Hurtigruten’s Holiday Sailings

Norwegian Traditions and Northern Lights come alive on special sailings

By: Ana Figueroa

Hurtigruten (formerly known as Norwegian Coastal Voyages) is offering special holiday departures of its “Discover Winter Norway” cruise tours. Guests will experience the traditions and customs of the Norwegian Yuletide as well as the peaceful scenery of snow-clad coastal landscapes with lights glowing from villages, towns and lighthouses. If atmospheric conditions are right, guests will also see the shimmering Northern Lights flashing across the sky. Six- to eight-day holiday cruise tours, departing Bergen and Tromso between Dec. 19 and 26, are priced at $1,999 to $2,499 per person, including port charges and gratuities.
Food is an important ingredient of Norwegian Yuletide festivities and passengers will sample local holiday delicacies at a festive Christmas Eve feast, including an extravagant Scandinavian smorgasbord. Guests can join the crew in reading from the Christmas gospel and singing carols by the tree and all will receive a visit from Santa Claus himself. New Year’s Eve activities include a gala dinner, dance and midnight champagne toast and for some, joining the celebrations in Tromso.
The seven-day Bergen-Tromso sailing, exploring both cities and the Lofoten Islands, can be extended to eight days with a night in Oslo where the traditional Christmas market is a must-see. The eight-day Tromso-Kirkenes-Tromso spends the entire time above the Arctic Circle increasing the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis and for those looking to combine the traditional with the unusual, the “Killer Whale Safari” is a six-day adventure in Tromso, Svolvaer and Oslo, with the focus on viewing orcas as they breach and hunt.
Optional shore excursions during this season showcase Norway’s history and lifestyle. They include a snowmobile safari from Kirkenes, followed by a snack of dried reindeer meat in a Sami tent; a dogsledding outing in Tromso; a trip from Honningsvag through the desolate polar landscape to the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe; a five-course Arctic gourmet dinner; and tours of the Art Nouveau town of Alesund and the 1,000-year-old city of Trondheim.
Holiday cruises include three- and four-star hotels in Oslo and other cities with breakfast; meals on ships and safaris; inside or best available double cabin aboard ship outside cabins are $59 additional per person, per day; specified transfers; and a tour manager.
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