The world’s most beautiful voyage
Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Voyage) is one of the world’s classic journeys. See the craggy peaks towering over Ørnes in the early morning, wave to the schoolchildren in Selsøvik, watch the whitefish shoaling round the ship in the Varangerfjorden or gasp as the Aurora Borealis lights up the sky over Kagsundet. The journey is filled with the beautiful and the unexpected.
The traveller in Northern Norway soon discovers that the Hurtigruten is both a practical and comfortable way to journey up and down the coast. When the clock strikes three, the packed ship sails out of Bodø on its way to Lofoten. From Lofoten it takes a night and half a day of fabulously beautiful sailing to reach Tromsø. One night on the Lopphavet sea takes you on to the North Cape, from where it is another night’s sailing to Kirkenes.
25 ports of call
Hurtigruten calls at 25 ports in Northern Norway, with stops varying from 5 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the size of the port. Passengers are free to go ashore if they wish and stroll in Bodø’s glass-ceilinged shopping centre or along Tromsø’s main street; or climb to the top of Hammerfest’s Salen mountain, or shop at the Russian market in Kirkenes. The hardiest among them have a beer at the Styrehuset pub in Svolvær, while the Hurtigruten Museum in Stokmarknes tells the story of this famous shipping route.
A journey to experience the midnight sun has long been popular, so the ships are packed in the summer. If you suddenly decide to travel with the Hurtigruten in June you will probably find there are no berths to be had. Many people choose to take day trips, or curl up on one of the sofas for a nap during the brief summer nights. Either way the Hurtigruten is a practical way to get about in Northern Norway – you can sleep when you get home. If you don’t need a cabin, the ships almost always have tickets available.
Hunting the Light
The atmosphere is completely different in the winter. The days are shorter and the atmosphere less frenetic. The Hurtigruten is, however, a great place from which to see the Northern Lights, since the ships sail far from urban areas at night, when the Northern Lights are at their most intense. For anyone travelling around Northern Norway in search of the Northern Lights and the Arctic winter experience, it is a good idea to spend a night or two aboard the Hurtigruten. Prices are lower and cabins are generally available at short notice.
In Northern Norway winter comes in two versions: the dark winter of the Aurora Borealis, from November to January; and the light winter in March and April. February forms a bridge between the two, with light days and nights in which the Northern Lights often appear. In March and April the landscape is still clad in a blanket of pristine white, the sun has returned with enough strength to be felt, and it is the driest period of the year.
Read more at www.hurtigruten.com.