As a travel agent, I always strive to find unique experiences that will leave my clients with unforgettable memories. Today, I want to introduce you to one of my personal favorites: Hurtigruten's coastal voyage.

Hurtigruten is not your typical cruise line. This was our first experience with Hurtigruten in July/August 2017 - and certainly not our last. Hurtigruten was founded in 1893 to transport goods and people along Norway's rugged coast. Over time, the company evolved to focus more on tourism, but its commitment to delivering an authentic and sustainable experience has remained unchanged.

The coastal voyage takes you on a 12-day journey from Bergen to Kirkenes and back, covering 34 ports along the way. Each port has its unique character and offers a range of excursions that showcase Norway's stunning natural beauty and fascinating culture.

In Bergen, you can explore the historic Bryggen district and ride the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for panoramic views of the city and surrounding fjords. At Ålesund, you can take a walk through the Art Nouveau district or visit the Sunnmøre Museum to learn about the region's fishing and shipping heritage.

One of my favorite ports on the journey is Geiranger. It's a small village nestled at the end of a spectacular fjord, surrounded by towering mountains and cascading waterfalls. You can take a scenic drive up the winding Eagle Road to the Dalsnibba viewpoint, where you'll have a breathtaking view of the fjord from 4,900 feet above sea level. Alternatively, you can take a kayak or RIB boat tour of the fjord for an up-close look at its dramatic landscape.

Another highlight of the voyage is the opportunity to cross the Arctic Circle and visit the North Cape. At Honningsvåg, you can take a bus to the northernmost point of mainland Europe and stand at the edge of the cliff, looking out at the endless expanse of the Barents Sea. On the way back, you can stop at a Sami camp to learn about their traditional way of life and meet some of their reindeer.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention two of my other favorite excursions on the Hurtigruten coastal voyage. The first is the Alaskan Crab Safari, which is offered in the port of Kirkenes. On this excursion, you'll board a RIB boat and head out to sea to help the local fishermen pull up their crab pots. You'll learn about the traditional Norwegian way of crab fishing and get to taste some of the freshest and most delicious crab you've ever had.

The second excursion is on the Lofoten Islands, where you can go horseback riding through the beautiful landscape. The Lofoten Islands are known for their dramatic mountains, stunning beaches, and picturesque fishing villages. On horseback, you can take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this unique corner of Norway, and get a different perspective on its natural beauty.

Both of these excursions are a great way to experience Norway's culture and traditions, and they're just a taste of what the Hurtigruten coastal voyage has to offer.

One thing that sets Hurtigruten apart from other cruise lines is its commitment to sustainability. The company has a comprehensive sustainability strategy that includes reducing its carbon footprint, eliminating single-use plastics, and supporting local communities. Onboard, you'll find a range of eco-friendly initiatives, from LED lighting to organic toiletries and locally sourced food.

The company also partners with organizations such as the Norwegian Polar Institute and the World Wildlife Fund to promote environmental research and conservation efforts. On some voyages, you can even participate in citizen science projects, such as collecting water samples for microplastic analysis or observing marine mammals.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a unique and sustainable travel experience and a great way to experience Norway's culture and traditions, I highly recommend Hurtigruten's coastal voyage. With its rich history, stunning scenery, and commitment to sustainability, it's a journey that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So pack your bags, and let's set sail!

Let’s chat about Hurtigruten's Coastal Voyage if this is on your bucket list. Please sign up for my weekly small ship inspirational newsletter if you haven't already done so.