Hurtigruten Norway has relaunched three itineraries that combine the city lights of the Nordic capitals and the famed Aurora Borealis.
But if you don’t see the Northern Lights, you’ll get a free cruise out of it.
After pausing the itineraries during the pandemic, the sailings take in both the north of Finland and the Norwegian coast.
There are also comprehensive astronomy-focused activities with scientists onboard on their 12-day cruise.
15-day Follow the Northern Lights: Land and Sea Tour
This tour includes an overland trek of Finland north from Helsinki, followed by a Coastal Express voyage down the Norwegian coastline to Bergen, with a land tour from Bergen to Oslo, or vice versa.
With multiple departures between November and March, guests will visit Finnish Lapland to go on husky dog and reindeer safaris.
They will also learn about the history of the Sámi people, cross the Arctic Circle, and experience traditional fishing and hunting heritage.
The cruise segment of the tour begins in Kirkenes and loops over the top of Norway southbound, dipping into picturesque fjords and stopping at charming fishing villages. Guests will experience the full breadth of natural beauty, enjoy music and snowmobile excursions, and visit heritage museums.
There are also city tours of Helsinki, Bergen, and Oslo also bookend this fascinating cultural and historical journey.
Hurtigruten Norway was the first cruise liner to launch its unique Northern Lights Promise. If you don’t see the Northern Lights on your voyage, you’ll receive a free 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage.
15-day Follow the Midnight Sun Land and Sea Tour
To maximise the unique Midnight Sun experience, this tour takes a similar route in June and July. It begins with a ferry ride from Stockholm to Helsinki, then heads overland to Finland’s northern regions before setting sail on the Coastal Express voyage down the Norwegian coast to Bergen.
In the Arctic at this time, the Midnight Sun does not set below the horizon throughout the day, offering almost 24 hours of summer light, leaving passengers with plenty of time to see everything Scandinavia has to offer.
This includes a chance to enjoy the cultural highlights of Nordic cosmopolitan capital cities, experience husky and reindeer adventures, gain insight into Sámi culture and cross the Arctic Circle.
The sea voyage takes over the itinerary at Kirkenes after a night at the Snowhotel, heading into dozens of breathtaking Norwegian fjords.
Guests will bask in the sights and sounds of the quaint fishing communities, tour the scenic archipelagos, and marvel at the mountain peaks and Europe’s largest glacier. City tours of Stockholm, Helsinki, and Bergen add a dash of city life to the itinerary’s cultural mix.
12-Day Follow the Stars: Astronomy Voyage
This journey from Bergen and back along the Norwegian coast in November, January, and February lends fascinating insight into the mysteries of the Arctic sky.
Renowned astronomers Ian Ridpath, John Mason, Sadie Jones, and Tom Kerss give engaging lectures and guided night sky tours from the ship deck. Guests learn about the Northern Lights, stars, planets, meteors, and the myths and legends linked to the constellations.
This Original Coastal Express, which is part of all three itineraries, visits 34 ports, passing by over 100 fjords and over 1,000 mountains, just as it has for the past 130 years.
Optional excursions head to natural treasures and historic icons and take guests snowmobiling or birdwatching, further fleshing out the exciting cultural experience.
An exclusive visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromsø is also on the itinerary.