At a glance
15 Day Cruise on MS Maud, Hurtigruten - Call for price
Departure 01 December 2021 | Ex-UK Northen Lights and Fjords Expedition
- At Sea
- Molde and Kristiansund
- Reine and Svolvær
- At Sea
- At Sea
All departures (12)
Ex-UK Northen Lights and Fjords Expedition
Experience a special winter expedition cruise under the Northern Lights. See the best of Norway’s coastline and take part in exciting excursions to really discover this winter wonderland. Visit fascinating places and tiny coastal villages to get close to the authentic heart of Norway.
Day by day itinerary
Embark the MS Maud in Dover and settle in on board. Find the amenities you like best – the Science Center, the hot tubs, the Explorer lounge, or maybe that nice spot on deck with a view and out of the wind. You may want to find that spot later if the hunt for the Aurora proves successful.
In the morning, we get our first glimpse of the Norwegian coast. Small islands and mountains draw closer. We leave the North Sea and enter scenic straits and fjords.
After lunch, we arrive in Bergen, one of Norway’s most beautiful cities and a great place to explore by foot. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years. The city has retained a great deal of its local character, history and charm, and is a hub for Norwegian travel. Be sure to stroll through the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its colourful wooden wharfs dating back to the 14th century.
Your included activity in Bergen is an excursion to Mount Fløyen. The Fløibanen funicular takes you to the top in just six minutes. At the summit you get amazing views over this city surrounded by seven mountains and the sea. Feeling energetic? Follow one of many light trails atop Mount Fløyen into possibly snow-decked alpine forrest.
Back at sea level, wander the cobblestone streets and alleyways of this enchanting, compact city. Drop into one of its many cafés or pubs and order a half-litre of local Hansa beer, browse through unique boutiques and visit world-class museums.
Back aboard ship, dinner awaits. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings took to the Shetland Islands and beyond. We are heading to the high north of Norway. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing, maybe in the panoramic lounge or out on deck. While its less likely the Northern Lights will appear this far south, it does happen.
At midday, we reach Norway’s ‘City of Roses’ – Molde. You may want to visit Romsdalsmuseet, one of Norway’s largest folk museums, exhibiting historic regional buildings and interiors. The city´s scenic viewpoint, Varden, is worth a visit, with its wonderful vistas across Molde, the fjord and snowy peaks of the Romsdal Alps in the distance.
Today’s included activity is a scenic bus trip along the Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most-visited tourist destinations, spanning eight bridges through picturesque landscapes and across the open sea. The excursion ends in Kristiansund, where you rejoin the ship.
Kristiansund's location on four sea islands in the Norwegian Sea has steadily provided livelihoods in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. Interested in history? A decisive battle between Danish and Norwegian Vikings was fought near here in 955 and later noted in the famous ‘Lives of the Norse Kings’ by Snorre Sturlasson.
Maybe it’s a dry fact, but Kristiansund today is known as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its historic export of dry salted fish, often called bacalao. Take some time to stroll along the waterfront of this interesting little city, past old shipyards and marinas, and see what you can find.
Welcome to Brønnøysund - a vibrant and pretty little town of 5,000 folks located on a narrow peninsula surrounded by islands and sea. You are now at the halfway mark along Norway’s long coastline. Brønnøysund is near the famous mountain with a hole in the middle - Torghatten.
Join local guides for a historical town walk, stop by a beautiful parish church from 1870 and visit small-scale producers of local food from the region.
Brønnøysund is also the gateway to Vega Island – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Join an optional excursion to Vega, which was granted UNESCO status because of how the community demonstrates its centuries-old sustainable way of life. Remarkably, the islanders have thrived by practicing the now unique tradition of eider farming and duck down processing.
As we leave Brønnøysund, we sail along the coast of Helgeland and pass the famous mountain range called the Seven Sisters. Legend has it that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, creating the seven beautiful peaks.
In the evening, we cross the Arctic Circle – and your chances to experience the Aurora grow.
You won’t soon forget your first approach to Lofoten because of the formidable wall of mountains looming on the horizon.
The Lofoten Islands are world famous for their distinctive dramatic peaks, sheltered bays and untouched beaches - and this is your day to explore them. Lofoten is also known for its excellent fishing, picturesque villages and exciting year-round activities.
We dock at idyllic Reine in the morning. Fishermen´s huts dotting the shoreline and snowy granite peaks shooting out of the fjord make Reine one of the most frequently photographed landscapes in Norway.
Join us to discover the nearby hamlet of Å, a scenic traditional fishing village. Here you can visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum. Walk among coastal buildings from a century ago and get a sense of everyday life in the Lofoten fisheries over the last 250 years. You can also join one of our many optional excursions.
After departing Reine, we sail along the massive Lofoten wall to Svolvær. The islands, steep mountains, beautiful beaches and bays we pass are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. In Svolvær, choose from a number of exciting outdoor and indoor activities. Intriguing shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants are scattered throughout the town.
After a whole day exploring Lofoten, we sail to Trollfjord, an amazing place where vertical mountain walls surrealistically jut out of the sea. In winter, it’s not possible to sail into the fjord, so we admire this very special site at its entrance. Keep looking skyward to catch sight of the Northern Lights.
Looking for an adventurous winter wonderland? Tromsø is the perfect destination.
Choose winter activities like dog-sledging, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Your included activity in Tromsø is a ride into the sky on the Fjellheisen cable car, with breathtaking views of the city, mountains, fjords - and hopefully the Aurora.
Tromsø brims with fascinating history, culture and bold architecture. The Arctic Cathedral is a landmark in Tromsø visible from the Tromsø Sound, featuring a huge stained-glass window. Care to meet some friendly locals? Tromsø is home to the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Bryggeri, which also runs Ølhallen, a lively pub where townspeople go for a chat and a beer.
Other winter activities include optional excursions with our Expedition Team on nature hikes, and Aurora-focused bus rides. Tromsø is so far north that you may see the Northern Lights directly overhead.
Another day in Tromsø means another day of discovery. Get ready to interact with Arctic nature. Today’s included activity is visiting the Arctic experience centre, Polaria. Look, feel, experience and understand why life in the sea and on land are inextricably linked. Polaria is also one of two places in Europe where you can see bearded seals at close range.
Historically,Tromsø was the starting point for several Arctic expeditions. It was also the first call when hunters and explorers returned to civilization, giving it a tough frontier reputation. Today the city is often called the Paris of the North because of its international and cultural diversity. Meet friendly locals, do some shopping or sample the city’s range of restaurants specializing in the region’s fresh produce.
As we leave Tromsø after lunch, spend the afternoon and evening on deck – hunting the Northern Lights.
Today we visit one of the northernmost points in Europe, North Cape. This is also as far north as we go on this winter expedition cruise.
Start the day by taking a scenic bus ride from the town of Honningsvåg. We pass small bays and tiny villages, then cross a mountain plateau before arriving at spectacular North Cape. At 71°10’21´N, North Cape is just 2,100 km away from the Geographic North Pole. Stand at the edge of the cliff and gaze out on the sea. Only the Svalbard Archipelago separates you from the North Pole. North Cape feels like the end of the world. It’s also a great place to take stunning photos and there will be enough time to visit the North Cape Hall´s cinema, showing a short film about the North Cape Plateau, and there are several exhibits open to visitors.
Back in Honningsvåg, you can opt to stroll about, past charming houses, nice shops and a church that was the only structure left standing at the end of World War II.
This is the ship’s turning point and from here we start our return trip southward. Keep looking skyward!
Today we dock at Finnsnes, just across a bridge from the remarkable island of Senja.
Today’s included activity is a coach journey to Senja, which Norwegians call the ‘fairytale island’ because of its spectacular nature. Our road trip takes us to the outer side of the island along the Norwegian Scenic Route.
Senja is Norway’s second largest island and counts just under 8,000 inhabitants. As you might guess, fisheries and aquaculture are the dominant industries here. Cod and pollock are traditionally fished in Senja’s waters while salmon is farmed.
The island is famous for its diverse landscapes and is often referred to as Norway in miniature. The scenery can dramatically change within the blink of an eye. The outer side of Senja is characterised by lofty mountains plummeting straight into the sea, interspersed with isolated coves and sandy beaches. South Senja is distinguished by rocky coastline and pine forests and is home to Ånderdalen National Park. The eastern side of Senja has a a gentler landscape with rolling hills and birch forests.
There is little light pollution here, increasing your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
Today you arrive in the charming small city of Ålesund - renowned for its beautiful art nouveau architecture. This owes to a devastating fire that burned a large part of the city to the ground in 1904. The entire town was subsequently rebuilt in the fashionable art nouveau style of the time.
Take the opportunity to wander Ålesund’s charming cobblestone streets and admire the numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings.
Norway is a seafood nation and Ålesund is its fisheries capital – so it’s only natural your included activity today is a visit to the Norwegian Aquarium. Built directly into the rocky coastline, the aquarium is also an architectural marvel. Due to excellent oceanic conditions along the Norwegian coast, the aquarium features a colourful and exciting range of fish and fauna, including octopus, seals and penguins.
You can also choose one of our interesting optional excursions in and around this fascinating coastal Norwegian city.
Welcome to Stavanger – known for its many nearby natural attractions, including famous Pulpit Rock and long sandy beaches along the North Sea.
The Stavanger region is on the radar of nearly every visitor to Norway. Many different nationalities are drawn to the area, making it a highly international destination. Its cosmopolitan nature is reflected in the city’s lively, urban ambience, with creative food menus, fun pubs and bars, and a booming cultural scene. If you want to get away from the madding crowd, journey out to the region’s many sandy beaches.
Stavanger’s proud history is never far from sight. Old Stavanger has Europe’s best-preserved wooden house area with more than 170 white wooden structures dating back to the 1700s.
Stavanger is also Europe’s oil and energy capital. Your included activity today is a visit to the excellent Norwegian Petroleum Museum. Learn more about Norway’s most important industry through modern interactive exhibits. See how oil and gas were formed millions of years ago, as well as how petroleum is found, produced and consumed. Feeling adventurous? You can slide down an escape chute used on offshore oil and gas platforms.
You can choose from many other optional excursions in Stavanger, for example, a visit to the Norwegian Canning Museum, which tells the city’s story about its former status as the sardine canning capital of Norway.
While its less likely to spot the Northern Light this far south, it does happen. Keep your eyes on northern edge of the horizon.
We pass the white cliffs of Dover during the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbour. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home for the past 14 days.
Sailing on MS Maud
MS Maud is named after one of the most famous polar vessels of all time, Roald Amundsens “Maud” from 1917.