Expedition across the Arctic Sea

Bergen, Norway - Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Oslo, Norway

This expedition takes you from the fjords of Norway to the Arctic wilderness of Svalbard. Learn about the fascinating history of explorers and whalers, and experience the thriving wildlife and untouched scenery. Visit isolated islands, settlements and charming fishing villages, some of which are only reachable by sea.

  • Discover the Norwegian coast and the crown of Arctic Norway; Svalbard
  • Experience the North Cape and isolated Bjørnøya in the Arctic Ocean
  • Sail through the famous Lofoten Islands
  • Experience true Arctic wilderness with a chance to sight whales and polar bears

Overview

Enjoy the combination of discovering one of the most beautiful and varied coastlines in the world and of exploring the crown of the Arctic, Svalbard.

The rugged coast of Norway

Norway has an incredibly long coastline, stretching from 58° to 71°N. This rugged shoreline features a hugely diverse landscape, from lush fjords to steep mountains, islands, skerries and Arctic wilderness. Starting in historic Bergen, known as the gateway to the fjords, we sail deep into the Dalsfjord. This fjord lies at the heart of Western Norway with an excess of dramatic fjord scenery. In this area, you will experience lush hills, high mountains, powerful waterfalls and charming little villages.

North of the Arctic Circle and towards the top of the world

After visiting an abandoned fishing village and a legendary mountain, we cross the Arctic Circle and continue on to one of the most famous island groups of Norway. The beauty of the Lofoten islands is simply staggering, characterised by jagged mountains and peaks, deep fjords, sheltered inlets, white beaches and idyllic fishing villages.

A bit further north you can experience more pristine beauty at the Arctic paradise islands of Sommarøy. A day later you will find yourself at the northernmost point of the European mainland. For centuries the North Cape has been a great adventure destinations for travelers, who travelled great distances to take in the view and stand on the steep mountain cliff that rises 307 meters above the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic Ocean, isolated Bear Island and the Realm of the polar bears

As we cross the Arctic Ocean, we will try to go ashore on the very isolated Bjørnøya (Bear Island). This volcanic island is smack in the middle between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard. Despite its isolation, Bjørnøya is very lively, as an astronomical number of breeding birds spend their summer here. At last, we reach Svalbard, where the elements rule – a land of ice and snow that is the natural habitat of the mighty polar bear. Here you can explore some of the most scenic fjords, visit the settlement of Ny-Ålesund (which is the northernmost community on earth) and end the expedition in lively Longyearbyen.

Practical information:

Price includes: 

  • Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Transfer ship to airport in Longyearbyen
  • Economy flight Longyearbyen to Oslo
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Excursions and Gratuities

Related voyages

Itinerary

The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

19 May 2018

Departs From Bergen
Day 1
Bergen, shrimps
Photo: Altafoto.no Photo

The gateway to the fjords


Location: Bergen

Nestling between seven mountains, steeped in history and with a wide array of attractions, Bergen is famous for its unique charm and atmosphere. Make sure to spend a Day or two in this international city with small-town charm, before you start your northbound expedition. Stroll through the picturesque streets and enjoy the well-known sites like Håkon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, St. Mary’s Church, Bergen Harbour and the famous fish market. Bergen was founded in 1070, and we recommend a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed houses of “Bryggen” (the wharf).

Day 2
Sunnfjord, Norway
Photo: Martafr / Shutterstock Photo

Mountains and waterfalls


Location: Dalsfjord

The Sunnfjord area is known for its high mountains and beautiful waterfalls. We sail deep into the Dalsfjord, and far in, we encounter the scenic village of Bygstad. Come ashore to explore this little fjord community with its historic church, see the waterfalls and perhaps do some shopping or visit the local café.

Day 3
1200x600_shutterstock_219073939_Day-11.jpg
Photo: Sergey Goryachev Photo

The abandoned fishing village


Location: Grip

The archipelago Grip lies 14 km off the mainland coast. The abandoned fishing village Gripholmen was settled in the 1400s and was once Norway’s smallest municipality with a couple of hundred inhabitants. Today, Gripholmen is a beloved summer holiday retreat. A multitude of cellful houses and an old stave church welcome you to this unique place.

Day 4
Torghatten, Norway. Mountain with a hole
Photo: Tupungato / Shutterstock Photo

A famous landmark


Location: Coast of Helgeland

Enjoy a closer look at the “Torghatten” - the mountain with a massive eroded hole right through it, located on the coast of Helgeland. This beautiful and famous landmark has a fascinating geological history, not to mention being a source of local legend. Even better, it is relatively easy to walk through the hole, which rewards you with superb panoramic views of hundreds of small islands and majestic mountains. Come ashore, explore the island or make the hike up to the mountain to walk through the hole.

Day 5
Foggy, dark Træna in Norway
Photo: Eli Kleven Photo

Crossing the Arctic Circle


Location: Træna and Vikingen

Træna is one of the smallest districts in Norway with more than 1000 islets, rocks and skerries and less than 500 inhabitants, situated on the Polar Circle. Later you might have the chance to go ashore on the island Vikingen, where you will find the statue representing the actual border of the Arctic Circle and enjoy an “Arctic ceremony”.

Day 6
The Trollfjord just outside Lofoten, Norway
Photo: Bjørn Rasch Tellefsen Photo

The stunning beauty of Lofoten


Location: Lofoten islands

Henningsvær is a super charming fishing village with Mount Vågakallen as the highest point. The settlement is located off the coast of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago. Henningsvær is known for its traditional and well preserved fishing village architecture and stunning natural location. Later that Day we sail through the Raftsundet strait and then enter the magnificent Trollfjord. Surrounded by mountains that stretch up to 1,200 meters above sea level, this narrow fjord slices deeply and dramatically into these mountains. We navigate carefully far into the Trollfjord, where mountain walls rise directly out of the sea. Enjoy sailing into this pristine channel is at times so narrow it feels as though you can reach out and touch the side of the fjord.

Day 7
Sommarøy, Tromsø
Photo: Kristine Melsom Photo

An Arctic paradise


Location: Sommarøy

Sommarøy is an archipelago of small islands with white, sandy beaches and a lively fishing community. Sommarøy has a couple of small shops where you can buy handicrafts and groceries. Inside the local shop, you will find “Kaillkråa” (the gentlemen’s corner) where husbands are usually “parked” while the wives do their shopping. And, as this shopping might be a time consuming activity, the local men have private hooks on the wall for their coffee cups to pass the time. We offer a variety of excursions like hikes and kayaking, or you can take this opportunity to visit Tromsø. This lively small city is known as the Gateway to the Arctic. The colourful downtown area is rich in polar history, and it is beautifully situated, surrounded by the dramatic Lyngen Alps, blue fjords and hundreds of island.

Day 8
North Cape, Norway
Photo: Malvina Westermark Photo

The northernmost point of mainland Europe


Location: The North Cape

Over the past centuries, adventurers, royalty and expeditions have set the North Cape plateau as their goal. Standing at the far edge of mainland Europe, overlooking steep cliffs and watching the eternal horizon is a feeling that cannot be fully described. Join our optional excursion here – either by foot or bus. Alternatively, you could visit Skarsvåg, said to be the world’s northernmost fishing village or Gjesvær, an old fishing village with history that goes back to the Viking Age. As we continue sailing further north, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the cape from the sea.

Day 9
Bjørnøya, Svalbard
Photo: Stein Bjørge Photo

An isolated island with 9 people and millions of birds


Location: Bjørnøya

Bjørnøya (Bear Island) is the southernmost of the Svalbard group of islands, situated in the Arctic Ocean between the Norwegian mainland and Spitsbergen. This 178 square kilometres island has a fascinating history and geology and an abundant bird life. The nine people living here form a crew appointed and sent to the island by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The island has been named “the largest concentration of sea birds on the Northern Hemisphere”. Around the southern tip, the overhanging cliffs with stacks off shore represent an extremely important breeding habitat for seabirds. This is the northern limit for some auk species, for example. One of the reasons for this being such a avian hot-spot is that this is where cold water from the Arctic Ocean meets warm Gulf Stream currents, forming part of the global marine conveyor belt system. In the convergence of waters of different salinity and temperature, there are often optimal feeding grounds for sea birds. This is also the place to measure concentrations of pollutants in species high in the food chain.

Day 10
Puffins in Hornsund, Svalbard
Photo: Camille Seaman Photo

In the Arctic wilderness


Location: South Spitsbergen National Park, Hornsund

This relatively small fjord in South Spitsbergen National Park is a place that has a long tradition in Hurtigruten history. The old Hurtigruten steamer D/S Lyngen had scheduled stops here to serve trappers. This used to be a stronghold for the hardy folk that concentrated on Polar bear hunting, lasting up until 1973, when Polar bear hunting was prohibited in all Arctic countries. An exemption was granted to indigenous peoples that had a thousand year old tradition to refer to. The landscape of Hornsund is largely alpine with the majestic Hornsundtinden soaring highest of all. Another very special mountain is Bautaen or in English; the Obelisk, which, seen from the right angle looks like a giant Viking sword. Let your imagination roam while spending the Day in these extraordinary surroundings.

Day 11
Ny Aalesund, Svalbard, Spitsbergen
Photo: Ragnar Hartvig Photo

At 78º 55' N


Location: Ny-Ålesund/Longyearbyen

As we sail into the Kongsfjord, you will find one of only four permanent settlements on Svalbard: the old coal-mining town of Ny-Ålesund, one of the northernmost settlements in the world. Ny-Ålesund was the starting point for many expeditions to the North Pole. Names like Amundsen, Ellsworth and Nobile are strongly linked to this place. Even today you can see the mast that the airship ‘Norge’ was moored to before her departure on the first trans-polar flight. Some countries run their own national research stations here, and there is always plenty of research activity taking place during the summer months. We will also sail in the Isfjord, the most extensive fjord system on Svalbard, on our way to Longyearbyen.

Day 12
Oslo by night, Barcode
Photo: Morten Normann Almeland / Shutterstock Photo

Flying south


Location: Longyearbyen/Oslo

We arrive in Longyearbyen at night, and transport you to the airport for your night flight to Oslo. You arrive in Oslo early in the morning. You can either fly back home, or spend some time to explore the Norwegian capital before returning home.

30 May 2018

Location Longyearbyen/Oslo
Your ship

Our ship sailing this route

Set out on an expedition with MS Spitsbergen, our latest expedition ship - equipped and adapted for sailings in polar waters throughout Arctic regions.

Everything you need to know about a cruise with Hurtigruten

Learn more about what you can experience on board - and cruise with confidence on MS Spitsbergen.

Things to see and do

Articles

Learn more about the various seasons in Svalbard and the wonders of the High Arctic

Videos

Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a voyage to Svalbard.

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Getting you there

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