HAMBURG – NORTH CAPE – HAMBURG – FJORDS AND ARCTIC SUMMER EXPEDITION
Visit compelling cities and charming towns, sail deep blue fjords and discover amazing natural wonders.
- Explore the Norwegian coast in spectacular spring, summer and fall
- Discover the incredible Lofoten Islands and North Cape
- Explore the cities and towns that spring to life with the return of the sun
- Sail into majestic and less-visited Hjørundfjord
Day 1 Embark on the Adventure
Today you depart Germany’s second-largest city headed north to explore Norway’s amazing coastline 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 sail across the North Sea, you may want to get to know your expedition ship. Check out the Science Center, the sauna and hot tubs, scout out a comfortable chair in the Explorer lounge, find a window table you like in the ship’s restaurant or locate a good spot on deck for viewing Norway’s incredible coastline.
Day 2 Toward the Norwegian Coast
Enjoy another idyllic day at sea on our way to the Norwegian coastline.
Meet our Expedition Team, an expert crew of adventurers who will prepare you for the coastal expedition ahead. Listen in as these skilled explorers share their extensive knowledge to fill you in on what to see, how to see it and how best to enjoy your expediton to the fullest.
This is also a good time to sip a drink on deck, soak in the hot tub or find a cosy corner to relax with a good book.
Day 3 Beautiful Bergen
In the morning, we glimpse the Norwegian coastline in the distance. Small islands and mountains draw closer. Finally, we exit the North Sea and sail into calmer straits and fjords.
After lunch, we reach Bergen, arguably Norway’s most beautiful city and an ideal place to explore on foot. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen has retained much of its local character, charm and and history. It was once an important port in the medieval Hanseatic League. Experience this legacy in the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district. Wander about its colourful wooden wharfs dating back to the 14th century.
Visit Mount Fløyen – the Fløibanen funicular takes you to the summit in just six minutes. Enjoy amazing views over Bergen – nestled between seven mountains and the sea. You can also follow one of the many easy trails into the surrounding alpine landscape.
Back below, stroll along the many narrow alleyways (called ‘smau’) and cobblestone streets past charming wooden houses dating back to the 18th century. Visit one of many outdoor cafés and restaurants, sample fresh shrimp at the fish market, or pop into a pub and order a local Hansa pilsner.
Back aboard the ship, we sail north along the Hjeltefjord, a route once used by Vikings on their westward. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing and preparing for your adventurous days ahead.
Day 4 From Roses to Bacalao
Today we dock at Norway’s ‘City of Roses’ – Molde. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the annual summer jazz festival, you may want to take in a concert one of many world-class performing artists.
Molde is also home to one of Norway’s largest folk museums, Romsdalsmuseet, established in 1912. Regional folk art and design are exhibited along with preserved historic buildings and interiors. You may want to visit the city´s scenic viewpoint, Varden, for fantastic vistas over Molde, the surrounding fjord and islands, and Romsdal Alps in the distance.
Kristiansund is located on four sea islands in the Norwegian Sea. The setting has historically provided the town with prosperous livelihoods in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries.
A dry fact! Kristiansund is also known as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its long-time export of salted dry fish, called bacalao. It worth wandering along the waterfront of this interesting little Atlantic city, past old boat yards and marinas, to see what you might discover.
Day 5 Home of the Famous Mountain Torghatten
Brønnøysund is an attractive town of 5,000 inhabitants situated on a narrow peninsula surrounded by islands and water. You are now at the halfway point along Norway’s long coastline.
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. Islanders thrived in this remote location for more than 1,000 years based on the unique and now obsolete tradition of eider farming.
As we leave Brønnøysund, we sail along the coast of Helgeland – passing the Seven Sisters mountain range. Legend has it that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus creating these seven beautiful peaks.
In the evening, we sail by the small islet of Vikingen, through which the Arctic Circle passes. We have now entered the Land of Midnight Sun, where the sun is visible for 24 hours a day in the height of the summer.
Day 6 Lofoten Islands Discovery
The Lofoten Islands literally take your breath away. The incomparable beauty of dramatic peaks, sheltered coves and pristine beaches is world famous.
Lofoten is known for its excellent fishing, picturesque villages and even world-class surfing (at Unstad). You’ll never forget your first approach to Lofoten, seeing the massive wall of mountains rising out of the sea.
In the morning, we dock at the idyllic village of Reine – the perfect spot to start your exploration of the region. Quaint fishermen’s huts against a backdrop of granite peaks jutting out of the sea make Reine one of most frequently photographed landscapes in Norway.
After departing Reine, we will sail along the Lofoten wall to Svolvær on the Vestfjord. Svolvær’s proximity to Lofoten’s many magnificent sights provide easy access to exciting activities. You also find interesting shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants throughout the town.
In the afternoon, we sail into incredible Trollfjord, with peaks soaring some 1,200 metres above sea level in a narrow passage cutting deeply and dramatically into the heart of the island. We navigate carefully and so closely to the mountain walls that you’ll want to reach out and touch them.
Day 7 Tromsø
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.
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 Northernmost Point in Europe
Today, we arrive in the small fishing town of Honningsvåg. This is the turning point of our northern journey and gateway to spectacular North Cape.
You start your day with a scenic bus ride from Honningsvåg, past small bays and tiny villages, and across a mountain plateau before arriving at North Cape.
At 71°10’21´N, North Cape is just 2,100 km away from the Geographic North Pole. Stand on the cliff by the iconic globe monument and gaze across the Barents Sea. Only Svalbard separates you from the North Pole. The view here makes you feel like you’re standing at the edge of the world. You are at the northernmost point of the European continent. It goes without saying that North Cape is a great place to take stunning photos. There will be enough time to visit the North Cape Hall to enjoy a short film about the North Cape plateau, and there are several exhibits open to visitors.
Back in Honningsvåg, you can stroll about past charming houses, nice shops and a church that was the only building left standing in the town at the end of World War II.
Day 9 Hidden Gem of Coastal Norway
Today we dock at Finnsnes. Just across the bridge is the island of Senja, often called ‘the fairytale island’ because of the magic spell its scenic beauty casts on visitors.
Senja is known for its diverse landscape and referred to as Norway in miniature. The island’s outer side is characterized by steep mountains plunging straight into the sea, sheltered coves and wonderful 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 gentler landscape with rolling hills and birch forests.
Senja is Norway’s second-largest island and has a population of just under 8,000. Naturally enough, the dominant industries are fisheries and aquaculture. A lot of white fish like cod and pollock are traditionally caught here, while salmon is farmed.
After leaving Senja, the ship sails past the beautiful island of Dyrøy and Andørja, before entering Tjeldsund strait on our now southbound journey.
Day 10 Between the Arctic Circle and Lofoten
Surrounded by sea and fjord, the light in Bodø constantly shifts with the wind and weather. The skies never completely darken here during summer.
Bodø is the capital of Nordland county and lies just north of the Arctic Circle on the edge of both sea and countryside. The small city is known for its hospitality and hosts one of Norway’s most lively student communities.
The strongest tidal current in the world, Saltstraumen, with water velocities reaching 22 knots, is situated just southeast of Bodø. Some say Jules Verne was inspired by Saltstraumen when writing “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. Want to see this marvel of mother nature? Join an optional excursion to visit Saltstraumen.
Day 11 The Viking City
Today we arrive in Trondheim, Norway´s capital for 200 years, founded in 997 by Viking king Olav Tryggvason.
Trondheim is a fascinating city to explore.Visit the beautiful Nidaros Cathedral, the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason), Norway’s patron saint. Nidaros is the country’s only Gothic-style cathedral and was Northern Europe’s most important pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages. It is rich in architectural details and intriguing medieval statues.
Trondheim is known for its rich multicultural life – and is said to have the most restaurants and cafés per capita in Norway. There is plenty to see as you wander through this historic city. The old wooden buildings, the medieval stone walls and elegant botanical gardens create a beautiful, almost mystical atmosphere.
After departing Trondheim, we pass the island of Munkholmen, where executions took place during the Viking Age. The island has also been a fort, prison and monastery. A popular Norwegian non-alcoholic beer is named after Munkholmen. It is a popular getaway during summer.
Day 12 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. Sæbø is one of them.
We anchor close to the settlement of Sæbø and a local tender boat takes you ashore.
You can join optional excursions to explore other villages along Hjørundfjord, or go on hikes and kayaking tours. You can also join a scenic excursion to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Geirangerfjord, and famous Trollstigen road (the troll’s ladder). This excursion ends in Ålesund, where you rejoin the ship.
MS Otto Sverdrup 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 13 The City of Natural Highs
Built on the riches of Norway’s oil industry, Stavanger doesn’t disappoint.
Stavanger is on the radar of most every visitor to Norway. It’s the jumping off spot to explore such rock stars as the famous Pulpit Rock, called “the world’s most breathtaking viewpoint” by Lonely Planet, and Kjerag, the 1,100 m high mountain plateau with a giant boulder wedged into it.
Optional activities here include hiking to the top of Pulpit Rock or sailing with the ship into majestic Lysefjord below the outlook. Lysefjord means ‘light fjord’ and gets its name from surrounding granite peaks reaching as high as 1,000 m.
Then there’s the city itself. Stavanger is known for its international ambience, creative cuisine and lively cultural scene. Stroll down colourful Øvre Holmgate and stop by one of the many outdoor cafés, pubs and unique boutiques. Stavanger’s waterfront hosts several summertime beer gardens where you can watch people and boats float by.
The city’s proud history is also never far from sight. Old Stavanger features Europe’s best-preserved wooden house settlement dating back to the 1700s. Its magnificent cathedral is Norway’s oldest, dating back to the early 12th century.
Stavanger is also Europe’s oil and energy capital, and home to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. Learn more about Norway’s important oil history through exciting interactive exhibits, and if you dare, try sliding down an escape chute from an offshore oil and gas platform.
Day 14 Relax and Unwind
Today we cross the North Sea on our way back to Hamburg.
Perhaps you´d like to spend the day editing your photos, taking one last soak in the hot tub or simply relaxing in the ship’s comfortable Explorer lounge.
You can also join the Expedition Team as they review the highlights of your amazing summer expedition cruise along the Norwegian coastline.
Day 15 Hamburg
We dock in Hamburg during the early morning hours. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home of the past 15 days.
As you head ashore, you’ll take with you the memories of a lifetime – experiencing coastal Norway in summer, its wonderful fjords, fascinating towns and happy people.
Welcome aboard again soon!
MS Otto Sverdrup
MS Otto Sverdrup is designed for exciting, sustainable expedition cruises along the Norwegian coastline
MS Otto Sverdrup (formerly MS Finnmarken) is named after a great Norwegian polar hero. Sverdrup was the first person to ski across Greenland, was a key member of polar expeditions and was the captain of the legendary Arctic ship “Fram”. He also served as a Hurtigruten captain between expeditions.
The re-designed MS Otto Sverdrup is an ice class 1C ship. It’s equipped with advanced maritime technology that makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in Norway.
Year of construction 2002 (Year of refurbishment: 2020)
Ship yard Kleven Verft (N)
Gross tonnage 15,690