All Aboard the North Cape Express

By Donna Duggan

HURTIGRUTEN MS Trollfjord explores the North Cape
HURTIGRUTEN MS Trollfjord explores the North Cape
Offering a premium experience similar to the iconic Orient Express, this is the perfect way to explore Northern Scandinavia.

This year marks Hurtigruten’s 130th anniversary of the first voyage on the now-iconic Norwegian coastal voyage. To celebrate, Hurtigruten has launched the 16-day North Cape Express onboard the recently refurbished MS Trollfjord, which calls on some ports that feature on the original coastal voyage, plus adding several new ports. The return voyage from Oslo sails the Norwegian coast, one of the world’s longest coastlines.

The route takes in Norway’s oldest lighthouse at Lindesnes, the country’s southernmost tip, before setting course for its most northerly point, deep within the Arctic Circle. Other highlights include scenic cruising through the spectacular Hardangerfjord, visits to new ports in southern Norway, and a number of picturesque towns and fishing villages along Norway’s eastern coast.

The turnaround point at Honningsvåg allows visitors a full day to explore the Arctic village, and plenty of time to take an optional excursion to Nordkapp, the North Cape. Optional excursions are varied and vast, from exploring the magical Igloo Hotel in Alta to dog sledding. There’s time to travel through the coastal towns to immerse yourself in local communities and enjoy all the ports have to offer. “For almost 130 years, we’ve been carrying travellers on what is often referred to as ‘the most beautiful voyage in the world’, and no one does the Norwegian coast better than Hurtigruten Norway,” said Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norway. “With the North Cape Express, we offer an experience similar to the likes of the Orient Express, combining a premium onboard experience with beautiful scenery, exceptional excursions, and some of the best food on any sea.”

Onboard, the itinerary offers an enhanced experience including a robust program of cooking demonstrations and classes, as well as wine, beer, champagne, and whisky tastings in the new food centre; a new cocktail bar; and a comprehensive program of onboard entertainment. Upgraded dining options include an à la carte restaurant with tasting menus, all-day dining, afternoon tea, and takeaway services, with picnic and culinary excursions also available – another first for the company.

For those short on time, there are also briefer voyages. Launched as part of Hurtigruten’s 130th anniversary celebrations, the half-voyages are shorter than the original 16-day North Cape Express, making it easier than ever for travellers to find a trip that works with their schedule – especially those keen to combine this with visiting neighbouring Finland and Sweden, and other Northern European destinations. Sailing from September to March, and with departures ranging from seven to nine days, each journey takes in a selection of carefully curated ports along Norway’s stunning coastline. Guests receive the unparalleled personalised service from Hurtigruten’s dedicated Coastal Experience Team plus a rich daily program of activities both onboard and ashore, including an average of six hours spent in every port.

“The new concept from Hurtigruten Norway will offer the absolute best of Norway, in terms of activities, nature, and food. We know travellers are looking for authentic and local experiences, which is exactly what they will get,” said Håkon Haugli, CEO of Innovation Norway.

Behold the Northern Lights

Best observed in clear, dark skies between September and April, the  Northern Lights is one of nature’s most spectacular light shows. The Arctic Circle is one of the best places in the world to witness the phenomenon,  and Hurtigruten’s North Cape Express can put you in pole position to enjoy the show.

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Photography: Hurtigruten Norway

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