Late Autumn Expedition Cruise from Tromsø to Amsterdam

Late Autumn Expedition Cruise from Tromsø to Amsterdam

Late Autumn Expedition Cruise from Tromsø to Amsterdam

Late Autumn Expedition Cruise from Tromsø to Amsterdam

Travel information 13 Days MS Spitsbergen
Departure
22 October 2022
Price from
£ 3044
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Check prices and availability

Enjoy an autumn adventure along the stunning Norwegian coast and down to Amsterdam, learning about the vibrant history of this part of Northern Europe.

Beautiful landscapes and Norway’s fjords

Sailing south from Tromsø we’ll witness the iconic beauty of the Lofoten Islands and visit the traditional fishing town of Svolvær. Savour the special atmosphere in this region as you learn about Viking history and bask in autumnal glory. Further south, more nature experiences await as we aim to visit the unique holed mountain formation of Torghatten and explore the charming town of Brønnøysund.

Enjoy the fall hues, crisp air and mountaintops dusted with fresh snow, as we explore Norway’s south coast. Learn more about glaciers, traditional farming and life in picture-postcard settlements deep in the fjords.

Historic cities and picturesque islands

A full day in Bergen gives you time to enjoy the compact city centre, or experience a trip on the Fløibanen funicular railway for panoramic views. Bergen is a picturesque city where you’ll see the old wharves in the UNESCO-protected Bryggen district. We’ll also call on Egursund, with its colourful wooden houses.

After entering the North Sea, we’ll arrive at the small German holiday island of Heligoland, where cars are banned and walkers rule, before visiting Hamburg, the so-called ‘Venice of the North’. Our voyage ends in art-saturated Amsterdam, with its cobbled streets and web of canals

Accompanying us on our cruise in an onboard Expedition Team who’ll give talks on the history, culture and wildlife, among other things, of the places we sail to. Pack your sense of adventure and expect the unexpected as we explore this alluring region aboard our comfortable and stylish ship MS Spitsbergen.

Late Autumn Expedition Cruise from Tromsø to Amsterdam Late Autumn Expedition Cruise from Tromsø to Amsterdam
  • Day 1
    Tromsø, Norway

    Our adventure begins

    22 October 2022
    Estimated time of departure is 21:00

    Historically, Tromsø has been the starting point for numerous Arctic expeditions, making it the ideal first destination for our adventure. Today, the city is sometimes called the ‘Paris of the North’ due to its cosmopolitan outlook and it sophisticated feel – you'll soon see why.

    Tromsø’s attractions include plenty of historical, cultural and architectural sights. The small city has a lively café scene, a relaxed atmosphere and a range of restaurants specialising in the fresh produce of the region. In the centre you’ll find some interesting shops and boutiques offering a range of locally-made specialties.

    The city’s most recognisable landmark is the Arctic Cathedral. It was built as recently as 1965, and features a huge stained-glass mosaic. For fresh air and epic views, take the Fjellheisen cable car to the top of nearby Mt. Fløyfjellet and enjoy a breathtaking vista of the city, mountains and fjords.

    The experience centre Polaria lies not far from the city centre – architecturally it looks like stacked ice. Here you’ll find an Arctic aquarium, exhibitions and a panoramic cinema. Pay a visit to the University Museum of Tromsø, which showcases Norwegian nature and culture. Focusing on the indigenous Sami people, the museum also highlights Norway’s archaeological heritage, geology and the Northern Lights.

    After exploring Tromsø, your comfortable and stylish expedition ship MS Spitsbergen will be waiting for you in the port. Once you’ve boarded, you’ll pick up your complimentary expedition jacket and take time to settle into your cabin. Afterwards you can explore the ship, and there’ll be a mandatory safety drill. In the evening you’ll enjoy the first of many sumptuous dinners on board and there’ll be a welcome toast by the Captain, wishing us a great cruise.

    Pre-Programme

    There’s plenty to see and do in Tromsø so if you feel like you’d like to get to know this charming Norwegian city a bit better before embarkation we recommend booking our optional Pre-Programme. This includes a cable car ride to the top of a nearby mountain and an overnight stay in a nice, centrally-located hotel.

    Day 1
    Tromsø, Norway

    Our adventure begins

  • Day 2
    Svolvær, Norway

    Majestic beauty of the Lofoten Islands

    23 October 2022

    This picture postcard archipelago really will take your breath away! Lofoten is a group of starkly beautiful islands that have cultural roots that are deeply associated with the Vikings. The combination of dramatic peaks, sheltered coves, and pristine waters is simply beautiful beyond compare. Lofoten is also known for its enchanting villages and placid, sandy beaches.

    Harvesting the seas has been a way of life here for centuries, and you’ll see the fishing villages, with their photogenic cabins – or rorbu – which are set out in rows along the shore. Originally built to house those who would migrate here seasonally to fish for cod, these cabins give the villages a truly old-world feel.

    You might also spot the wooden racks called hjell dotted around the shores of the town. Cod is air dried on these without the addition of salt, and turned into tørrfisk – or stockfish in English – a prized local delicacy. Catching and processing cod in this manner is a way of life in Lofoten, and you’ll see evidence in many places of the islanders’ proud fishing heritage.

    Svolvær, the biggest town on the archipelago, is close to Lofoten’s many magnificent sights and provides easy access to activities such as kayaking and walking in nature. You’ll also find interesting shops, galleries, cafés, and restaurants dotted around town.

    Day 2
    Svolvær, Norway

    Majestic beauty of the Lofoten Islands

  • Day 3
    Svartisen, Norway

    Dark ice glacier

    24 October 2022

    We’ll be sailing into the Holandsfjord off the Helgeland coast today to get to the glacier named Svartisen. Meaning ‘black ice’ Svartisen covers 230 square miles and has 60 tongues, making it Norway’s second largest glacier after Jostedalsbreen. It’s actually made up of two separate glaciers, Vestisen and the Østisen, which are divided by a wide valley. The first time you set eyes on this spectacular glacier it’ll be frozen into your memory!

    It might mean ‘black ice’, but the actual colour of Svartisen ranges from turquoise to dark blue, but never quite black. There are deep tunnels beneath the 660 ft.-thick ice that go down to the roots of the mountains – and it’s the site of an independent glaciology research laboratory constructed to help scientists better understand the phenomenon of glacial meltwater.

    Our aim for the day is to land on the local jetty and get a closer look at this frozen wonder by way of exploration on foot. You’ll spend the day exploring Engenbreen, an accessible arm of the glacier that stretches all the way down to the sea. There are limestone caves to be discovered in in the mountains to the east along marked trails.

    In the afternoon you’ll be back aboard MS Spitsbergen, warming your toes and perhaps enjoying a hot drink after the morning’s icy adventure. Why not really warm up in our amazing panoramic sauna, which offers fantastic views of the beautiful outdoor scenery as you relax. There are also hot tubs out on deck, if you haven’t tried them yet.

    Day 3
    Svartisen, Norway

    Dark ice glacier

  • Day 4
    Torghatten, Norway

    Hole of the mountain king

    25 October 2022

    In the morning, we’ll sail past many of the small islands that dot the waters of Helgeland county. From the ship you’ll be able to pick out the peaks of the Seven Sisters mountain range, which Norse mythology says are seven petrified troll sisters.

    Our goal for today is to explore Torghatten, a small mountain outside the town of Brønnøysund. As far as mountains go, at less than 850 ft. It's not exactly Mt. Everest, but what makes it special is the distinctive hole that goes straight through it. This unusual feature has made it one of the most photographed sights in Norway.

    We plan to anchor close by and use small boats to land on shore, but if weather says otherwise we’ll dock in a nearby port and reach Torghatten by bus. Geologists generally agree that the scientific explanation for its 98-foot-high, hole is due to erosion during the last Ice Age. But that isn’t the only explanation for the unusual phenomenon.

    Norwegian folklore tells of the troll Hestmannen who was besotted with the fair maiden Lekamøya. When his advances were spurned, Hestmannen flew into a rage and loosed an arrow at her, which went right through the mountain creating a huge hole. Witnessing this, the troll-king of Sømna Mountain threw his hat into the path of the arrow just in time to save Lekamøya.

    But there’s a twist at the end of the tale. Just as the mountain king threw his hat, the sun sent its first rays over the horizon, turning all the trolls to stone. Lekamøya herself is immortalised as a small mountain to the south of Torghatten.

    If you’re feeling up for an adventure you can join the Expedition Team and hike up to the mountain’s hole. For something a bit less strenuous, there’s an alternative walk around the mountain.

    Day 4
    Torghatten, Norway

    Hole of the mountain king

  • Day 5
    Åndalsnes, Norway

    Stunning mountain scenery

    26 October 2022

    Today we’ll sail along Romsdalsfjorden towards the tiny settlement of Åndalsnes, set deep in the Romsdalen valley. Along the way we might see some early snow dusting the mountain peaks adding to the prettiness of the beautiful scenery of islands and rocky reefs along the coast.

    Åndalsnes is seen as a basecamp for exploring the Romsdalsfjorden. From here you can explore Trollveggen, the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, which looms majestically over the valley. To get the best views, you can hitch a ride on the Romsdal Gondola to the mountain station on Mt. Nesaksla, 2,277 ft. above the fjord. From there you’ll have a fantastic vista down to Åndalsnes and the Romsdalsfjord.

    The scenery here truly is spectacular. In his novel Flaggermusmannen – or The Bat - Jo Nesbø waxes lyrical about the region, writing, “That was where God had started when He was creating the world, and that He had spent so long on Romsdalen that the rest of the world had to be done post-haste to be finished by Sunday.”

    There are many angles to experience the valley from. If you want to enjoy the scenery at ground level, follow one of the local hiking trails. For those who fancy more of a challenge, we recommend hikes on the Romsdalseggen ridge, or just up to Rampestreken view point, 1,853 ft. above the village.

    The starkly modern-looking Norwegian Mountaineering Museum is situated in Åndalsnes. Here, you’ll get an insight into the history of mountaineering in Norway, and be able to try out some of the equipment on display.

    Just before dinner we’ll set sail again towards the longest and deepest fjord of Norway – Sognefjorden.

    Day 5
    Åndalsnes, Norway

    Stunning mountain scenery

  • Day 6
    Fjærland, Norway

    The longest fjord in Norway

    27 October 2022

    Around lunchtime we’ll sail into Sognefjorden, the so-called ‘King of the Fjords’ due to it being the longest and deepest in Norway. Stretching 127 miles inland from the coast, we plan to cruise deep into its interior and visit the tiny hamlet of Fjærland. 

    Only about 300 people live in idyllic Fjærland, and when you go ashore you’ll discover just how charming and quaint this little old village is. Fjærland is a designated Norwegian Book Town, meaning there are a lot of books here, and picturesque second-hand book shops and stands can be found around every corner. In fact, there are over 2.5 miles of books on shelves in this tiny village, so it’s claimed – the perfect place to pick up a paperback.

    This is also the place where Sognefjorden meets one of Norway’s best-known glaciers, Jostedalsbreen. It’s the largest glacier on the European continent and has several smaller glacial arms stretching out in many directions, including Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen. 

    Enjoy an included visit to the Norwegian Glacier Museum and find out more about the processes involved in their creation. Designed by famed architect Sverre Fehn, this award-winning museum allows you to engage with hands-on exhibits that explain why the ice is blue and how the fjords were formed. You can even perform some ‘cool’ experiments with 1,000-year-old glacier ice.

    Day 6
    Fjærland, Norway

    The longest fjord in Norway

  • Day 7
    Bergen, Norway

    Norway’s old capital still charms

    28 October 2022

    We’ll arrive in Bergen in the morning. It’s often said that Bergen is one of Norway’s most picturesque cities, and you’ll soon see why. The city is surrounded by seven mountains, and some beautiful fjord scenery. What’s made it so well-known is its unique charm, which is something you have to experience for yourself.

    Founded in 1070 CE, and known as a gateway to the fjords, Bergen was once Norway’s capital for many years. You’ll see that the city has retained a great deal of its local character, heritage and allure. Enjoy strolling around the old streets and alleyways where people have lived for centuries.

    An included activity in Bergen is an excursion to Mount Fløyen.  A funicular railway has been transporting visitors to the top of the mountain for over a century, and from the top you’ll get an amazing view looking out across this picturesque city and seeing the blend of colourful homes, mountain scenery, and clear blue water. If there’s time, we might also have an opportunity to venture into the alpine forest here for a short hike.

    Back in the centre again, spend some time wandering the cobbled streets and alleyways of this thriving, compact city. Be sure to visit the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its colourful wooden wharves. The area dates back to the 14th century and now houses boutique stores selling a range of arts and handicrafts. Across from Bryggen is Bergen’s famous fish market, which is full of sights, sounds – and scents – to savour.

    Day 7
    Bergen, Norway

    Norway’s old capital still charms

  • Day 8
    Eidfjord, Norway

    Spectacular waterfalls

    29 October 2022

    Today we head inland and sail into Hardangerfjord, the second largest fjord in Norway. This impressive waterway winds its way into the heart of Norway’s coastline for 111 miles. As we sail along it, we’ll pass by many scenic villages, such as Rosendal, Sunndal and Ulvik. Down here in the south-west of Norway, the climate is normally mild during autumn.

    It will be several hours before we reach our day’s destination at the innermost point of the fjord, Eidfjord. It’s a very old settlement and there’s been human activity here for over a millennium. Not far from the village are the remains of ancient Viking burial mounds. The Old Eidfjord Church was built in 1309, and sits centre-stage against the backdrop of the beautiful mountains surrounding it.

    Eidfjord is a perfect starting point to explore Hardangervidda National Park or one of the many waterfalls in the region. One of the most well-known is Vøringsfossen, which pours water down through the Måbødalen valley from a height of 597 ft. There are a number of viewpoints that can be accessed to see this spectacular sight, including the newly-built viewing platform at the Fossli Hotel.

    Your Expedition Team are on hand to offer advice on the best routes for walking in the town, and you’ll also have the option to join them on some onshore hikes and kayaking. Eidfjord also has a few cafés, restaurants, and shops, where buy a souvenir, or simply enjoy a coffee and enjoy the view.

    As the sun goes down, we’ll depart Eidfjord and sail out of Hardangerfjord towards our next adventure.

    Day 8
    Eidfjord, Norway

    Spectacular waterfalls

  • Day 9
    Egersund, Norway

    Picturesque town of wooden houses

    30 October 2022

    You’ll love Egersund, with its cosy vibe. The town is famous for its brightly coloured, wooden houses - a real departure from the white-painted dwellings of many of Norway’s towns, and a welcome sight as you approach the harbour. Depending on the weather conditions, we aim to arrive at Egersund early in the morning.

    People have lived around the area of Egersund since the Stone Age. There are several places around the town where you’ll find ruins of settlements dating back to the early migrations around 400 – 600 BCE, and ancient runes have been found carved into rocks nearby. It’s also one of the best natural harbours in Norway, and it used to be the largest in the country when measured in quantity of fish landed each year.

    Enjoy exploring the cosy town centre, which has preserved some of the best examples of wooden houses - a few even dating back 160 years. The varied landscape surrounding the town is great for walking.

    For a panoramic view of the town and coast, we recommend you hike to the viewpoint of Varberg, about 15 minutes from the centre of town. You’ll enjoy great views all over the city from this vantage point, seeing the array of coloured buildings sitting low in the valley, surrounded trees in autumnal colours.

    An optional hike is on offer in the morning with your Expedition Team, who’ll take you into this beautiful hilly area. After lunch we’ll set out into the North Sea towards Heligoland, our first stop in Germany.

    Day 9
    Egersund, Norway

    Picturesque town of wooden houses

  • Day 10
    Heligoland, Germany

    A tranquil oasis of calm

    31 October 2022

    After lunch, we’ll arrive at Heligoland, which lies around 30 miles from the German mainland.

    Germany’s only archipelago features Heligoland Island, a red sandstone outcrop known for its laid-back holiday vibe and its plentiful lobsters. Originally settled by Frisians in the Middle Ages, Heligoland became a pirate base. Since then it has changed hands several times between Denmark, Britain and Germany. In fact, the British swapped it for the tropical African island of Zanzibar in 1891, which was German-ruled at the time.

    The crowds are low at this time of year and the colours are soft with autumn hues. Enjoy strolling in the charming streets, and see the colourful fishermen’s houses that line the harbour promenade. Originally used as storage, they house restaurants and souvenir shops these days. Except for a few taxis, there are no cars on the island, adding to the blissfully calm atmosphere.

    There are a few interesting museums if you want to learn more about the island’s colourful history. But if you’d rather get active, there are several walking tails on the island, some of which lead along the cliffs. A hike along the coast will lead to the Lange Anna rock formations. ‘Lange Anna', along with her little ‘sister’, form two pinnacles jutting out of the sea.

    After spending an enjoyable day on this pleasant and slightly idiosyncratic holiday island, it’s time to head back to the ship and set our course for Hamburg.

    Day 10
    Heligoland, Germany

    A tranquil oasis of calm

  • Day 11
    Hamburg, Germany

    The ‘Venice of the North’

    1 November 2022

    Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and one of the greenest urban areas in all Europe. Sometimes called the ‘Venice of the North’ due to its numerous canals, you can enjoy a boat tour to explore the city’s waterways. You can also easily explore on foot, by bike or by hop-on, hop-off bus.

    Visit the old floating dock of Landungsbrücken, see the old ships and yards, waterfront buildings, and the Old Elbe Tunnel. Climb the 433 ft. bell tower of the famous St. Michael’s Church for stunning views over the city.

    Many places of interest are concentrated in the Altstadt or Old Town. Take a look at St. Catherine’s Church and the St. Nikolai Memorial, discover the timber-framed houses of Deichstraße Historic Street and see the impressive City Hall on Rathausmarkt Square.

    The world’s largest warehouse complex at Kontorhausviertel and Speicherstadt, which together with Chilehaus, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you must choose just one museum to visit, Hamburg Kunsthalle ranks as the nation’s foremost art museum. You can break up the sightseeing with some browsing on Mönckebergstraße, or stop for some traditional Hamburger fare like aalsuppe, a ham soup with dried fruits, or labskaus, corned beef with potato and pickles.

    There really are a lot of things to see and do in Hamburg, and by the time you head back to MS Spitsbergen you’ll probably feel like putting your feet up and giving your legs a rest. The good news is that you won’t need to do anything apart from relax until we reach Amsterdam, the day after tomorrow.

    Day 11
    Hamburg, Germany

    The ‘Venice of the North’

  • Day 12
    North Sea

    Bracing North Sea air

    2 November 2022

    Our journey is almost at an end and today there’s nothing to do but relax, enjoy the ships facilities, and perhaps catch up on your travel journal. You might want to go out on deck and enjoy the bracing North Sea air, and spend some time looking out for seabirds. Or maybe you just want to curl up in a comfy chair and finish off that paperback you picked up in Fjærland.

    If you haven’t already done so, now might be the time to check out the Science Center in more depth, and learn about the Citizen Science programmes we run. These aim to help scientists around the world better understand the locations we sail to, and contribute valuable research.

    In the Explorer Lounge & Bar your Expedition Team will summarise the voyage, and there will be our farewell gathering – an opportunity to swap contact details with some of the friends you’ve made over the last 12 days.

    This evening you’ll savour another sumptuous meal in the Aune restaurant, and prepare yourself for one last awesome destination on your expedition cruise, Amsterdam.

    Day 12
    North Sea

    Bracing North Sea air

  • Day 13
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Amsterdam – city of canals and art

    3 November 2022
    Estimated time of arrival is 06:00

    Today, after disembarkation, you can wander the quaint cobbled streets and see the reflective canals of Amsterdam – the city where the land meets the sea. The Netherlands’ famously liberal capital is a showcase of architectural styles, and it’s saturated in history.

    Founded in the Middle Ages, Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural heritage. Located at the estuary of the river Ij, the original settlement was built on islets of moving sand linked by a thousand bridges. Today, water remains all pervasive and it’s still is a city that looks to the sea.

    The concentric, semi-circular rings of canals found in the original core of the city look somewhat like a spider’s web on the map. Walk around beside these iconic canals and across the old bridges between the rivers Amstel and Ij. You’ll probably come across the charming townhouses lining the canals of the Grachtengordel. They were built in the 17th and 18th centuries by wealthy merchants, and are now protected by UNESCO.

    Head over to Museumplein, where three of the world's top museums await you. The Rijksmuseum has one of the greatest European galleries, known for its unrivalled collection of Dutch masters, including Rembrandt. Meanwhile, the Vincent Van Gogh Museum has the world’s largest collection of the troubled genius’s paintings, while the Stedelijk Museum is one of the best places to view modern art.

    Post-Programme

    If you have time and would really like to explore Amsterdam more, you can extend your stay with our Post-Programme. This includes one night in a centrally located 4* hotel, and it means you can discover the city at your own pace. A transfer will take you to the airport on your departure day.

    Day 13
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Amsterdam – city of canals and art

Departures

2022

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October:
22.

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 restaurant Aune
  • 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, and indoor gym
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings

Not included in your voyage

  • Air travel
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • 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
A large ship in the water
A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
Enjoy Norway's Coastal Kitchen on the new MS Spitsbergen
Photo: © Tor Farstad
Your ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Ship yard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots
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