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Hjorundfjorden - norway

Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover – 11 days

Sailing north from Dover

Your first stop in Norway will be Bergen, where the Fløibanen funicular will take you to a viewpoint 320 metres above water level for wonderful view of the city. Don’t miss the UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its colourful wooden wharfs.

We then continue on to Sognefjorden, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Here you will visit the tiny hamlet of Fjærland, not far from the largest glacier on the European continent, Jostedalsbreen. Next is breathtaking Hjørundfjorden, surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps with peaks soaring 1,700 metres straight up from the sea.

Dover - England - white cliffs
Svolvaer - Lofoten

Polar nights and Northern Lights

The hours of daylight shorten once we cross the Arctic Circle, replaced by dim blue twilight that makes the snowy scenery of the coast even more magical. Explore the Lofoten archipelago and the town of Svolvær, with the impressive jagged peaks of granite mountains as a dramatic backdrop. Next up, visit the war museum in Narvik to understand the central role this town had during World War II.

After discovering the beauty of Vesterålen, your expedition cruise ends in Tromsø, known as “Paris of the North” for its cosmopolitan vibes and as the “Gateway to the Arctic” for its long history of polar exploration.


Day 1: Day 1 - Dover

All aboard at Dover! MS Maud will set sail due north from Dover, bound for summer adventure along miles and miles of stunning Norwegian coastline. We’ll pass through the Dover Strait, with the white cliffs of Dover receding into the distance, and head out to the North Sea. Stretch your newly-found sea legs out on deck and get to know the different areas of the ship, your new home away from home for the next 11 days.

Day 2: Day 2 - At Sea

looking out to sea

Enjoy a day at sea as we head north to the rugged Norwegian coastline. You’ll have plenty of time to de-stress, relax and really get into the mood for this expedition cruise. Admire the waves from MS Maud’s expansive Observation Deck, settle into a good book together with a freshly baked pastry from the Fredheim restaurant, or take full advantage of the gym and hot tubs.

Day 3: Day 3 - Bergen

In the morning, you will get your first glimpse of the Norwegian coast as small islands and mountains appear on the horizon. We’ll leave the North Sea and enter scenic straits and fjords on our way to the Hanseatic city of Bergen. Depending on the weather when crossing the North Sea, we aim to arrive in Bergen in the afternoon. As our first port of call in Norway, and one of the country’s most picturesque cities, Bergen will not disappoint.

Day 4: Day 4 - Fjaerland

In the morning we sail into Sognefjorden, nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’, as it is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Stretching 205 kilometres inland from the coast, we plan to cruise deep into the fjord to the tiny hamlet of Fjærland. Only 300 people live here, and you get to go ashore to discover this idyllic village with many charming old buildings. Fjærland is a designated Norwegian Book Town, and picturesque second-hand book shops and stands can be found all over the small village.

Day 5: Day 5 - Hjorundfjord

Hjorundfjord - Norway

Like famous Geirangerfjord next door, Hjørundfjord is part of the UNESCO designated Fjords Norway area which is notable for “exceptional natural beauty”. Surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps with peaks soaring 1,700 metres straight up from the sea, it is one of the most scenic fjords in all of Norway and still undiscovered by most other cruise lines.

Day 6: Day 6 - Trondelag

Trondelag - Norway

Today, we will explore rarely seen areas of the rugged and raw coast of Trøndelag on our way north towards Lofoten. This region of Norway lies at the heart of the Norwegian coast, both geographically and culturally. The beautiful city of Trondheim used to be the country’s capital and King Olav, later beatified as Saint Olav, is buried in the city’s Notre-Dame-inspired Nidaros Cathedral. King Olav fell during a battle at Stiklestad, also found along Trøndelag’s coast. His martyrdom there subsequently paved the way for the conversion of Norway from paganism to Christianity.

Day 7: Day 7 - Svolvaer

Svolvaer - Lofoten

There are just a few places on Earth where you can sail north of the Arctic Circle in wintertime. The Norwegian coast is one of them. The ship will officially cross over the Arctic Circle sometime in the morning. To mark the occasion in the tradition of Norwegian sailors, we will be inviting you out on deck for a special ceremony. Exactly what happens is something you will just have to find out on your cruise! The Lofoten Islands are one of the most spectacular locations in all of Norway and maybe even the world. As we approach the archipelago, the sight of the massive wall of mountains and dramatic peaks rising up out of the sea is something you’ll never forget.

Day 8: Day 8 - 9 - Narvik

Norway - Narvik

We arrive at Narvik in the morning, and we will stay in port until tomorrow afternoon, giving you time to really explore. The town has a spectacular setting on a peninsula surrounded by three fjords: The Ofotfjord, Rombaken, and Beisfjord. The multiple mountains also help to shelter its popular ski slopes from strong coastal winds. And while Narvik is one of the most northerly towns in the world, some 220 kilometres within the Arctic Circle, it enjoys a milder climate than expected thanks to the North Atlantic Current.

Day 9: Day 10 - Risoyhamn/Sortland

We arrive in Vesterålen early in the morning. It spans an area from Andøya in the north to Sortland in the south. Few have heard of Vesterålen and even fewer has ever explored its beauty. Our plan is to let you spend the entire day doing so. Vesterålen is known as a hiker’s paradise, offering both easy hikes for great view and more challenging hikes. We also plan to put our kayaks in the water while we are in port, giving you the possibility to join an optional kayak activity. Whales are often spotted in this area in the winter, so you might even get to see them from your kayak.

Depending on the weather for the day, we will dock in Sortland, Risøyhamn or Harstad. Sortland is the administrative centre of the area, and with a population of about 10,000 people, it’s the largest town in Vesterålen. It’s nicknamed ‘the blue city in the straight’, due to the many blue houses in the city centre.

Day 10: Day 11 - Tromso

Bergen - Norway - houses

Your expedition cruise along the coast of Norway has come to an end as we arrive in Tromsø in the morning. After saying goodbye to the ship and its crew, you can leave for home or continue your adventure by exploring more of what Tromsø has to offer.

There are numerous winter activities you might want to check out if you have the time, like dogsledding and Northern Lights or whale safaris.

Contact us at Suitcase Travel to arrange flight home and/or extended stay in Tromso (Fully ATOL protected).


What’s included

Included in your voyage:

  • Return economy flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
  • Transfer hotel to airport in Buenos Aires
  • Transfer from the airport to the ship in Ushuaia including an orientation tour
  • One hotel night in Buenos Aires before the voyage including breakfast
  • Hurtigruten Expedition cruise in cabin grade of your choice
  • A rich programme of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you will visit, including ice-cruising and onshore exploration with the Expedition Team
  • Professional hand-picked English-speaking Expedition Team experienced in the region we sail in
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant jacket
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and equipment needed for optional and included activities
  • All meals including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all restaurants)
  • A la carte restaurant (for suite guests only)
  • Coffee and tea throughout the day
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests (be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported)

Engaging onboard activities and education:

  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture providing context to your voyage and helping you to understand the destinations you will experience
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities – learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  • Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips and tricks, photo and film footage from the voyage shared in an Expedition logbook
  • Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gathers to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers
  • Destination-focused onboard library
  • Port presentations providing destination insight
  • A farewell event

What’s not included in your voyage:

  • Optional shore excursions with local partners
  • Optional small group adventures with our Expedition Team such as kayaking, camping, glacier walks, long hikes
  • Optional small-group Explorer photo programme with our Expedition Photographer
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling

Please Note:

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • It is essential to complete a medical questionnaire

Life On Board

The Hurtigruten line was originally launched to transport people and goods along the coast of Norway. It was particularly prevalent in winter when infrastructure was still in its infancy and land travel was generally more difficult. Even though there are now alternative means of transport, the Hurtigruten line still runs, calling at 34 ports along the Norwegian coastline.

They are though, not traditional cruise ships and life on board a Hurtigruten ship is vastly different to what you might expect onboard a traditional cruise liner and offers less in terms of entertainment. However, as a majority of their ships are much smaller than traditional cruise ships (150 – 500 passengers as opposed to 1000s) it means that they can enter the fjords in both winter and summer. And because they stop at so many ports, you will get to see more of the Norwegian coastline as opposed to just the ‘highlights’.

They also don’t fall short when it comes to comfort and amenities. The cabins are all elegantly furnished with a choice of cabin to suit all budgets. One of the most popular ships, the MS Polarlys, was refurbished in 2016. Featuring a modern, Arctic-inspired interior, there are three restaurants offering a range of different cuisine, a Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. On deck you can while the time away and take in the view from one of the two hot tubs, or if you prefer, enjoy a drink at the bar at the front of the ship.

But Hurtigruten really does come into its own with its on-board Expedition team. Passionate and experienced about all things ‘Norwegian’, the team host lectures, presentation programmes and activities on a regular basis.

Features at a glance:

  • Expedition Team
  • Three restaurants
  • Multe bakery and ice cream bar
  • Explorer bar lounge
  • Wi-Fi
  • Sauna
  • Hot tubs
  • Fitness room
  • Conference room
  • Lift
  • Car deck

Can’t see what you are looking for? Don’t worry, in all probability we can still do it.
Call us on 01582 349480.

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About Suitcase Travel

A family run boutique travel agency, we specialise in creating memorable travel experiences. Offering unique adventures, tailored to your specific requirements, we focus solely on you, helping you to understand the experience that your holiday will give you and equipping you with those all-important tips that will help to make your holiday that extra bit special. Oh, and the best part? Our service is free – it literally costs you no more than if you were to book direct. Come and talk to us and we’ll help you to create memories that really will last a lifetime.

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