The Classic Roundtrip Cruise - Norway
As you follow the scenic route and cruise Norway’s coastline, most of the ports we visit by night northbound are revisited by day southbound, allowing you to discover majestic fjords, mountains, cosmopolitan cities, market towns, and isolated hamlets.
Remember you also have our full range of more than 70 optional seasonal excursions to tailor each day of your journey the way you want.
Offer is valid until 29th November 2021.
12 Days from £779pp
We’re here to help
• Transfers (between home and airport)
• Discover our full scenic route with 34 ports visited twice, northbound and southbound, allowing you to really get to know the heart and soul of Norway’s coastline
• Bask in spectacular scenery any season of the year as we sail past more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains
• Take your pick from seven to nine optional hikes and the complete list of optional seasonal excursions – more than 70 in total – to enhance your coastal experience
• Spend half your voyage on an Arctic tour of Norway, maximising your chances of seeing the Northern Lights in winter, or enjoying 24 hours of daylight under the Midnight Sun in summer
Your voyage starts in Bergen, the second largest city in Norway and gateway to the fjords. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen boasts architecture influenced by prosperous 14th century German trading organisation, the Hanseatic League.
If you’ve time before your ship departs, visit the UNESCO-listed wharfs of the colourful Bryggen district, now an artisan quarter complete with cobblestone streets. Just across the street is the famous Fish Market which serves delicious seafood. There’s also the Fløibanen funicular which whisks you up Mount Fløyen for lovely views of the city.
To get the most out of your visit to Norway, don’t forget that we can also help you to arrange tours before or after your voyage, such as the Norway in a Nutshell programme.
Enjoy early morning in the breathtaking Nordfjord near Torvik. We then sail past West Cape for our approach to Ålesund.
Art Nouveau city
Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and Atlanterhavsparken, one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums. If you’re travelling with us in spring or winter, you’ll have most of the day to explore this picturesque town.
Into the fjords
In the summer, we set our course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing some of the most magnificent scenery Norway has to offer. Once in the fjord, you might get to see the famous Seven Sisters waterfalls cascading down the cliffs.
In autumn, we explore Hjørundfjord, hidden away in the Sunnmøre Alps. There’ll also be a call at the scenic village of Urke to gaze at the view of thousand-year-old farms, the fjord, and the lush mountainsides.
Mountains and roses
The last port of the day is Molde. In summer, there might just be enough daylight to see the amazing view of 222 mountain peaks across the fjord, called ‘the Molde Panorama’.
From mid-June to late August, the streets and gardens here will be adorned with the sight and scent of roses of all shades, living up to Molde’s nickname as ‘The City of Roses’.
This section of the voyage lets us enter the Trøndelag region of Norway, marked by crumpled hills, fields dotted with farmsteads, and low-loying coastal settlements.
Magical, medieval, and modern
Founded by Viking king Olav Tryggvason in 997, Trondheim today is Norway’s third largest city and a mix of historic buildings and a buzzing student population.
You’ll have three hours to explore Trondheim and its array of highlights, either by yourself or on one of the optional excursions we offer.
A must-see site of the city is Nidaros Cathedral, nicknamed “Norway’s Notre Dame” for its Gothic style and considered the most sacred building in all of Norway. Next door to the cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace where Norway’s crown jewels are on display.
Nearby, the old city bridge Gamle Bybro sits over Nid River, marking the entrance to the old Hanseatic district of Bakklandet. The neighbourhood’s colourful wooden wharves propped up on stilts by the river’s edge now house trendy eateries. Up from Bakklandet is Kristiansten Fort which affords beautiful panoramas of the city and fjord.
Back on board
In the afternoon, the ship sails northwest, passing the ochre-coloured Kjeungskjær Lighthouse, islets, and rocky reefs. After that, we head towards charming Rørvik.
We cross the Arctic Circle early in the morning, beginning your Arctic tour of Norway. We mark the moment with a traditional ceremony that’s sure to wake you up!
Above the Arctic Circle, you can see the sun 24 hours a day in summer, while in winter, your chances of seeing the Northern Lights greatly improve.
Forces of nature
At 10am, we call into Ørnes, near to Norway’s second-largest glacier, Svartisen. The pier here is popular for the Love Bench where sweethearts have declared their lasting romance with a padlock.
We then sail to Bodø, the second largest city in Northern Norway, overlooked by the Børvass peaks. Admire fabulous street art or join an optional boat excursion to Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful maelstrom.
Welcome to Lofoten
That afternoon, the ship enters the Lofoten archipelago. The 1,000 metre-high Lofoten Wall is a stunning sight on the horizon, as if there to welcome us.
Stamsund is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the islands and busiest between January and April when Arctic cod, known locally as skrei, swim from the Barents Sea in the north down to Vestfjord to spawn.
Come evening, when you see rows of traditional fisherman’s huts on stilts, known as rorbuer, you’ve arrived in the pretty harbour of Svolvær, the main town of the Lofoten Islands.
We dock into Harstad just after 7am. You can go for a peaceful early morning stroll around town.
The ship will then continue to Finnsnes which connects the beautiful island of Senja via the impressive Gisund Bridge.
Keep on the lookout for a variety of seabirds with several colonies nearby, including puffins. Whales can also be spotted in the waters here, especially during the winter season.
Gateway to the Arctic
We then sail to the historic Arctic exploration capital of Tromsø where you’ll have four hours to explore the city or join an optional excursion.
You’ll find Polaria, the world’s northernmost aquarium, o the waterfront. Take your pick from the many shops and restaurants in the city centre, including Mack Brewery and favourite local watering hole Ølhallen pub. There are also trendy cafés plying delicious cinnamon buns and where baristas create innovative coffee art. Across the fjord from where the ship docks, you should be able to see the iconic Arctic Cathedral with its beautiful stained-glass mosaic.
Leaving Tromsø in the early evening, we head north for the trading post of Skjervøy, founded in 1622. On our way, we’ll pass the Lyngen Alps which rise majestically from the sea.
The ship reaches the town of Hammerfest on the island of Kvaløya early in the morning. In summer, the island has herds of reindeer migrating here in their thousands.
You’ll know we’ve reached Havøysund when you see the wind turbines of the landmark Havøyglaven wind farm which produces enough electricity to power 6,000 local homes.
At the top of Europe
We arrive at Honningsvåg mid-morning, portal to the North Cape where a globe monument marks the top of continental Europe. The optional excursion up to the dramatic promontory is very popular, so you’ll want to book early.
Near the entrance of Kjøllefjord village, look out for the striking, building-like rock formation Finnkirka, an ancient sacrificial site once used by the indigenous Sámi. You can join an optional excursion to meet local Sámi, learn about their life reindeer herding, and listen to joik folk songs.
We reach our northernmost port of call, Mehamn, in the evening. If visiting in the months of February and March, you might spot tons of cod drying on outdoor wooden racks called hjell, mainly destined for export.
The ship then sets off for Berlevåg. On the way, we pass the tall Slettnes Lighthouse, the northernmost mainland lighthouse on Earth.
We call at Båtsfjord and Vardø in the night, before docking at Vadsø early in the morning.
Looking to the skies
The area around Vadsø is one of the most scenic and popular birdwatching spots in the Arctic, lying directly under the migration path of birds flying from east to west. Watch for hooded crows and sea eagles.
Next door neighbours
By the time we reach Kirkenes after breakfast, you’ll have travelled further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. You’ll have a choice of optional excursions to explore the area.
Located just a few miles from the Russian border, Kirkenes has many influences from Norway’s neighbour; from road signs in both Norwegian and Russian, a monthly Russian market, and the WWII Russian Monument.
Journey’s turning point
Kirkenes is where your Norwegian coastal cruise changes direction and the ship heads south. Several of the places we sailed to during the night we’ll now see during the day.
Back in Vardø, you can visit the solemn Witches’ Monument and the star-shaped Vardøhus Fortress, built in 1737. The northernmost fortification of any kind, it remains a part of the military to this day.
We return to the small, bustling port of Båtsfjord and then make for Berlevåg for late evening, crossing paths with the northbound ship.
We make stops at Mehamn and Kjøllefjord during the night before early morning visits to Honningsvåg and Havøysund.
Almost the northernmost
In the early afternoon, you’ll spend time in Hammerfest, once the northernmost town in the world until Longyearbyen in Svalbard claimed the title.
Check out the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, shop for souvenirs at the Polar Bear Society, or take the path behind the town to the viewpoint on Mount Salen.
Mountains and marine mammals
We continue cruising Norway’s coastline south to Øksfjord and then to Skjervøy, surrounded by mountain peaks. We’ve been docking at this vital fishing port since 1896.
If you’re visiting in winter, you might spot orcas and humpback whales that gather here to feed on herring.
As we make our way to Tromsø, you might also glimpse views of the Lyngen Alps which boast some of the highest peaks in all of Norway.
We dock at Tromsø just before midnight. In the summer months, you can stroll around the still busy city in glorious 24-hour daylight.
There are also optional excursions for a midnight boat ride around the city or a candlelit classical concert at the Arctic Cathedral.
Today, you’ll be exploring the archipelagos of Lofoten and Vesterålen, real highlights of our Norway scenic route.
After Finnsnes early in the morning, the ship calls at Harstad where the white-washed Trondenes Church, the world’s northernmost medieval stone church, sits on the peninsula.
Next is our smallest port of call Risøyhamn and then Sortland where the landscape slowly transforms from hills to 1,000-metre-high mountains.
Stokmarknes is where Captain Richard With began The Coastal Express in 1893. Visit Hurtigrutemuseet, a ship-in-a-bottle building that chronicles our legacy, centred around retired ship MS Finnmarken from 1956.
A ship-size fjord
Sailing along Raftsund, the Captain may choose to take the ship into tiny Trollfjord. The mountain walls will look so close you’ll think you can reach out and brush them! To exit the fjord, the ship will rotate 180 degrees on the spot, then sail back out. Remember to look out for sea eagles here too.
We reach Svolvær in the evening. The huge mountain that sits above the town is named the Svolvær Goat due to its supposed resemblance. See if you agree!
The ship then sails for Stamsund, eventually passing the giant granite cliffs of the Lofoten Wall.
The ship calls at Bodø in the small hours of the morning and then Ørnes at 7am. We then cross over the Arctic Circle just after breakfast. Commemorate the moment with a tradition of tasting a spoonful of good ol’ cod liver oil!
We make a short stop at Nesna before sailing on to Sandnessjøen, gateway to the magnificent Helgeland Coast.
Legend has it…
Admire the stunning landscape of the Seven Sisters mountain range, with peaks up to 1,100m high. The tale goes that 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.
You’ll also not want to miss views of Torghatten Mountain, with the distinctive hole in it. There is a local legend as to why and how this mountain came to have such a hole. Make sure you ask your Coastal Expert about it!
We reach Brønnøysund mid-afternoon. Explore the bustling marina on a walk along Havnegata. In the centre of town is Brønnøy Church: a stone church in the Neo-Gothic style dating back to 1870.
Our last stop of the day is the cosy fishing port of Rørvik in the picturesque Vikna archipelago.
Spend the morning in Trondheim, then sail past beautiful island scenery and some of Norway’s smallest communities before exploring Kristiansund and Molde.
Capital of the Viking Age
Stroll around Trondheim in the early morning as the city wakes. Visit the sacred Nidaros Cathedral, resting place of St. Olav. Then, walk to Gamle Bybro bridge for a photo opportunity over Nid River.
Treat yourself to quality coffee and a Nordic patisserie in one of the Bakklandet district’s many chic cafés then walk up to Kristiansten Fort for great views of Norway’s third largest city.
Dealing in dried cod
We dock at Kristiansund’s harbour in the late afternoon. The town is spread over three islands and known for being Norway’s “Bacalao Capital” for the salted cod that’s dried on the surrounding cliffs, called klippfisk in Norwegian.
Take a walk around the cobblestone streets of the old town and tour the lively port. You can also head up to the old watchtower at Varden viewpoint for a lovely panorama.
Peaks and petals
The penultimate port of the day is Molde where you can spot the tops of the Romsdal Alps. Nicknamed “The City of Roses”, flowers should be in bloom between mid-June and late August.
Our Norwegian coastal cruise together, at least this time, will reach its end later today. During the previous night, we’ll call at Ålesund and Torvik. On our approach to Måløy, you might catch a glimpse of the northbound Coastal Express if you’re up early enough.
You’ll have a chance to glimpse Nordfjord, under the enormous Jostedal Glacier, mainland Europe’s largest.
The ship then docks at Florø in the morning where you can take in the harbour and marina.
The home stretch
Leaving Florø, you’ll spot Stabben Lighthouse, a favourite subject for photographers. There’s also stunning views to enjoy as we cross the mouth of Sognefjord, the longest and widest fjord in the whole of Norway.
As we reach our final port in the afternoon, the ship will navigate through the last islands and skerries of our Norway scenic route, and sail down Hjeltefjord to arrive into Bergen.
Explore more of Norway
Sadly, it’s time to say farewell to the Captain, crew, and fellow guests.
But your journey doesn’t have to stop after disembarkation. We offer a Bergen sightseeing tour as well as a range of post-voyage programmes that you can add to your trip, including seeing Sognefjord by train or a tour of Oslo.