Hurtigruten, the award-winning exploration-oriented cruise line, is offering two fjord-focused sailings in 2015 in its Explorer Voyages series. The 10-day “Norwegian Fjords,” departing May 1, 2015 and the 12-day Fjord Highlights & The Viking Trail departing May 12, take guests to some of Norway’s most scenic and beautiful fjords including Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, Sognefjord and Nordfjord.
Wildlife sightings range from the dozens of bird species that call these areas home to the reindeer that roam the hills while optional excursions include the spectacular 20-kilometer Flåmsbana railway between Flåm and Myrdal, one of the steepest railway tracks in the world, and dog-sledging on a glacier just outside the town of Eidfjord. Early booking rates range from $3,151 to $9,388 per person, double (with the higher pricing for suites).
The “Fjord Highlights & The Viking Trail” cruise combines the stunning natural scenery and the seaside villages of Norway’s fjords with the wild beauty and charm of the Shetland and Faroe Islands. Setting sail from the UNESCO city of Bergen, the 318-guest deluxe expedition ship MS Fram enters the world’s third largest fjord, Hardangerfjord and explores several of its fjord arms including Eidfjord and Ulvikfjord. Sognefjord is next with some of Norway’s best landscapes and one of the world’s oldest Stave churches, including Undredal, built in 1147.
Norway’s National Day is spent celebrating with the 500 inhabitants of Olden in Nordfjord while a day each is spent in the Shetland’s main port of Lerwick; Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands; and the Faroe Islands’ Tórshavn, one of the world’s smallest capitals. The trip ends in Iceland’s Reykjavik. Numerous excursions are offered including one that allows for a visit to Expedition Leader Karin’s private boat house where guests learn how her grandfather made his living as a fisherman. Early booking fares start at $4,000 per person for a double.
Sailing out of Dover, England, “The Norwegian Fjords” is the ultimate fjord experience. Guests spend time onboard learning about the region’s history and culture and go ashore to explore in small cozy villages and busy towns and cities. Fjord highlights include Lysefjord, home to the 2,000-foot tall, flat mountain plateau known as Preikestolen, and Stavanger, Norway’s 4th largest city and the center of the North Sea oil industry; Hardangerfjord, and its Vøringfossen waterfall offering the vista of its 600-foot free-fall; and Sognefjord.
Optional excursions include an exploration of the 1,000-year-old town of Skudeneshavn, rich in Viking history, hiking the old Postal Route of Nærøyfjord, and learning about the ship-building history of Rosendal where Gjøa, the first ship to transit the Northwest Passage, was built. Early booking fares start at $3,151 per person for a double.
Hurtigruten’s focus on safety and safeguarding these remote destinations places the company in a true leadership position in the world of sustainable travel. Hurtigrutenbelongs to numerous environmental organizations including AECO, IAATO and Clean Up Svalbard, all of which demand that members maintain responsible travel safeguards for future generations.
Hurtigruten sails to the most remote of destinations as well as year-round along Norway’s coast and in Europe. The company’s fleet of intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere.
Additional information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten’s visitor-friendly website; by phone at 877-301-3117; or fax at 888-524-2145. To order brochures 24 hours a day, call 800-582-0835. Book by June 30 for savings of up to 25%.
Image courtesy of Hurtigruten
Carrie Coolidge is a Pursuitist contributor based in Manhattan. From 2009 to 2011, Carrie served as Co-Editor of Luxist, the luxury lifestyle website at AOL where she ran the Luxist Awards, a program that honored the very best in fine living. From 1996 to 2009, Carrie was a Staff Writer at Forbes magazine, where she covered real estate, personal finance and the insurance industry, among other areas. Carrie is also the author of six books, including "The Business of America is Business". Follow her on Twitter: @carriecoolidge