Guests aboard a Hurtigruten ship have a head start on anyone trying to complete leading travel publication Lonely Planet’s recent list of the “Top 17 Experiences in Norway” — for the simple fact that 15 of those 17 experiences can be had by relying on Hurtigruten.
Most of the list can be completed while enjoying the company’s Coastal Voyage, now in operation for nearly 120 years, including the #1 choice of Geirangerfjord, A UNESCO World Heritage Site; #5 – exploring the colorful historic buildings of Bergen’s Bryggen; and #15 – Sami culture, the indigenous people of the far north of Europe. Other choices such as #7 – Svalbard can be experienced on Hurtigruten’s Spitsbergen Explorer sailings aboard the MS Fram during the summer months, or visits to Oslo (#17) by extending the stay as Oslo is a major gateway used by Hurtigruten guests.
How the list lines up with Hurtigruten’s offerings:
- Geirangerfjord – top site on most Norway lists – visited on Coastal Voyage, from April to September;
- Lofoten Islands – historic fishing region, stunning scenery – visited on Coastal Voyage, including Trollfjord experience, year round;
- Hurtigruten Coastal – “…the iconic Hurtigruten coastal ferry takes you on one of the most spectacular coastal journeys anywhere on earth.” – Lonely Planet;
- Northern Lights – Always a draw – Hurtigruten’s Hunting the Light Voyages, Oct.-March, provide what is considered one of the best chances to viewing;
- Bryggen, Bergen – starts or ends Coastal Voyage – UNESCO World Heritage Site;
- Hiking the Jotunheimen – an exception – not part of Hurtigruten options;
- Svalbard – home to 1/6th of the world’s polar bears – offered by Hurtigruten Spitsbergen Explorer Voyages during the summer;
- Kystriksveien (coastal route) – Hurtigruten’s excursion “The Atlantic Road” – winner of 2005 “Engineering Feat of the Century”;
- Oslo-Bergen Railway – or “Norway in a Nutshell” is a great alternative to flying from Oslo to Bergen;
- Pulpit Rock – only other exception – not part of Hurtigruten options;
- Stave Churches – medieval wooden churches surviving only in Norway (except for one) – can be seen on excursion “The Atlantic Road” and during the visit of “Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum”;
- Dog-sledding – available on Coastal Voyage as winter excursion in Tromsø, Kirkenes and Finnsnes;
- Wildlife-watching – many possibilities aboard and on excursions – Bird Safari, Sea Eagle Safari, King Crab Fishing;
- Ålesund – port call on Coastal Voyage, excursions include Art Nouveau tour, and Aquarium and Mount Aksla;
- Sami culture – “A Taste of Lapland” excursion takes guests to a Sámi camp and a visit with a local Sámi family;
- Tromsø – Coastal Voyage port with four-hour stopover; excursions include dog sledding, Polar History Walk, and huskies and pups at Wilderness Center;
- Oslo – easy layover stop for Hurtigruten guests – one of Norway’s gems;
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations – including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen – as well as year round along Norway’s coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 13 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.
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