Hurtigruten is not a luxury cruise line per se but the journey is so extraordinary that it deserves a special place in our Luxury Cruise category. The 12 day return trip from Bergen to Kirkenes will take you to 34 ports of call and is known as the World’s most beautiful voyage.
I’ve had many opportunities to spend time in this beautiful country, traveling up and down the breathtaking Norwegian coastline from Bergen to Kirkenes with Hurtigruten. Whether you take the journey in the summer or the winter, I can promise you that this is an experience that will stir your soul, inspire you, and leave you in awe.
With just over 25,000 kilometers of coastline, there is no better way to see Norway’s stunning waterways than by ship. Hurtigruten, Norway’s famous cruise line, has been traveling along the coast regularly from Bergen to Kirkenes for the last 119 years. These coastal ships are the lifeline for many of the small villages along the coast and you’ll have the great privilege to have an up close experience of how life is lived this far north!
You’ll have plenty of time to stop along the way and explore some fascinating inland locations. For example, why not spend a night or two in stunning Alesund and use it as your base to visit the Geiranger Fjord – a Unesco World Heritage Site? As you make your passage through the deep blue fjord you’ll be mesmerized by its wild waterfalls and snow covered mountain tops.
I would also highly recommend to spend a few days in the beautiful town of Bergen. Bergen is almost 1,000 years old and Bryggen, the oldest part of the town, is a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site. Whether you walk through the narrow cobbled streets or hike one of the nature trails high above Norway’s fjords, it’s as if time is standing still, giving you a respite from life.
Whether you do this coastal voyage in the spring, summer, autumn or winter, each season will wow you with breathtaking scenery and vibrant colors. Norway is the perfect place if you are looking for a “Back to Nature” experience and when you need some food for thought, cities like Bergen and Alesund will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself into the friendly Norwegian culture and interesting cuisine!
Last but not least, there is something utterly magical and unique about seeing Norway in the winter. As you sail or travel north the days become shorter and you can see the Northern Lights dancing in the sky and reflecting off the snow capped mountains. I get goose bumps all over my body each time I see the Northern Lights, an experience that is simply impossible to put into words.
It’s as if Nature is putting on the most incredible light-show in the universe and the mind is so overwhelmed by the beauty that the heart simply explodes with joy and wonderment! Truly, if seeing the Northern Lights in not on your bucket-list – it should be!
There are many options to experience a journey with one of the 14 ships Hurtigruten has in service. 11 of these are exclusively used for the 12 day return trip from Bergen to Kirkenes. These coastal voyages can be customized and you decide whether you would like to just take the itinerary North- or Southbound or the entire round trip. If you feel a little more adventurous there are some wonderful itineraries to places not many have visited like the small villages of Greenland or a sailing to the remote and pristine islands of Spitsbergen.
Please contact me and I’d be more than happy to share my personal experience, sailing with several of these intimate ships, with you.
May all your travels stir your soul and change your life forever – Ales.