DOVER – NORTH CAPE – DOVER – NORTHERN LIGHTS AND FJORDS EXPEDITION
Join us for a special winter expedition cruise under the Northern Lights. See the best of Norway’s coastline and take part in exciting excursions to really discover this winter wonderland.
- Experience the Northern Lights and learn all about this spectacular phenomenon
- Explore Norway’s amazing coastline in winter
- Join in on fun winter activities
- Learn about Norwegian culture, history and nature with our Expedition Teams
Day 1 Dover
We set our course north from Dover towards the coast of Norway´s magical, snow-covered landscape as we hunt for the Northern Lights.
This amazing natural phenomenon is the result of disturbances caused by solar wind – creating a cosmic lightshow of dazzling colour and complexity. Your chances of experiencing the Northern Lights improve the farther north we go.
As we pass the white cliffs of Dover and head across the North Sea, stretch your sea legs and get to know MS Maud. Find the amenities you like best – the Science Center, the hot tubs, the Explorer lounge, or maybe a favourite spot on deck. You may want to find that spot later if our hunt for the Aurora proves successful.
Day 2 At sea
Enjoy a day at sea as we head north to the Norwegian coastline.
Meet our Expedition Team, who prepare you for exciting adventures ahead. Listen in on talks by these experienced explorers who share their extensive knowledge about places, people and natural phenomena we are likely to encounter, like the Northern Lights.
Or maybe you just want to kick back and relax. Admire the views, try some of the ship’s cuisine that caught your eye on the menu, or settle into a good book while enjoying this day at sea.
Day 3 Stavanger
Welcome to Stavanger – known for its many nearby natural attractions, including famous Pulpit Rock and long sandy beaches along the North Sea.
The Stavanger region is on the radar of nearly every visitor to Norway. Many different nationalities are drawn to the area, making it a highly international destination. Its cosmopolitan nature is reflected in the city’s lively, urban ambience, with creative food menus, fun pubs and bars, and a booming cultural scene.
Stavanger’s proud history is never far from sight. Old Stavanger has Europe’s best-preserved wooden house area with more than 170 white wooden structures dating back to the 1700s.
Stavanger is also Europe’s oil and energy capital. Visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum to learn more about Norway’s most important industry through modern interactive exhibits. See how oil and gas were formed millions of years ago, as well as how petroleum is found, produced and consumed. Feeling adventurous? You can slide down an escape chute used on offshore oil and gas platforms.
While it’s less likely to spot the Northern Lights this far south, it does happen. Keep your eyes on the northern edge of the horizon.
Day 4 Ålesund
Art Nouveau and Aquatic Species
Today you arrive in the charming small city of Ålesund – renowned for its beautiful art nouveau architecture. This owes to a devastating fire that burned a large part of the city to the ground in 1904. The entire town was subsequently rebuilt in the fashionable art nouveau style of the time.
Take the opportunity to wander Ålesund’s charming cobblestone streets and admire the numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings.
Norway is a seafood nation and Ålesund is its fisheries capital. Take the opportunity to visit the Norwegian Aquarium – built directly into the rocky coastline, the aquarium is also an architectural marvel. Due to excellent oceanic conditions along the Norwegian coast, the aquarium features a colourful and exciting range of fish and fauna, including octopus, seals and penguins.
You can also choose one of our interesting optional excursions in and around this fascinating coastal Norwegian city.
Day 5 Brønnøysund
Home of Famous Torghatten
Welcome to Brønnøysund – a vibrant and pretty little town of 5,000 folks located on a narrow peninsula surrounded by islands and sea.
You are now at the halfway mark along Norway’s long coastline. Brønnøysund is near the famous mountain with a hole in the middle – Torghatten.
Brønnøysund is also the gateway to Vega Island – a UNESCO World Heritage site, which was granted UNESCO status because of how the community demonstrates its centuries-old sustainable way of life. Remarkably, the islanders have thrived by practicing the now unique tradition of eider farming and duck down processing.
As we leave Brønnøysund, we sail along the coast of Helgeland and pass the famous mountain range called the Seven Sisters. Legend has it that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, creating the seven beautiful peaks.
In the evening, we cross the Arctic Circle – and your chances to experience the Aurora grow.
Day 6 Reine and Svolvær
You won’t soon forget your first approach to Lofoten because of the formidable wall of mountains looming on the horizon.
The Lofoten Islands are world famous for their distinctive dramatic peaks, sheltered bays and untouched beaches – and this is your day to explore them. Lofoten is also known for its excellent fishing, picturesque villages and exciting year-round activities.
We dock at idyllic Reine in the morning. Fishermen´s huts dotting the shoreline and snowy granite peaks shooting out of the fjord make Reine one of the most frequently photographed landscapes in Norway.
After departing Reine, we sail along the massive Lofoten wall to Svolvær. The islands, steep mountains, beautiful beaches and bays we pass are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. In Svolvær, choose from a number of exciting outdoor and indoor activities. Intriguing shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants are scattered throughout the town.
After a whole day exploring Lofoten, we sail to Trollfjord, an amazing place where vertical mountain walls surrealistically jut out of the sea. In winter, it’s not possible to sail into the fjord, so we admire this very special site at its entrance.
Keep looking skyward to catch sight of the Northern Lights.
Day 7 Tromsø
Gateway to the Arctic
Looking for an adventurous winter wonderland? Tromsø is the perfect destination for winter activities and boasts a wide range of optional excursions to choose from depending on your interests.
Enjoy a ride into the sky on the Fjellheisen cable car, with breathtaking views of the city, mountains, fjords – and hopefully the Aurora.
Tromsø brims with fascinating history, culture and bold architecture. The Arctic Cathedral is a landmark in Tromsø visible from the Tromsø Sound, featuring a huge stained-glass window. Care to meet some friendly locals? Tromsø is home to the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Bryggeri, which also runs Ølhallen, a lively pub where townspeople go for a chat and a beer.
Other winter activities include optional excursions with our Expedition Team on nature hikes, and Aurora-focused bus rides.
Tromsø is so far north that you may see the Northern Lights directly overhead.
Day 8 Tromsø
Lively Arctic City
Another day in Tromsø means another day of discovery.
Visit the Arctic experience centre, Polaria, where you will be able to look, feel, experience and understand why life in the sea and on land are inextricably linked. Polaria is also one of two places in Europe where you can see bearded seals at close range.
Historically, Tromsø was the starting point for several Arctic expeditions. It was also the first call when hunters and explorers returned to civilization, giving it a tough frontier reputation. Today the city is often called the Paris of the North because of its international and cultural diversity. Meet friendly locals, do some shopping or sample the city’s range of restaurants specializing in the region’s fresh produce.
As we leave Tromsø after lunch, spend the afternoon and evening on deck – hunting the Northern Lights.
Day 9 North Cape, Honningsvåg
Edge of the World
Today we visit one of the northernmost points in Europe, North Cape. This is also as far north as we go on this winter expedition cruise.
Start the day by taking a scenic bus ride from the town of Honningsvåg. We pass small bays and tiny villages, then cross a mountain plateau before arriving at spectacular North Cape. At 71°10’21´N, North Cape is just 2,100 km away from the Geographic North Pole. Stand at the edge of the cliff and gaze out on the sea. Only the Svalbard Archipelago separates you from the North Pole. North Cape feels like the end of the world. It’s also a great place to take stunning photos and there will be enough time to visit the North Cape Hall´s cinema, showing a short film about the North Cape Plateau, and there are several exhibits open to visitors.
Back in Honningsvåg, you can opt to stroll about, past charming houses, nice shops and a church that was the only structure left standing at the end of World War II.
This is the ship’s turning point and from here we start our return trip southward. Keep looking skyward!
Day 10 Finnsnes / Senja
Hidden Gem of Coastal Norway
Today we dock at Finnsnes, just across a bridge from the remarkable island of Senja, which Norwegians call the ‘fairytale island’ because of its spectacular nature.
Senja is Norway’s second largest island and counts just under 8,000 inhabitants. As you might guess, fisheries and aquaculture are the dominant industries here. Cod and pollock are traditionally fished in Senja’s waters while salmon is farmed.
The island is famous for its diverse landscapes and is often referred to as Norway in miniature. The scenery can dramatically change within the blink of an eye. The outer side of Senja is characterised by lofty mountains plummeting straight into the sea, interspersed with isolated coves and sandy beaches. South Senja is distinguished by rocky coastline and pine forests and is home to Ånderdalen National Park. The eastern side of Senja has a a gentler landscape with rolling hills and birch forests.
There is little light pollution here, increasing your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
Day 11 Sea day
Serenity of the Sea
Today you can spend time in the ship’s Explorer lounge, soaking in a hot tub, or out on deck watching for the aurora. Our Expedition Team and on-board photography expert can help you locate the Northern Lights and take good pictures.
The Expedition Team also continues its on-board lecture series, sharing their vast knowledge and experience about the geography, culture and history of Norway’s long and varied coastline.
The team also summarizes the voyage so far and lets you know about plans for the exciting days ahead.
Day 12 Kristiansund and Molde
Norwegian Alps and Viking Battles
A brief stop in Kristiansund for guests wishing to take a trip along the Atlantic Road, to Molde.
Kristiansund’s location on four sea islands in the Norwegian Sea has steadily provided livelihoods in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. Interested in history? A decisive battle between Danish and Norwegian Vikings was fought near here in 955 and later noted in the famous ‘Lives of the Norse Kings’ by Snorre Sturlasson.
After lunch, we reach Norway’s ‘City of Roses’ – Molde. You may want to visit Romsdalsmuseet, one of Norway’s largest folk museums, exhibiting historic regional buildings and interiors. The city´s scenic viewpoint, Varden, is worth a visit, with its wonderful vistas across Molde, the fjord and snowy peaks of the Romsdal Alps in the distance.
Day 13 Bergen
We arrive in Bergen, one of Norway’s most beautiful cities and a great place to explore by foot. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years. The city has retained a great deal of its local character, history and charm, and is a hub for Norwegian travel. Be sure to stroll through the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its colourful wooden wharfs dating back to the 14th century.
Visit Mount Fløyen – the Fløibanen funicular takes you to the top in just six minutes. At the summit you get amazing views over this city surrounded by seven mountains and the sea. Feeling energetic? Follow one of many light trails atop Mount Fløyen into possibly snow-decked alpine forest.
Back at sea level, wander the cobblestone streets and alleyways of this enchanting, compact city. Drop into one of its many cafés or pubs and order a half-litre of local Hansa beer, browse through unique boutiques and visit world-class museums.
Spend the evening relaxing, maybe in the panoramic lounge or out on deck. While its less likely the Northern Lights will appear this far south, it does happen.
Day 14 At sea
Relax and Unwind
It’s our final day at sea.
You may want to take one last soak in the hot tub, relax in the ship’s lounge, edit your photographs, or join the Expedition Team as they review the highlights of your memorable winter expedition cruise to the coast of Norway.
Day 15 Dover
Return to England
We pass the white cliffs of Dover during the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbour. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home for the past 14 days.
As you head ashore, you’ll take with you the lifetime memories of Norway in winter – wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and cities, friendly people, and the magical Northern Lights.
Welcome aboard again soon!
MS Maud is designed to explore the magnificent Norwegian coast and polar areas in ultimate comfort, with advanced equipment and a sustainable profile.
MS Maud (MS Midnatsol prior to the makeover) is named for the Viking explorer, also known as Eric the Red. He discovered, named and settled Greenland in the 10th century.
Like its namesake, MS Maud is a great adventurer, meant to explore the rugged Norwegian coastline all year long. MS Maud has a modern design and progressive environmental profile. The interior’s bright, colourful décor is inspired by Norway’s sunny summer days, a motif reflected in many of the pieces of Norwegian modern art on board. The vessel’s sun deck and hot tub are on deck 9. Key features on MS Maud include a spacious, two-storey panorama lounge above the bow. Its wall-to-wall windows bathe the lounge in natural light and provide extraordinary views.
MS Maud is an ice class 1C ship and is equipped with advanced technology that makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in Norway.
Year of construction 2003 (Year of refurbishment: 2021)
Ship yard Fosen Mek. Verk (N)
Gross tonnage 16,140