B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
Please note program is subject to changes
Day 1 Arrival Bergen 11 Aug 2023 (D)
Arrival Bergen, Norway from your home destination, by own arrangement. Check in at your hotel in Bergen – Hotel Havnekontoret. Welcome drinks in the lobby where you will meet your hosts ARNE & CARLOS and will be given your mystery knitalong kit. Welcome dinner in a nice traditional restaurant in Bryggen area.
Day 2 Bergen visit to Hillesvåg – embarkation - 12 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
After a lovely breakfast at Hotel Havnekontoret, it is time to check out. We will be picked up by bus and enjoy a very interesting visit to Norway’s oldest yarn factory Hillesvåg, with an opportunity to buy their products at the factory outlet. At Hillesvåg we will have a traditional Norwegian lunch before we make our way to the cruise terminal for embarkation on MS Trollfjord. The ship will sail from Bergen at 14.30. Dinner will be served in the Main Restaurant.
Day 3 Åndalsnes - 13 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Our first port of call is Åndalsnes, located along Isfjord at the end of Romsdalfjord. The town was completely rebuilt after an attack during World War II. Åndalsnes is now a modern town in one of Norway’s most stunning natural locations. The highlights (literally) of Åndalsnes are the mountains towering over the town. From here an excursion to the Troll’s Ladder road is recommended - a unique road pass with hairpin bends surrounded by majestic mountains.
Day 4 Træna 14 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Træna is an archipelago that sits at the edge of the Arctic Circle. Made up of around 500 islands, islets and skerries - only four of which are inhabited year-round. Træna is a quiet municipality, with a thriving birdlife. Though small, this archipelago has a long history. Archeological finds indicate that the islands have been inhabited since the Stone Age. With a large population of sea eagles, birdwatching is an activity not to be missed. For a truly authentic experience, step into the age-old shoes of a Norwegian fisherman and cast a line under the summer sun. Heading north we will cross the Arctic circle and continue our voyage in Arctic waters.
Day 5 Stokmarknes - 15 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Today we sail through spectacular Vesterålen, an archipelago just northeast of Lofoten. This island chain is the namesake of the very first Coastal Express ship to sail Norway’s rugged coastline in 1893. The port of call is in the historic town of Stokmarknes. This town is special, being the birthplace of Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express and where it all began. In 1893, shipping pioneer Richard With founded the Original Coastal Express, revolutionizing both coastal passenger travel and Norwegian shipping. Hurtigruten quickly became a lifeline for Svalbard and Norway’s remote communities and boosted their economies by carrying exports to and from the ports. Stokmarknes is a fitting location for the Hurtigruten Museum at the waterfront, where the retired 1956 ship, MS Finnmarken, stands proudly encased in a glass building. It is well worth a visit with archives, photographs, and artifacts displayed in a range of interactive exhibitions.
Day 6 Tromsø - The Gateway to the Arctic - 16 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Tromsø is Northern Norway’s urban Arctic hotspot, boasting impressive architecture, hip restaurants, and the world’s northernmost university. Rich in polar history, it makes for a natural stopping point before we go farther north into the High Arctic. This modern city has a long legacy, with artifacts found dating back to the Ice Age. It became a center of Arctic hunting in the mid-1800s. By the end of the 19th century, Tromsø was an established Arctic trade center. The ship docks here in the morning, with a whole day at your disposal to explore this historic Arctic city and its surroundings. The ship can offer several optional excursions. On the city walk you can learn about the culture and polar history of Tromsø.
Day 7 Honningsvåg – at the top of Europe - 17 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Arrival Honningsvåg, the northernmost city in mainland Norway. Honningsvåg is a fairly young city, and one of Norway’s smallest. The city is also the gateway to the North Cape, the famed ‘northernmost point of Europe’. The plateau stands 1007 feet above the sea, and is just over 1,000 miles south of the geographical North Pole. An iconic globe monument stands atop the cliffs, which is perfect for snapping a quick selfie. Afterward, visit North Cape Hall, which hosts a variety of exhibits and a short film that tells the Cape’s history.
Sailing away from Honningsvåg, we enjoy dramatic views of the plateau from the sea. The ship will head further into the Barents Sea, leaving the mainland of the Norwegian coast behind.
Day 8 At sea between Norway and Svalbard - 18 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
The southernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, Bjørnøya, sits just past the halfway point between mainland Norway and Spitsbergen. We will be viewing this inaccessible land from the ship in the afternoon, as the prologue to your Svalbard adventure. Contrary to its name, which means ‘Bear Island’, the only native mammals are Arctic foxes. The island was named after a polar bear that was spotted swimming in the waters nearby, but this is an unlikely sight this far south.
Day 9 Longyearbyen – at the edge of the world - 19 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Today we arrive at the Svalbard archipelago and make our way up to Spitsbergen, the largest of the three main islands. Magnificent brown and green mountains rise and ripple up from the High Arctic tundra while rivers of snow-melt trickle through the valley plains, glistening under the summer sun. Svalbard is at a latitude of more than 78°N and less than 820 miles from the North Pole. Home to some 2,000 inhabitants from across the world, it originally sprang up as a coal mining colony in 1906. Today, it is a hub for adventure travelers, scientists, and engineers attached to local research projects like the famous Global Seed Vault.
Day 10 Ny-Ålesund - science on the Arctic frontier - 20 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Sailing from Longyearbyen, we enjoy impressive views of Kongsfjord, one of the largest fjords in the area. Its entrance is guarded by two colossal creaking glaciers that regularly deposit ice into the fjord. This stretch is great for spotting walruses basking on shore and for spotting different species of migrating birds, including puffins, king eiders, pink-footed geese, and guillemots. Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer can sometimes be spotted on land, while the white beluga whale has also been known to surface in the waters here. We might even see a polar bear prowling the coast for bearded and ringed seals. At the tip of Brøgger peninsula, on one of Kongsfjord’s shores, is Ny-Ålesund. Like Longyearbyen, it began as a coal mine but transitioned into a host for scientific stations from the mid-20th century. During the summer, there are many researchers based in the town, representing 20 glaciology and climate institutes from more than 10 countries.
Day 11 At sea leaving Svalbard - 21 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
It is time for us to say farewell to Svalbard and to Spitsbergen and today will be a relaxing day at sea. If the skies are clear, enjoy some summer sun on the deck and keep an eye out for whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Throughout the cruise, the Coastal Experience Team will give lectures and fascinating insight into local history and wildlife. They also offer a photography workshop to help sharpen your eye to capture stunning shots in the days to come.
Today is a good day to catch up with your knitting, and ARNE & CARLOS will give a lecture.
Day 12 Tromsø and Senja - 22 Aug - 2023 (B, L, D)
Back on mainland Norway our first stop of the day is Tromsø. The ship will drop off cargo from Svalbard and pick up cargo bound for ports to the south. Calling back into Tromsø after reaching Svalbard follows in the footsteps of history. Most explorers and sailors returning from their Arctic expeditions would stop back in the city. From Tromsø, the ship will continue south to the fairytale island of Senja, one of Norway’s largest islands. Senja was on CNN’s top ten list of the most beautiful islands in the world. The island seems to have a concentration of landscapes inspired by different parts of the Norwegian coast.
Day 13 Svolvær - Lofoten Islands - 23 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
Today is all about exploring the Lofoten archipelago. With its jagged green cliffs rising dramatically from the ocean, it is hailed as one of the most spectacular areas in all of Norway. Pretty fishing villages made up of red-roofed houses on stilts that cling to the edges of mountainous islands. The beating heart of the archipelago is the town of Svolvær, where the ship will be based for most of the day. Another attraction today, is the visit to Lofoten Wool! We will visit Ragnhild Lie at her sheep farm, and hear all about the process of making this beautiful yarn. We anticipate you will not leave empty-handed from Lofoten Wool…..
Day 14 The Helgeland Coast - 24 Aug 2023 (B, L, D)
The Helgeland Coast is a stretch full of distinctive mountains that have inspired charming myths and local folklore. One highlight of the area is visiting the Vega archipelago, a cluster of some 6,500 islands, skerries, and islets. A UNESCO world heritage center on the island of Gardsøy showcases how highly prized eiderdown is harvested from the local eider ducks by providing little huts for them to build their nests in.
Further along from Brønnøysund is the unique Torghatten Mountain. The first thing to notice about Torghatten is the hole that pierces right through its center. Legend has it that a spurned troll fired an arrow at his would-be lover after she rejected him, and Torghatten Mountain is the fossilized hat of a Troll King who attempted to block the arrow.
Day 15 The Sunnmøre Alps and Hjørundfjord - 25 Aug 2023 (B, L)
The ship will make a brief stop in the town of Ålesund, known for its Art Nouveau architecture and picturesque position on a peninsula below Mount Aksla.
The magnificent Hjørundfjord stands some 5,570 feet high near Ålesund, cutting through the peaks of the Sunmøre Alps. Its deep blue waters and verdant mountainsides seem perfectly proportionate and aligned, as if sculpted deliberately by nature’s artistry.
This will be our last evening on the Svalbard Express and we will meet for cocktails and enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Day 16 The home stretch to Bergen and disembarkation - 26 Aug 2023 (B, L)
MS Trollfjord arrives in Bergen at 07.00 in the morning and it is time to say goodbye to the ship’s crew, new friends and ARNE&CARLOS after a wonderful time with lots of lovely memories!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLOS!