Season 2022 - 2023

Follow the Lights | Southbound | Flights Included

Follow the Lights | Southbound | Flights Included

Season 2022 - 2023

Follow the Lights | Southbound | Flights Included

Follow the Lights | Southbound | Flights Included

Travel information 14 days
Departures October 2022 - March 2023
Price from
£ 4429
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Voyage south along Norway's coast under the dancing skies of the Northern Lights, passing through quaint ports and communities, more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains.
  • Journey through a Norwegian winter wonderland onboard, one of the worlds most scenic railway trips, The Flam Railway from Bergen to Oslo via Flam and Voss.
  • Learn about the local Sami culture and how they lived and thrived in the Arctic wilderness, with visits to SIIDA Museum, a Husky sledge ride and Reindeer Safari.
Follow the Lights | Southbound | Flights Included

Itinerary

Pass through charming hamlets and sail through picturesque fjords as we voyage from Saariselka (Finland) up to Kirkenes and Southbound on the coastal voyage in search of the Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights. Along the way, rest within accommodation befitting to its surroundings and activities that incorporate recreation and culture as you discover the heart of Norway. Finish your search with a journey by rail, coach and ferry on the imfamous ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ route between Bergen and Oslo.

DAY 1 : Flight from UK to Finland

Arrive in Finland

Cranberry drink.
Photo: Shutterstock
Touchdown in the heart of Lapland at Ivalo Airport, Finland. Marvel at the breathtaking winter wonderland around you as we journey to the local village of Saariselkä - the most northern outdoor resort in Finland. 
 
Spend the afternoon exploring this picture-perfect village, with a range of restaurants and cafe's blending fresh local produce and culture for an all-around traditional Finnish culinary experience. Get to know the tour guides and fellow group members as you embark on a journey in search of the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
Cranberry drink.
Photo: Shutterstock
A car covered in snow
Photo: Tamara Van Hasselt

DAY 2 : Saariselkä

Meet the huskies

A car covered in snow
Photo: Tamara Van Hasselt

Following breakfast at your hotel, we head out for our first authentic experience, a meeting with the cute locals at the husky farm. Learn about their lives in the snow and how the local Sami people, worked with these iconic arctic heroes to survive in this rugged landscape. Get to know these cute locals even better on a sledge ride for the ultimate arctic experience. If the weather allows, there may even be the option to enjoy and experience the Northern Lights alongside your new friends.

After spending the day living like a local, warm up with a hot drink at Lappish Kota, a traditional wooden hut dawned with reindeer hides and a roaring fire. 

DAY 3 : Saariselkä – Inari

The Finnish Lapland

A herd of sheep standing on top of a snow covered field

After breakfast, we continue our journey north through Finnish Lapland. Along the way take part in a Reindeer Safari. Listen to stories about Sami culture, browse handicrafts and meet the reindeers. Enjoy a sledge ride (weather dependant). A light lunch is included in the Kota restaurant.  Our journey continues by coach to the small township of Inari.

This afternoon we take a visit to the newly-renovated SIIDA museum including a guided tour of the open-air exhibition. This museum is home to a collection featuring the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish Sami presented to the public through exhibitions and publications.

After the museum visit, we check in to the hotel located on the shoreline of Lake Inari. Tonight you will sleep under the northern sky in the comfort of an Aurora Cabin. If you are lucky, you may witness the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed.

A herd of sheep standing on top of a snow covered field
A person riding a horse
Learn about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hear traditional Sámi joiking (song).

DAY 4 : Inari, Finland – Kirkenes

The Snowhotel in Kirkenes

A person riding a horse
Learn about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hear traditional Sámi joiking (song).

After breakfast we depart Inari and continue north into Norway where we check in to the Snowhotel in Kirkenes. The hotel is home to reindeer and huskies. Entrance to the Snowhotel is included along with a welcome drink. We will enjoy dinner at the unique farmhouse restaurant, Laven.

Tonight you will sleep in a Gamme cabin, inspired by the traditional hunting and fishing hut known as ‘gamme’ typical in the Lapland wilderness.

 

DAY 5 : Kirkenes – Hurtigruten Embarkation

The Hurtigruten journey starts

A group of people sitting at a table with a mountain in the background
Kirkenes, at 30° East, is further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg.

(Day 1 of the voyage)

Enjoy breakfast and the morning at leisure. In the late morning, we take a transfer to the Hurtigruten pier in Kirkenes where we board the ship and prepare for our sea voyage south.

After departing Kirkenes, we head due north, arriving at Vardø in the afternoon. Weather permitting, brave swimmers may want to take a dip in the icy Arctic Ocean (strictly optional of course!). From here we head due west, cruising along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord and Berlevåg, home to Norway’s most famous male choir, comprising local fishermen.

 

A group of people sitting at a table with a mountain in the background
Kirkenes, at 30° East, is further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg.
The tower of the city

DAY 6 : Mehamn – Tromsø

Unmatched Arctic Scenery

The tower of the city

We make a late night stop at Mehamn. In winter, you can join an optional snowmobile trip through the vast Arctic wilderness. Experience snowy plains and valleys, crisp winter air and very possibly the Northern Lights in the starry sky above.

During the day we pass through various ports including Honningsvåg and Hammerfest where you can visit the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to honour the first precise geographic measurement of the globe.

We proceed south to Øksfjord, stopping briefly at the old trading post of Skjervøy.  Late in the evening we dock at Tromsø, with the option of enjoying a magical Northern Lights concert at the Arctic Cathedral.

 

DAY 7 : Tromso – Stamsund

Lofoten, Where Nature Amazes

Risøyrenna in winter
Photo: TROND G. JOHNSEN - Gästefoto

This morning, we arrive at Harstad, where you can join one of our classic excursions - A Taste of Vesterålen (optional). Discover history, beautiful scenery, and cultural heritage sites on this tour then rejoin the ship further south at Sortland.

Those who stay on the ship experience our passage through the Risøyrenna, a shallow channel built for Hurtigruten in the 1920s.

Prepare for some amazing scenery as we sail through the world-famous islands of Lofoten and Vesterålen. Lofoten is known for its natural beauty, steep mountains, wilderness and picturesque fishing villages. Our daylight route through the region is the voyage highlight for many of our guests.

After a short stop at the tiny village of Risøyhamn, we continue to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten began more than 125 years ago. You may wish to visit the Hurtigruten Museum here.

Continuing south, it will look like we’re headed straight into a mountain, but don’t worry, we are in fact sailing through a passage into the narrow Raftsund, flanked by peaks rising 1000m out of the sea. If conditions allow, we will sail between sheer cliffs of Trollfjord, that seem close enough to reach out and touch. It’s an unforgettable experience!

Risøyrenna in winter
Photo: TROND G. JOHNSEN - Gästefoto
The Arctic Circle monument in winter
The Arctic Circle Monument marks the southernmost point you can see the Midnight Sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter
Photo: Sigrid Peters - Gästefoto

DAY 8 : Bodø – Rørvik

Across the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle monument in winter
The Arctic Circle Monument marks the southernmost point you can see the Midnight Sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter
Photo: Sigrid Peters - Gästefoto

Crossing the Arctic Circle is an important ‘rite of passage’. Today we celebrate the occasion on deck with a taste of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil.

Sailing along the Helgeland coast, you see the strange mountain, Torghatten (258m above sea level), famous for the distinctive hole through its centre. The hole is 160m long, 35m high and 20m wide, and was formed during the ice age.

Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. It is easy to see how the peaks influenced ancient legends. The story goes that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus creating the seven beautiful mountaintops.

Next, we briefly stop at the idyllic trading post of Nesna before moving on to Sandnessjøen.

In Brønnøysund, join an optional excursion to the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre for an informative tour and taste of fresh salmon.

Even though we’re south of the Arctic Circle, there may still be good opportunities to see the Northern Lights.

DAY 9 : Trondheim – Ålesund

Rich History and Living Culture

A large ship in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Beautiful Kristiansund.

Today you have a chance to explore the wooden city of history: Trondheim. Be sure to visit the majestic Nidaros Cathedral, built over the burial site of King Olav II who reigned from 1015 to 1028.

As we sail along the coast, you will realise the importance of fishing to Norway’s coastal communities.

Kristiansund is regarded as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its long-time export of salted dry fish. Here you can join an excursion along the Atlantic Road, a National Scenic Route. The 8km stretch of highway spans eight bridges, crosses picturesque landscapes and is surrounded by open sea.

Another interesting excursion is to the Bergtatt marble mine, which takes you inside a mountain and across an illuminated subterranean lake before serving you a meal in the mine´s ‘Grand Hall’.

Those who remain aboard at Kristiansund will experience the ship´s open sea crossing towards Molde - Norway´s ‘City of Roses’. From there, you can see the distant pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps across the fjord, called ‘the Molde panorama’.

A large ship in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Beautiful Kristiansund.
A large building with a mountain in the background
Famous Bryggen in Bergen, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

DAY 10 : Ålesund – Bergen

A Fjord Farewell

A large building with a mountain in the background
Famous Bryggen in Bergen, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

During the night, the ship calls at Ålesund, Torvik and Måløy, as our voyage draws to a close. Before docking in Bergen, there is fascinating scenery to see, including picturesque Nordfjord beneath Jostedal Glacier. Here the fjord widens to the east and forges 90 km inland.

In the morning, we dock at Florø, Norway’s westernmost community.

A few nautical miles south of Florø, we cross the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord, taking in superb views of the magnificent island-studded coastline en route. Finally, you disembark in the Hanseatic city of Bergen in the early afternoon. We will transfer to hotel and the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

 

DAY 11 : Bergen

Discover Bergen

White Christmas in the area of the UNESCO listed Bryggen in Bergen, Norway.
White Christmas in the area of the UNESCO listed Bryggen in Bergen, Norway.
Photo: Hurtigruten

Spending the day exploring this colourful gateway to the fjords. Our tour of Bergen includes a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bryggen, St Mary’s Church, and Håkon’s Hall, before heading to Troldhaugen, the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg.

In the afternoon you'll enjoy free time to discover the hidden gems of this vibrant town. You may enjoy a stroll in the cobblestone alleyways, a bite at an outdoor café or restaurant, a trip on the Fløibanen funicular or a visit to the famous fish market. We do recommend a journey on the Furnicular railway, up to the top of Mt Floien where you can enjoy stunning views over the city, and surrounding waterways.

 

White Christmas in the area of the UNESCO listed Bryggen in Bergen, Norway.
White Christmas in the area of the UNESCO listed Bryggen in Bergen, Norway.
Photo: Hurtigruten
On board the Flåm Railway in the snow. Norway
Onboard the Flåm Railway, Norway
Photo: Steffi Wiegand / Hurtigruten

DAY 12 : Bergen – Oslo (Norway in a Nutshell)

Norway in a Nutshell

On board the Flåm Railway in the snow. Norway
Onboard the Flåm Railway, Norway
Photo: Steffi Wiegand / Hurtigruten

Today enjoy an amazing journey by rail, coach and ferry on the famous ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ route between Bergen and Oslo. We start with a rail journey from Bergen to Voss, from here we travel by coach to Gudvangen. Waterfalls line the road as we weave our way through the valley.

In Gudvangen board a ferry and enjoy a fjord cruise along the narrow and dramatic UNESCO protected Nærøyfjord, ending in the quaint village of Flåm. From here we board the famous Flåm Railway, one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. We climb three thousand feet on the train to the mountain station of Myrdal. From here we change trains and journey towards our final destination - Oslo.  

DAY 13 : Oslo

Sightseeing in Oslo

The Holmenkollen ski jump in the snow Oslo, Norway.
The Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway.
Photo: Hurtigruten

Take the time on our last full day exploring the historical and beautiful Norwegian capital.

Its compact size makes it ideal to discover and experience the best, the city has to offer. Our walking tour of Oslo including the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Historical Museum, Oslo Opera House, Holmenkollen Ski Jump and more. The afternoon is yours to enjoy, for the cultural loves, the Bydgdøy peninsula is home to several museums like the outdoor museum, Folkemuseet and the Viking ship museum. Downtown Oslo, is bustling with trendy restaurants, bars, cafes and green open spaces such as the Vigeland Sculpture Park and Ekeberg Park. 

At the heart of the city is the Royal Palace, home to the Norwegian Royal family since work began in 1814. 

The Holmenkollen ski jump in the snow Oslo, Norway.
The Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway.
Photo: Hurtigruten
A boat is docked next to a body of water
Photo: Didrick Stenersen

DAY 14 : Flight from Oslo to UK

Your adventure ends

A boat is docked next to a body of water
Photo: Didrick Stenersen

It is in the morning that we say goodbye as this exciting arctic adventure comes to an end. Depart the hotel with lifelong memories of your time in Finland and Norway with some new friends. 

We transfer to the airport for your flight home. 

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

  • Full service international return flights
  • 4-star accommodation standard
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation (1 night in Aurora cabin)
  • 5 nights cruise accommodation in a cabin category of your choice
  • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 9 dinners
  • City Tours of Bergen & Oslo
  • Norway in a Nutshell: Flåm Railway journey and fjord cruise on UNESCO listed Nærøyfjord
  • First class touring coach from Saariselkä to Kirkenes
  • English speaking tour manager from start to finish
  • Reindeer Safari (sled ride – dependant on weather)
  • Husky Safari (sled ride – dependant on weather)
  • Newly-renovated Siida museum visit
  • Luggage service from hotel in Bergen to hotel in Oslo (1 bag per person)
  • Luggage service at all hotels (starting with luggage OUT in Saariselkä and ending with luggage in Oslo)
  • Welcome drink in Saariselkä
  • Entrance to Troldhaugen (Edvard Grieg home – Bergen)

Not included in your voyage

  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling other than those specified
  • Beverages with meals

Notes

  • Regional flights available at a supplement. Please call for details.
  • Prices are in per person based on two people travelling together sharing a twin cabin
  • Not all cabin categories are available for all departures
  • Single cabin pricing available on request
  • Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability.
  • Northern Lights Promise: If the Northern Lights are not recorded during your Follow The Lights tour, including land component, we’ll offer a free northbound or southbound voyage. T&Cs apply.
  • We recommend bringing a backpack or small bag for the Bergen to Oslo leg of your tour, as you will not have access to your luggage during the day
  • A number of optional excursions may be offered throughout your journey by your tour leader or while on board the ship.