Although it is best known for its year-round service up and down the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten is also a growing force in the world of expedition cruises.

Hurtigruten's MS Finnmarken cruise ship sailing through Geirangerfjord

MS Finnmarken in Geirangerfjord

The company has been in business since 1893, operating ships between Bergen and Kirkenes, carrying passengers, cars and freight and stopping at every tiny port along the way. Today, there are 11 of these in the fleet, as well as four expedition cruise ships. The Norwegian Coastal Voyage, as it used to be known, has captured the imagination of travellers who sail with Hurtigruten in summer for the long, light days and the tranquil beauty of the fjords and islands, and in winter for excursions that include husky driving and snowmobiling, and for the Northern Lights.

The scientific Activity Centre on-board MS Roald Amundsen

MS Roald Amundsen -
Activity Centre

Four expedition ships venture further afield, exploring Iceland, Greenland, Antarctica, Spitsbergen, the Russian Arctic and the remote Northwest Passage. The newest in the expedition fleet, the 530-passenger Roald Amundsen, is one of the most high-tech cruise ships afloat, operating on hybrid power and using a new, streamlined hull shape. On-board, as well as luxuries like a spa and a panoramic sauna, there is a working science lab where passengers can join workshops to learn about the environment.

A spacious Arctic Superior Cabin on-board MS Roald Amundsen

MS Roald Amundsen - Arctic Superior Cabin

Each Hurtigruten cruise ship is slightly different and across the fleet, there is an almost bemusing array of cabin grades, from very basic inside accommodation to the lavish suites on the newest ships, with private Jacuzzi. All the ships, though, have décor inspired by the colours and tones of Norway, and a restaurant serving fresh, healthy Norwegian food; the seafood is exceptional.

There are comfortable lounges where you can sit and watch the dreamy scenery pass by and hot tubs on deck – but you won’t find casinos or water slides. There is an imaginative excursion programme, which ranges from hikes in Norway to camping on the ice in Antarctica, as well as voyages with themes like astronomy.

Kids jumping into the swimming pool on-board Hurtigruten's MS Finnmarken

MS Finnmarken - swimming pool

From spring 2018, nine of the 11 ships in Norway will carry expedition leaders, bringing a more educational aspect to the coastal voyage. Hurtigruten also offers a very good children’s programme, Young Explorers, on some of the ships. For aurora chasers, meanwhile, the best news is the Northern Lights Promise: if you don’t see the lights on a 12-day voyage between October and March, you’ll get a free six or seven-day Classic Voyage.

Would you like to embark on a truly unique fjords cruise with Hurtigruten? Click the button below to find out more about this adventurous cruise line, and call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 1234 118 to find your perfect voyage.

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Sue Bryant
Sue Bryant
Sue Bryant is an award-winning writer specialising in cruising. She is cruise editor of The Sunday Times and also writes for magazines and websites worldwide. She has written and contributed to several travel guidebooks, including the Insight Guide to Great River Cruises and the Insight Guide to Caribbean Cruising. In 2016, Sue was awarded the coveted ‘Contribution to Cruise Journalism’ award by CLIA for her coverage of the industry. She lives in west London with her teenage children and two dogs.

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