Arctic Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover
About Tromso, Norway
- Explore rarely visited areas of the Norwegian coast, such as Trøndelag and Vesterålen
- Sail above the Arctic Circle for the chance to see the Northern Lights
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
- Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
- Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research
- The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
- The ship has hot tubs, a panoramic sauna, and outdoor and indoor gyms
- Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations
- Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
- Trekking poles and head lamps available, if necessary
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings
- International flights
- Travel protection
- Baggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
- Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
- All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities are expected
Setting course for Tromsø - Dover, U.K.
All aboard at Dover! MS Maud is here, ready and waiting to bring you north to Tromsø in the Arctic. We’ll be on the hunt for one of nature’s greatest spectacles: The Northern Lights.
If you have the time before embarkation, take a walk alongside the iconic White Cliffs of Dover that have become a symbol for England. One of the best places to do so is at St. Margaret’s Bay, which offers great views of the chalky coastline from its wide shingle beach.
Once you board the ship, pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, and settle into your cabin. Feel free to explore the ship before attending a mandatory safety drill. After the first of many delicious dinners and a welcome toast by the captain, you’ll meet your expert Expedition Team.
They’ll be your knowledgeable lecturers, warm hosts, and good-natured guides throughout your journey. Many of them grew up and live in the places you’ll visit, and they are passionate about sharing their homes with you.
But first and foremost, they’ll keep you safe and sound. Their first priority will be to run through important health and safety information with you and your shipmates.
As the ship sets sail, we’ll pass by the White Cliffs of Dover and head up to the North Sea. Stretch your sea legs and explore MS Maud, your cozy home away from home. Grab a relaxing glass of wine in the Explorer Lounge and Bar while the world passes you by through the panoramic windows. Your adventure to the Arctic is officially underway!
Norway bound - At sea
This day at sea gives you all the time you’ll need to ease into your journey. Start enjoying the range of onboard facilities such as the hot tubs, the sauna, and the indoor gym. But you’ll likely also be striking up conversations with the Expedition Team members as well as other crew members and guests.
The Expedition Team will begin their series of insightful lectures over in the Science Center. Each member of the Expedition Team specializes in a different subject. You’ll see that they are treasure troves of stories and information.
They’ll share their extensive knowledge about the places, history, nature, people, and natural phenomena we’ll likely encounter during this winter cruise along the Norwegian coast. Today’s topics might include the geology of the North Sea or the science behind the Northern Lights.
It’s not a sure thing, but you can expect wind and waves on the North Sea, which is known to be choppy this time of year. Our captain’s goal is to bring us into Bergen the next day, but Mother Nature is the boss and nothing is set in stone.
This is all part and parcel of the expedition experience, adding extra suspense and excitement to your adventure. Rest assured, we’ll make the cruise as safe and smooth as possible, even if we have to be flexible and adapt our plans to factor in the elements.
The City of Seven Mountains - Bergen, Norway
Weather conditions on the North Sea permitting, we aim to arrive in Bergen in the afternoon. As our first port of call in Norway, we arrive at Bergen, one of the country’s most picturesque cities. Founded in 1070 A.D., Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years. You’ll see that the city hasn’t lost any of its local character, heritage, or charm.
Your included activity in Bergen is an excursion to Mount Fløyen. We’ll hop on Hurtigruten buses from where the ship docks and drive to the Fløibanen funicular (cable car). The ride to the mountaintop takes just six minutes. The summit is over 1,000 feet up, and you can bask in stunning views of city and its surroundings: seven mountains and the sea. If we have time, we might also venture into the alpine forest here for a short hike.
Once back in the center of Bergen, don’t miss the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with colorful wooden houses along the wharf. This area dates back to the 14th century and now houses boutique stores selling Norwegian arts and crafts. Across from Bryggen is Bergen’s famous fish market, where you can savor a host of sights, sounds, and scents.
The longest fjord in Norway - Fjærland, Norway
In the morning, we’ll sail into the Sognefjord, nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’, as it is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Stretching 127 miles inland from the coast, we plan to cruise deep into the fjord to the tiny hamlet of Fjærland.
Only 300 people live here. Ashore, you’ll discover this idyllic village with many charming old buildings. Fjærland is a designated Norwegian Book Town. Picturesque second-hand book shops and stands can be found all over the small village.
This is where the Sognefjord meets Jostedalsbreen, one of Norway’s best-known glaciers. It’s the largest glacier on the European continent and has several smaller glacial arms stretching out in many directions, including Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen.
This makes Fjærland the perfect place to learn about how glaciers created Norway’s beautiful fjords, making a visit to the Norwegian Glacier Museum a perfect included activity for the day.
At this award-winning museum, designed by world famous architect Sverre Fehn, you’ll engage with hands-on exhibits explaining why glacier ice is blue and how the fjords were formed. You can even perform a few experiments with 1,000-year-old glacier ice and watch a panoramic film about Europe’s largest glacier.
Exceptional natural beauty - Hjørundfjord, Norway (Urke or Sæbø)
Like the famous Geirangerfjord next door, Hjørundfjord is part of the UNESCO-designated Fjords Norway area, which is notable for ‘exceptional natural beauty’. Surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps, with peaks soaring over 5,500 feet straight up from the sea, it’s one of the most scenic fjords in all of Norway and still undiscovered by most other cruise lines.
On a clear day, you’ll receive a full 360° sensory experience: the bluest skies, the coniferous forests in fall foliage, and pastures for grazing covering the mountainsides. The still, pristine waters reflect this superb scenery in all its glory, perfectly merging the fjord and the landscape.
We will anchor near Urke or Sæbø. Both settlements are located in the fjord and a local tender boat will take you ashore to experience Norwegian nature and culture.
Sign up for optional excursions to further explore the area. You can join a guided walk through villages along the Hjørundfjord and learn about the history, nature and royal connections of this splendid and gorgeous place.
Or, raise your pulse on exhilarating excursions such as hiking up the mountain for incredible views. Or kayak the fjord, where exquisite silence is broken only by your paddle dipping into its waters.
‘Kos’ and ‘frilufsliv’ combined - Trøndelag, Norway
Today, we’ll explore rarely seen areas of the rugged and raw Trøndelag coast on our way north towards Lofoten.
This is the heart of the Norwegian coast, both geographically and culturally. The beautiful city of Trondheim used to be the country’s capital. King Olav, later beatified as Saint Olav, is buried in the city’s Nidaros Cathedral, inspired by Notre Dame. King Olav met his glorious end during a battle at Stiklestad, also found along Trøndelag’s coast. His martyrdom paved the way for Norway’s conversion from Paganism to Christianity.
When Hurtigruten started sailing north of Trøndelag in 1893, much was still unknown about the coastline. Over the years, we’ve become experts in these waters. Today, we are the only ones with the knowledge and skill to guide you through its skerries and islets, fjord after fjord.
Trøndelag is also the spiritual home of kos, a uniquely Norwegian state of mind that celebrates the simple pleasures of warmth, kindness, and togetherness. As we explore the Trøndelag coast, combine kos with another quintessentially Norwegian concept: friluftsliv—an intense love of nature and the great outdoors.
As can be expected in an authentic adventure, the weather will determine our exact route and activities. If the weather is pleasant, we’ll explore the islands along the coast. If not, we’ll head into one of the many deep fjords. What may often look like a small gap in the coastline actually hides a deep fjord system that few ever visit. Unless you’re sailing with us!
Once the elements have dictated our destination for the day, we’ll drop anchor and use our small boats (RIBs) to land ashore. If conditions are right, you’ll be able to take hikes or go kayaking as an optional excursion—or possibly even both.
The enchanting Lofoten Islands - Svolvær, Norway
There are just a few places on Earth where you can sail north of the Arctic Circle during wintertime. The Norwegian coast is one of them The ship officially crosses the Arctic Circle sometime in the morning.
In the tradition of Norwegian sailors, we’ll mark the occasion by inviting you on deck for a special ceremony. Exactly what happens is something you’ll just have to find out on deck!
Then we’ll approach the Lofoten Islands, one of the most spectacular locations in all of Norway—and maybe even the world. As you approach the archipelago, the sight of the massive wall of mountains and dramatic peaks rising up out of the sea is something you’ll never forget. Serene fishing villages sit nestled in sheltered coves, which are even more charming if dusted with snow—and especially with the Northern Lights swirling above, if we’re lucky!
Then we’ll sail along the Vestfjord to arrive in Svolvær in the afternoon. This is the largest town in Lofoten, with about 4,800 residents, many of whom still work in the fishing industry. There are shops and art galleries to browse along the seafront promenade, and rows of rorbuer (fishing huts) to admire.
You’ll likely spot the wooden racks called hjell dotting the shores of the town. These racks are used to dry locally caught cod, which then becomes tørrfisk (stockfish in English), prized as a local delicacy. Fishing is clearly an important way of life in Lofoten. The lecture for the day may focus on how cod helped build Norway into a country.
From the ship, it’s a short walk to your included visit to the multicolored Magic Ice bar. The former fish-freezing warehouse now displays a range of picturesque, selfie-suitable ice sculptures depicting life in Lofoten and Viking culture. Enjoy a signature drink to warm you up—served in an ice glass, of course!
The expert Expedition Team might show off its local knowledge by handpicking a few spectacular hiking trails or snowshoeing areas as optional excursions.
The Battle of Narvik - Narvik, Norway
We arrive to Narvik in the morning and will stay in port until tomorrow afternoon, giving you time to truly explore. This town is spectacularly situated on a peninsula surrounded by three fjords: The Ofotfjord, Rombaken, and Beisfjord.
The mountains also shelter the popular ski slopes from strong coastal winds. Narvik may be one of the northernmost towns in the world, some 137 miles into the Arctic Circle, but the North Atlantic Current provides it a milder climate than some would expect.
Modern Narvik made its name as year-round port for Swedish iron mining, making the town a strategic target for Germany during World War II. You’ll visit the Narvik War Museum to see exhibits and artifacts from the war, and learn about the heroism of the British and Allied troops who liberated the town from the Nazis.
Aside from the museum, you can enjoy galleries, shops, and restaurants specializing in seafood that is locally sourced from the fjords. Feeling adventurous? Try the reindeer!
Optional excursions include riding the cable car for breathtaking views at the top of Mount Narvik, along with hikes, snowshoeing, or kayaking on the fjords. You might also try ice-fishing in the small lakes close to Narvik or meeting local members of the local indigenous Sámi community.
An optional excursion to Polarparken could also be an option, it is the largest and northernmost animal park in the world. Huge enclosures house the likes of wolves, bears, lynx, moose, and reindeer. If you visit at feeding time, you might be able to glimpse these animals up close.
A hiker’s paradise - Risøyhamn/Sortland, Norway
We arrive in Vesterålen early in the morning. It spans an area from Andøya in the north to Sortland in the south. Few have heard of Vesterålen. Even fewer have explored its beauty. Our plan is for you to spend the entire day doing just that.
Vesterålen is known as a hiker’s paradise, offering both easy hikes and challenging hikes for great views, We also plan to put our kayaks in the water, giving you the opportunity to join an optional kayaking activity. Whales here often peek their heads up in the winter, so you might even see one from your kayak.
Weather permitting, we plan to dock in Sortland, Risøyhamn, or Harstad. Sortland is the area’s administrative capital. With a population of around 10,000 people, it’s the largest town in Vesterålen. It’s nicknamed ‘the blue city in the straight’, due to the many blue houses located in the city center.
Approximately 200 people live in Risøyhamn, making it a small village—even by Norwegian standards. The first settlements here date back to the Stone Age thanks to teeming fishing grounds and natural shelter from wind and waves. To reach Risøyhamn, we have to sail through the artificial channel of Risøyrenna. Finished in 1922, it was specifically intended for Hurtigruten to access Vesterålen and Risøyhamn.
Should weather conditions be harsh, we’ll port in Harstad, located a little further inland. The church just outside of Harstad is considered to be the world’s northernmost medieval church. Nearby, we can find the Trondenes Historical Center and the ‘Adolfkanonen’, an enormous cannon from World War II and the last remaining one of four built by the Nazis. Harstad also features splendid scenery for you to explore on an optional hike.
The end of an adventure - Tromsø, Norway
Your expedition cruise along the Norwegian coast has reached its end as we arrive in Tromsø in the morning. After saying your goodbyes to the ship and its crew, head back home or continue your adventure by exploring more of what Tromsø has to offer.
There are numerous winter activities to consider if you have the time, such as dog sledding, Northern Lights–centered trips, or whale safaris.
If you want to focus on the city itself, the striking Arctic Cathedral, with its huge stained-glass window, is naturally a first stop. Browse the shops for last-minute gifts and souvenirs, or sample the region’s fresh produce in one of the restaurants. Join the friendly locals in one of the pubs here, and try a pint at one of the world’s northernmost breweries.
Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure!