Bergen, Kirkenes, Bergen – Norway Photography Voyage
Duration: 12 Days
- Discover and capture the spectacular and breathtaking scenery, wildlife and culture of northern Norway on our escorted 12-day photography cruise.
- Develop your photography skills with Matthew Williams-Ellis, celebrated travel and landscape photographer, learning new techniques in onboard workshops
- Enjoy a special off-ship excursion to one of Norway’s most photogenic locations – Vesterålen, Geirangerfjord or birdwatching in Honningsvåg – with a photography expert on hand to ensure you get that perfect shot
- Relax completely with return flights to London
- Day 1 London - Bergen
- Day 2 Florø - Molde
- Day 3 Kristiansund - Rørvik
- Day 4 Brønnøysund - Svolvær
- Day 5 Stokmarknese - Skjervøy
- Day 6 Øksfjord - Berlevåg
- Day 7 Båtsfjord - Kirkenes - Berlevåg
- Day 8 Mehamn - Tromsø
- Day 9 Tromsø - Stamsund
- Day 10 Bodø - Rørvik
- Day 11 Trondheim - Ålesund
- Day 12 Bergen - London
You will fly to Bergen, the cultural gateway to the fjords, where you will be met by your Tour Leader. This historic city, surrounded by seven mountains, is home to the UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharves that date back to the 14th century. This area is one of the most photographed and recognisable in Bergen with lots of fabulous details to zoom in on. If there’s time, take a stroll around the old quarter, ride the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the famous fish market.
After embarkation, it’s time to relax, meet your fellow photography enthusiasts, Matthew Williams-Ellis and your tour leader over some welcome drinks in our panorama lounge. Enjoy our tasty buffet dinner, based on the freshest ingredients from our Norway Coastal Kitchen. We set sail from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord towards the high north and the Arctic Circle. Your Tour Leader will be on hand if you have any questions.
Wake up to the breathtaking sight of rural Norwegian landscapes as we cross the open west cape and head for Torvik. We make a port call in the beautiful Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, before continuing to Molde with its magnificent views of the Romsdal Alps.
In the summer months, we visit the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord passing sheer, 800-metre cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route. While photos do not always do it justice, your photography expert will advise you on the best techniques to capture the best shots! For those joining the August tour, Matthew will lead a photography excursion here, with an extra stop at Molde Varden Viewpoint, a special site of interest famed for its incredible views, that regular passengers do not visit.
We call at the old Viking capital and royal city of Trondheim. Founded in 997AD by the Viking King Olav Tryggvason, Trondheim is Norway’s 3rd largest city but retains the charm and warmth of a provincial town with its handsome civic architecture, colourful wooden wharves and royal palace of Stiftsgården, providing plenty of wonderful photo opportunities. We offer a great selection of optional excursions in Trondheim. Just ask your Tour Leader for more information.
A popular excursion is to visit Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral, the country´s only Gothic-style cathedral built over the burial place of St Olav, Norway’s patron saint.
For those looking to see Trondheim from a different perspective, you can join an excursion that explores the city by bicycle or from the water by kayak along the River Nid.
In the afternoon, the ship sets off, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse (another Instagram favourite) and charming islets through the narrow Stokksund towards Rørvik. This time of day offers the chance to play with lighting and depending on when you go, winter, spring or autumn, the light will be very different.
Make sure you have your camera ready at all times. We cross the Arctic Circle and mark the occasion with a fun ceremony on deck. Today, you will see for yourself why this is known as one of the most beautiful voyages in the world. Along this stretch of coastline is some of the most captivating scenery Norway has to offer and you will have plenty of material to focus your lens on. Matthew and your Tour Leader will be on hand to share tips and special points of interest.
As you enter Arctic waters, we sail towards Ørnes, near Norway’s second-largest glacier, Svartisen. For those interested in ice photography, we offer an excursion to see the glacier up close. We then sail along the beautiful coast of Helgeland to Bodø, where you can experience Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful tidal current in a RIB.
In the afternoon, we sail towards the 1,000 metre-high Lofoten Wall looming on the horizon, majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. For photographers, this presents among the most truly impressive and breathtaking landscapes in the world.
At Stamsund, you can visit the Lofotr Viking Museum and get a feel for Viking life. Food lovers can discover a taste of Norway’s coastal kitchen on a visit to an organic herb and cheese farm, or sample Lofoten’s craft beer in Svolvær.
To top off a beautiful day’s adventure, we sail through the narrow Raftsund, stopping at the entrance to Trollfjord at night.
During the morning hours, we briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes. The ship then continues to Tromsø, where we’ll stay to explore a while. You are now in the Arctic capital of Norway and you’ll notice the change in the scenery.
In the summer and autumn months, you can join the Expedition team for hikes and discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings. For landscape and nature lovers, these hikes offer a fantastic land perspective for your shots.
After a brief stop in Hammerfest, we arrive in Havøysund. This is the gateway to the spectacular North Cape which rises 300 metres from the ocean, and is a mere 2,000 kilometres from the Geographical North Pole. Join a small boat excursion to see the North Cape from the sea, visit the world’s northernmost fishing village and ride by bus to North Cape plateau. In summer, you may see herds of reindeer and small camps of indigenous Sámi people in the area.
Our next stop is Honningsvåg. If you join our May tour, you will enjoy a wonderful birdwatching excursion to Gjesværstappan with Matthew Williams-Ellis where you’ll learn techniques on photographing wildlife. Capture birds in flight, swooping to catch their prey, nesting in the mountain nooks. During the nesting season, these cliffs are home to millions of birds. If your tour is in March or August, you can still go on the birdwatching tour, just without a photography expert at your side.
The ship continues north into the heartland of the Sámi people. For photographers interested in depicting the cultural aspect of travel, the Sámi offer colourful and fascinating insights into indigenous traditions.
At Kjøllefjord, you can learn about the Sámi way of life. Depending on the time of year, you can hear traditional joiking (song), meet a Sámi shaman, learn about Arctic healing, sample dried-reindeer meat, crowberry juice, herbal tea (nettle) and roseroot tincture.
In the evening, be sure to be camera-ready out on deck as we sail past Finnkirka, a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sámi people – and incredibly photogenic.
The views become wilder and more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes. Just after breakfast, we arrive in Kirkenes, at 30° E, further east than Istanbul and St Petersburg. You have reached the capital of the Barents region and Hurtigruten’s turning point for the return journey southwards.
The Russian border is a just few miles away so you may spot local road signs written in both Norwegian and Russian. During summer and autumn, one of our most popular excursions is the riverboat safari to the Russian border.
Kirkenes provides the opportunity to take part in adventurous activities in an Arctic environment. Your tour leader can tell you about the history of the region, the extreme Arctic climate and the area’s unique wildlife. Don’t miss a very Norwegian excursion where you catch and eat giant king crab from the Barents Sea.
Southbound and beyond
As the ship ventures south, enjoy lunch surrounded by Arctic seascapes and prepare yourself for more new experiences. We’ll now visit the ports previously seen by night on the northbound journey in daytime.
In the afternoon, you will sail to Vardø and cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
At Honningsvåg, you can join an excursion that features breakfast at North Cape and the discovery of hidden parts of Finnmark along the way between May and October. The spectacular North Cape sits at the very top of Europe. The globe monument that marks it is an iconic feature and widely photographed. Captured from afar in different lights and weather, this beautiful spot can take on an ethereal quality, evoke bleakness or tranquillity, remoteness or the harmony of nature.
At Hammerfest, you can see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column. You can join a guided walking tour up to the top of nearby Mount Salen for magnificent views of the Arctic Ocean and surrounding islands.
We continue south to Øksfjord and then make a brief stop at Skjervøy. In spring, we sail through the beautiful Lyngenfjord, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps, where you might get a taste of fresh locally-caught prawns.
We dock at Tromsø late in the evening, just in time to enjoy a magical midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. In summer, you can join an exhilarating Arctic night adventure by RIB boat under the Midnight Sun. Or discover the town on foot at your own leisure and stop at one of the many cosy pubs and taste a local brew.
By now, you’ll know that a photo opportunity is never far away and you’ll no doubt have your camera on standby. For landscape lovers, today is a true highlight.
We arrive at Harstad this morning, where those of you who choose the March tour will join one of the classic Hurtigruten excursion programmes A Taste of Vesterålen in the company of your photography expert. Lofoten and Vesterålen are renowned for their natural beauty with steep mountains, wild nature and picturesque fishing villages, offering 360 degree
opportunities for that perfect shot. Matthew will be on hand to offer tips and advice so that you leave with more than just memories. This excursion is also on offer throughout the year without a photography guide.
For those who choose to stay on board, the daylight sailing route through the Lofoten Islands is also breathtaking, offering some of the most stunning scenery of the entire coastal voyage
From Risøyhamn, we continue south via Sortland to Stokmarknes. As we set sail again, birdlovers will have a chance to leave the ship by tender boat to search for majestic eagles on our popular Sea Eagle Safari excursion.
The incredible seascapes are neverending as we sail through the narrow Raftsund channel. As we approach, it appears as if we will sail straight into the mountain wall, but once we enter the 20-km passageway, the view of mountains soaring 1,000 metres straight up out of the sea awaits you.
Today we celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle in a memorable ‘rite of passage’ out on deck with a tasty Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil. As we sail along the Helgeland coast, you pass hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls rich in local lore.
One highlight along our route is the impressive Seven Sisters mountain range, seven mountains between 900 and 1,100 m high, creating the distinctive outline of the Helgeland coast. These ‘sisters’ have been part of local legend since ancient times, involving troll kings, princesses and their suitors.
After a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post, we sail to Sandnessjøen. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vega Islands, famous for its unique interaction between eider ducks and the island
population, is close by and can be visited on an optional excursion during summer.
In the afternoon, we dock at Brønnøysund, a vibrant and pretty little fishing town with a bustling marina.
As we set sail again, there’s another famous landmark to train your lens on. Be sure to head on deck, where you’ll see Mount Torghatten, easily distinguishable by the giant hole in the middle of the mountain. Ask your Tour Leader to share the folklore around this unusually-shaped mountain.
Today, you have another chance to explore the royal city of Trondheim. A visit to the gothic-style Nidaros Cathedral is highly recommended.
Along this stretch of coastline, you will notice the importance of fishing to Norway’s coastal communities. As we approach Kristiansund, Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’, so-named for its long-time export of salted dry fish, you can see the distinctive drying racks of cod.
From here, you can join an excursion along the famed Atlantic Road, a National Scenic Route. The 8 km stretch of winding highway spans eight bridges, crosses picturesque landscapes and is surrounded by open sea. It offers some great opportunities to capture Norway’s wonderful rolling scenery from land.
Those who remain aboard at Kristiansund will experience the ship’s open sea crossing towards Molde - Norway´s ‘City of Roses’, from where you can see the distant peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Before docking in Bergen, there is more fascinating scenery to see and photograph, 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.
As your journey ends back in of Bergen, we hope you will be left not only with unforgettable memories, but a catalogue of images of your travels and all the incredible things you’ve seen. And we hope you will have picked up new skills and techniques for future trips. Your tour leader will transfer you to the airport where you will fly back to London.
Included in your voyage
Return flights from London
Stunning 12-day, 11-night coastal sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen, full board, Select package
Travel and wildlife photography expert Matthew Williams-Ellis will accompany you and run photography workshops
Welcome drinks on board to get to know your group, photography expert and tour
A dedicated Tour Leader will accompany you for your entire trip, starting and ending at the airport in Bergen
One excursion led by Matthew Williams-Ellis is included. Choose from: A Taste of Vesterålen (March), Birdwatching in Honningsvåg (May), and Geirangerfjord (August)
Complimentary tea and coffee
Free Wi-Fi on board
Not included in your voyage
One excursion is included on this tour and forms part of the tour programme. You will be accompanied by the photography expert and Tour Leader. The excursion will be dependent on when you visit: A Taste of Vesterålen (March), Birdwatching in Honningsvåg (May), and Geirangerfjord (August).
Your return flights from London are included. Regional flights are available to book on request at a supplement.
All prices shown are in £s per person, based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin cabin. Single occupancy available at a supplement.
Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date, the applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking.
Some J, A, and L cabin categories have a limited view.
|Year of refurbishment||2020|
|Ship yard||Kværner Kleven (N)|
On board MS Finnmarken you find Hurtigruten´s relaxed style combined with a bit of luxury.
|Ship yard||Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)|
|Passenger capacity||970 (500 in Antarctica)|
The MS Midnatsol (Midnight Sun) is dedicated to the wonders of Arctic summer. The ship sails along the Norwegian coast from May to September, and is part of our global Explorer sailings during the rest of the year.