Working ship sailings on MS Vesterålen: Northbound

Bergen - Kirkenes

Experience a smaller and more intimate ship where you can go behind the scenes to learn more about the Hurtigruten operation, history and the crew. Named after some of the most beautiful scenery in Norway, a voyage on MS Vesterålen is truly something special.

  • Experience the daily life and work on board MS Vesterålen
  • Take part in educational and practical courses where you learn about maps, compasses and knots
  • Cross the Arctic Circle under the Midnight Sun (summer) or Northern Lights (winter)
  • Stay active and adventurous by joining our exciting sea and land based excursions

Overview

Guests travelling on MS Vesterålen from 1 April 2017 will have the unique opportunity to see Hurtigruten from an insider's perspective. You will get behind the scenes on our maritime and coastal operations and learn more about how the hotel department is run. As a guest, you will also be involved in the ship's different operations, focusing on edutainment and engaging activities that provide you with an in-depth knowledge about the different departments and the interaction between them.

On-board edutainment

There will be different topics every other day. In the evening on those days, there will be a talk hosted by the tour leader, and interviews with various crew members, such as the Captain, the machinist, hotel manager, chef and other seamen. A short film or presentation from the Engine room, Bridge, Galley, Cargo deck and the likes will also be featured. Naval enthusiasts will also be able to take part in practical courses, such as charting navigation (map and compass) and nautical nots. We will provide both digital and printed information on the Hurtigruten history, ship route, operational development and navigational facts.

A voyage of inner and outer discovery along the Norwegian Coast


When we sail past cultural and historical points of interest, we'll share these valuable insights with you out on deck - along with some enjoyable fun facts. At the end of your sailing, your own exclusive logbook is made available for purchase as a great memory of this wonderful educational journey of inner and outer discovery.
Experience this unique behind-the-scenes voyage of Hurtigruten's operation on MS Vesterålen, and still enjoy all the highlights and vailable excursions of our Norwegian coastal route.

Your voyage prices includes 

  • Voyage in cabin category of your choice, on a full-board basis
  • English-speaking Tour Leader on board

Not included 

  • Flights & transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions 
  • Luggage handling

Please note

  • Prices are in GBP per person based on two people travelling together sharing a twin cabin
  • Not all 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.

Related voyages

Iinerary

The itinerary

Learn more about what you will experience on a voyage with the Working Ship. The day-by-day program will give you a few ideas about what you can see and do on your coastal voyage, 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 expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

All year

Departure port Bergen, Norway
Day 1
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Photo: Mark and Anna Wilson Photo

The journey begins


Location: Bergen

Our 7-day expedition to the high north starts in Bergen, a city surrounded by its famed seven mountains. Before departure you may wish to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. After embarkation we invite you to enjoy our tasty dinner buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once sailed to the Shetland Islands and beyond – we are heading to the high north. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you take in the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in our panorama lounges.

Day 2
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Photo: Tim Couttreel / Guest Photo Photo

A day for masterpieces


Location: Florø - Molde

If you wake up early the next day you have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we experience a rare venture into open sea. Then the ship navigates through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund.

In the summer months we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord passing sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route. In autumn we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. In addition to the excursion “A taste of Norway”, we offer two new mountain hikes here. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape give this fjord its special character. In winter you can enjoy a colourful and enlightening presentation about the Aurora Borealis on board.

Day 3
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Photo: Maggie Strutt / Guest Photo Photo

In the footsteps of the Vikings


Location: Kristiansund - Trondheim - Rørvik

Today you wake up in beautiful Trondheim. The architecture and surroundings in Trondheim create a beautiful and almost mythical setting for any outing, whether you prefer a guided tour of the Nidaros Cathedral, kayaking on the river Nid and into the city’s smaller channels, or a casual walk or by bicycle through the Bakkland district. In autumn you can join the trip out to Munkholmen. Originally this was an ancient place of execution, before becoming a Benedictine monastery around the year 1000. In 1658 it was made into a fortress and prison, and later a customs station.

In the afternoon the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. In autumn you can learn more about navigation and lighthouses along the Norwegian coast during the Captain’s talk. After passing through the narrow Stoksund, the ship arrives at charming Rørvik.

Day 4
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Photo: Kochneva Tetyana Photo

Welcome to the Arctic!


Location: Brønnøysund - Svolvær

The Arctic Circle marks the border to the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight - often referred to as the ‘Midnight Sun’. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude provides the best chances of experiencing the Northern Lights. We continue sailing along the beautiful coast of Helgeland up to Bodø. In spring there will be a presentation on board where your can learn more about the millions of migrating birds returning to the Arctic Coast during the nesting period. Later this afternoon the sight of the 1,000m high Lofoten Wall will appear on the horizon. The charms of the Lofoten Islands are revealed in all the small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere. In winter, Crossing the Arctic Circle is when the hunt for the Arctic light begins. We celebrate this with a presentation of ‘The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis’, where you can experience this phenomenon via pictures, words and music. After sailing through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to the enthralling Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You will also hear the story of ‘The battle of Trollfjord’, which took place here in the winter of 1890.

Day 5
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Photo: David Gonzalez Photo

Into the wild


Location: Stokmarknes - Skjervøy

In summer, early birds can go ashore in Risøyhamn for our whale-watching excursion. The ship continues to Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic, for a prolonged stay. In winter and spring you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. If you want to experience the peace and tranquillity of the sea in summer, why not join us on a kayaking excursion, or participate on a mountain hike on one of the mountains close to the city. The air up here is fresh and clear, and we get a beautiful view of the city and the impressive mountain chains around it.

After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter the Captain invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship is now sailing into the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March, and we gather on deck to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.

Day 6
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Photo: Kateryna Moskalenko Photo

The Northern Lights and the North Cape


Location: Øksfjord - Berlevåg

Enjoy the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the continent. In summer, you might see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund we arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. Close to the North Cape you find one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. Join the bird-watching safari during spring and summer to experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins, together with large numbers of kittiwakes.

The Hurtigruten ship continues north, sailing in the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka, and as we approach our next stop, the fishing village Kjøllefjord. Ever so often local fishermen visit us during winter and spring to share their catch of the day (King Crab and Cod) with us out on deck. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people, as well as exploring the wonderful scenery all year round on our different excursions. In winter you can join us on an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas.

Day 7
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Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen Photo

The extreme north


Location: Kirkenes

Early birds can see Vadsø and just after breakfast we arrive in Kirkenes, putting us at 30° East, further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. This is where your voyage ends. Should you like to have some extra Arctic experiences while you are here, we offer several exciting tours, experiences and excursions in our pre and post programme. 

Location Kirkenes, Norway
Your ship Things to see and do

Northbound Excursions

Challenge your inner explorer and experience everything that Norway has to offer with our diverse range of optional excursions available on the northbound sailing between Bergen and Kirkenes.

Ports

Learn more about the charming ports and cities you will visit on this voyage.

Articles

Learn more about the experience of sailing the beautiful Norwegian coast

Attractions

Discover the natural wonders, ports and wildlife you may come across during your voyage to Norway.

Videos

Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a voyage in Norway.

Extend your holiday

Pre and post programmes

Complete your holiday in Norway with a pre or post extension programme in Bergen and Kirkenes. Choose between excursions of several hours and multi-day tours including hotels.

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Bergen and Kirkenes.