Northern Lights Short Cruise – Winter 2020 / 2021
CORONAVIRUS STATUS UPDATE: Hurtigruten re-started operations on the scheduled Bergen - Kirkenes – Bergen voyages along the Norwegian coast on a phased basis in June. There are now 5 ships are sailing the route from Bergen: MS Finnmarken, MS Richard With, MS Trollfjord, MS Polarlys and MS Midnatsol, with a further 2 ships being added in early August, MS Nordlys and MS Kong Harald. This means you will need flexibility in your travel dates and may need to add extra nights to your package before/after the voyage to fit in with flight schedules, ship departures and availability. Further sailings for other ships are being considered. The size and scale of the restart is dependent on national and international travel restrictions, government support and other external factors outside of Hurtigruten's control. As of 03/08/2020 Hurtigruten hastemporarily suspendeds all expedition sailings only on MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen until further notice. The decision has no impact on Hurtigruten's coastal Norway operations.
This 5 night package includes 3 nights B&B on a short Northern Lights cruise on a Hurtigruten ship. Optional activities include dog sledding, snowmobiling (subject to local snow conditions) and attending a midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral.
Price from: €1495 pp sharing
Activities: Not included. Available to pre-book. Ask for details
Destinations: Arctic, Norway
Types: Northern Lights Cruise, Short Break Holiday, Family Holiday, Couples, Groups, Solo Travellers
See Hurtigruten’s online brochures to discover more about their destinations, their ships and life on board during an Arctic voyage.
Day 1: Fly Dublin to Tromsø via Oslo. Overnight at the Scandic, Clarion or Thon Hotel in Tromso (or similar).
Day 2: Today you have a full day in the wonderful ‘Arctic Capital of the North’. You can choose to explore some of the fascinating sights which include The Polar Museum, where you learn about the early Arctic Explorers; the Tromso Museum which includes exhibits on the indigenous Sami people and their culture as well as Embrace the Aurora, a must-see presentation for any enthusiast on the mystical Northern Lights. Or you might like to enjoy a thrilling dog sledding ride through the snow-covered local mountains and countryside (snow permitting, additional cost applies). At 1830 hours depart on your Hurtigruten ship for 3 nights B&B voyage in the cabin category of your choice. Seeing the Northern Lights from the ship’s deck under a star-spangled sky is a magical experience.
Days 3 – 4: Enjoy the voyage, passing North Cape (optional excursion to Europe’s northernmost point) and on to Kirkenes, the turning point for the ship. Whilst on the ship and in Kirkenes a variety of optional excursions are available including a snowmobile safari (driver’s licence required) or a visit to a Snow Hotel or (numbers permitting) a tour to Andersgrotta bomb shelter used during the occupation of the town throughout World War II.
Day 5: Arrive Tromsø late evening. Disembark and overnight at the Scandic, Clarion or Thon Hotel in Tromso (or similar).
Day 6: Early start to Tromsø airport for your flights home.
Thursdays, November 2019 – March 2020
Alternative departure days available on request. Changes to the cost may apply.
As Hurtigruten only makes a limited number of cabins available for this voyage on each ship, it is useful to have some flexibility on your travel dates.
Adult: Inside Cabin from €1495 pp sharing
Single Supplement 2 nights in hotels: from €190
Single Supplement 3 nights on ship: from €255 (inside cabin)
Full board on ship: add €424 pp
Child (under 12): on request
Prices correct at time of print (July 2020). E&OE. Subject to availability at time of booking. As they are a natural phenomenon, seeing the Northern Lights is not guaranteed.
- Return flights Dublin/Norway (excluding taxes from approx €58 pp)
- One 20kg checked bag per person
- 2 nights B&B in a quality, central Tromso hotel
- 3 nights B&B in a shared Inside Cabin on Hurtigruten ship
- Full information pack including maps, tips on photographing the Northern Lights, advice on what to wear, etc
- Meals other than as stated
- Airport transfers in Tromso (easy coach or taxi)
- Air taxes (from approx €58 pp sharing)
- Additional meals: full board supplement on ship €359 pp
- Winter travel insurance (required)
- Optional excursions and tours (pre-bookable in advance)
Optional Excursions on Hurtigruten (more available):
- Visit to the North Cape (€189 pp)
- Kirkenes: Dog Sledding* (€231 pp) or Snowmobiling* (shared) (€263 pp) * subject to weather conditions
- Arctic Cathedral Midnight Concert (book on ship – approx €89 pp)
Upgrade to an Outside Cabin form an extra €175 pp sharing
Extend your stay with extra nights in Oslo and/or Tromso.
For the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights you need to be above the Arctic Circle between October and early April. You also need to be under the Northern Lights Oval, the ring that circles the Magnetic North Pole. They tend to show best between 8pm and 2am.
Northern Norway is one of the only easily accessible and habitable Northern Lights locations in the world situated under the Aural Oval. Despite scientists’ best efforts, no correlation has been found between the 11 year solar cycle and observations of the Northern Lights within the Oval. The Oval extends further south during the peak solar cycle, allowing the Lights to be seen in more areas, but the solar cycle itself does not increase the frequency or intensity of showings.
Taking a short (2 or 3 nights) Northern Lights cruise, departing from Tromso, you spend all your time above the Arctic Circle. This gives you the best chance of seeing the Aurora. For a longer holiday consider one of the 11-night, 6-night or 5-night Classic Winter Coastal Voyage or a specialist 11-night Astronomy Voyage.
Image credits: Visit Lyngen, Ørjan Bertelsen / Hurtigruten