Hurtigruten, formerly known as the Norwegian Coastal Voyage, was formed in 1893 and is still the best way to travel the Norwegian coast and see the real Norway. During the summer you can experience the Midnight Sun, and in the winter you have an opportunity to go in search of the magical Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. There are some great videos to watch at the bottom of this page. Click on the following link to read my review of the MS Richard With and watch my video of the Arctic Highlights.
Hurtigruten operates a fleet of ships which operate a regular daily departure from Bergen to Kirkenes and back, a route which is a vital link between the cities, towns and hamlets on the coast. The fleet consists of the following ships: – MS Finnmarken, MS Midnatsol, MS Trollfjord, MS Nordnorge, MS Nordkapp, MS Polarlys. MS Nordlys, MS Richard With, MS Kong Harald, MS Vesteralen and MS Lofoten. The first two new Hurtigruten state-of-the-art explorer ships will be launched in 2018 and 2019, and will be called MV Roald Amundsen and MV Fridtjof Nansen.
As well as carrying guests on holiday, they also carry local passengers, for perhaps just one or two stops, as well as freight. The Classic Voyages they offer can be taken as 11, 10, 6 and 5 night options, with the 11 night Classic Round Voyage being a very popular choice. There are over 30 ports of call, with some stops being just 15 minutes, for perhaps one or two locals getting on or off. By taking the Classic Round Voyage you will get to see all of the ports of call, as those that are called at during the night in one direction will be called at during the day in the other direction.
In addition to the Classic Voyages there are also special packages offered at times during the year, such as those in search of the Northern Lights, and these packages usually include flights, transfers and either half board or full board. The ships offer a range of cabin grades, with inside, outside & suites, including a small number of cabins adapted for disabled use.
Pre and post stays in Bergen or Kirkenes can often be added to trips, and a very popular one is to spend a night in the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes. The Snow Hotel is built from scratch each year, entirely from snow and ice, and is a fantastic experience. There are also a good choice of shore excursions which can be booked for your trip, and you can watch short videos of a selection of them by clicking on the following links – Dog Sledding, Bird Watching Safari, Rib Safari to Saltstraumen, Sea Eagle Safari and Snow Mobile Safari.
Hurtigruten also offer Expedition cruising on MS Fram, MS Midnatsol, MS Nordstjernen and MS Spitsbergen, to destinations including Antarctica, the Brazilian Rainforest and Greenland. Click on the following link to Explore New Worlds with Hurtigruten.
The following videos give you a feel for the experiences available on a Hurtigruten voyage.
(Page updated August 2016)