Perhaps it’s the allure of the picturesque fishing villages and serene landscapes that draws you in, or maybe it’s the centuries of Nordic heritage and Viking traditions that incite intrigue. Join Vantage aboard a working Hurtigruten cargo ship for 11 nights of sailing along the magical Scandinavian coast. Because this vessel acts as both a cruise ship for international travelers and a working ship used by locals as daily transportation between villages, you'll have opportunities to meet local residents and gain firsthand knowledge of daily life in this region. You’ll explore pristine scenery as you travel with locals, and savor farm-to-table and fish-to-dish cuisine prepared by Norwegian chefs.
You’ll discover Norway’s seafaring customs the way a land tour can’t and learn what life in Scandinavia is like from your Vantage Adventure Leader and your local Expedition Team. They’ll bring the region’s lore and philosophy to life with fascinating presentations and nature walks. In all, you’ll enjoy 18 included features and Cultural Discoveries, making this the ultimate opportunity to explore Norway.
By traveling with Vantage, you'll take advantage of our exclusive relationship with Norway’s small ship line, which grants you the best value and experience. Plus, triple and quad accommodations are available, which makes this the best opportunity for a group trip. And if you’re traveling alone, enjoy Reduced Single Supplements on every departure on this unforgettable Norway adventure!
Depart for Bergen, Norway
Your Nordic adventure begins with an overnight flight to Bergen. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Oslo! If you purchased your airfare or transfers from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your hotel transfer.
Arrive in Bergen
After arrival, transfer to your hotel in the heart of Bergen. Enjoy the remainder of your day in this historic port city at leisure. Later, join your fellow travelers at the hotel for a Welcome Drink and an informative briefing about the days ahead. A light buffet dinner will wrap up our first day in Scandinavia.
Discover Bergen’s heritage before embarking on your Hurtigruten cruise ship
Start your day with breakfast at your hotel and a morning at leisure to explore on your own. Your Adventure Leader can provide suggestions on how to best enjoy your free time in Bergen. You'll have time for lunch on your own before rejoining your fellow travelers at Bryggen Wharf, the city's historic waterfront area, where we'll set out to discover the colorful city of Bergen on a private motorcoach tour. Built after the Great Fire of 1702, these traditional wooden houses and unusual street patterns inspired UNESCO to declare the city a World Heritage Site.
We’ll then learn about Norway’s musical legacy with a visit to Troldhaugen, Edvard Grieg’s summer home. As one of the most influential Romantic composers of the 19th century, his work helped launch the country into international musical prominence. During a tour of Grieg’s home — now a fascinating museum — we’ll delve further into his cultural contributions.
After the museum, we'll embark on your Hurtigruten cruise ship and set sail. Because your ship is both a working and passenger vessel, your Nordic adventure will include a mix of Norwegian and international travelers as shipmates. Take the opportunity to connect with Scandinavians and learn about local life.
Cruise through Norway’s breathtaking natural splendor
Rise early to make the most of Nordfjord’s majestic nature this morning before breakfast. As we cruise past the West Cape on our way to Ålesund, we’ll experience a rare venture into the open sea. Depending on the departure date, we’ll either sail past the spectacular cliffs and falls of the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord or explore Hjørundfjord, settled amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps.
Depending on the season, we’ll enjoy an extended visit in the art nouveau town of Ålesund. Here, we’ll explore the cobblestoned streets and colorful architecture during a guided walking tour.
Depending on the season, your Adventure Leader will guide you on an orientation walk around the town of Molde, a previous trading port dating to the Middle Ages. Learn about King Arthur, an icon from the Middle Ages, during a fascinating onboard lecture. We’ll be further informed about Dollsteinhola, which is rumored to be the site of the Holy Grail.
Explore Trondheim’s rich medieval heritage
After an early arrival in Trondheim, we’ll spend the day exploring this small city on a bus tour. As one of Norway’s historic and religious cities, Trondheim has been considered the Nordic’s most important pilgrimage site since the 11th century. Witness St. Olav Ways, which comprise over 3,000 kilometers, all ending at St. Olav’s shrine (St. Olav was a Norwegian king and Catholic martyr).
On our city walk, we’ll follow the city’s old veitene, or narrow alleys, past its markets and historic warehouses. The stroll concludes with a tour inside the legendary Nidaros Cathedral.
In the afternoon, we’ll board our ship to cruise northwest. Perched among charming islets and rocky outcrops, we’ll glide past the Kjeungskjær lighthouse. An onboard lecture will cover Trondheimfjord’s geography and life during the Viking era.
Sail across the Arctic Circle
Today, we’ll cruise past the soaring Borvass Mountains and across the Arctic Circle, where the sun can remain above or below the horizon for 24 hours. If the season is right, this is where our hunt for the Aurora Borealis begins. We’ll sail along Helgeland’s beautiful coast until we reach Bodø. Here, we’ll stop for a walking tour of this developing city, which is also home to Norway's largest air force base.
Crossing Vestfjord this afternoon, we’ll spot the half-mile high Lofoten Wall on the horizon. The small, picturesque fishing villages of Stamsund and Svolvær reveal the bohemian allure of Lofoten Islands.
After sailing through the stunning Raftsund Strait this evening, we’ll pass Trollfjord’s entrance. Weather permitting, it is here that you’ll learn the enthralling story of the 1890’s Battle of Trollfjord.
Explore the architecture of Tromsø, the "Gateway to the Arctic"
Striking views await as we cruise through the scenic Vagsfjord this morning. Our ship will pause in the peaceful town of Finnsnes for a quick orientation walk.
We’ll continue to Tromsø, the "Gateway to the Arctic." Amidst other things, this lively city is known for its distinctive architecture and endless supply of cultural events. With more pubs per capita than any other town in Norway, Tromsø also hosts the hallowed Mack Brewery, especially famous for its Arctic Ale.
We’ll set off on a motorcoach and walking tour, passing key city sites and learn the fascinating science behind the Aurora Borealis phenomenon and the history of Norwegian trapping in two separate lectures. You’ll have free time to explore the area on your own before returning to the ship. This evening, we’ll enjoy dinner and a movie night. Depending on the season, we may gather on the deck afterward to watch for the Northern Lights.
Savor regional treats on North Cape
Witness magnificent subarctic landscapes as we cruise Norway’s northernmost region this morning. In summer months, you might see herds of grazing reindeer and houses belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. We’ll make brief stops in the tranquil fishing towns of Hammerfest and Havøysund. Our destination today is Honningsvåg, gateway to the spectacular North Cape.
Once docked in Honningsvåg, we’ll travel by coach to the North Cape Plateau. Here, we’ll explore North Cape Hall, a traveler center perched on the edge of a cliff. After perusing the exhibits, we’ll end our visit with a sumptuous treat: Nordic waffles served with coffee or tea.
Later, our ship will continue east, sailing through the heartland of the Sámi people and their ancient sacred site.
Step into the past during a visit to Kirkenes and historic Vardø
Rise early to savor the views of Vardø’s colorful town this morning. We’ll head to Kirkenes, land of the Sámi people and reindeer. Located just eight miles from Russia, this remote town was unsurprisingly tense during the Cold War. After traveling along Storskog, the only official border between Norway and Russia, we’ll enjoy a short panoramic tour of Kirkenes.
Later, we’ll step into the past with a visit to Andersgrotta, a civilian bomb shelter from World War II. Here, a local will illuminate us with compelling historical anecdotes.
After Kirkenes, we’ll stop in Vardø for a short walking tour. As our ship heads northwest, a completely different side of Norway will unfold. We’ll now have the chance to make daylight calls at ports we previously passed in the night.
Discover the towns of Hammerfest and Skjervøy
After early calls at Honningsvåg and Havøysund, our Norwegian cruise ship will stop in Hammerfest. We’ll take a short walking tour of this town, Europe’s first to have electric streetlights.
Heading south this evening, we’ll arrive at the small village of Skjervøy.
Hop on a "Discovering Vesterålen" bus tour and visit Rokenes Trading Post
As we travel through the Vesterålen Islands via Stokmarknes, today’s cruise arguably promises the trip’s most stunning Nordic scenery. We’ll cross the Raftsund Strait, which connects Vesterålen with Lofoten.
Our destination is Harstad, a friendly town situated on the island of Hinnøya. Upon arrival, embark on a "Discovering Vesterålen" bus tour, including a visit to Trondnes Church. Get a feel for local Nordic life as we cross Refsnes and Flesnes to spend time with the owner of Rokenes Trading Post. We’ll enjoy a refreshment as we learn about this family-run establishment, which has been in business for 250 years.
After returning to the ship, we’ll enjoy lunch while cruising toward Stokmarknes. Weather permitting, the ship will make an evening stop in Svolvær, a fishing town surrounding by striking mountains.
Cruise past the Seven Sisters before exploring Brønnøysund
After leaving Ornes early this morning, our ship will sail through narrow straits bordered by farm fields. Crossing southward over the Arctic Circle, we’ll call at Sandnessjøen. This island port connects to mainland Norway with an impressive new cable bridge.
As we cruise, we’ll witness exceptional views (weather permitting) of the Seven Sisters, a chain of seven breathtaking peaks. Often referred to as "The Centre of Norway," our next stop is Brønnøysund. Join our Adventure Leader on a walking tour to learn more about this beautiful town.
Explore Trondheim and Kristiansund before taking “the world’s most beautiful drive”
Today, we’ll disembark in Trondheim, Norway’s third-largest city. This lively university town is known for its wide streets and colorful buildings. On a three-mile walking tour, we’ll pass architectural masterpieces like the Archbishop's Palace and the Old Town Bridge.
Returning to the ship, enjoy the views of the picturesque islands of Grip and Hitra. Our next stop is Kristiansund, a calm city that stretches across four islands. Your Adventure Leader will give you a brief introduction to the city, then we'll walk here as well.
We’ll then take a thrilling drive down the Atlantic Road, from Kristiansund to Molde. Known as “the world’s most beautiful drive,” this awesome feat of engineering stretches across the lush coastal landscapes of several islets and islands. The vistas of the surrounding ocean are simply incredible. We’ll stop along the way for an authentic Nordic dinner experience.
Once in Molde, you have the option to embark on a short orientation walk before returning to the ship this evening.
Please note: Due to the limited daylight hours during late fall period, travelers cruising from late September- October will enjoy an afternoon at leisure and dinner on the ship with an added program on Day 10.
Disembark ship for a final evening in Bergen
Sail through one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Norway today, enjoying lunch on board. As we return to Bergen, the cruise portion of your Norway adventure comes to an end.
We’ll disembark and transfer to the hotel for our journey’s final night. Enjoy a leisurely evening, taking advantage of the hotel’s light buffet dinner, or exploring more of this lively city.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home or head to Helsinki, Finland
This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home. If you’re joining the post-trip extension to Helsinki, Finland, your adventure begins today.
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.
Please Note: Port-of-call orientation walking tours are subject to change based on port time and weather conditions.
Hiking passes from Hurtigruten are available for purchase on board for the cruise portion of your adventure.