Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen

Astronomy Voyage

The Coastal Express with an expert astronomer

Price from

$3,162

Full board

Departure Dates

14 departures between Sep 2024 and Mar 2026

Duration

12 days

Ships

Experience the Northern Lights in Norway

Astronomy Voyage

Price from

$3,162

Voyage overview

Get unique insight and knowledge about the Arctic sky and the greatest light show on Earth, the Aurora Borealis, on this popular voyage along the mesmerizing Norwegian Coast. This limited voyage is accompanied by special lecturers - experts on astronomy and expeditions to see the Northern Lights.

  • Discover more about the magical Northern Lights, the Arctic sky and the solar system with our onboard lectures from renowned astronomers John Mason, Sadie Jones and Tom Kerss.

  • Enjoy an exclusive visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromsø with our astronomy experts.

  • Voyage along Norway's coast under the dancing skies of the Northern Lights, visiting 34 ports, more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains.

  • Northern Lights Promise – see the Northern Lights or we’ll give you a FREE 6 or 7-day cruise for the next Northern Lights Season – T&Cs apply.

Itinerary

The day-by-day program will give you some ideas about what you can see during your voyage, but bear in mind that this itinerary is just an indication. After all, this is a sailing where the elements rule and weather conditions might vary.

bryggen-i-bergen

Day 1

All Aboard!

Bergen – gateway to the fjords

All Aboard!

Bergen – gateway to the fjords

Your astronomy adventure begins in Bergen, the cultural gateway to the fjords and the second-largest city in Norway. If you’ve time before your ship departs, visit the UNESCO-listed wharfs of the colorful Bryggen district with its artisan shops and cobblestone streets. Just across the street is the famous Fish Market which serves delicious seafood or venture to the Fløibanen funicular which whisks you up Mount Fløyen for breath-taking views of the city. 

Make yourself at home onboard the ship and enjoy the relaxed ambience, taking the opportunity to meet your fellow guests and astronomers.

Ålesund, Norway during twilight hour

Day 2

A day of masterpieces

Ålesund

A day of masterpieces

Ålesund

Arrive at the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, renowned for its stunning and picturesque architecture. Take time to explore the city and its rich Norse history or visit Atlanterhavsparken, one of the largest saltwater aquariums in Northern Europe. You can also make your way up to small Mount Aksla for a panorama of the town and its picturesque position surrounded by islands.

In the afternoon, we reach the port of Molde and the amazing view of 222 mountain peaks across the fjord, called the ‘Molde Panorama’.

The old city bridge in Trondheim, Norway

Day 3

The Royal City of Trondheim

Trondheim – Norway’s capital of technology

The Royal City of Trondheim

Trondheim – Norway’s capital of technology

As we journey north, we reach the medieval city of Trondheim, a vibrant mix of historic civic architecture and a bustling student population. Nidaros Cathedral is considered one of the most sacred buildings in all of Norway and rightly nicknamed ‘Norway’s Notre Dame’. Whilst here, take the time to visit the Archbishop’s Palace to view Norway’s crown jewels.

Not far from Nidaros Cathedral is Gamle Bybro, a charming wooden bridge that sits over River Nid and marks the entrance to the old Hanseatic district of Bakklandet. This neighborhood features colorful wooden wharves that stand on stilts and host some of the city’s most trendy eateries, making Bakklandet a key destination for all foodies.

Northern Lights above the Lofoten islands, Norway

Day 4

Welcome to the Arctic!

Bodø

Welcome to the Arctic!

Bodø

In the early hours of the morning, the ship crosses the Arctic Circle and enters the Arctic. Join us out on deck to mark the moment with a traditional ceremony that will be sure to wake you up fully! Above the Arctic Circle, your chances of spotting the majestic Northern Lights increase.

As we call into the northern city of Bodø, gaze up at the snow-capped Børvass peaks before experiencing the fabulous street art this city has to offer. From here, we continue across the Vestfjord and towards the Lofoten archipelago which greets you with the stunning sight of the 3,280 foot-high Lofoten Wall.

Beautiful Northern Lights dancing on the sky above the city of Tromsø and the Arctic Cathedral, Norway.

Day 5

Expand your Northern Lights knowledge

Tromsø – gateway to the Arctic

Expand your Northern Lights knowledge

Tromsø – gateway to the Arctic

Welcome to the historic Arctic exploration capital of Tromsø, a hive of culture, history and Northern Lights knowledge.

Today you will visit the Science Museum of Northern Norway, learning more about the Northern Lights through a range of exhibits and installations. As part of this trip, you’ll stop at The Planetarium and its full-dome ceiling offering 360-degree views and high-quality digital projectors showing daily films about 'Experiencing the Aurora' and the constellations. Our expert astronomers will be joining you on the trip so make sure to ask them lots of questions!

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over the North Cape, Norway

Day 6

The Northern Lights and the North Cape

Honningsvåg – gateway to the North Cape

The Northern Lights and the North Cape

Honningsvåg – gateway to the North Cape

As we reach Honningsvåg, at the top of the European mainland, be sure to visit the globe monument at the North Cape. This is a popular excursion, so make sure you book early!

From Honningsvåg, look out for the striking rock formation called Finnkirka near the entrance to Kjøllefjord village. The building-like pillars were once an ancient sacrificial site for the indigenous nomadic Sámi people who still inhabit and herd reindeer in the region today. As we continue north towards Kirkenes, we sail past Slettnes Lighthouse, the northernmost lighthouse in continental Europe.

Kirkenes, city panorama

Day 7

To the top and back again

Kirkenes – right on the border

To the top and back again

Kirkenes – right on the border

By breakfast, we will have reached the top of Norway and the town of Kirkenes, situated just a mile from the border. It is at this point of our coastal voyage that we turn and return south. The ports we visited at night are now seen during the day for a full Norwegian coastal experience.

Orca breaches the water, Norway

Day 8

Due South

Hammerfest

Due South

Hammerfest

Once the northernmost town in the world, (before Longyearbyern, Svalbard) Hammerfest is a key destination for Astronomy lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Be sure to trek up Mount Salen, for views over the town and picturesque landscapes. You can also take a moment to see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column which commemorates the first-ever measurement of the globe.

As we sail, keep your eyes open for the Northern Lights, but you might also spot pods of Orcas and Humpback Whales migrating to these waters to feed on herring.

Lights of Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Day 9

Welcome to Lofoten

Svolvær – at the heart of Lofoten

Welcome to Lofoten

Svolvær – at the heart of Lofoten

Passing through the legendary Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelagos,  the ship negotiates an intricate network of inlets and isles through one of the most beautiful stretches of the Norwegian coast. From here, the coastal landscape changes from rolling hills to soaring mountains.

Along this stretch of coastline is where The Hurtigruten Coastal Express story began, in the coastal town of Stokmarknes in 1893.  Don’t miss the newly opened Hurtigrutemuseet in Stokmarknes, a museum dedicated to The Coastal Express housed in the full-sized and fully restored ship MS Finnmarken from 1952.

The Seven Sisters mountain range, Norway

Day 10

A date with the Seven Sisters

Brønnøysund – coastal charm right in the middle of Norway

A date with the Seven Sisters

Brønnøysund – coastal charm right in the middle of Norway

Leave behind the magic of the Arctic Circle and head towards the ports of Bodø and Ørnes. Marvel at the Seven Sisters mountain range where local legend has it seven beautiful troll princesses, fleeing from an unwanted suitor, got caught out as the sun rose, turning them into the seven beautiful mountains you see today.

The landscapes will continue to amaze you! Don’t miss views of the Torghatten Mountain, with its distinctive hole right through the center. There is a local legend as to why and how this mountain came to have such a hole. Make sure you ask your Coastal Experience Team about it!

kristiansund-norway-hgr-149541-photo_getty_images

Day 11

The old cities and the sea

Trondheim – Norway’s capital of technology

The old cities and the sea

Trondheim – Norway’s capital of technology

Early morning arrival in Trondheim will give you time to further explore the city and discover any sites you might have missed on the northbound section of the journey. Some insider advice: treat yourself to a barista-brewed coffee and Nordic patisserie in one of the many cafés in the Bakklandet district before walking up to Kristiansten Fort for great views over the city.

In the afternoon, we dock at Kristiansund, a quaint harbor town spread over three islands. Meander along the cobbled streets of the old town and be sure to sample the local delicacy of klippfisk, salted cod that’s dried on the surrounding cliffs.

A beautiful winter view on Bergen, Norway

Day 12

The final chapter of the fairytale

Bergen – gateway to the fjords

The final chapter of the fairytale

Bergen – gateway to the fjords

A few nautical miles are left between you and Bergen today as your Astronomy Voyage draws to a close. Before we say our goodbyes, we voyage across the mouth of Sognefjord, the longest and widest fjord in the whole of Norway.

As we arrive in Bergen, it’s time to say goodbye to the Captain, crew and astronomers who have accompanied you on this unique voyage along Norway’s spectacular coastline. However, if you aren’t ready to leave Norway just yet, there are plenty of extension options that will make your trip that extra bit more special.

Fireworks in the sky

About your trip

What's included

  • 12-day Coastal Express voyage in the cabin grade of your choice

  • Full-board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

  • English speaking tour leader on board

  • Tour Manager and lectures from a renowned astronomer

  • Exclusive excursion to the Planetarium in Tromsø

Your lecturers on board:

Tom Kerss

  • September 28, 2024 | January 23, 2025 | February 11, 2025 | February 22, 2025

Tom Kerss F.R.A.S. is an astronomer, astrophotographer, author and consultant. Having previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, he is the founder of Stargazing✦London, which delivers world-class online astronomy courses. Tom has authored numerous best-selling astronomy books for adults and children, including Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide to Auroras, which offers a complete introduction to nature's most magical sky-illuminating phenomenon. 

Dr John Mason, MBE

  • September 23, 2024 | October 27, 2024 | February 21, 2025

An Applied Physicist by profession, Dr John Mason is currently the Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1976, and is a full member of the International Astronomical Union. He has appeared many times with Sir Patrick Moore on BBC TV's 'The Sky at Night.'

Dr Sadie Jones

  • November 25, 2024 

Dr Sadie Jones is the Astronomy Public Engagement Leader at the University of Southampton. In January 2020, she assisted members of the Space Environment Physics group on an expedition to Svalbard, Norway to observe the aurora and collect research data. She also runs talks and school workshops on aurora research to promote ‘The Aurora Zoo’, a citizen science platform where the public analyze short videos of aurora displays.

Dr Darren Baskill

  • March 23, 2025

Dr Darren Baskill has over 25 years’ experience of organising and delivering public science events. He is a lecturer and outreach officer for the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex, and typically runs 100 outreach events each year for schools, colleges, and the public. He previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich science centre and planetarium in London, where he initiated the highly successful Astronomy Photographer of the Year public competition and exhibition, and he was a calibration scientist for the European XMM-Newton space telescope at the University of Leicester before that. Darren is also a director of Ensonglopedia, a musical theatre company based in Lewes.

What's Not Included

  • Return flights and transfers - you can book these with Hurtigruten during the online booking process

  • Optional excursions

  • Luggage handling

  • Travel insurance

Notes

  • All prices are shown per person based on two people travelling together sharing an inside twin cabin

  • Suites are available on request

  • Prices may change at any time before departure date, the applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking.

Know before you go

Optional Excursions

Explore your destination even further with our wide range of exciting excursions. The excursion program presented is an indication of some of the excursions that may be available during your voyage.