ITINERARY 16 DAYS
DAY 1 ARRIVE BERGEN
Welcome to Norway! You’ll arrive in Bergen, a beautiful city on the west coast of Norway, and make your own way to the hotel. Admire views of the majestic peaks that famously surround the city, giving Bergen its nickname, “The City of Seven Mountains”. What began as a small village was developed by King Olav Kyree in 1070 AD and is now Norway’s second largest city. Nestled in the centre is Vågen Bay, the historic core of the city, and home to the UNESCO-listed Bryggen quarter.There, you can wander down charming cobblestone streets and peruse local boutique shops. Across from Bryggen, you’ll find the fish market, which cooks up fresh and delicious seafood dishes to feast on. As you’re here in the summer, the days are long, giving you more hours of daylight to explore this historic city. One of the seven mountains in Bergen’s nickname is Mount Fløyen, accessible by walking up or taking the Fløibanen funicular. At the top, enjoy some stunning views of the city and nearby peaks. Reward yourself and your thirst with some local 7 Fjell beer, before going to your hotel to get some rest, ready to embark on your Svalbard Express voyage the next day. Overnight at 4-star hotel.
DAY 2 BERGEN – EMBARKATION [B,L,D]
After you wake up in your hotel, enjoy some time in the early morning to further explore Bergen before your transfer arrives at the hotel to bring you to our comfortable guest lounge at the Bergen Terminal. Bergen has been the starting point for many Norwegian Coastal Express cruises for generations, and the stylish guest lounge here is exclusive for our guests. Sample finger-food from our Norway’s Coastal Kitchen or talk to staff about securing a spot on any optional excursions still available. Once we’ve welcomed you aboard, talk to your ship’s Coastal Experience team, who will be your hosts and guides to the Norwegian coast and Svalbard. Meet your shipmates and take some time to settle in to your new home-away-from-home. Enjoy your first meal aboard the ship, and watch the row of colorful buildings on the seafront get smaller behind you as you sail into the Norwegian Sea. Overnight on board in selected cabin category.
DAY 3 ÅNDALSNES [B,L,D]
Our first port of call is Åndalsnes, located along Isfjord at the end of Romsdalfjord. After docking in the morning in the town center, you can explore this picturesque coastal town, home to about 2,000 people. From 1838 until 1964, the village of Åndalsnes served as the administrative center of the old municipality of Grytten and was completely rebuilt after an attack during World War II. Åndalsnes is now a modern town (it even has its own newspaper) in one of Norway’s most stunning natural locations. The highlights (literally) of Åndalsnes are the mountains that tower over the town. Experience the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv (a love of the outdoors) through a variety of activities, such as hiking to the Rampestreken viewpoint. For a calmer way to take in the sights, sit back on the relaxing Romsdal Gondola or travel the winding Trollstigen Pass by bus. Whichever activities you choose, today will bring you the best views of Isfjord, Romsdalfjord, and the surrounding peaks. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 4 TRÆNA [B,L,D]
We’ll sail along the coast of the Helgeland region in the morning. When you see islands rising out of the water in the distance, you’ll know we’re almost at our next destination. Træna is an archipelago that sits at the edge of the Arctic Circle, 33 nautical miles northwest of the mainland. Made up of around 500 islands, islets and skerries (only four of which are inhabited year-round), Træna is a quiet municipality, with birdlife thriving on the mostly uninhabited isles. Though small, this archipelago has a long history. Archeological finds indicate that the islands have been inhabited since the Stone Age. Some of these ancient relics have been found in a cave on the island of Sanna, which is now used as a venue for an annual music festival. Spend the afternoon in one of Norway’s oldest fishing communities. Weather permitting, you may be able to enjoy activities like hiking and biking, or even island-hopping. With a large population of sea eagles, birdwatching is another activity you won’t want to miss. For a truly authentic experience, step into the age-old shoes of a Norwegian fisherman and cast a line under the summer sun. When it’s time to leave in the evening, take some time to rest and unwind on board. We’ll cross the Arctic Circle as we continue heading north, commemorating the moment with a little Norwegian ceremony. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 5 STOKMARKNES [B,L,D]
Spend a full day in Vesterålen, an archipelago just northeast of Lofoten. This island chain is the namesake of our very first Coastal Express ship to sail Norway’s rugged coastline in 1893. We’ll dock in the historic town of Stokmarknes. This town holds a special place in our hearts, being the birthplace of Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express. Today, we go back to where it all began. In 1893, in this very town, 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 therefore a fitting location for a museum that immortalizes our inspiring legacy. Hurtigrutemuseet can be found along the waterfront, where our retired 1956 ship, MS Finnmarken, proudly stands encased in a glass building. Here, you’ll find archives, photographs, and artifacts displayed in a range of interactive exhibitions. A guided tour will immerse you in the atmosphere of a different era as you explore the retired vessel. Besides visiting the museum, you may be able to enjoy hiking and other activities on the islands. Go on a RIB tour to Raftsundet, or a sea eagle safari in the fjord that gave MS Trollfjord its name. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 6 TROMSØ [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 that date back to the Ice Age. The city grew in importance after being declared a kjøpstad, or ‘market town’ in 1794, despite only being home to 80 people. 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. We aim to dock here in the morning, giving you a whole day to explore this historic Arctic city and its surroundings. Take your pick from a number of optional excursions. Learn more about the culture and polar history of Tromsø on a city walk. Or go see seals at the Polaria center, one of the world’s northernmost aquariums. Here, you can see various species of Arctic marine life up close. There may also be an option to visit the striking Arctic Cathedral, which has an enormous and colorful stained-glass window. Storsteinen Mountain Towers over Tromsø and the Fjellheisen Cable Car takes you up for exceptionally beautiful views of the city, mountains, and fjords. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 7 HONNINGSVÅG [B,L,D]
Around mid-morning, we arrive at Honningsvåg, the northernmost city in mainland Norway. Honningsvåg is a young city, having only been declared as such in 1996, and it remains one of Norway’s smallest cities today. You have several optional excursions to pick from here. These could include king crab fishing, meeting an indigenous Sámi family, birdwatching, or a guided tour of what life is like at 71°N. Honningsvåg is also the gateway to the North Cape, the famed “northernmost point of Europe”. The plateau stands 307 metres above the sea, and is just over 1,000 miles south of the geographical North Pole. Take a moment to gaze out across the sea from a top the soaring cliffs, watching the waves crash against the rocks below. Standing proudly on top of one of the cliffs is an iconic globe monument which invites all visitors to take a quick selfie. Selfie sorted, you’ll also want to visit North Cape Hall, which has a variety of exhibits and a short film that tells of the cape’s history. Sailing away from Honningsvåg, we’ll enjoy dramatic views of the plateau from the sea. The ship will head further into the Barents Sea, leaving mainland Norway’s coast far behind us. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 8 AT SEA (NEAR BJØRNØYA) [B,L,D]
The southernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, Bjørnøya, sits just past the halfway point between mainland Norway and Spitsbergen. We’ll be viewing this inaccessible land from the ship in the afternoon, so think of this as the prologue to your Svalbard adventure. Upon seeing the island, you might notice the lack of trees—there are hardly even bushes. Very little grows here, with the land partly being covered only by a layer of moss and lichen. Whatever grows here is fertilized by the abundant birdlife that nests on the sea cliffs. Get your camera ready to capture little auks, puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, and northern fulmars flying over dramatic cliff tops and steep slopes, alongside many other seabird species. Contrary to its name, which means ‘Bear Island’, the only native mammals are Arctic foxes. The island was named after a polar bear was spotted swimming in the waters nearby, but this is an unlikely sight this far south. Aboard the ship, learn about Bjørnøya’s history through polar history lectures. You might find out about the historic expeditions that led to its discovery and the subsequent claims that various countries have attempted to make over the island. Discover the strategic importance of this unreachable sanctuary, and the role Bjørnøya played in World War II. Sailing on from Bjørnøya, unwind in MS Trollfjord’s sauna or fitness room. There will also be a photography workshop today to get your camera eye and lens in focus to capture the wildlife and wilderness awaiting us in Svalbard. Overnight on board in selected cabin category.
DAY 9 LONGYEARBYEN [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. Take a moment to just be here, now, in Svalbard. You’re at a latitude more than 78°N and under 820 miles / 1,500 kilometres from the North Pole itself. The air of this Arctic desert is fresh and pure, and temperatures in summer average between zero and eight degrees Celsius thanks to a warm northern branch of the Gulf Stream. We find Longyearbyen nestled on the banks of a sweeping, large fjord. It is the biggest settlement in Svalbard and pegged as the world’s northernmost settlement with a population greater than 1,000. 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 travellers, as well as scientists and engineers attached to local research projects, like the famous Global Seed Vault. Spend some time strolling around the town, admiring its collection of galleries, pubs, restaurants, brewery, and the notable North Pole Expedition Museum. You’ll also have optional excursions to pick from that bring you into the awe-inspiring landscapes surrounding Longyearbyen. Ever tried dog sledding without snow? This is your chance. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 10 NY-ÅLESUND [B,L,D]
As we sail from Longyearbyen, you’ll want to wake up early to enjoy impressive views of Kongsfjord, one of the largest fjords in the area. Its entrance is guarded by two creaking glaciers that regularly deposit ice into the fjord. This stretch is great for spotting walrus 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. If we’re very lucky, 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 over a hundred researchers based in the town, representing 20 glaciology and climate institutes from more than 10 countries. Wander around what is one of the northernmost settlements in the world, drop in at the local museum and souvenir shop, or send a postcard back to friends and family from the small post office. You can also take a guided tour of the Amundsen monument, erected in honor of the great Norwegian explorer’s record-breaking flight to reach the North Pole in 1926. Amundsen flew the airship Norge from Ny-Ålesund and landed in Alaska three days later, successfully doing so via the North Pole. Overnight on board in selected cabin category.
DAY 11 AT SEA (LEAVING SVALBARD) [B,L,D]
Unfortunately, it’s time for us to say farewell to Svalbard and to Spitsbergen and sail south back to mainland Norway. Use this day to relax aboard the ship. If the skies are clear, enjoy some summer sun on deck and keep an eye out for whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Or if it’s not too warm out, head to the sauna for a steam. Catch a lecture from the Coastal Experience Team for fascinating insight into local history and wildlife. They may also offer a photography workshop to help sharpen your eye to capture stunning shots in the days to come. Enjoy the sumptuous food and drinks on board, courtesy of our Norway’s Coastal Kitchen concept that features the most flavorful local Norwegian produce. Treat yourself to tastings of regional specialties or demonstrations by our skilled onboard chefs in the show kitchen. You could also curl up with a good book in the lounge or chat with new-found friends in the bar while reminiscing about your favorite experiences of the cruise so far. Overnight on board in selected cabin category.
DAY 12 TROMSØ and SENJA [B,L,D]
We’ve arrived back to mainland Norway and 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. The fashion and food they found there seemed so stylish and refined compared to the stark frontier towns that they nicknamed Tromsø ‘the Paris of the North’. The ship then continues south towards Senja, one of the country’s largest islands and northern Norway’s fast-rising star destination, as you’d expect for a place ranked among CNN’s top ten most beautiful islands in the world. Often proudly described by locals as a ‘mini Norway’, Senja seems to have a concentration of landscapes inspired by different parts of the Norwegian coast. To best explore this fairytale island, we’d recommend disembarking in Tromsø and joining one of our optional excursions. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 13 SVOLVÆR [B,L,D]
Today is all about exploring the Lofoten archipelago. As you see its jagged green cliffs rise dramatically from the ocean, you’ll see why it is hailed as one of the most spectacular areas in all of Norway. See pretty fishing villages made up of red-roofed houses on stilts that cling to the edges of mountainous islands. Here and there, single fishermen huts known locally as rorbuer dot the islands—specks of red amidst a ceylon blue sea and the lush mountainside greens. You’ll find that life in Lofoten is supremely calm and peaceful. Time seems to stand still here, as if it trapped in the sheer beauty of the islands. The beating heart of the archipelago is the town of Svolvær, where the ship will be based for most of the day. There are shops and restaurants to enjoy, and you can spend hours exploring and getting to know the town. You have a variety of handpicked Lofoten excursions to experience the mountains, islands, and villages around Svolvær. Take an optional hike to a white-sand beach, where you can help in a beach clean-up before going for a swim. Don’t worry about having to choose between a mountain hike and kayaking either. With the long summer days, you might be able to do both, giving you the best of sea and summit. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 14 BRØNNØYSUND [B,L,D]
The ship continues south and reaches the midpoint of the Norwegian coast. This is the Helgeland Coast, a well-known stretch full of distinctive mountains that have inspired charming myths and local folklore. As we sail, look out for the Vega archipelago, a cluster of some 6,500 islands, skerries, and islets. There’s a UNESCO world heritage center on the island of Gardsøy which showcases how highly prized eider down is harvested from the local eider ducks by providing little huts for them to build their nests in. We will base the ship in the town of Brønnøysund, which features a lovely marina and a Neo-Gothic stone church from 1870. Spend time exploring the town or join an optional excursion like kayaking, cycling, or an RIB cruise. Further along from Brønnøysund is the unique Torghatten Mountain. The first thing you’ll 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. At an easy pace, it takes about an hour to reach the hole in Torghatten on an optional excursion. The panoramic view of the trees and islands stretching out before you is well worth it.Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 15 ÅLESUND and HJØRUNDFJORD [B,L,D]
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 Askla. We’ll offload any cargo here as well guests who are joining excursions. The magnificent Hjørundfjord stands some 5,570 feet high near Ålesund, cutting through the peaks of the Sunmøre Alps. Its picture-perfect position embedded in the Sunnmøre Alps means it is the area’s hidden gem that most other ships never see. Those who discover Hjørundfjord rank it as a serious contender for their favorite fjord in Norway. Its deep blue waters and verdant mountainsides seem perfectly proportionate and aligned, as if sculpted deliberately by nature’s artistry. On the western banks of one of Hjørundfjord’s branches is the idyllic village of Sæbø. This is where the ship picks up the guests who left the ship at Ålesund for an excursion. We are fast approaching the last day of our cruise. While bittersweet, what better way to celebrate our Svalbard Express experience than a merry farewell dinner on our last night. It’ll also be a chance to look back at the many highlights of the journey we shared together. Overnight on board in selected cabin category. Optional shore excursions are available.
DAY 16 BERGEN – DISEMBARKATION [B]
We arrive back in Bergen in the morning. It’s time to disembark the ship, but not before fond farewells to your fellow passengers and the crew of MS Trollfjord, who made your Svalbard Express journey so comfortable. You won’t soon forget the slices of paradise you’ve seen along the Norwegian coast as part of this iconic cruise. If you’ve taken in optional excursions, you will have photos of you kayaking, hiking, fishing, or cycling in some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen. We know that your fond memories of the North Cape, Helgeland, Lofoten, Senja, Hjørundfjord, crossing the Arctic Circle, Tromsø, Bjørnøya, Longyearbyen, and Ny-Ålesund will make your friends and family green with envy. This is the Svalbard Express. We hope to see you back on the Norwegian coast with us soon.