Journey beginning at Oslo, Norway and ending at Kirkenes, Norway
Available: 2019-05-18 to 2019-05-31 starting from $6544 AUD
Available: 2019-06-01 to 2019-07-31 starting from $7214 AUD
Available: 2019-08-01 to 2019-08-31 starting from $6927 AUD
Available: 2019-09-01 to 2019-09-30 starting from $6418 AUD
"The best group tour that I have done that is not a group tour" – Tim Warrington, New Zealand travel writer, July 2018
Wander through the Vigeland Sculpture Park and explore the hidden gems of Norway’s capital, Oslo. Discover the Akershus Fortress and the many harbour side restaurants along Aker Brygge. Travelling on a private 50 Degrees North minibus, cross the mountains to visit the traditional Stave Church of Lom and the magnificent Luster and Sognefjord. Experience the valley of Gudbrandsdalen, surrounded by national parks, an abundance of locally produced food, old architecture, and good hiking trails.
Visit the stunning Geiranger fjord and enjoy the mountain landscape of Sognefjellet which makes its way up to the summit at 1,434 metres. Our minibus will take you along the stretch of breathtaking mountain roads between Lærdal and Aurland before reaching the Aurlandsfjord, one of the most picturesque fjords in the world, where you will stay fjordside! Read about visiting Northern Europe’s highest and arguably the most striking mountain pass, along the road over Sognefjellet here.
Take a ride on the steep Flåm Railway full of hairpin turns and catch a ferry to Bergen, the capital of the fjords. Discover Bryggen, the old Hanseatic wharf in Bergen, and take the funicular to the top of Mt Fløien.
Then join the most beautiful coastal journey of the world, up the Norwegian Coast on the Hurtigruten. The voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes takes you from the 60th to the 70th latitude on a 7-day tour de force.
The trip runs weekly from May to September with fixed departures from Oslo every Saturday. The trip can also run in reverse starting from Bergen every Monday between 18 May 2019 to 27 Sep 2019.
Reviews from the 2018 ‘Beautiful Norway’ tour.
Day 1 – Arrive in Oslo and transfer to your centrally located hotel.
Arrive in Oslo, the beautiful Norwegian capital by the Oslofjord. Make your own way to your centrally located hotel in the heart of Oslo, an easy direct express train ride away from the airport. The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer for the observant traveller. We can recommend a walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle, and the Harbour area.
Day 2 – Train to Lillehammer – visit the impressive Garmo Stave Church, open-air museums and the Olympic museum.
Board your train at the Oslo Central Station and head towards Lillehammer, the small town that rose to international fame when it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994. Check into your central hotel.
Spend the day at your leisure: Browse the local shops, visit open-air museum Maihaugen, the Norwegian Olympic Museum, and do not miss the impressive Garmo Stave Church.
There is a light complimentary supper served in the hotel.
Day 3 – Join 50 Degrees North’s private minibus to travel to Lom, a small town encapsulating the very essence of the Norwegian countryside.
Join the 50 Degrees North private minibus to Lom, a 3-hour scenic drive from Lillehammer. This bus trip takes you through some of Norway’s most beautiful highlands and lush valleys. Experience the valley of Gudbrandsdalen surrounded by the national parks, an abundance of locally produced food, old architecture, and good hiking.
Lom is a small town encapsulating the very essence of the Norwegian countryside. Situated in the famous Jotunheimen National Park, Lom is surrounded by majestic nature. Check into your charming historic hotel. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 4 – Day tour to Geiranger and join a fjord cruise before returning to Lom to visit its famous Stave Church
Join the 50 Degrees North minibus for a day tour to Geiranger, which is 1.5 hours’ drive away from Lom. On arrival, join a fjord cruise and experience the Geirangerfjord UNESCO World Heritage site. The scenery here is absolutely breathtaking. Take a closer look at the “Seven Sisters”, “Bridal Veil” and “Suitor” waterfalls, the majestic fjord cliffs and abandoned mountain farms. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see porpoises playing in the fjord.
Travelling back from Geiranger, the minibus can stop at the famous Lom Stave Church, constructed in Norman-style in 1170. It still operates as the local church today.
Please note that the Geirangerfjord visit is subject to change due to weather and snow conditions. The mountain road from Lom to Geiranger normally opens from end of May. Alternatively, have a day to yourself in Lom. We suggest visiting Brimi Bue, a popular Lom hot-spot for fresh local produce and traditional Nordic flavours, owned by renowned chef Arne Brimi. Indulge yourselves in the historic atmosphere of Lom open-air museum and its houses dating from the early 1600s and experience the old farmer culture. The Norwegian Mountain Centre is also worth a visit.
Day 5 – Continue your minibus journey together to the heart of the Norwegian fjords
Depart Lom for another scenic journey through the spectacular mountain and fjord country of Breheimen and Jostedalsheimen. Stop at Sognefjellshytta (approx. 1 hr drive) for a coffee/tea break, then sit back and enjoy the scenery until your next stop at the cubist stone at Mefjellet. The final stop before descending down the mountain is at Nedre Oscarshaug – another fantastic spot for photos and great views.
After lunch at Skjolden Hotel, drive approx. 20-30 mins to Feigumfossen and continue to the charming Urnes Stave Church (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest church in Norway). Catch a ferry to Solvorn and continue over Aurlandsfjellet. Lastly, enjoy a stop at Stegastein before arriving to the peaceful village of Aurland.
Read about today’s drive along Northern Europe’s highest and arguably the most striking mountain pass, the road over Sognefjellet.
Day 6 – Spend your day relaxing, hiking and taking in the views in the peaceful little town of Aurland. Enjoy the harbour area with unspoilt views of the fjord and gardens.
Spend your day relaxing, hiking and taking in the views in the peaceful little town of Aurland. Enjoy the harbour area with unspoilt views of the fjord and surrounding gardens. Optional visits to local mountain farms, guided hikes or a fjord safari can be pre-booked (at additional cost).
Day 7 – Get your private transfer from Aurland to Flåm, and step aboard the world famous Flåm Railway to Myrdal Station with several stunning lookout points along the way, then express boat to Bergen.
Get your private transfer from Aurland to Flåm, and step aboard the world famous Flåm Railway to Myrdal Station with several stunning lookout points along the way. Thanks to its steep incline (from sea level to almost 900 meters above sea level in a short hour), the train-ride is rated as one of Europe’s best rail journeys and has become a real highlight for visitors in Norway.
Return to Flåm to board the express ferry to Bergen. Take in the fresh air on Norway’s longest fjord, the Sognefjord, during this 5-hour ferry-ride towards Bergen. Check into your centrally located hotel at the end of the day.
Day 8 – Embarkation in Bergen
Ports visited today: Bergen
Bergen is the perfect strolling town and a free detailed guide of Bergen is available from the Tourist Office centrally located on Fisketorget. As you explore the historical centre of Bergen you’ll be transported back to a time when Bergen was the centre of political power and trade for the entire North Atlantic. It was the Capital of the Kingdom of Norway for a short period, before the capital was moved to Oslo in 1299, and the town grew to become the largest in Scandinavia.
The Hanseatic League established itself here in 1350 and had a trade monopoly that lasted 200 years. While in Bergen you might wish to visit the UNESCO heritage listed historical area around the harbour known as the Bryggen district, and the home of Edvard Grieg, Troldhaugen, Norway’s internationally famous composer. Be sure to visit the new Bergen Fish Market – a fantastic modern architectural designed building with a great outdoor and indoor dining area.
Representative Service in Norway
Hurtigruten’s representative service in Norway in based in Bergen and may be contacted on +47 9094 6905 – 24-Hour Emergency number +61 280 695 866
50 Degrees North also has a 24-hour emergency support service and operational office in Norway.
Getting to your ship:
Your Hurtigruten ship will sail from the Hurtigruten Terminalen, located at Nostegarten 30, 5010 Bergen. Telephone +47 5554 3631. We can provide you with the best transport option to get to the ship.
The terminal is staffed from 13:00 and is open from 15:00 for baggage check-in. Embarkation takes place from 16:00 and your cabin will be available from approximately 18:00. Dinner (buffet style) will be available from 18:00. Please note you carry your own luggage onboard from the pier to your cabin.
Your ship departs at 20:00.
An information meeting is usually held on the evening of departure from Bergen and includes details of safety onboard. There is an information folder in each cabin and safety procedures are illustrated on the back of your cabin door and in public areas. The Tour Leader on board will assist with general information and the shore excursion programme.
Day 9 – Ålesund and Geirangerfjord
Ports visited today: Florø, Måløy, Torvik, Ålesund, Molde.
If you wake up early the next day, you have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As you sail past the West Cape, you are out on the open sea. The ship then navigates through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund.
Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings, Ålesund is a town renowned for its beautiful art nouveau architecture. It owes this to a devastating fire that burned a large proportion of the city to the ground in 1904. The entire town was subsequently rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, art nouveau. If you like marine life, join us on a visit to Atlanterhavsparken – one of Northern Europe’s largest salt-water aquariums. The tour includes a visit to the open-air pool to see the resident penguins. After visiting Atlanterhavsparken, we continue onwards and upwards to Mount Aksla where you will get an amazing panorama of the area.
In the summer months, Hurtigruten sets course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord passing sheer, 800 metre cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route. In autumn, we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character: far from the tourist bustle, taking passengers past steep rock walls, green meadows, lonely mountain farms and small villages.
Day 10 – Be enlightened by the Medieval Spirit – The Royal City of Trondheim
Ports visited today: Kristiansund, Trondheim, Rørvik.
Few large cities have managed to preserve their intimacy as effectively as Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. Viking king, Olav Tryggvason, founded this ancient city as early as 997. Join our optional excursion to Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral, the country´s only Gothic-style cathedral built over the burial place of St. Olav, Norway’s patron saint. Here you can marvel at the cathedral’s incredible architectural details and exquisite works of art.
During spring and summer, we continue to the Ringve Museum of Musical History, where the history of Norway’s music is brought to life. This beautiful manor house is surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden, and provides fantastic views of both the city and the fjord.
From September to May you can experience Trondheim in a vintage carriage on the world’s northernmost tram for a unique sightseeing tour.
You can also explore Trondheim from sea level in a kayak along the river Nid all year, or experience the city on a bicycle and try out the world’s only bicycle lift from April to September. Join the Expedition team for a hike to discover more of the surroundings of Trondheim.
In the afternoon, the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship heads towards charming Rørvik.
Day 11 – Discover your inner explorer – Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands
Ports visited today: Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Nesna, Ørnes, Bodø, Stamsund, Svolvær.
Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66 degrees 33 minutes north and marks the border to the Arctic Region. In summer, this means 24-hour daylight – often referred to as the ‘midnight sun’. During winter, being above this latitude provides the best chances for experiencing the Northern Lights. Even if you aren’t awake to see the Arctic Circle, the captain makes sure that the occasion is a memorable event. If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you can participate in a daytime Arctic Circle ceremony on deck.
Near Ørnes, you find Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier. Join us for a trip to the Svartisen Tourist Centre in summer, where you can admire the beauty of this enigmatic ice world. Afterwards, the journey continues along the beautiful coast of Helgeland to Bodø, where you re-join the ship. In Bodø, you can join an adventure in harmony with nature, eagles and the deep blue sea. We head to Saltstraumen in a RIB, where you witness the world’s most powerful tidal current. On this exciting journey through wild landscape, there is also a good chance to observe sea eagles.
Later this afternoon, the sight of the 1,000 m high Lofoten Wall appears on the horizon. Tucked between majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches, Lofoten is an experience that is out of the ordinary. The charms of the Lofoten Islands are revealed in the small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian ambience. Take a stroll between stockfish racks and ‘rorbuer’, the traditional fisherman’s huts.
At Stamsund, join a historical journey to the Lofotr Viking Museum, where you are invited into the chieftain’s house, a full-size reconstruction featuring exhibits of finds dating back to the Viking Age. The chieftain and the lady of the house invite you to join them for a real Viking meal in the banquet hall, providing a taste of the Viking Age, complete with traditional food, drinks, costumes, singing and dancing.
Between Stamsund and Svolvær, you have the chance to experience life on a herb and cheese farm in Lofoten, or visit the Lofoten’s only craft brewery, situated in an old fish landing facility in Svolvær.
In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when the hunt for the Northern Light begins. We celebrate the event by presenting a multimedia show, ‘The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis’, featuring pictures, words and music. As we sail through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You also hear the story of ‘The battle of Trollfjord’, which took place here in the winter of 1890. If you look closely, you might see trolls up in the steep mountains. Or you might not.
Day 12 – Excitement in the Arctic – Husky dogsledding, mountain hiking & kayaking
Ports visited today: Stokmarknes, Sortland, Risøyhamn, Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø, Skjervøy.
Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever the season! During the morning hours, briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes. The ship then continues to Tromsø, Capital of the Arctic, for a prolonged stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. Join the Polar History Walk in winter to learn more about the explorers and Arctic hunters, and to taste beer made at the world´s northernmost brewery.
In winter and spring, you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. On this mini polar expedition, the huskies pull you over the frozen landscape while you enjoy stunning views of the ocean, mountains and open plateaus. During the polar night, the only light comes from headlamps, the starry sky, and, if we’re lucky, the magical Northern Lights. Why not test your coordination skills and have some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure or go deep-sea fishing on an Arctic fjord.
If you want to experience peace and tranquillity on the sea, why not join the kayaking excursion in summer? Paddle in the waters off the Tromsø coastline with the mountains as a stunning backdrop. This is a great way to silently glide through these pristine waters and get close to marine wildlife.
After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. The ship is now sailing into waters where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March. We gather on deck to search the skies for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Day 13 – Explore the Northern Soul & Cape – Honningsvåg and the North Cape
Ports visited today: Øksfjord, Hammerfest, Havøysund, Honningsvåg, Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, Berlevåg.
Following the scenic sailing through Magerøysund and after an early stop in Hammerfest, you arrive in Honningsvåg. This small port is the gateway to the wonders of the spectacular North Cape which rises 300m from the ocean, and at 71° 10’ 21” north it puts you a mere 2,000 kilometres from the Geographical North Pole.
Standing atop the North Cape Plateau you’ll get the eerie feeling of being at the end of the world. The area is also known for its birdlife, and Gjesværstappan, a bird sanctuary with up to 250,000 seabirds is home to some High Arctic species that can only be observed here on the Norwegian mainland, including the ever cute puffins. In summer, you might see herds of reindeer and campsites belonging to the indigenous Sami people. In winter, experience the snow-clad valleys, the fresh winter air and your best chances to see the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
During winter and spring, if you are lucky, local fishermen from the village of Kjøllefjord visit us to share their catch of the day (King Crab & cod).
This evening, as you approach Kjøllefjord, you pass a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sámi people, Finnkjerka.
Day 14 – Disembark in Kirkenes and transfer to the airport
Ports visited today: Båtsfjord, Berlevåg, Vardø, Vadsø, Kirkenes.
The last port on the Voyage North is Kirkenes. And at longitude 30 east, you are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The well-policed Russian border and the Kola peninsula are close by which explains why the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
Information regarding your disembarkation this morning will be provided to you onboard during your voyage. You will be kindly asked to vacate your cabin and check-out no later than 9:00am. On arrival you carry your own luggage ashore with you. Once ashore in Kirkenes, enjoy a transfer to the airport for departure.
Arriving into Kirkenes, after sailing Bokfjorden, perhaps the first sight you’ll notice are the Russian ships moored at quayside, which is a sign of the most important commercial basis of the area – shipyard services and other commercial trade with North West Russia. Kirkenes and the surrounding settlements is home to approx. 5,000 inhabitants. A short 15 minutes away from the town centre is the Russian border, and only 40kms away you could take a train on the Russian Railway network, where you could journey all the way to Vladivostok on the Northern Pacific coast. It is less than 2km from the ship into downtown Kirkenes. Kirkenes airport is 14km outside of town.
- 7 nights’ hotel accommodation in shared double/twin rooms with private facilities
- 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners plus full board on the Hurtigruten ship
- All transport between destinations by buses, trains and boats
- 50 Degrees North minibus (or similar) which travels weekly between Lom and Aurland. This minibus works like a hop-on, hop-off bus and may have only yourselves onboard or up to 10-12 people in addition to the driver. Stop along the way for unexpected photo opportunities, National Tourist Route monuments or quick rest stops.
- Geiranger day tour with fjord cruise. (Available from late May, subject to change due to weather/snow conditions on the mountain).
- Flåm Railway excursion
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
- Voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes 6 nights in a twin outside cabin with toilet & shower.
- Full board on board the Hurtigruten ship, other meals as per itinerary. Full board includes buffet breakfasts & lunches and a 3 course sit down dinner in the evening. You are presented a menu when you check in. Visiting 34 ports, Hurtigruten have an exceptional opportunity to get fresh produce from local suppliers everyday. This means delicious new and fresh ingredients, both from coastal and inland areas.
- Transfer to Kirkenes Airport
International flights, travel insurance, luggage handling, optional excursions, lunches and dinners that have not been detailed in the program, and items of personal nature. A small tip for the bus driver will be appreciated.
Please note there is no guide for this tour. Your bus driver will offer help and answer questions when possible. On board Hurtigruten, there are expedition staff who can assist you with any issues or questions.
To find out more or to book this incredible tour, contact Globetrotter Lifestyle today!