DOVER – NORTH CAPE – DOVER – NORWEGIAN FJORDS, NORTH CAPE
Norway boasts some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, with dramatic fjords and awe-inspiring countryside at every turn. On this voyage, we explore some unique towns along the rugged coastline to get close to nature and immerse ourselves in local culture along the way.
- Explore the Norwegian coast in spectacular spring, summer and fall
- Discover the incredible Lofoten Islands and North Cape
- Explore hand picked cities and towns that spring to life with the return of the sun
- Sail into majestic and less-visited Hjørundfjord
Day 1 Dover, England
Your Voyage Begins
We set our course north from Dover towards the coast of Norway´s magical landscape.
As we pass the white cliffs of Dover and head across the North Sea, you will see fishing boats, tankers and even helicopters ferrying workers to and from offshore oil and gas platforms.
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 that nice spot on deck with a view and out of the wind.
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.
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 Bergen, Norway
In the morning, we get our first glimpse of the Norwegian coast. Small islands and mountains draw closer. We leave the North Sea and enter scenic straits and fjords.
After lunch, 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.
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.
Day 4 Molde and Kristiansund, Norway
Norwegian Alps and Viking Battles
At midday, we reach Norway’s ‘City of Roses’ – Molde where guests can disembark to join an excursion along the Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most-visited tourist destinations, spanning eight bridges through picturesque landscapes and across the open sea. The excursion ends in Kristiansund, where you rejoin the ship.
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.
Maybe it’s a dry fact, but Kristiansund today is known as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its historic export of dry salted fish, often called bacalao. Take some time to stroll along the waterfront of this interesting little city, past old shipyards and marinas, and see what you can find.
Day 5 Brønnøysund, Norway
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.
Day 6 Reine & Svolvær, Norway
Discover Amazing Lofoten
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.
Day 7 Tromsø, Norway
Gateway to the Arctic
Looking for Arctic adventure? Tromsø is the place to find it. Set far above the Arctic Circle, it never gets dark during the peak of the summer and the town brims with almost round-the-clock activities. The Midnight Sun shines here from May 20 to July 22.
Tromsø is also rich in history and culture. It was the starting point for many Arctic expeditions and the first call when explorers returned to civilization. Today the city is called the Paris of the North because of its cultural diversity. It is home to both the world’s northernmost university and 2nd – most northerly brewery and is known for great restaurants specializing in fresh regional produce.
Tromsø’s attractions include amazing views, history, culture and bold architecture. The Arctic Cathedral is a landmark and city highlight, featuring an enormous stained-glass window.
You can also ride the Fjellheisen cable car to the top of a 424 m high mountain. The summit provides breathtaking views of the city, mountains and fjords. Don’t forget to take sunscreen.
Perhaps visit the Polaria Arctic experience centre. Look, feel, experience and understand why life in the sea and on land are entirely dependent on each other.
Day 8 Honningsvåg, Norway
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 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.
Day 9 Finnsnes, Norway
Hidden Gem of Coastal Norway
Today we dock at Finnsnes, just across a bridge from the remarkable island of Senja.
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.
Day 10 At sea
Serenity of the Sea
Today you can spend time in the ship’s Explorer lounge, soaking in a hot tub, or out on deck enjoying the scenery.
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 11 Hjørundfjord (Urke) & Alesund,Norway
Untouched Fjord Flanked by Alpine Peaks
Get ready to experience the wow factor. Today we sail into Hjørundfjord.
This natural wonder stands out from other popular fjords in its solitary grandeur – far off the beaten tourist tracks. Hjørundfjord is considered one of the purest and most beautiful fjords in Norway.
The fjord is surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps, with peaks soaring as high as 1,700 metres straight up from the sea.
The steep mountains have made it impossible to cultivate the land here. Still, a few tiny farms cling to the mountain sides and some small villages reside along the shoreline.
We anchor in the fjord and a local tender boat takes you ashore, where you will find hiking opportunities in incredible scenery.
MS Maud arrives at Ålesund in the afternoon. This city is a delight to visit. Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, owing to a devastating fire that burned much of the city down in 1904. The entire town was subsequently rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, Art Nouveau. Enjoy the afternoon strolling the cobblestone streets of this charming North Atlantic city.
Day 12 Værlandet, Norway
To the West
Værlandet is a small island group situated north of Sognefjorden. This unique place hosts hiking possibilities for all levels of fitness. Maybe jaunt up 481-meter high Mount Alden 481 will tempt you. The view is stunning.
Stretch your legs on the small islands of Værlandet & Bulandet by hiking or walking around the village or take a bike around the island on your own. You can also learn more about the area´s cultural history at the local museum.
Day 13 Lysefjord, Norway
Lysefjord is 40 kilometres long and 422 metres deep at its deepest. Preikestolen, the most famous tourist attraction in Ryfylke, towers an impressive 604 metres over the Lysefjord. This is a flat mountain plateau of approx 600 square metres. We hope to have a fine view of Preikestolen before heading back out of the fjord.
As the ship sails down the fjord, mountains tower above us in this imposing fjord. Spend time on deck taking in the scenery, or take a seat and enjoy the views from the comfort of our observation lounge with its enormous windows designed for this very reason.
Day 14 At sea
Relax and Unwind
It’s our final day at sea. As we cross the North Sea, you may spot the giant gas flares atop one of the many oil and gas platforms.
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 expedition cruise to the coast of Norway.
Day 15 Dover, England
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 – wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and cities and friendly people.
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