Off the Beaten Path (2007) | Norway

 

Norway - Off the Beaten Track (2017)

from $4,113 per person

Explore the hidden secrets of Norway's rich maritime culture and see parts of the Norwegian coast rarely seen or visited

  • Learn more about the fascinating maritime culture and history of Norway
  • Participate in optional excursions at the destinations
  • See a part of the Norwegian coast, not seen or visited by many others
  • Attend lectures on history and culture by our dedicated Expedition Team

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With a coastline stretching from 58 to 71° N, no wonder there are fascinating places overlooked by other seafarers and major cruise lines. We will explore parts of coastal Norway not seen by many, with fascinating maritime traditions, navigation marks, and numerous lighthouses.

The Home of the Vikings

Our first stop is Haugesund on the southwest coast. Vikings used to rule this land, making it a great starting point before setting sail for the westernmost archipelago of Norway. Here we will make several landings to small islands situated at the mouth of the fjord and under the majestic mountain Alden. Then we sail inside the narrow fjord-system to reach Dalsfjord, a place known for its mines, excellent stonemasonry, and a lighthouse museum.

Kayaking in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

You will get closely acquainted with birds and fjords as we head north toward Bud and Bjørnsund, once the biggest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim. From the island Frøya, with more than 5,400 surrounding islets and reefs, we are now sailing into what is considered part of the northern coastline. The Vega Archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the population’s unique practice of eider-down harvest. Watch out for island hoppers in kayaks, or jump into one 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 and Vesterålen Islands, observe a NASA rocket range, and visit the island Senja, where you can choose to fish or hike to the top of one of the majestic mountains overlooking the fjords. Disembarkation is in Tromsø, but you don't have to rest if you don't want to: Tromsø is not only the gateway to the Arctic but also often referred to as ‘Paris of the North’ due to its many cafés and buzzing nightlife.

Voyage Itinerary

Day 1:Bremerhaven

Bremerhaven is the largest port city in northern Germany, playing a crucial role in Germany’s trade. A popular hive of heritage, science, high technology and space industry keep up the innovation pace. This 1,200-year-old Hanseatic city has a unique quality that ensures a metropolitan experience like no other.

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.