Hurtigruten unveiled the optional excursions for its upgraded Norwegian coastal cruises in 2023: the Svalbard Express and the North Cape Express.
The Svalbard Express’ first departure is June 3. The one-way journey (with both northbound and southbound options) includes two nights in Longyearbyen and two excursions: a wilderness evening at Camp Barentz and an adventure aboard the hybrid-electric catamaran MS Bard.
Optional Svalbard Express excursions include:
• Fishing in Lofoten from a traditional 39-foot fishing cutter before cooking and eating the fresh catch onboard.
• Hiking and birdwatching in Gjesverstaeppan Nature Reserve. For over five hours, travelers will hike through the reserve while keeping an eye out for razorbills, puffins, skuas, gannets and eagles.
• Legends of Torghatten and Bronnoysund. Guests will learn about Torghatten, a mountain known for having a hole all the way through it. Travelers will hear myths and Viking stories while enjoying lefse, a traditional flatbread, over a fire pit.
• Kayaking in Lofoten, for a close-up experience of Norway’s fishing villages.
• Traena culture walk. Travelers will see artwork, hear music and taste local foods as they explore the chapels, cafés and museums of Husoya, as well as take in views across the islands of Traena.
• Sauna and swim. Guests enjoy a sauna in Traena’s oldest building, a boathouse that stands on the shore, before plunging into the Norwegian Sea.
For the first time, Hurtigruten will sail from Oslo with the North Cape Express. Sailings will take place during the Northern Lights season and explore nearly the entire length of Norway’s coast. The first departure is Sept. 26.
North Cape Express excursions include:
• King crab experience: In this six-hour excursion in the small village of Sarnes, guests sample king crab from the Barents Sea, served the traditional way — with soft bread, mayonnaise and a slice of lemon.
• Dog sledding in Alta, home to Europe’s longest dog sled race. After venturing into the wild, guests can share hot drinks around a crackling wood fire in a laavo, a Sami herdsman’s tent.
• Whale watching in Arctic silence. Guests cruise silently aboard a specially designed, hybrid-electric boat, ensuring minimal disruption while watching for orca and humpback whales.
• Arctic ice fishing. After snowshoeing to an off-the-beaten-track location, guests will cut their own hole in the ice and fish before tasting their freshly caught bounty back at the restaurant.
• Snowmobiling to the North Cape. A four-and-a-half-hour snowmobile adventure to the European mainland’s northernmost point.
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