Norway | Polar History, North Cape and Arctic Wilderness

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Norway | Polar History, North Cape and Arctic Wilderness

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Tromsø to Kirkenes

Travel information 3 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 charming fishing villages like Honningsvåg
Tromsø to Kirkenes

Itinerary

Boarding your ship in Tromsø already puts you in the Arctic, with the possibility of the Northern Lights appearing from October to March or the Midnight Sun present from June to August. Visit Europe’s northernmost point at North Cape or learn more about the indigenous Sámi culture through a selection of optional excursions.

DAY 1 : Tromsø - Skjervøy

Gateway to the Arctic

A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Arriving in Tromsø at night.

Welcome to the historic Arctic capital of Tromsø. If you’ve arrived in the morning or afternoon, you’ll have time to explore the city before your ship departs in the early evening.

You’ll find Polaria, the world’s northernmost aquarium, on the waterfront. Take your pick from the many shops and restaurants in the city centre, including Mack Brewery and favourite local watering hole Ølhallen pub. There are also trendy cafés plying delicious cinnamon buns and where baristas create innovative coffee art.

Across the fjord from where the ship docks, you should be able to see the iconic Arctic Cathedral with its beautiful stained-glass mosaic. You can also take Fjellheisen Tromsø , a cable car ride up 450m above sea level to a viewpoint on Mount Storsteinen for breathtaking scenery.

Leaving Tromsø, we 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.

A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Arriving in Tromsø at night.
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
Photo: Filip Hoel
Experience life in coastal towns like Hammerfest
Experience life in coastal towns like Hammerfest
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen

DAY 2 : Øksfjord - Berlevåg

Norway’s Northern Frontier

The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
The vista towards the North Pole from North Cape
Photo: Filip Hoel

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.

DAY 3 : Båtsfjord – Kirkenes

Where Norway Meets Russia

The traditional fishing boads at dock in Kirkenes. In the back you can see Hurtigrutens ship sailing past the harbor. Snow covered peaks in the background.
Photo: Jaap Griep / Hurtigruten

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 traditional fishing boads at dock in Kirkenes. In the back you can see Hurtigrutens ship sailing past the harbor. Snow covered peaks in the background.
Photo: Jaap Griep / Hurtigruten
Explore the small Norwegian city of Kirkenes - further east than Istanbul.
Explore the small Norwegian city of Kirkenes - further east than Istanbul.
Photo: Toma Babovic
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.