Christmas Expedition Cruise from Dover

Christmas Expedition Cruise from Dover

Christmas Expedition Cruise from Dover

Christmas Expedition Cruise from Dover

Travel information 15 days MS Maud
22 December 2022
Price from £ 3999
£ 3799
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Make your Christmas and New Year’s even more magical with an expedition along the beautiful Norwegian coast, bringing together yuletide traditions and the spectacular Northern Lights.

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Sailing from Dover, we reach Egersund[MH1] [PW2] , home to Norway’s best Christmas market, on the morning of Christmas Eve. Then we journey deep into Sognefjord to enjoy Christmas Day in the picturesque village of Fjærland. From there, it’s across the Arctic Circle to visit Svolvær, the largest town in the Lofoten Islands. Basking in the light of the Polar Night, we continue north to Narvik, a small town with huge historical significance. We go stargazing in Alta; situated at 70°N, it’s one of the most northerly towns in the world and one of the best places to see the aurora, should it appear.

Starting the New Year on an adventure

In the Arctic capital of Tromsø, you’ll learn about its polar history and possibly take part in exciting excursions. We’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve, surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Lofoten Islands, a true highlight. We’ll then spend a couple of days exploring the remote, rarely visited, but very charming islands of Kalvåg and Mosterøy.

Christmas Expedition Cruise from Dover Christmas Expedition Cruise from Dover
  • Day 1

    Setting off from the White Cliffs 

    22 December 2022
    Estimated time of departure is 16:00

    We set our course north from Dover towards the coast of Norway’s magical, snow-covered landscape as we hunt for the Northern Lights. You can also look forward to discovering a number of wonderful Norwegian Christmas traditions along the way.  

    If you’ve time, take a walk alongside or atop the iconic white cliffs of Dover that have become a symbol for England. One of the best places to do so is at St. Margaret’s Bay which offers great views of the chalky coastline from its wide shingle beach. 

    Once on board the ship, you’ll pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, settle into your cabin, and attend a mandatory safety drill.  

    When the ship sets sail, stretch your sea legs and get to know MS Maud, your cosy home away from home. Take in the sea air out on deck or watch the world go by from the panoramic Explorer Lounge and Bar, maybe together with a relaxing glass of wine? Your Christmas and New Year’s adventure to the Arctic is officially underway!  

    After the first of many delicious dinners and a welcome toast by the Captain, you’ll meet your expert Expedition Team. They are your knowledgeable lecturers, warm hosts, and good-natured guides throughout your journey. Many grew up and live in the places you’ll be visiting and are passionate about sharing their home with you, especially during this special season.  

    First and foremost though, they are there to keep you safe and well. They’ll be making it a priority to run through important health and safety aspects with you and your fellow guests.    

    Day 1

    Setting off from the White Cliffs 

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Norway bound

    23 December 2022

    This day at sea gives you all the time you need to ease into your journey. You’ll definitely want to start enjoying onboard facilities like the hot tubs, sauna, and indoor gym.  

    The Expedition Team will begin the first in their series of insightful lectures over at the Science Center. Each member of the team are experts on different subjects and you’ll find them to be walking, talking treasure troves of stories and information. They’ll share their extensive knowledge about the places, Christmas traditions, history, and natural phenomena you are likely to encounter.  

    Our Captain’s goal is to bring us into Egersund the next day, but where wind and waves on the North Sea are involved, nothing can be completely set in stone, especially in the winter season. This is just part and parcel of the expedition experience, adding extra suspense and excitement to your adventure.  

    Norwegians celebrate Christmas on the 24th rather than the 25th of December. This means that today, the 23rd is Lille Juleaften or Christmas Eve in Norway. Each family has its own traditions; some might weave julekurver – heart-shaped paper decorations, others build gingerbread houses, decorate the tree, or eat risengrynsgrøt – a warm rice porridge served with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Perhaps you’ll even take one of these Norwegian traditions back home with you and make it your own? 

    Day 2
    At sea

    Norway bound

  • Day 3

    Christmas cheer

    24 December 2022

    We arrive in Egersund in the morning. Today is Christmas for Norwegians so the town is likely to be quiet, meaning we’ll have it all to ourselves. Bask in the magical atmosphere while admiring the rustic wooden houses and narrow streets of the historic town, decked out in festive decorations, fairy lights, and a Christmas tree in the town square. 

    Peruse the many beautifully decorated shops of the pedestrianised town centre. You’ll find homemade products and charming handicrafts, perfect for any last-minute gift-buying. To help keep you warm, cafés will likely be selling hot gløgg (mulled wine) as well as other seasonal snacks.  

    A visit to the local chocolate and ice cream factory is also well worth a visit. There are small windows inside where you can see tasty treats being prepared. Indulge in gourmet chocolate and pick from a range of ice cream flavours. We recommend the pepperkake-is, gingerbread ice cream! 

    You might also have the option of attending a Christmas service and an outdoor choir concert at the local parish church. The white, wooden building was erected in the cruciform style and dates back to 1623. It is Egersund’s oldest standing building. 

    After enjoying the delights of Egersund, you’ll return to the ship in the afternoon. We continue to sail north and later find a place with calm waters to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner. The menu will be inspired by the same Christmas dinner Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen enjoyed on his expedition to the North Pole aboard the original Fram in 1893. It was also the year Hurtigruten was founded. 

    Our chefs will have been busy preparing rich oxtail soup, traditional fish terrine, succulent reindeer with tangy lingonberry marmalade, stewed cloudberries, and kransekake, a Norwegian confectionary made of almonds.  Christmas meals are usually washed down with a generous glass (or more) of local akevitt (snaps) and beer. God jul to all! 

    Day 3

    Christmas cheer

  • Day 4
    Outside Fjærland

    Christmas day in the longest fjord in Norway

    25 December 2022

    It’s Christmas Day morning. Norwegians normally open their gifts after dinner the night before but you might have left yours to unwrap this morning. Share season’s greetings with family and friends or simply admire the scenic winter landscapes as we sail into the longest fjord in Norway, Sognefjorden.

    Today, we will celebrate nature in all its glory. We plan to cruise deep into the fjord to the tiny hamlet of Fjærland. We will go ashore to discover this idyllic glacier village, where the Sognefjord meets Jostedalsbreen Glacier.

    This quirky village, home to only 300 residents, has been named the Norwegian Book Town for its 10 second-hand bookshops. These shops are tucked away in charming corners and old buildings, from ferry waiting rooms to stables. Most of these will be closed on Christmas Day but you can get a sense of their charm from outside and even by peeking in through the windows!

    On the banks of this pretty village, if weather permits, you’ll have the chance to go on a winter hike or kayak in incredible nature with the Expedition Team on an optional excursion.

    Jostedalsbreen Glacier is the largest glacier on the European continent. It has several smaller glacial arms stretching out in many directions including Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen. Fjærland is the perfect place to learn more from our Expedition Team about how glaciers created the beautiful fjords of Norway.

    As you enjoy a delicious meal back on board the ship, you can continue to admire the views as we exit the fjord and rejoin the coastal waters. This will certainly be a Christmas to remember.

    Day 4
    Outside Fjærland

    Christmas day in the longest fjord in Norway

  • Day 5
    At sea

    Cruising the coastal inner route towards the Arctic

    26 December 2022

    Today marks the start of Romjulen, the quieter period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Many Norwegians head to the slopes to go skiing or sledding. We’ll be spending the day at sea en route to the famous Lofoten Islands and into the Arctic Circle.

    If you celebrated a little too merrily last night, today will provide you with a day to recover. Relax in the ship’s Explorer Lounge, soak in a hot tub, or take in the scenery out on deck as we sail through Helgeland county.

    Gaze out over thousands of small isles and pick out the Seven Sisters mountain range and famous Torghatten Mountain with its distinctive natural hole right through its centre.

    The Expedition Team continues its on-board lecture series and there may be a photography workshop, giving you top tips on how to capture the best Northern Lights images.

    This may come in very useful as we head north of the Arctic Circle into the Aurora Zone where your chances of seeing the Northern Lights improve considerably.

    It is the Polar Night above the Arctic Circle, 24 hours of night. It’s not complete darkness though as you’ll also get to experience the very romantic ‘blue hour’. This is an extended twilight that can actually be several hours long. The winter sun glows just below the horizon, bathing Norway’s fjords and mountains in a dreamy cobalt-blue light. 

    Day 5
    At sea

    Cruising the coastal inner route towards the Arctic

  • Day 6
    Svolvær, Lofoten

    Experience a Blue Christmas in the fjords

    27 December 2022

    There are only a few places on Earth where you can sail north of the Arctic Circle in wintertime. The Norwegian coast is one of them. The ship will officially cross over the Arctic Circle sometime in the morning. To mark the occasion, in the tradition of Norwegian sailors, we’ll invite you out on deck for a special ceremony.

    As we approach the Lofoten archipelago, the sight of the massive wall of mountains and dramatic peaks rising up out of the sea is something you’ll never forget. Serene fishing villages sit nestled in the sheltered coves, all the more charming when dusted with the season’s snow and if the aurora is seen swirling above.

    We sail along Vestfjord and arrive in Svolvær, the largest town in Lofoten, in the afternoon. You’ll be greeted by rows of rorbuer (fishing huts) and wooden racks dotted along the shore called hjell. Here, locally caught cod is dried and turned into stockfish, a prized local delicacy.

    If the shops and art galleries along the seafront are open, pick up some Lofot caviar, some locally handcrafted candles, or handblown glass to bring home as souvenirs. You may even be able to rent a kicksled for a traditional ride through the town powered by kicking the ground with your leg and foot.

    From where you dock, it’s a short walk to your inclusive visit to the multicoloured Magic Ice bar. The former fish-freezing warehouse is filled with ice sculptures that depict Lofoten life and Viking culture. Enjoy a signature spirit to warm you up, served in an ice glass of course!

    Guided by your expert Expedition Team, you can join optional excursions to snowshoe or hike among the spectacular Lofoten scenery in the Polar Night, lit by headlamps and perhaps even by the Northern Lights themselves.

    Day 6
    Svolvær, Lofoten

    Experience a Blue Christmas in the fjords

  • Day 7

    A historical port surrounded by fjords

    28 December 2022

    We arrive into Narvik in the morning. The town has a spectacular setting on a peninsula surrounded by three fjords: The Ofotfjord, Rombaken, and Beisfjord. The multiple mountains also help to shelter its popular ski slopes from strong coastal winds.

    Narvik developed as an all-year port for Swedish iron mines, which was of strategic importance for Germany during World War II. You’ll visit the Narvik War Museum to see exhibits and artifacts from the war, learning about the heroism of British and Allied troops in Operation Wilfred to liberate the town from the Nazis.

    Afterwards, browse the town’s galleries, shops, and restaurants, which specialise in locally-sourced seafood from the fjords and reindeer meat from the mountains.

    If weather allows, ride the cable car to the top of Mount Narvik to see the breathtaking views and twinkling Christmas lights decorating the town or go on optional excursion hikes, snowshoeing or kayaking on the fjord.

    Day 7

    A historical port surrounded by fjords

  • Day 8

    On the lookout for the Northern Lights

    29 December 2022

    Alta lies in the vast wilderness of Troms and Finnmark county, well above the Arctic Circle at 70 degrees north. Welcome to the turning point of your expedition and to one of the northernmost towns in the world with a population over 10,000. This is a cute town to stroll around, decorated in Christmas lights and the season’s snow.

    We’ll arrive here in the early afternoon and plan to stay past midnight to stargaze and watch for the aurora in Alta’s skies. The town is directly beneath the Auroral Oval, a zone known for consistent Northern Lights activity. If the heavens aren’t overcast, and the conditions are right, you might well be in for quite the show...

    You’ll learn more about the aurora at the modern Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta, situated at the end of the Christmas-decorated pedestrian street. The titanium-clad building and its spiral belfry dominate the skyline here, all the more impressive when illuminated at night.

    There is an interactive exhibition in the cathedral that chronicles how Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland established Alta as an epicentre for ground-breaking Northern Lights research in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll also be treated to a classical concert in the cathedral as part of your visit… perfect for the festive season!

    ‘Buorit Juovllat!’ That’s Merry Christmas in North Sámi. Troms and Finnmark county forms part of the traditional lands of the indigenous Sámi whose livelihoods revolve around semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Not far from Alta is Máze, a Sámi village located along Kautokeino River, that you can visit and experience Sámi culture and food as part of an optional excursion.

    When more snow falls as winter progresses, Alta is also prime territory for visits to snow hotels, dog sledding and snowmobiling. For example, the ice hotel in Sorrisniva has a new design every year and is open to visitors for tours. You will also be able to join optional excursions to go snowshoeing and hiking in the incredible tundra wilderness.

    Day 8

    On the lookout for the Northern Lights

  • Day 9

    The Gateway to the Arctic

    30 December 2022

    Your Yuletide adventure, filled with the magical beauty of nature, continues as we look out for humpback whales out on deck or in the Explorer Lounge. Families of these majestic mammals are known to frequent these winter waters, feeding on the abundant herring. The Expedition Team will be on hand to alert you to any sightings.

    Our next stop is Tromsø, capital of the Arctic. We’ll arrive around lunchtime and spend the rest of the day and evening exploring its fascinating history, culture and bold architecture.

    The city is especially pretty around Christmas, festooned with lights and decorations. The Arctic Cathedral is one of the most striking landmarks in Tromsø, especially when lit up at night. It features a huge stained-glass window that is well worth seeing up close.

    You can busy yourself by browsing the shops or sampling the region’s fresh produce in a range of restaurants. Why not drop into a local bakery and try some seasonal julekake, ‘Norwegian Hole Cake’, made with raisins and orange peel?

    For more festive spirit, join the friendly locals in the town’s many pubs. Tromsø is home to the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Bryggeri, which also runs Ølhallen, a popular and lively pub.

    Your included activity is a visit to the Polar Museum, housed in a converted 1830s warehouse on the seafront. You’ll enjoy exhibitions about the city’s heritage and famous trappers like Henry Rudi and Wanny Wolstad, the first female hunter in Svalbard.

    You’ll also learn about Tromsø’s crucial role in the expeditions of legendary explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. The Expedition Team’s lecture today may go into more detail about Norway’s polar history or may cover the nation’s many scientific achievements.

    Other winter activities in Tromsø include optional excursions with our Expedition Team on nature hikes and by snowshoe in the surrounding hills offering panoramic Polar Night views of the city. And like many places in Arctic Norway in winter, the landscape transforms into the ideal place for an exhilarating dog sledding experience.

    Day 9

    The Gateway to the Arctic

  • Day 10

    Last dance this year in the Lofoten Islands!

    31 December 2022

    It’s New Year’s Eve and you’ll be spending it in the picture-perfect fishing village of Reine, in the Lofoten Islands. This is where red-painted, snow-covered rorbuer cling to a string of islands beneath sharp, dark grey granite mountain ranges. The 450-metre tall Reinebringen is one of the most distinctive peaks, particularly dramatic when layered with snow.

    The combination of setting and colour makes Reine one of the most photographed landscapes in all of Norway. You’ll be hoping the Northern Lights are active above the village when we are there, completing the composition of your own photo of this piece of paradise.

    After marveling at the scenery and discovering pretty Reine, you’ll go on your included activity for today. A 30-minute bus ride will take you to Å, one of the best-preserved traditional fishing villages in Norway. At the heart of the tiny village is the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum, which covers the importance and development of fishing in Lofoten over the last 250 years.

    Later, we return to Reine where there may be opportunities to go on hikes with the Expedition Team or even try some winter kayaking. The views here will certainly tempt you to sign up to either.

    Leaving Reine, we cross Vestfjorden and aim to find calm waters for our special New Year’s Eve dinner. Expect caviar, king crab, and beef, salmon or nut roast Wellington. Round it off with an aquavit sorbet to kick off more New Year’s Eve celebrations aboard the ship for the rest of the evening.

    As the party reaches its climax and the clock counts down to midnight, you might be treated to both fireworks and the Northern Lights in the skies above. Not a bad way to see in the new year, not bad at all...

    Day 10

    Last dance this year in the Lofoten Islands!

  • Day 11
    At sea

    Serenity of the sea

    1 January 2023

    After the festivities of last night, you’ll likely be glad to have a day at sea to rest and recover! Spend this first day of the new year in full relaxation mode. While away a few hours chatting in the ship’s Explorer Lounge, enjoy an invigorating session in the sauna, or head out on deck for a stroll in the fresh air.

    You can also treat yourself to a soothing massage in the Wellness Center. Or proudly compare your best photographs and swap stories of the different excursions with new-found friends.

    We also support a number of Citizen Science projects that you can join. These projects include Happywhale, where your photographs help identify and track the movement of specific whales across the planet due to their distinguishing characteristics. Or you can participate in the GLOBE Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions from below with data collected by satellites from above. By participating in these projects, not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining a better understanding of the world around you.

    Day 11
    At sea

    Serenity of the sea

  • Day 12

    The hidden ‘Frozen Bay’

    2 January 2023

    We welcome you to the little fishing village of Kalvåg, far out on the coastline with the open North Sea to the west. Its name literally means ‘Frozen Bay’ in the Old Norse.

    As its name suggests, the local weather and sea conditions don’t always make it possible for our ship to make a landing here but if we can, you’ll discover one of the best kept secrets of the Norwegian coast. No other expedition ships visit Kalvåg, so you’ll experience an authentic slice-of-life community who will likely be thrilled to have visitors.

    As part of our traditional Norwegian coastal voyage, our Captains have sailed these waters for decades, always wishing there was time to stop and show you around this oh-so-charming village. We’ve listened to their expert recommendation and now, that’s exactly what you’ll get to do.

    Admire an open-air art exhibition and walk around Kalvåg’s collection of old waterfront buildings, from restored wooden wharfs to herring salting warehouses. Cosy-looking houses cluster together around the bay, the reflections of their lights shimmering like candles in the waters below. The wonderful wintery atmosphere is even more captivating with the village coated in a snug blanket of snow. 

    If the weather allows, you’ll have the chance to join one of our optional hikes or winter kayaking excursions in this picturesque, quaint and isolated setting.

    Day 12

    The hidden ‘Frozen Bay’

  • Day 13

    Norwegian heritage

    3 January 2023

    Today is the last day of our great Norwegian winter exploration. It begins as we arrive at Mosterøy and Klosterøy in the morning, two of the myriad islands that lie around the city of Stavanger. The islands here are relatively exposed to the sea so our shore landing will be decided based on how kind the waves and wind are on the day.

    Mosterøy is a lovely island made up of a mixture of pastures for cattle, horticulture, and cute neighbourhoods all around. To the west of the island is Fjøløy fort, a small coastal battery built by the German army in 1941 during World War II.

    Klosterøy occupies less than a square mile but is home to the historic Utstein Abbey and the 800-year-old Utstein Church. The abbey is Norway’s best-preserved medieval monastery sitting in beautiful surroundings. Parts of the monastery are hired out as a venue for concerts, seminars, and conventions. On arrival, you might be greeted by guides in medieval costume.

    Weather permitting, you will be offered optional excursions for hikes and winter kayaking in the tranquil inlets with our Expedition Team. The lecture series continues with topics such as bird migration in Norway and unique bird calls.

    Day 13

    Norwegian heritage

  • Day 14
    At sea

    Headed home

    4 January 2023

    It’s our final day at sea and your cruise with us is fast drawing to a close. Your thoughts might naturally turn to home, or maybe you’ll find that you’ll have already left your heart back in Norway.

    Today will be a good time to spend reflecting on and taking stock of all the wonderful experiences you’ve had. Like the sensation of standing in awe under the Northern Lights. Or the spectacular scenery of the Lofoten Islands in Reine. Or maybe the cosy, idyllic islands of Kalvåg and Mosterøy.

    The Expedition Team will likely be in a similar mood as you, and you can join them as they fondly recap the highlights of the thrilling cruise you’ve shared together. Their enthusiasm and stories of other expeditions might even tempt you to return to Norway with us again, eager to experience other places on its coast but perhaps in a different season next time.

    For your next cruise here, spring offers the best of both sun and snow while summer is when the Midnight Sun reigns supreme day and night, making the fjords and mountains appear even more vibrant. Autumn has a special kind of sunlight that bathes the yellow, rust-coloured leaves in hazy gold hues. Whichever season you choose, you’ll probably fall in love with Norway all over again.

    Day 14
    At sea

    Headed home

  • Day 15

    Refreshed and ready for the new year

    5 January 2023
    Estimated time of arrival is 09:00

    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, ready to enter the new year in earnest.  

    As you head ashore, you’ll take with you the lifetime memories of Norway in winter during Christmas time - wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and cities, friendly people, and the magical Northern Lights.  

    Dover acts as the gateway to English countryside, the verdant counties of Kent and Surrey, and beyond to the melting pot of London. But before you rush off, you might to like to visit Dover Castle, tipped to be the largest in England.  

    There is a rare Roman lighthouse here, one of only three in the world and reputedly the UK’s oldest building. You can also go on a tour of the underground hospital and secret WWII tunnels that run beneath the castle complex. 

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure! 

    Day 15

    Refreshed and ready for the new year



  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Current offers on this cruise:

  • Save up to 15% off

    Take advantage of our early bird offer on our 2022-2023 Dover cruises and save up to 15%. Book by February 28th, 2022.
    Valid on new bookings only departing between 23 March 2022 to 14 March 2023. Bookings must be confirmed by February 28th, 2022.
    See Special Offer
  • Northern Lights Promise

    The beautiful Aurora Borealis is Mother Nature’s ultimate light show. We know that no trip to the Arctic Circle is quite complete without experiencing this highlight at least once on your journey.
    If the Northern Lights do not appear on your cruise to Norway, we will give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage FREE OF CHARGE.
    See Special Offer

What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Trekking poles, head lamps and walking poles available if necessary
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected
MS Maud
Your ship

MS Maud

Year built 2003
Ship yard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 500
Gross tonnage 16,151 T
Length 135,75 m
Beam 21.5 m
Speed 15 knots
MS Maud

Formerly the MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising.

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