands

Near the entrance of the Kjøllefjord village, look out for the striking, building-like rock formation Finnkirka, an ancient sacrificial site once used by the indigenous Sámi. You can join an optional excursion to meet local Sámi, learn about their reindeer-herding life, and listen to joik folk songs.

Continuing north

We’ll reach our northernmost port of call, Mehamn, in the evening. If you’re visiting during the months of February and March, you might spot cod drying on outdoor wooden racks, called hjell, mainly destined for export.

The ship then sets off for Berlevåg. On the way, we’ll pass the tall Slettnes Lighthouse, the planet’s northernmost mainland lighthouse.

TIME IN PORT:

  • Øksfjord: 01:50 a.m. - 02:00 a.m.
  • Hammerfest: 05:05 a.m. - 05:45 a.m.
  • Havøysund: 08:30 a.m. - 08:45 a.m.
  • Honningsvåg: 10:55 a.m. - 02:30 p.m.
  • Kjøllefjord: 04:40 p.m. – 05:00 p.m.
  • Mehamn: 06:55 p.m. - 07:15 p.m.
  • Berlevåg: 10:00 p.m. - 10:10 p.m.
Optional Excursions
  • The North Cape
    Cross the 71st parallel and visit North Cape, the northernmost point on the European continent, marked by the photogenic globe monument.
  • Birdwatching Safari
    Join us on this excursion to the Gjesværstappan Islands to see one of Norway’s largest and most impressive bird cliffs.
  • Sámi Culture
    Meet an Indigenous Sámi family in their traditional lavvo tent to learn about their way of life and remarkable culture.
  • Snowmobile Trip in the Arctic
    Drive your own snowmobile through a beautiful winter landscape from one port to the next, hopefully under the Northern Lights.
  • Sámi Autumn
    Hear tales about the Sámi Shaman, discover Sámi culinary traditions, and learn about the restorative powers of local medicinal herbs.
  • The North Cape Exclusive
    This private tour of the North Cape with your own guide is an exclusive experience reserved for our Platinum Fare guests.
  • Fishing Village Visit
    Visit two colorful fishing villages and discover Christmas at the very top of Norway, whatever the time of year.
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
Photo: Filip Hoel
A close up of a dog
On our dog-sled adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic landscape.

DAY 4 : Båtsfjord – Kirkenes

Where Norway Meets Russia

A close up of a dog
On our dog-sled adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic landscape.

We call at Båtsfjord and Vardø in the night, before docking at Vadsø early in the morning.

Looking to the skies

The area around Vadsø is one of the most scenic and popular birdwatching spots in the Arctic, lying directly under the migration path of birds flying from east to west. Watch for hooded crows and sea eagles.

Next door neighbours

Kirkenes is just a few miles from the Russian border and has many influences from Norway’s neighbour; from road signs in both Norwegian and Russian, a monthly Russian market, or the WWII Russian Monument.

This is where your Norwegian coastal cruise ends and you’ll have travelled further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul.

As we arrive in Kirkenes around 9am, you might have some time to explore this fascinating town by yourself, ahead of your onward journey. Go to the border crossing at Storskog, call in at the Varanger Museum, or why not book our Post-Programme at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, staying either in a cosy Snow Suite or a wooden Gamme Cabin.

The day-by-day programme will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage in Norway, 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 voyage with The Hurtigruten Coastal Express is unique.

What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

  • Cruise with Hurtigruten in an unspecified cabin
    Your cabin will be allocated when you check in

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • Flights & transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Luggage handling

Notes

  • Prices are per person based on two people travelling together sharing a twin cabin
  • Not all cabin categories are available for all departures
  • Single cabin pricing available on request
  • Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability.