Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen

Astronomy Voyage | In search of the Northern Lights

Astronomy Voyage | In search of the Northern Lights

Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen

Astronomy Voyage | In search of the Northern Lights

Astronomy Voyage | In search of the Northern Lights

Travel information 12 days
Departures September - November 2022
January - March 2023
October - December 2023
January - March 2024
Price from
£ 1616
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Discover more about the magical Northern Lights, the Arctic sky and the solar system with our onboard lectures from renowned astronomers; Ian Ridpath, John Mason, Sadie Jones and Tom Kerss.
  • Enjoy an exclusive visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromsø with our astronomy experts.
  • Voyage along Norway's coast under the dancing skies of the Northern Lights, visiting 34 ports, more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains.
  • Northern Lights Promise – see the Northern Lights or we’ll give you a FREE 6 or 7-day cruise for the next Northern Lights Season – T&Cs apply
Astronomy Voyage | In search of the Northern Lights

Itinerary

Get unique insight and knowledge about the Arctic sky and the greatest light show on Earth, the Aurora Borealis, on this popular voyage along the mesmerising Norwegian Coast. This unique voyage is accompanied by special lecturers - experts on astronomy and expeditions to see the Northern Lights.

Through the series of lectures and a guided tour of the night sky from the deck of the ship, your lecturer will bring our galaxy’s stars, planets and meteors closer whilst also exploring the numerous myths and legends linked to the constellations in our skies.

DAY 1 : Bergen

All Aboard!

The pier of Bergen is lit up by the colorful sunset sky. The sailing ship Minister Lehmkuhl is at the quay
Bergen under a sunset sky.
Photo: Lars Korvald

Your astronomy adventure begins in Bergen, the cultural gateway to the fjords and the second-largest city in Norway. If you’ve time before your ship departs, visit the UNESCO-listed wharfs of the colourful Bryggen district with its artisan shops and cobblestone streets. Just across the street is the famous Fish Market which serves delicious seafood or venture to the Fløibanen funicular which whisks you up Mount Fløyen for breath-taking views of the city. 

Make yourself at home onboard the ship and enjoy the relaxed ambience, taking the opportunity to meet your fellow guests and astronomers.  

The pier of Bergen is lit up by the colorful sunset sky. The sailing ship Minister Lehmkuhl is at the quay
Bergen under a sunset sky.
Photo: Lars Korvald
The city Ålesund, Norway during twilight blue hour.
Ålesund during the twilight hour.
Photo: Rudy Balasko

DAY 2 : Ålesund

A day for masterpieces

The city Ålesund, Norway during twilight blue hour.
Ålesund during the twilight hour.
Photo: Rudy Balasko

Arrive at the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, renowned for its stunning and picturesque architecture. Take time to explore the city and its rich Norse history or visit Atlanterhavsparken, one of the largest saltwater aquariums in Northern Europe. You can also make your way up to small Mount Aksla for a panorama of the town and its picturesque position surrounded by islands.

In the afternoon, we reach the port of Molde and the amazing view of 222 mountain peaks across the fjord, called the ‘Molde Panorama’.

Optional excursions
  • A Taste of Norway
    A beautiful fjord, narrow valleys, an ancient settlement, historic hotel, and tiny village – join us for this highly popular journey through spectacular Norwegian nature.
  • Mountain Hike in the Hjørundfjord
    Admire the spectacular views of the Hjørundfjord, the Sunnmøre Alps and even the charming villages of Sæbø and Urke on this mountain hike. There’s even time for a midway coffee break and a beer at the end.
  • Geiranger With Trollstigen Pass
    A scenic bus journey from Geiranger village brings you to Eidsdalsvatnet Lake for a ferry ride. We rejoin the bus and travel to Gudbrands Gorge and down the winding Trollstigen Pass to Molde.
  • Hjørundfjord, Geiranger, and Ålesund
    This excursion takes you through Norangsdalen valley, on a ferry ride on UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, up steep Eagle Road, and then to the Art Nouveau city of Ålesund.
  • Hike with a Visit to a Shieling
    Join us for a pleasant hike up from the fjord through lovely meadows to a summer grazing site at Haukås where we learn about traditional farming and taste local delicacies.
  • Kayaking in Ålesund
    Join us on a guided kayaking tour through the elegant town of Ålesund and learn more about its history and Art Nouveau influence.
  • Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla
    Get a bird´s-eye-view of the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund from a nearby mountain before visiting the expansive saltwater Atlanterhavsparken aquarium.
  • Art Nouveau Walk (Spring & Winter)
    Join us on a guided walking tour through Ålesund and discover the history and culture of this elegant Art Nouveau town.
  • Art Nouveau Walk (Ålesund)
    Dating back to the Viking Age, Ålesund is best known today for its modern Art Nouveau architecture. Join us on a walking tour to discover both the overt and hidden charms of this lovely Norwegian coastal city.

DAY 3 : Trondheim

The Royal City of Trondheim

The old city bridge in Trondheim, Norway
The old city bridge in Trondheim
Photo: Rolf Fisher

As we journey north, we reach the medieval city of Trondheim, a vibrant mix of historic civic architecture and a bustling student population.  Nidaros Cathedral is considered one of the most sacred buildings in all of Norway and rightly nicknamed ‘Norway’s Notre Dame’. Whilst here, take the time to visit the Archbishop’s Palace to view Norway’s crown jewels.

Not far from Nidaros Cathedral is Gamle Bybro, a charming wooden bridge that sits over River Nid and marks the entrance to the old Hanseatic district of Bakklandet. This neighbourhood features colourful wooden wharves that stand on stilts and host some of the city’s most trendy eateries, making Bakklandet a key destination for all foodies.

Optional excursions
  • Nidaros Cathedral & Ringve Museum
    Encounter the majesty of Nidaros Cathedral, the only church in Norway built in the Gothic architectural style. We then journey through the history of music at Ringve Museum.
  • Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral
    Learn more about Trondheim by visiting one of its most famous landmarks, Nidaros Cathedral. Take in the whole city from the famous Utsikten viewpoint and enjoy a bus tour of the city.
  • Trondheim City Walk
    Explore Trondheim while learning about its history and culture from a local guide. See all the best sights of the city, from Stiftsgården to the bridge that locals call “The Portal of Happiness”.
  • Cycling In Trondheim
    This is Norway’s most bike-friendly city, so it’s time to go for a bike ride! Enjoy the fresh air as you cycle through the city, taking in the sights and the beautiful scenery.
  • Kayaking on the River Nid
    See the city’s main attractions from water level inside a kayak. Paddle down Trondheim’s waterways and get some exercise while learning more about this exciting city.
The old city bridge in Trondheim, Norway
The old city bridge in Trondheim
Photo: Rolf Fisher
Northern Lights above the Lofoten islands, Norway
Northern Lights above the Lofoten islands.
Photo: Steffen Schnur

DAY 4 : Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands

Welcome to the Arctic!

Northern Lights above the Lofoten islands, Norway
Northern Lights above the Lofoten islands.
Photo: Steffen Schnur

In the early hours of the morning, the ship crosses the Arctic Circle and enters the Arctic. Join us out on deck to mark the moment with a traditional ceremony that will be sure to wake you up fully! Above the Arctic Circle, your chances of spotting the majestic Northern Lights increase.

As we call into the northern city of Bodø, gaze up at the snow-capped Børvass peaks before experiencing the fabulous street art this city has to offer. From here, we continue across the Vestfjord and towards the Lofoten archipelago which greets you with the stunning sight of the 1,000 metre-high Lofoten Wall

Optional excursions
  • Svartisen Glacier
    Enjoy a bus and boat ride to the visitor centre for Norway’s second-largest glacier: Svartisen. Look out for sea eagles and pass the world’s strongest tidal current.
  • Arctic Coastal Walk
    Join us for a guided walk along the coast in Bodø and learn why devotion to nature is integrated in the Norwegian culture.
  • RIB Safari To Saltstraumen
    Journey by boat to Saltstraumen, home to the world’s strongest tidal current. Learn more about the history and geology of this fascinating area during the boat ride.
  • Experience Bodø and Saltstraumen
    After a tour of the town of Bodø, visit the strongest tidal current in the world at the Saltstraumen maelstroms.
  • Meet the Vikings (Winter)
    Step back in time and experience life in the Viking Age at the Lofotr Viking Museum. Enjoy an authentic Viking meal and watch your hosts perform traditional rituals.
  • Highlights of Lofoten
    This excursion takes you to see several of Lofoten's many picturesque fishing villages and towns, all the while surrounded by a stunning backdrop of sea and mountains.
  • Lofotpils Brewery
    If you’re a beer enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this tour of Lofoten’s first craft brewery. Meet the owner of Lofotpils and learn how they brew the perfect beer.
  • Farm Visit in Lofoten
    Experience life on a diverse working farm, Aalan Farm at Lauvdalen, Lofoten, renowned for its herbs and organic cheeses.

DAY 5 : Stokmarknes and Tromsø

Expand your Northern Lights knowledge

Beautiful Northern Lights dancing on the sky above the city of Tromsø and the Arctic Cathedral, Norway.
Northern Lights above the city of Tromsø and the Arctic Cathedral
Photo: Mike Hill

Welcome to the historic Arctic exploration capital of Tromsø, a hive of culture, history and Northern Lights knowledge.

Today you will visit the Science Museum of Northern Norway, learning more about the Northern Lights through a range of exhibits and installations. As part of this trip, you’ll stop at The Planetarium and its full-dome ceiling offering 360-degree views and high-quality digital projectors showing daily films about 'Experiencing the Aurora' and the constellations. Our expert astronomers will be joining you on the trip so make sure to ask them lots of questions!

Optional excursions
  • The Arctic Capital Tromsø
    Tour the city’s best spots from the Arctic Cathedral to the world’s northernmost aquarium, including taking the cable car up for mountaintop views over Tromsø.
  • Dog Sledding (Tromsø)
    Join us on a mini polar expedition across the snowy Arctic landscape just a half-hour drive from Tromsø on the island of Kvaløya.
  • Scenery & Huskies
    Get close to huskies and their pups during this visit to the Tromsø Wilderness Centre. Go on a guided nature walk and learn about the sport of dog sled racing.
  • Polar History Walk
    Go on this guided walk through the city of Tromsø and learn about the Arctic capital’s fascinating history. Visit the Polar Museum and taste local beer at Tromsø’s oldest pub.
  • Cross-Country Skiing
    With fluffy, soft snow each winter, it’s no surprise that skiing is a popular pastime in Norway. Enjoy an introductory skiing lesson, before going for a gentle cross-country skiing trip.
  • Snowshoeing In Tromsø
    Make your way across the snow on a pair of snowshoes, exploring Tromsøya Island in a unique way. End the visit with a toboggan ride and a relaxing break by the bonfire.
Beautiful Northern Lights dancing on the sky above the city of Tromsø and the Arctic Cathedral, Norway.
Northern Lights above the city of Tromsø and the Arctic Cathedral
Photo: Mike Hill
Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over the North Cape, Norway
Northern Lights over the North Cape
Photo: Even Mathisen

DAY 6 : Honningsvåg

The Northern Lights and the North Cape

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over the North Cape, Norway
Northern Lights over the North Cape
Photo: Even Mathisen

As we reach Honningsvåg, at the top of the European mainland, be sure to visit the globe monument at the North Cape. This is a popular excursion, so make sure you book early!

From Honningsvåg, look out for the striking rock formation called Finnkirka near the entrance to Kjøllefjord village. The building-like pillars were once an ancient sacrificial site for the indigenous nomadic Sámi people who still inhabit and herd reindeer in the region today. As we continue north towards Kirkenes, we sail past Slettnes Lighthouse, the northernmost lighthouse in continental Europe.

Optional excursions
  • The North Cape
    Cross the 71st parallel and visit North Cape, the northernmost point on the European continent, marked by the photogenic globe monument.
  • The North Cape Exclusive
    This private tour of the North Cape with your own guide is an exclusive experience reserved for our Platinum fare guests.
  • Birdwatching Safari
    Join us on this excursion to see one of Norway´s largest and most impressive bird cliffs in the Gjesværstappan islands.
  • Sámi Culture
    Meet an indigenous Sámi family in their traditional lavvo tent to learn more from them about their way of life and their remarkable culture.
  • Fishing Village Visit
    Join us on a tour to visit two colourful fishing villages and discover Christmas, whatever the time of year, at the very top of Norway.
  • Snowmobile Trip In The Arctic
    Drive your own snowmobile through a beautiful winter landscape from one port to the next, hopefully under the Northern Lights.
  • Sami Autumn
    Hear tales about the Sámi Shaman, discover Sámi culinary traditions, and learn about the restorative powers of local medicinal herbs.

DAY 7 : Kirkenes

To the top and back again

Panorama of Kirkenes, Norway
Panorama of Kirkenes
Photo: Toma Babovic

By breakfast, we will have reached the top of Norway and the town of Kirkenes, situated just a few kilometres from the Russian border. The area still retains many influences from Norway’s neighbour, from signs in both Norwegian and Russian to a monthly Russian market. There is the option to visit the border town of Storskog for views over both countries.

It is at this point of our coastal voyage that we turn and return south. The ports we visited at night are now seen during the day for a full Norwegian coastal experience.

Optional excursions
  • The Norwegian Border
    Explore the area around Storskog, a border station located on Norway’s easternmost edge, and enjoy views over the town of Kirkenes from Prestfjellet Mountain.
  • Riverboat to the Norwegian Border (Kirkenes)
    Explore Russia´s frontier with Norway along the river that divides the two distinctly different yet strangely similar countries.
  • Snowmobile Safari
    If you fancy racing a snowmobile across a vast snowy expanse and meeting the people who live here then this excursion may be for you.
  • Kirkenes Snow Hotel
    Explore the beautifully decorated Snowhotel and Norway’s largest ice bar. Greet the reindeers and huskies that live close by.
  • ATV/Quad-safari to the Norwegian border (Kirkenes)
    Discover the town of Kirkenes, the surrounding nature, historical sights and the Russian border on this motorized quad bike adventure.
  • Husky Tour
    Be immersed in the Arctic wilderness on a three-hour husky sled ride that brings you through forests, across plains, and over frozen lakes.
Panorama of Kirkenes, Norway
Panorama of Kirkenes
Photo: Toma Babovic
Orca breaches the water, Norway
Orca are a common sight on out voyages along the coast
Photo: Ingrid Visser

DAY 8 : Hammerfest and Tromsø

Due south

Orca breaches the water, Norway
Orca are a common sight on out voyages along the coast
Photo: Ingrid Visser

Once the northernmost town in the world, (before Longyearbyern, Svalbard) Hammerfest is a key destination for Astronomy lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Be sure to trek up Mount Salen, for views over the town and picturesque landscapes. You can also take a moment to see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column which commemorates the first-ever measurement of the globe.

As we sail, keep your eyes open for the Northern Lights, but you might also spot pods of Orcas and Humpback Whales migrating to these waters to feed on herring.

Optional excursions
  • The Northernmost Town In The World
    Join us on a coach tour that explores and explains the events that have shaped Hammerfest, a town at the top of Europe.
  • Snowmobile Trip in the Polar Night
    Join us on an unforgettable snowmobile tour into the polar night across one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural environments.
  • Breakfast at the North Cape
    Imagine having breakfast at the top of Europe. You enjoy breakfast and more on this scenic coach tour from the town of Honningsvåg to North Cape, one of the northernmost points in Europe.
  • Mountain Hike In Hammerfest
    Enjoy an exhilarating hike up Mount Salen, passing through Hammerfest’s only forest on your way up to the peak for panoramic views.
  • Into The Ice: Stories Of A Polar Hero
    Get outdoors and discover one of the greatest figures in polar history on this excursion from Hammerfest to nearby Mount Salen.
  • Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral
    Step into the architecturally impressive modern Arctic Cathedral at midnight for a magical classical concert by candlelight.

DAY 9 : Vesterålen and Lofoten Islands

Welcome to Lofoten

Lights of Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Lights of Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Passing through the legendary Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelagos,  the ship negotiates an intricate network of inlets and isles through one of the most beautiful stretches of the Norwegian coast. From here, the coastal landscape changes from rolling hills to soaring mountains.

Along this stretch of coastline is where The Hurtigruten Coastal Express story began, in the coastal town of Stokmarknes in 1893.  Don’t miss the newly opened Hurtigrutemuseet in Stokmarknes, a museum dedicated to The Coastal Express housed in the full-sized and fully restored ship MS Finnmarken from 1952.

Optional excursions
  • A Taste of Vesterålen
    This popular, classic excursion takes you on a sightseeing tour of Harstad and Trondenes. Top the day off with a hot drink and fresh cakes on Gullesfjord.
  • Lofoten Islands
    Discover the beauty of the Lofoten Islands by visiting one of its fishing villages. Learn more about island life, as well as the nature and history of the area.
  • Sea Eagle Safari
    Birdwatchers won’t want to miss this excursion. Travel by boat to Trollfjord for a chance to see sea eagles and gulls up close as they dive for fish.
  • Lofoten by Horse
    Discover the coastline of Gimsøy on horseback. These Icelandic horses are suitable for beginners or experienced riders.
  • Vesterålen and Lofoten by RIB
    Embark on an exciting boat ride aboard a RIB into the archipelagos. Look for sea eagles, learn about the historic battle of Trollfjord, and admire the amazing scenery.
  • RIB Adventure in Lofoten
    Join us for a thrilling boat ride in the Lofoten islands. Stop for a snack at a fishing village on the island of Skrova, known for its beautiful weather and views.
  • Discover a Fishing Village
    Join us on a guided walk through the fishing village of Svinøya. Visit an original rorbu hut to learn about life as a fisherman, and taste locally produced stockfish.
Lights of Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Lights of Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Seven Sisters mountain range, Norway
The Seven Sisters mountain range
Photo: Aslak Tronrud

DAY 10 : Arctic Circle, Seven Sisters

Meet local legends

The Seven Sisters mountain range, Norway
The Seven Sisters mountain range
Photo: Aslak Tronrud

Leave behind the magic of the Arctic Circle and head towards the ports of Bodø and Ørnes. Marvel at the Seven Sisters mountain range where local legend has it seven beautiful troll princesses, fleeing from an unwanted suitor, got caught out as the sun rose, turning them into the seven beautiful mountains you see today.

The landscapes will continue to amaze you! Don’t miss views of the Torghatten Mountain, with its distinctive hole right through the centre. There is a local legend as to why and how this mountain came to have such a hole. Make sure you ask your Coastal Guide about it!

Optional excursions
  • UNESCO Vega Archipelago
    Go on a boat tour of the UNESCO-protected Vega Islands and learn about the islands’ unique industry of eider duck down harvesting.
  • Visit the Salmon
    Learn about the salmon lifecycle, as well as salmon fishing and farming in this hands-on tour of the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre in Toft.

DAY 11 : Trondheim and Kristiansund

The old cities and the sea

Northern Lights over Kristiansund, Norway
Northern Lights over Kristiansund

An early morning arrival in Trondheim will give you time to further explore the city and discover any sites you might have missed on the northbound section of the journey. Some insider advice: treat yourself to a barista-brewed coffee and Nordic patisserie in one of the many cafés in the Bakklandet district before walking up to Kristiansten Fort for great views over the city.

In the afternoon, we dock at Kristiansund, a quaint harbour town spread over three islands. Meander along the cobbled streets of the old town and be sure to sample the local delicacy of klippfisk, salted cod that’s dried on the surrounding cliffs.

Optional excursions
  • Trondheim With Nidaros Cathedral
    Take a bus tour of Trondheim, an ancient city rich in history and culture that also serves as one of Norway’s major academic and research centres
  • The Hidden Rooms of Nidaros Cathedral
    Explore secret chambers deep inside Trondheim´s ancient Nidaros Cathedral as part of this exclusive tour reserved for our Platinum fare guests.
  • The Atlantic Road
    Enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful drives as we follow the scenic Atlantic Road on this relaxing journey along the majestic coastline.
  • Bergtatt – Magnificent Marble Mine
    Journey down into Bergtatt, a marble and limestone mine deep inside the mountain and take a raft ride onto the illuminated subterranean lake.
Northern Lights over Kristiansund, Norway
Northern Lights over Kristiansund
A beautiful winter view on Bergen, Norway
Winter in Bergen
Photo: Tatyana Vyc

DAY 12 : Bergen

The final chapter of the fairytale

A beautiful winter view on Bergen, Norway
Winter in Bergen
Photo: Tatyana Vyc

A few nautical miles are left between you and Bergen today as your Astronomy Voyage draws to a close. Before we say our goodbyes, we voyage across the mouth of Sognefjord, the longest and widest fjord in the whole of Norway.

As we arrive in Bergen, it’s time to say goodbye to the Captain, crew and astronomers who have accompanied you on this unique voyage along Norway’s spectacular coastline. However, if you aren’t ready to leave Norway just yet, there are plenty of extension options that will make your trip that extra bit more special.

The day-by-day programme will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage in Norway, but bear in mind that this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience. After all, this is a sailing where the elements rule and weather conditions might vary, which is why every voyage with The Hurtigruten Coastal Express is unique.

What's included

Included in your voyage

  • 12 day Bergen - Bergen Round Voyage in the cabin grade of your choice
  • Full-board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • English speaking tour leader on board
  • Tour Manager and lectures from a renowned Astronomer
  • Exclusive excursion to the Planetarium in, Tromsø

Your lecturers on board:

Dr John Mason, MBE - On Astronomy Voyages departing:

  • 17 October 2022
  • 16 January 2023
  • 17 March 2023
  • 8 October 2023
  • 3 March 2024

An Applied Physicist by profession, Dr John Mason is currently the Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1976, and is a full member of the International Astronomical Union. He has appeared many times with Sir Patrick Moore on BBC TV's 'The Sky at Night.'

Ian Ridpath -  On Astronomy Voyages departing:

  • 12 March 2023
  • 7 October 2023
  • 1 March 2024

Ian Ridpath is an internationally renowned author and lecturer on astronomy and space. He is editor of the authoritative Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and author of several widely used night sky guides for beginners. Ian is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society’s team of outreach speakers and has been lecturing on Hurtigruten voyages since 2010. He is a winner of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's award for ‘outstanding ‍contributions ‍to ‍the ‍public ‍understanding ‍and ‍appreciation ‍of ‍astronomy’.

Dr Sadie Jones - On an Astronomy Voyage departing:

  • 21 January 2023
  • 6 November 2023
  • 14 January 2024

Dr Sadie Jones is the Astronomy Public Engagement Leader at the University of Southampton. In January 2020, she assisted members of the Space Environment Physics group on an expedition to Svalbard, Norway to observe the aurora and collect research data. She also runs talks and school workshops on aurora research to promote ‘The Aurora Zoo’, a citizen science platform where the public analyse short videos of aurora displays.

Tom Kerss - On an Astronomy Voyage departing:

  • 12 February 2023
  • 6 December 2023
  • 2 February 2024

Tom Kerss F.R.A.S. is an astronomer, astrophotographer, author and consultant. Having previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, he is the founder of Stargazing✦London, which delivers world-class online astronomy courses. Tom has authored numerous best-selling astronomy books for adults and children, including Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide to Auroras, which offers a complete introduction to nature's most magical sky-illuminating phenomenon. 

Not included in your voyage

  • Return flights and transfers - you can book these with Hurtigruten during the booking process
  • Optional excursions
  • Luggage handling
  • Travel insurance 

Notes

  • All prices are shown in local currency per person based on two people travelling together sharing an inside twin cabin,  

  • Suites are available on request 

  • Booking Terms and Conditions apply