Off the Beaten Path | Norway

Norway - Off the Beaten Track

from $1,950 per person

Learn more about the Norwegian maritime culture and its many lighthouses.

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  • Lectures on history and culture by our dedicated, onboard Expedition Team
  • Learn more about Norway’s fascinating maritime culture and history

With a coastline stretching from 58 to 71° N, it is no wonder that there are many fascinating places overlooked by other seafarers and by major cruise lines. Embarking in Amsterdam, we will explore a side of coastal Norway not seen by many, a side with maritime traditions, navigational marks, and lighthouses.

The home of the Vikings

First stop is Haugesund on the southwestern coast. This is where the Vikings ruled the land, and it is a great starting point before setting sail for the westernmost archipelago of Norway. We will make several landings to small islands situated at the mouth of the fjord and under the majestic Alden Mountain. Then we sail inside the narrow fjord-system to reach Dalsfjord, a place known for its mines, excellent stonemasons, and a lighthouse museum.

Kayaking in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Heading north, you will get closely acquaintedwith birds and fjords as we head towards Bud and Bjørnsund, once the biggest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim. From FrøyaIsland, with more than 5,400 surrounding islets and reefs,we are now sailing into what is considered part of the northern coastline. Vega Archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the population’s unique practice of eiderdown harvest. Watch for people island-hopping on kayaks, or jump into a kayak yourself.

NASA rocket range

Continuing north, we cross the Arctic Circle before entering Lofoten, calling at the tiny island of Værøy. Hikes and tastings from the sea await you as we sail through the Lofoten Islands, Vesterålen with a NASA rocket range, and Senja Island, where you can choose from fish from the sea or hike to the top of one of the majestic mountains overlooking the fjords.

We disembark in Tromsø, but there is no need to rest here. The ‘Gateway to the Arctic’ is often referred to as the ‘Paris of the North’ because of its many cafés and buzzing nightlife.

Voyage Itinerary

Day 1:Amsterdam

Our adventure starts in Amsterdam, one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe. It is renowned for its medieval city center and numerous canals (called grachten). The 17th century is considered Amsterdam's ‘Golden Age’ and when it became one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Ships sailed from here to the Baltic Sea, North America, Africa, and Asia, and formed the basis of a worldwide trading network. Today the city is noted for many outstanding museums, including the Rijksmuseum, the Rembrandt House, and the Van Gogh Museum, which houses the world's largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings.

Day 2:Crossing the North Sea

As we cross the North Sea our Expedition Team give lectures on various topics.

Day 3:Haugesund

Haugesund calls itself the Homeland of the Viking Kings, and not without reason. This is where the Vikings ruled the land that gave name to Norway: ‘the way north’. Despite being a small village back in the medieval era, King Harald Fairhair lived at Avaldsnes, very close to the modern town of Haugesund. During the recent decades, the town has moved from fishery to petroleum and tourism as new sources of income. Even so, the town continues to have a special maritime flavor to it. Participate in one of our optional excursions, or discover the city on your own.

Day 4:Værlandet/Bulandet and Atløy/Nærvik

Today we find ourselves in the westernmost archipelago of Norway. At the mouth of the Sognefjord, under the majestic mountain Alden, the islands appear like a string of pearls. We will explore some of the most interesting sites on these idyllic islands, and make several landings.

Day 5:Ulsteinvik

In the morning we pass the bird cliffs at Runde. In Ulsteinvik you can explore the town or join an excursion to learn more about the area. In the evening we will sail inside the narrow fjord-system to reach Dalsfjord, a place known for its mines and excellent stonemasons.

Day 6:Bud and Bjørnsund

In the 16th and 17th century Bud was the biggest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim. Today, Bud is an active and charming fishing village. Bjørnsund is a deserted island with an idyllic atmosphere. We will use our Polarcirkel boats to reach the villages, which are interesting both in history and for hikes and other activities. In Bud we will take you to a visit to the Ergan coastal fort, which is a museum dedicated to the ‘Atlantic wall’ built during the World War II. A visit to the marine archeology museum is also included. In Bjørnsund we will take a stroll in the village and hike to the lighthouse to see it up close. Sailing north this afternoon we will see a handful of interesting lighthouses from a distance, and hear many of their stories.

Day 7:Frøya

More than 5,400 islets and reefs surround the island Frøya. Experience the wild, beautiful and unspoilt nature on one of our excursions or spend the day exploring on your own.

Day 8:Vega

The exciting Vega archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the population’s unique practice of eider-down harvest and its relationship with the ducks. We will make a landing that includes a visit to the Eider Museum. In addition, we offer optional excursions for smaller groups.

Day 9:Træna and Vikingen

Træna is a small municipality in Nordland County, located  on the Arctic Circle. Later this day we will visit the island Vikingen, where you find the statue of the Arctic Circle monument, marked by a globe.

Day 10:Værøy, Lofoten

Lofoten is often described as one of the most scenic parts of Norway. The island Værøy has a lively fishing village, high bird cliffs, and good hiking options. Later we will make a daylight sailing through the Lofoten Islands. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and a landing at one of the best-preserved fishing villages from the 1800s, including a tour with tastings from the sea.

Day 11:Vesterålen and Senja

At the tip of Andøya we find Andenes, the largest fishing village in the area. It is home to interesting museums and a NASA rocket range. We continue to Gryllefjord in Senja. This charming fishing village is situated in a fjord surrounded by high mountains, offering many opportunities for excursions, hikes, and fishing trips.

Day 12:Tromsø

Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic, is a lively and beautiful city surrounded by the dramatic Lyngen Alps, blue fjords, and hundreds of islands. Exploring the city is a great way to end your adventure.