Endless days and perpetual nights, effortlessly chic cities and faraway forests – and the sublime aurora borealis to top it all off – Norway attracts style seekers, wilderness addicts and culture vultures alike. Although renowned for its epic great outdoors – think steep-sided fjords teeming with whales, wolverines and bears, and grand glaciers plunging down from some of Europe’s largest ice fields – its vibrant cities and towns flush with beautiful architecture, thriving food and wine scenes, innovative museums and creative solutions for 21st-century urban living certainly make for a formidable rival.
Of course, one cannot talk about the Land of the Midnight Sun without mentioning its one-of-a-kind seasons. Winters bring subzero temperatures but also carpets of thick snow perfect for skiing, sledding, ice fishing and snow hotel stays, while spring and summer mark the arrival of near-constant daylight, woodland walking and cycling, and plenty of wildlife watching. The dedicated traveller must experience all of these in their lifetime.
The most magnificent show on Earth
With the Northern Hemisphere winter around the corner now is the time to plan to tick off that big bucket list headliner: witnessing the magical Northern Lights with your own eyes. By choosing Hurtigruten as your guide, adventurers can immerse themselves in Nordic culture and scenery, indulge in a number of ocean-to-plate dining experiences, bask in the intimacy of a small group of like-minded travellers, and rest assured with guaranteed departures and flexible booking policies.
Prefer your travels to be all about you and the destination? On the Northern Lights Winter Expedition program you can explore the rugged mountain and fjord scenery between Oslo and Bergen before embarking on a 12-day sea voyage to nine hand-picked ports along the Norwegian coast in blissful peace and quiet. Whether you would prefer to idle along on one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys as your travel through farmland and past glacier-capped mountains to Myrdal or sip on a pint at the world’s northernmost brewery in Tromsø and stand on the edge of the world at North Cape, this trip will immerse you in the staggering beauty of the Arctic, the fascinating Viking history of the region and the cosmopolitan city of Oslo – a perfect choice for those who want to experience a little bit of everything that this diverse country has to offer.
- Visiting the Opera House, Royal Palace, Vigeland Sculpture Park or Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.
- Taking a self-guided walk around pretty Bergen, stopping by St Mary’s Church, Håkon’s Hall and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bryggen.
- Strolling among the Art Nouveau architecture of Ålesund and appreciating the small details that make these houses so beautiful.
- Approaching Lofoten and Trollfjord by sea and taking in the spectacular sight of snow-covered mountains rising straight out of the sea.
- Riding to the skies on the Fjellheisen Cable Car while overlooking vistas of the city of Tromsø and the surrounding mountains, fjords and – fingers crossed – the Northern Lights.
- Standing at 71°10’21´N – aka the North Cape and the ‘edge of the world’ – and gazing across the sea and over the iconic globe monument.
- Sailing into the longest fjord in Norway – Sognefjorden – and into the tiny hamlet of Fjærland.
Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights Promise
Is witnessing Mother Nature’s ultimate light show a personal must-do? There is no need to stress if the Northern Lights do not appear on your cruise to Norway, because Hurtigruten will give you another six- or seven-day Classic Voyage free of charge on select voyages as part of Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights Promise.
Book with confidence
Booking a holiday during this time of travel restrictions and general uncertainty can feel risky. To make you feel more confident with planning and booking ahead, Hurtigruten has adopted a new cancellation policy for all new bookings for 2021 and 2022 voyages: book a cruise by 31 October 2020 and if you cancel for any reason in the future, you’ll receive your refund – including your deposit – within 14 days. Yep, you read that correctly – no more vouchers and no month-long waiting times, you will get your money back in just two weeks.
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