Cover photo by Andrea Klaussner

For viewing the dancing Northern Lights, for visiting tiny fishing villages in Finland and Norway, for playing with huskies and giggling at reindeer - Hurtigruten is a long-time favorite. Famous for their Norwegian Coastal Express routes, the esteemed cruise company has since expanded its offerings, allowing even more insight and hand-picked experiences throughout the Nordics, Russia, the British and Scottish Isles, Galapagos, and Antarctica. Here’s what you can expect from Hurtigruten and why they’re one of my most preferred ways to experience this staggeringly beautiful region of the world.

The Norwegian Coastal Express: An Oldie and a Goodie 

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2Polarbears

For those seeking the quintessential Nordic coastal experience, Hurtigruten leads the way. Cruise from Saariselka, where you’ll first visit a local husky farm and take an exhilarating sled ride led by your new pup pals. Go on a reindeer safari to see these majestic creatures in Finnish Lapland and meet the Sami people who tend to them. Perhaps you’ll spend the night in a Gamme cabin, a traditional Lapland hunting and fishing hut. 

Then it’s on to your Hurtigruten ship for five nights sailing along Norway’s coast. Stop at Mehamm and set off across the Arctic wilderness by snowmobile. Listen to a Northern Lights concert at the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso. Discover the sleepy fishing hamlets and alpine scenery of Lofoten and Vesteralen islands. Sail between sheer cliffs in Trollfjord and cross the Arctic Circle, the ultimate rite of passage (prepare yourself for a spoonful of cod liver oil when you do - it’s an Arctic tradition). Sail on to Trondheim with its Nidaros Cathedral and Kristiansund, Norway’s dried cod capital. Finally, take a ride on the Atlantic Road before disembarking in Bergen. 

Of course, this is just one of the many routes you may take with Hurtigruten - there are countless options available, with different ports of call and lengths of cruise. 

Small-Group Scandinavian Tours with Hurtigruten

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2Polarbears

Hurtigruten has grown to include numerous destinations, from Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard, to Russia, Antarctica and Alaska. If you’re most interested in Scandinavia, consider a small-group tour led by the company’s expert guides. These cruise-inclusive journeys come in a variety of itineraries designed to give guests a more in-depth Norway and Scandinavia experience. Be immersed in Nordic culture and scenery both through small-group guided tours and leisure time on your own. Enjoy ocean-to-plate dining experience and a great mix of hand-picked excursions and activities. 

Why Hurtigruten?

For their depth of knowledge and dedication to the destinations they visit, Hurtigruten comes out on top. Life on board is comfortable with relatable lectures and science programs and a commitment to the environment and sustainable practices. While many of the ships have recently been upgraded, the focus is on the destinations and experiences, not the glitz and glamour of the ship. 

That being said, the ships have all been tailor-designed to match the region in which they sail. Headed to Antarctica? Rest assured your expedition vessel will serve as the perfect base camp for your adventures. Each has its own personality and the brand-new MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen are hybrid electric-powered ships. For those who value learning and personal growth over excessive luxury, who crave interactions with nature, wildlife and culture, Hurtigruten offers a larger-than-life adventure. 

Let’s chat about why I love Hurtigruten and why you will, too. You can sign up to schedule a consultation or sign up for my weekly newsletter for more inspiration.