Norway - off the beaten track
Explore the hidden secrets of Norway's rich maritime culture
Departure date: 7 May 2017
7 May 2017Departure port Bremerhaven, Germany
A unique metropolis
Spend a day in one of the largest port cities in Europe, Bremerhaven. The city is an intergral part of Germany's trade - a popular hive of heritage, science, high technology and space industry keep up the innovation pace. This 1,200-year-old Hanseatic city has a unique quality that ensures a metropolitan experience like no other. Explore the wonders of the city before you board the ship in the evening.
Be at one with the ocean
Location: Crossing the North Sea
As we cross the North Sea our Expedition team will give lectures on various topics to prepare you for your upcoming expedition in Norway. You will also have ample time to unpack, relax and acquaint yourself with your home for the next 11 days.
In the wake of the Viking Kings
Haugesund calls itself the Homeland of the Viking Kings, and not without reason. This is where the Vikings ruled the land that gave name to Norway, “the way north”. Despite being only a small village back in the medieval times, King Harald Fairhair lived at Avaldsnes, very close to the modern town of Haugesund. During the last decades the town has moved from fishery to petroleum and tourism as new sources of income. Even so, the town continues to have a special maritime flavor to it. Participate on one of our optional excursions, or discover the city on your own.
Exploring the western region
Location: Værlandet/Bulandet and Atløy/Nærvik
We find ourselves in the westernmost archipelago of Norway. Here, at the mouth of the Sognefjord, under the majestic mountain Alden, the islands appear like a string of pearls. We will attempt to make landings both in the morning and in the afternoon, taking you to some of the most interesting sites of the area. Our Expedition Leader Karin is planning to open her private boat house for us, so that you can get a deeper understanding of how her ancestors made a life for themselves and their families.
Builders of maritime life
Ulsteinvik is reached after passing by the restricted bird mountain of Runde. Runde is also known for having one of the oldest lighthouses in Norway. In Ulsteinvik the main industry is ship related, and four of the Hurtigruten ships are built in this region; Polarlys, Nordkapp, Nordnorge and Finnmarken. In the evening we will sail inside the narrow fjordsystem to reach Dalsfjord where a group of workers where known as good miners and stonemasons. They where hired to build a stone tower at Runde and the lighthouse autorities was so pleased with them that they was rehired to bulid lighthoses, marks and mooring rings. The work was later passed out from father to son for many years and gathered skilled workmen from the close villages, and together they established a knowledge about lighthouses that made this fjord known and respected through generations. We will stay in Ulsteinvik from morning to afternoon, so that you have ample time to explore the town or join an excursion to learn more about the area.
Exploring villages and lighthouses
Location: Bud and Bjørnsund
In the 16th and 17th century Bud was the biggest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim. Still today, it is an active and charming fishing village. Bjørnsund is a deserted island with an idyllic atmosphere. We will use our Polarcirkel boats to reach the villages which are interesting both in history and for hikes and other activities. In Bud we will take you to a visit to the Ergan coastal fort, which is a museum dedicated to the “Atlantic wall” built during the second world war. A visit to the marine archeology museum is also included. In Bjørnsund we will take a stroll in the village and hike to the lighthouse to see it up close. Sailing north this afternoon we will see a handful of interesting lighthouses from a distance, and you'll hear the stories about most of them.
Navigating the reefs
The Island Frøya is located off the coast of Trøndelag, and is surrounded by more than 5,400 islets and reefs. The landscape on Frøya is hilly yet relatively flat. The highest point is only 74 meters. Around 4,200 people inhabit the Frøya islands, most of them on Frøya itself but also some of the surrounding islets are inhabited.
Experience the wild, beautiful and unspoilt nature by taking part in one of our excurions, or spend the day on your own getting to know the settlement.
The star of Helgeland
The exiting islands of the Vega Archipelago are full of contrasts. Some have sheltered locations between islets and skerries, while others are in exposed positions. There are large islands with groups of houses, a trading post and a steamship quay, and small islets where only one single family lived.
The Archipelago is inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage for the following reason: “The Vega Archipelago reflects the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider-down harvesting, and it also celebrates the contribution of women to the eider-down process”.
We will make a landing at Vega that includes a visit to the Eider Museum. In addition we offer optional excursions for smaller groups
Crossing the Arctic Circle
Location: Træna and Vikingen
This morning we will visit Træna which is part of an archipelago off the coast of Helgeland and one of the smallest councils of Norway. It holds more than 1000 islets, rocks and skerries and less than 500 inhabitants.
Træna is situated on the Arctic Circle, 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sandnessjøen. We will arrive Træna in the morning, and weather permitted, go ashore. Later this day we will attempt to visit the island Vikingen which holds the statue of the Arctic Circle symbol, and here King Neptun will conduct an arctic ceremony for you!
Exploring the beauty of the Lofoten Islands
Location: Værøy, Lofoten
During the night we have continued north to pay a visit one of the southernmost islands of Lofoten, Værøy. The Island has a lively fishing village, high bird cliffs and good hiking options. The old airport was sold to a private owner, who made into an exclusive chocolate factory and their private home. In Værøy there is also a local gallery and a traditional church. We have included a guided walk in Værøy for you, so that you can aquiant yourselv with this lovely village.
Today we will sail through Lofoten at daytime and enjoy the scenery as we head for Trollfjorden and Raftsundet on our way to Andenes. During the day we plan to make a landing at one of the best perserved fishermen villages from the 1800’s where we will offer an included tour with tastings from the sea.
Life in modern fishing villages
Location: Vesterålen and Senja
At the tip of Andøya we find Andenes, the largest fishing village in the area where you'll find both interesting museums and a NASA rocket range. At the pier in Andenes you find the old lighthouse from 1859 with a 40 meter high tower, today it serves as a live museum. Our optional tour of the day will take you out to Spacesentre Aurora.
Later we pay a visit to Gryllefjord in Senja. The fjord has high mountains which rises over the lively fishing village and the area offers many opportunities for excursions and hikes as well as fishing trips. We will be met by local guides in Gryllefjord, and you will get an included walk of the village to learn more about life in a modern fishing village.
Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic, is a lively and beautiful city surrounded by the dramatic Lyngen Alps, blue fjords and hundreds of islands. Exploring the city is a great way of ending this varied and eventful adventure.
Vega and the eider museumExcursion Norwegian coast
The silver of the sea – Haugesund and the herringExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 54
Store EmårsøyExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 57
Senior raftingExcursion Norwegian coast, Frøya (2 Hours) From £ 149
Spaceship AuroraExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 51
Hiking in SteinsfjelletExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 54
Highlights of Ulsteinvik and its surroundingsExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 46
Bird safari by boatExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 98
Guided tour of Værlandet and BulandetExcursion Norwegian coast, Værlandet (2.5 hours) From £ 77
Hike with local guideExcursion Norwegian coast, Frøya (0 Hour) From £ 28
Dalsfjord lighthouse museumExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 61
Coastal CultureExcursion Norwegian coast
Boat tour to LånanExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 119
A walk in the settlementExcursion Norwegian coast
A village visit to “the smalltown of Senja”Excursion Norwegian coast
A visit to a fishing villageExcursion Norwegian coast From £ 51
Highlights of ÅkrafjordenExcursion Norwegian coast (0 Hour) From £ 129