The North Cape Express (Northbound)

Tour Info

Duration: 15 Days
/ 14 Nights
Countries: Norway
Seasons: Autumn, Spring, Winter
Available: October to March
Travel Style: Tour & Cruise

Sail the Norwegian coast, one of the world’s longest coastlines, all the way from capital city Oslo in the south to North Cape in Arctic Norway, at the top of Europe. Sail the seas aboard the exceptionally designed MS Trollfjord, freshly refurbished in 2023 with the finest materials and ship craftsmanship.  Learn about local coastal communities  across a range of latitudes. Cruises available autumn, winter and spring.

Tour & Cruise

From $4,144

Highlights:

✔ See Norway from a different angle
✔ Visit small communities
✔ Escorted Tour
✔ Sightseeing tour
✔ Possibility of viewing the Northern Lights

Price Includes:

Notes: 1 Only valid in the onboard restaurants during mealtimes   2 Guests on the Select fare will need to register on our free 1893 Ambassador loyalty programme to access the Wi-Fi 3 At the discretion of the Captain and subject to safety restrictions .
✔ Transfers in Oslo (airport – hotel, hotel – ship) 
✔ Two-nights stay in a four-star city centre hotel in Oslo, including breakfast
✔ Oslo ‘City of Contrasts’ walking tour
✔ Oslo Panorama sightseeing tour
✔ One-night stay in a four-star city centre hotel in Bergen inclusive of breakfast
✔ Choice of cabin number on MS Trollfjord 
✔ Norway’s Coastal Kitchen welcome basket 
✔ Full board with all-day dining 
✔ Drinks package (wine, beer, soft drinks) 1 
✔ Complimentary water, tea, and coffee 
✔ Afternoon tea and cakes in the bar
✔ Complimentary Wi-Fi 2
✔ English-speaking Coastal Experience Team 
✔ Visit to the bridge 3 

Itinerary

Arrive Oslo and transfer from the airport to your hotel located in the heart of the city. The rest of the day or evening is spent at your leisure.

Why not wander your way to the city centre, making sure to take snaps of the architecturally distinct Rådhuset town hall, Royal Palace, and Oslo Cathedral.

You’ll find Oslo is a mixture of neighbourhoods, such as trendy Grünnerløkka full of bars and restaurants or Aker Brygge which has views of Oslofjord.

If there’s enough daylight left, you could even jump on the metro from Central station. A short 20-minute ride is all it takes to bring you to the edge of a tranquil alpine forest that overlooks the city.

After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll enjoy a walking tour of Oslo. You’ll learn about the city’s more-than-1000-year history and culture from knowledgeable guides and admire the main attractions in the city centre.

Enjoy exploring the “older” parts of the city centre such as the imposing Akershus Fortress and the National Theatre. You can compare and contrast them to new developments along the waterfront at Bjørvika. Admire the modern architecture of the iconic Oslo Opera House, the modern Deichman Library, and new landmark: the Munch Museum. After the tour, the rest of the day in Oslo is yours to spend as you like. With forested hills, lakes, and plenty of world-class restaurants and museums, you won’t be short of options in Norway’s fjord-side capital.

Today, you’ll get to know Oslo even better on a tour to two of the city’s main attractions. Vigeland Sculpture Park is located at the centre of splendid Frogner Park. There, you’ll find more than 200 visually striking sculptures in bronze, granite, and cast iron by prolific Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland.

Further north from Vigeland, just outside of Oslo, is Holmenkollen Ski Jump. You won’t be doing any jumping yourself, but the impressive building enjoys panoramic views over the city, lakes, and fjord. Beneath the ski jump is also the world’s oldest ski museum featuring 2,500 pairs of skis and 4,000 years of skiing history.

The tour will end at the pier where your ship, MS Trollfjord, is waiting to depart by early evening. Once we’ve welcomed you aboard and you’ve settled into your cabin or suite, you’ll meet your Coastal Experience Team. You’ll get to know each member of the team well as they give lectures and organise onboard activities for you throughout your voyage.

Meet your fellow guests in the ship’s two-storey panorama lounge and mark the moment we make history by sailing from Oslo for the first time. Watch as the capital’s twinkling lights fade into the distance and admire the scenery and various points of interests seen along Oslofjord.

Sitting along the southern tip of the country, Kristiansand is Norway’s fifth largest city, with a population of 112,000 people. We aim to be alongside in the early morning, giving you a few hours to explore.

As you enjoy a guided walk, you might notice that the city is built on a very uniform grid plan, with several straight roads running from the harbour all the way through the city. Along these roads, you’ll find architecture from different eras, speaking to the extensive rebuilds the city had to go through after major fires in the 18th and 19th centuries, and even a World War II attack.

On an optional excursion that starts from Kristiansand, you’ll be able to visit the working Lindesnes Lighthouse, which marks Norway’s southernmost point. See the beacon that has been guiding seafarers to safety on dark nights since the early 20th century, and learn about the long history of the site that goes all the way back to 1656.

In the late afternoon, we’ll continue to Farsund. There, you’ll get the chance to hike the sandy beaches of Lista and see Lista Lighthouse. This is where guests who went to Lindesnes Lighthouse will also catch up with the ship.

It may also be possible to visit a German fortress in Farsund. This fortress was used in World War II and is remarkably well-preserved with many of the original barracks still intact. Learn all about the war history of the area on a guided tour of this historic site, before rejoining the ship in the evening.

Optional excursions

Kristiansand WWII History Tour
Step into the past as you learn about southern Norway’s WWII history on a tour of Kristiansand’s historical sites.
Norwegian Christmas at Skraastad Farm

How do Norwegians celebrate Christmas? This tour will answer that question, and many more you might have about Norwegian culture and local traditions.

Farsund Town Walk
Join the Port Guard or a local guide to learn about the history of Farsund, and enjoy great views of the town from Varbak Hill.

Highlights of the South Coast & South Cape
Join our guide on an overland exploration of southern Norway. Admire varied Nordic scenery, taste exquisite wine, and have lunch at Norway’s southernmost point.

As we sail past the southern tip of Norway, we’ll begin heading north along the west coast. Just past Stavanger, we’ll reach Haugesund, the ‘Home of the Viking Kings’.

The nickname is inspired by sites such as St. Olav’s Church, built in 1250 by King Håkon Hå. There’s also Haraldshaugen, a national monument reputed to be the first king’s burial site. Why not step back in time to the Viking Age at Nordvegen Visiting Centre which features exhibitions presented by a fictional Harald Fairhair himself.

After a short stay in Haugesund, you’ll rejoin the ship for some scenic cruising in Hardangerfjord. At 179 kilometres in length, it is the second longest fjord in the country, and fifth longest in the world.

The stunning waterway is one of Norway’s finest. See mountain scenery everywhere you look, with the white peaks that tower over the fjord being reflected in the shimmering water below.

The region is famous for its apple products, from jams and juice to its award-winning cider, which one food writer described as ‘Nordic Champagne’.

Weather permitting, we may be able to dock at Rosendal or one of the other picturesque settlements that cling to the shores by the fjord. A small, charming village, Rosendal’s main highlight is the 16th century Barony, a manor famous for its beautiful rose garden and landscaped grounds.

Optional excursions

Haugesund Viking Tour by Bus
Immerse yourself in the rich Viking heritage and coastal culture of Avaldsnes, Norway’s oldest royal seat.
E-Bike the Coast of Haugesund

Let the e-bike take the strain as you roll through the beautiful nature and rich history of the homeland of the Viking kings.
Haugesund Art Walk with a Local Artist

Glassblowing, architecture and Marilyn Monroe – there’s more to this art walk through picturesque Haugesund than you might expect!

Viking Experience by RIB
Get a unique perspective on Norway’s Viking history as you whoosh along the beautiful, narrow strait that gave Norway its name.

After a hearty breakfast on the ship, we’ll dock mid-morning at a town that spreads out across a string of islands. With almost an entire day to explore, you’ll have plenty of time to see all that Ålesund has to offer.

As we approach the shore, you might first notice the distinctive style of architecture. Every detail of the buildings, from the bright colours to the rounded spires, were all inspired by the Art Nouveau style, which was popular in the early 1900s. Almost the entire town received a makeover in the style when it was rebuilt after a major fire in 1904.

As you leave the waterfront, you’ll find yourself in a fairy-tale town, wandering narrow streets lined with unique houses. If your camera’s memory card isn’t already full after this, you can get impressive photos of the archipelago from the nearby Mount Aksla viewpoint. The 418 steps leading there might look intimidating, but the views are well worth the effort.

You can also visit the Atlantic Sea Park, Norway’s first marine science centre. This is one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums, providing a home to seals, otters, and crabs, as well as many other kinds of marine life. You can even see Humboldt Penguins here, a species otherwise absent north of the equator.

Optional activities may include a fjord tour of either Geirangerfjord or Hjørundfjord. If weather allows, kayaking may even be an option. Imagine gliding across the surface of the fjord, skimming your hand over the pristine water as marine life swims in the depths below you.

Optional excursions

Architecture & Breweries – Ålesund on Foot
Explore Ålesund’s remarkable Art Nouveau architecture then taste some of the best small-brewery beer from the local area.
Saga Islands Bus Tour to Alnes – Winter

Join this bus tour to experience two islands, one lighthouse and countless tales of the Vikings. The scenery is impressive too!

Surrounded by islands and water, Brønnøysund sits on a narrow peninsula that juts out of the mainland. Around 5,000 people live in this small town, many in colourful houses against a backdrop of gentle slopes and dramatic mountain peaks.

Enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the harbour and take a walk along Havnegata. Drop into one of the pubs for a snack, or treat yourself to a meal in a local restaurant. Wander the visitors’ marina, or visit an 1870 Neo-Gothic stone church. For some extra excitement, you may be able to go kayaking, or island-hopping on a RIB safari.

You can also look forward to visiting the Vega Islands. Made up of over 6,500 islands, reefs, and skerries, this island chain has apparently been inhabited since the Stone Age. The archipelago received status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, in recognition of the sustainable lifestyle led by generations of islanders and their practice of farming eider down.

On an island south of Brønnøysund, you’ll find Torghatten mountain, recognisable by a natural tunnel that runs through the centre. According to local lore, the hole is the result of a troll who fired an arrow at a young woman who had rejected his advances. As the Troll King threw his hat to protect her, the sun began to rise, turning the hat to stone with a hole in the middle from the arrow.

On an optional excursion, you can take an hour’s walk up to the hole in the mountain. Peer through the tunnel and enjoy the view of the islands around.

We’ll continue sailing north in the afternoon, leaving the Helgeland coast behind us as we cross the Arctic Circle around midnight.

Optional excursions
Legends of Torghatten and Brønnøysund by Bus – Winter

See Brønnøysund’s sights by bus then follow in the footsteps of trolls to a mythologised mountain with a hole right through it.

Winter’s Walk and Mini-Concert in Brønnøysund

Discover Brønnøysund’s fascinating history, geology and musical talent on this guided winter walk through the town’s highlights.

Today, we explore Lofoten, a striking group of islands that rise out of the Norwegian Sea. As soon as you see the towering peaks around you with fishing villages clinging to their sides, you’ll understand why this island chain is so often praised as one of Norway’s most stunning locations.

We’ll dock in the town of Svolvær mid-morning. Located on the island of Austvågøya in the south of Lofoten, Svolvær is the biggest town of the archipelago, humming with shops, restaurants, galleries, and cafés to enjoy. You can also admire views of the Svolvær Goat, a nearby mountain named for resembling a goat and its horns.

A variety of optional excursions are available from Svolvær, which may include snowshoe hikes, scenic bus tours to Lofoten’s highlights, or an exhilarating horse ride along a white sandy beach.

We can’t visit the area without spending some time in Stokmarknes. This historic town is part of Vesterålen, an archipelago just northeast of Lofoten. Of all the places we visit, this one is particularly special to us. It was here that the Original Coastal Express was founded in 1893 by shipping pioneer Richard With.

The Coastal Express soon became a lifeline for Norway’s remote coastal communities, and fittingly, our legacy has been immortalised in the place where it all began. Standing on the waterfront, you’ll find our 1956 ship MS Finnmarken, encased in a glass building like a ship in a bottle.

This is Hurtigrutemuseet, the museum that chronicles our history as Norway’s leading expedition cruise line from start to now. On a guided tour, you can explore the retired vessel and experience the atmosphere of a past era.

Winter fishing in Lofoten
Try your hand at sea fishing aboard a traditional Norwegian fishing boat from 1917 and bring your catch back for dinner on the ship.

Kayaking in Lofoten – Winter
Take to the water and see Svolvær’s coastline from a different perspective as you follow a local guide and paddle aboard your own two-person kayak.

Best of Vesterålen Winter – History, Arts & Culture Tour
Experience breathtaking views, rich culture and coastal heritage on a bus tour of the stunning Vesterålen archipelago.

The Coastal Express Heritage Tour
Take an exclusive tour of the Hurtigruten Museum, home to our full-sized retired ship, in our birthplace of Stokmarknes.

Lofoten Winter – Art, Aquarium, and Henningsvær
See history, marine life, and timeless art in SKREI, and soak up the fishing village atmosphere of Henningsvær.

Today you’ll get the chance to see the Arctic Capital itself. Often called the “gateway to the Arctic”, Tromsø is Norway’s northernmost university city, and the ideal place to enjoy some proper winter activities, like dog sledding and snowshoeing.

Sitting around 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø experiences Polar Night for just over a month in the winter, and will give you a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

This urban city is buzzing with life, with everything from trendy restaurants and cafés to boutique shops selling local crafts and produce, and even high fashion. MS Trollfjord will be in port here for 10 hours, giving you plenty of time to both join optional excursions and explore the city yourself.

Among the activities on offer is a guided tour of the Polar Museum which chronicles the city’s legacy of Arctic hunting and trade. For live animals, head to the Polaria centre, an aquarium home to a variety of Arctic marine species, including seals.

Across the water from Polaria, you’ll find the Arctic Cathedral, standing out in the cityscape due to its striking design and impressive stained-glass window. There may also be opportunity to visit some of Tromsø’s surrounding fjords and possibly the rugged island of Senja.

Optional excursions
Dog Sledding on Kvaløya
Join us on a mini polar expedition across the snowy Arctic landscape just a half-hour drive from Tromsø on the island of Kvaløya.

The Bucket List – Dogsledding, Ice Domes & Reindeer
Enjoy dog sledding, magical ice domes and real-life reindeer on this all-in-one, ultimate bucket list tour of Tromsø.

Whale Watching in Arctic Silence
Be immersed in Arctic serenity as you get an unforgettable view of orca and humpback whales playing in their natural habitat.

Meet The Locals of Sommarøy
Satisfy your curiosity about daily life north of the Arctic Circle as you learn to knit with the locals on Sommarøy.

Husky Dog Meet & Greet Experience
Become fond friends with 200 beautiful Alaskan huskies and learn about their sledding prowess at Tromsø Villmarkssenter.

Arriving early in the morning, you’ll have a full day in Honningsvåg. The northernmost city on the mainland, Honningsvåg’s landscape is quite distinctive, with barely any trees or bushes. This far north, winters are long and snowfall is high, so get ready for some fantastic winter scenery and activities.

Feel the snow crunching under your snowshoes as you hike across the plains. You might even be able to try your hand at ice fishing, a beloved winter tradition in the far north. Get a taste of the local delicacy, king crab, which is caught in the waters around Honningsvåg and served year-round. Admire local art in the Once Upon a Dream art gallery, and don’t miss the Honningsvåg Church. This is the oldest building in the area, dating back to 1885.

The highlight of any trip to Honningsvåg is a visit to the North Cape. This is one of the northernmost points of mainland Europe, and as we’re visiting in winter, we can get there by snowmobile. Standing near the northern edge of Norway and looking out over the Barents Sea under the polar night sky is a truly special experience. Add the ethereal Northern Lights dancing in the sky above, and you’ve got a sight you’ll never forget.

The cape is marked with a famous globe monument, which demands a selfie or two… or five. When you’re ready, head inside North Cape Hall to warm up, and learn about life in the High Arctic through a short film and a variety of exhibits.

Having reached the northernmost point of our voyage, we’ll turn around and begin going south as we sail away in the evening.

Optional excursions
North Cape and King Crab Experience – Winter
From iconic views at North Cape to delicious king crab in Sarnes, join us as we experience the highlights of Honningsvåg in winter.

Quad Biking to North Cape
Drive your own quad bike on a thrilling adventure to continental Europe’s northernmost point.

Culture Walk, Beer Tasting, and Local Show at 71°N
Enjoy a tour of the town, handcrafted beers, and an exclusive play performed by local teenagers about life in the Arctic.

Snowmobiling to North Cape
Experience raw Arctic nature as your drive yourself on a thrilling snowmobile ride to the European mainland’s northernmost point.

Arctic Ice Fishing
Take a short snowshoe walk to a nearby lake to try your hand at some ice-fishing before enjoying the taste of your freshly hooked and cooked catch of the day.

Alta is one of the bigger coastal towns we visit, with a population of over 10,000 people. A particularly famous part of the town is Alta River, one of Norway’s best salmon rivers. Here, large salmon are regularly caught, with some even weighing up to 24 kg. You won’t regret trying some fresh grilled salmon in one of the local restaurants.

At 70 degrees north, this town is still far above the Arctic Circle. The area is known for particularly good Northern Lights visibility, so keep your camera ready. If the skies are clear and the conditions are right, you should be able to get some amazing shots of the lights dancing above you.

You can learn more about this incredible natural light show on a guided tour of the town. The Northern Lights Cathedral even has an exhibition showing how Alta became the epicentre for ground-breaking research of the Aurora Borealis between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Increased snowfall in the winter allows for some truly authentic Arctic excursions, like dogsledding. The snow and climate of Alta also creates the perfect conditions to build and maintain the Igloo Hotel, located on the banks of river Alta.

You’ll have the chance to visit and tour the world’s northernmost ice hotel, built out of snow and ice every winter and carved with different artistic themes by local sculptors. Head to the hotel’s ice bar, decorated with handcrafted ice sculptures and order a drink in an ice glass – no ice cubes needed.

Optional excursions

Visit The Magical Igloo Hotel in Alta
Explore the beautiful Igloo Hotel, made entirely from snow and ice. Even your free drink comes in a glass carved from ice!

Dog Sledding on Wheels in Alta
Try dog sledding on wheels through beautiful countryside near The Northern Lights City and meet the friendly dogs that pull you.

Dog Sledding in Alta
Go dog sledding through snowy scenery near The Northern Lights City and meet the enthusiastic dogs that pull you.

Uncover the Secrets of the Northern Lights in Alta
There’s no better place to get a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of the Northern Lights than Alta, known as The Northern Lights City.

The administrative centre of a municipality with the same name, Lødingen is a village on the southwestern shore of Hinnøya, with a population of under 2,000. This is a port that our ships used to visit on one of our earlier coastal routes and returning here is a kind of homecoming for us.

We’ll dock at around midday, using Lødingen as a base for a few hours to explore more of Hinnøya island, Norway’s largest island south of Svalbard. Wander the streets near the port and admire the traditional red fishing huts, or rorbuer, that line the shore. As you walk, you’ll likely notice the calming atmosphere that village life brings.

The highlight of this visit has to be the breathtaking fjords and mountains that the Norwegian coast is so famous for. Branching off of Andfjord, Gullesfjord cuts into the north side of Hinnøya, bordered by pristine mountain ranges. The area is popular among campers, who stay on the campsite or in cabins and fish for cod in the fjord during winter.

An optional excursion might take you on a boat safari, giving you the chance to get closer to the fjord. Challenge yourself to a hike in the mountains for the reward of majestic panoramas of the surrounding land and sea.

Continuing south, we’ll leave the land of the Polar Night as we cross the Arctic Circle in the early hours of the morning.

The Vikna archipelago is a chain of around 6,000 islands, islets and skerries. The largest of the chain, Inner-Vikna, is where we’ll make our next stop. We aim to dock at the port town of Rørvik around midday, remaining there for about a few hours.

The town and its surrounding areas have a long history, with burial mounds found there that date back to ancient times. The area’s maritime legacy is well-documented across Rørvik’s many museums, particularly The Norwegian Coastal Museum.

Similarly, at SalmoNor visiting centre, you can take a tour of a modern salmon farm and find out more about the Norwegian aquaculture industry that supplies the world with tasty Nordic salmon.

Another major export is cod, and the town even has an annual Cod Festival in March. This species of fish is especially common in the waters of the archipelago during winter, so why not indulge yourself in some fresh cod cakes while here.

Return to the ship in the late afternoon for your penultimate evening on board. Enjoy the ship’s facilities, such as the soothing panoramic sauna or sample some warming local aquavit in the top-deck bar.

Optional excursions

Visit a salmon farm by boat
Join a boat trip through the archipelago, and learn about the salmon farming industry at a working salmon farm.

To round off our journey, we’ll visit Molde, the capital and commercial centre of Romsdalen that sits on the southern coast of the Romsdal Peninsula. We’ve stopped at this port many times before on our Coastal Express route, but this time we’ll be making a much longer stop, so you’ll have all the time you need to get your fill of the town.

There are a number of optional activities organised by your Coastal Experience Team that add to your experience of Molde. Accessible nearby on an optional excursion is the Atlantic Road, an icon of the Norwegian coast that often features in Hollywood movies.

To get the best panoramic views of the area, join us on a hike up to Varden viewpoint, following the trail from the town centre. Once you’re there, gaze at the town from above at a height of 402 metres above sea level and admire the 222 snowy peaks across Moldefjord.

If you prefer to stay closer to the ground, you can pop into the Romsdal Museum, one of Norway’s largest folk museums about ten minutes away from the town centre.

Back on the boat, we’ll end our voyage on a high note with an end-of-trip farewell dinner. Take this opportunity to trade photo highlights and experiences with your fellow travellers one last time.

Optional excursions

The Atlantic Road – A Scenic Bus Tour from Molde
Let us drive you along the swooping Atlantic Road, one of the most beautiful routes in the world.

From the south to the north, and back down to the south, reflect on your journey as you watch our approach to our last port of the voyage, Bergen, in the early morning.

Say your goodbyes to the crew and disembark for a transfer to your hotel in Bergen. The rest of your day is spent on your own at leisure. Founded by King Olaf III in 1070 AD, Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years. As you wander its cobblestone streets and alleyways, you’ll note how this bustling city has lost none of its heritage and historic charm.

You could spend some time in the Hanseatic Bryggen quarter and admire the colourful buildings along the waterfront, dating back to the 14th century. You’ll find several attractions here, including the famous fish market across the way, a range of exquisite cafés, restaurants, and boutique stores selling Norwegian arts and crafts.

Depending on how much time you have, you can take a funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen. At the summit, you’ll be able to take in spectacular views of Bergen, its neighbouring fjords, and surrounding mountains.

Checking out of your hotel in Bergen after breakfast marks the end of your travels with us.

You’ve sailed on The North Cape Express, exploring Norway’s coastal cities and villages all the way to the top of the European continent. During the journey, you’ll have experienced Norway’s varied climate, seen majestic mountains and fjords, and maybe gazed up in awe at the Northern Lights once or several times.

We hope you’ll cherish each of the memories of The North Cape Express that you’ll take home with you. Come sail with us again soon on another iconic voyage of our spectacular home: the Norwegian coast.

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