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Classic Voyage Southbound - Kirkenes To Bergen

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6 Day Classic Voyage Southbound - Kirkenes To Bergen Itinerary (Hurtigruten)
Countries Explored: Norway
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Start this Norway scenic route with an Arctic tour of Norway, near the Russian border. You’ll go from the dramatic landscapes of Northern Norway to views of Senja, one of Norway’s most beautiful islands. We’ll then pass through the jaw-dropping Vesterålen and Lofoten islands, and along the Helgeland Coast with its mountain ranges and maze of islands.


Your voyage begins in the Arctic in the town of Kirkenes, just a few miles from the Russian border, but further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul.

You'll likely notice the area has many influences from Norway's neighbour; road signs in both Norwegian and Russian, a monthly Russian market, and the WWII Russian Monument.

WWII history

For those interested in history, the Varanger Museum in Kirkenes has exhibits about the town's ordeal during WWII; bombed a total of 328 times in four years, making it the most bombed place during the war after Malta.

For more insights into this sombre period, visit the Andersgrotta WWII Bomb Shelter which can house up to 2,500 people underground.

Norway's northern frontier

In the port of Vardø, you'll find the star-shaped Vardøhus Fortress, built in 1737. The northernmost fortification of any kind, it remains a part of the military to this day.

We cruise Norway's coastline to arrive in the small port of Båtsfjord in the evening and then on to Berlevåg. You might be able to make out Mount Tanahorn to the west, or see Kjølnes Lighthouse blinking atop a cliff overlooking the Barents Sea.

  • Kirkenes: 09:00 - 12:30
  • Vardø: 16:05 - 17:00
  • Båtsfjord: 20:00 - 20:30
  • Berlevåg: 22:25 - 22:35

We make stops at Mehamn and Kjøllefjord during the night before early morning visits to Honningsvåg and Havøysund.

Almost the northernmost

In the early afternoon, you'll spend time in Hammerfest, once the northernmost town in the world until Longyearbyen in Svalbard claimed the title.

Check out the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, shop for souvenirs at the Polar Bear Society, or take the path behind the town to the viewpoint on Mount Salen.

Mountains and marine mammals

We continue cruising Norway's coastline south to Øksfjord and then to Skjervøy, surrounded by mountain peaks. We've been docking at this vital fishing port since 1896.

If you're visiting in winter, you might spot orcas and humpback whales that gather here to feed on herring.

As we make our way to Tromsø, you might also glimpse views of the Lyngen Alps which boast some of the highest peaks in all of Norway.

Midnight magic

We dock at Tromsø just before midnight. In the summer months, you can stroll around the still busy city in glorious 24-hour daylight.

There are also optional excursions for a midnight boat ride around the city or a candlelit classical concert at the Arctic Cathedral.

  • Mehamn: 01:20 - 01:30
  • Kjøllefjord: 03:25 - 03:35
  • Honningsvåg: 05:45 - 06:00
  • Havøysund: 08:00 - 08:15
  • Hammerfest: 11:00 - 12:45
  • Øksfjord: 15:50 - 16:05
  • Skjervøy: 19:30 - 19:45
  • Tromsø: 23:45 - 01:30

Today, you'll be exploring the archipelagos of Lofoten and Vesterålen, real highlights of our Norway scenic route.

After Finnsnes early in the morning, the ship calls at Harstad where the white-washed Trondenes Church, the world's northernmost medieval stone church, sits on the peninsula.

Next is our smallest port of call Risøyhamn and then Sortland where the landscape slowly transforms from hills to 1,000-metre-high mountains.

Our birthplace

Stokmarknes is where Captain Richard With began The Coastal Express in 1893. Visit Hurtigrutemuseet, a ship-in-a-bottle building that chronicles our legacy, centred around retired ship MS Finnmarken from 1956.

A ship-size fjord

Sailing along Raftsund, the Captain may choose to take the ship into tiny Trollfjord. The mountain walls will look so close you'll think you can reach out and brush them! To exit the fjord, the ship will rotate 180 degrees on the spot, then sail back out. Remember to look out for sea eagles here too.

Leaving Lofoten

We reach Svolvær in the evening. The huge mountain that sits above the town is named the Svolvær Goat due to its supposed resemblance. See if you agree!

The ship then sails for Stamsund, eventually passing the giant granite cliffs of the Lofoten Wall.

  • Tromsø: 23:45 - 01:30
  • Finnsnes: 04:20 - 04:40
  • Harstad: 08:00 - 08:30
  • Risøyhamn: 10:45 - 11:00
  • Sortland: 12:30 - 13:00
  • Stokmarknes: 14:15 - 15:15
  • Svolvær: 18:30 - 20:30
  • Stamsund: 22:15 - 22:30

The ship calls at Bodø in the small hours of the morning and then Ørnes at 7am. We then cross over the Arctic Circle just after breakfast. Commemorate the moment with a tradition of tasting a spoonful of good ol' cod liver oil!

We make a short stop at Nesna before sailing on to Sandnessjøen, gateway to the magnificent Helgeland Coast.

Legend has it…

Admire the stunning landscape of the Seven Sisters mountain range, with peaks up to 1,100m high. The tale goes that seven beautiful troll princesses, fleeing from an unwanted suitor, got caught out as the sun rose, turning them into the seven beautiful mountains you see today.

You'll also not want to miss views of Torghatten Mountain, with the distinctive hole in it. There is a local legend as to why and how this mountain came to have such a hole. Make sure you ask your Coastal Expert about it!

We reach Brønnøysund mid-afternoon. Explore the bustling marina on a walk along Havnegata. In the centre of town is Brønnøy Church: a stone church in the Neo-Gothic style dating back to 1870.

Our last stop of the day is the cosy fishing port of Rørvik in the picturesque Vikna archipelago.

  • Bodø: 02:30 - 03:30
  • Ørnes: 06:25 - 06:35
  • Nesna: 10:25 - 10:35
  • Sandnessjøen: 11:45 - 12:15
  • Brønnøysund: 15:00 - 17:25
  • Rørvik: 21:00 - 21:30

Spend the morning in Trondheim, then sail past beautiful island scenery and some of Norway's smallest communities before exploring Kristiansund and Molde.

Capital of the Viking Age

Stroll around Trondheim in the early morning as the city wakes. Visit the sacred Nidaros Cathedral, resting place of St. Olav. Then, walk to Gamle Bybro bridge for a photo opportunity over Nid River.

Treat yourself to quality coffee and a Nordic patisserie in one of the Bakklandet district's many chic cafés then walk up to Kristiansten Fort for great views of Norway's third largest city.

Dealing in dried cod

We dock at Kristiansund's harbour in the late afternoon. The town is spread over three islands and known for being Norway's “Bacalao Capital” for the salted cod that's dried on the surrounding cliffs, called klippfisk in Norwegian.

Take a walk around the cobblestone streets of the old town and tour the lively port. You can also head up to the old watchtower at Varden viewpoint for a lovely panorama.

Peaks and petals

The penultimate port of the day is Molde where you can spot the tops of the Romsdal Alps. Nicknamed “The City of Roses”, flowers should be in bloom between mid-June and late August.

  • Trondheim: 06:30 - 09:30
  • Kristiansund: 16:30 - 17:30
  • Molde: 21:15 - 21:45

Our Norwegian coastal cruise together, at least this time, will reach its end later today. During the previous night, we'll call at Ålesund and Torvik. On our approach to Måløy, you might catch a glimpse of the northbound Coastal Express if you're up early enough.

Morning highlights

You'll have a chance to glimpse Nordfjord, under the enormous Jostedal Glacier, mainland Europe's largest.

The ship then docks at Florø in the morning where you can take in the harbour and marina.

The home stretch

Leaving Florø, you'll spot Stabben Lighthouse, a favourite subject for photographers. There's also stunning views to enjoy as we cross the mouth of Sognefjord, the longest and widest fjord in the whole of Norway.

As we reach our final port in the afternoon, the ship will navigate through the last islands and skerries of our Norway scenic route, and sail down Hjeltefjord to arrive into Bergen.

Explore more of Norway

Sadly, it's time to say farewell to the Captain, crew, and fellow guests.

But your journey doesn't have to stop after disembarkation. We offer a Bergen sightseeing tour as well as a range of post-voyage programmes that you can add to your trip, including seeing Sognefjord by train or a tour of Oslo.

  • Ålesund: 00:30 - 01:20
  • Torvik: 02:35 - 02:45
  • Måløy: 05:45 - 06:00
  • Florø: 08:15 - 08:30
  • Bergen: 14:45

Life Onboard MS Kong Harald

MS Kong Harald
MS Kong Harald

Experience the essence of Norway with impressive viewing spaces, regional menus, and an Arctic-inspired interior. Read more

Hurtigruten Guide Team
Hurtigruten Guide Team

A passionate and knowledgeable team bring incredible places and experiences to life along the Norwegian coast. Read more

Relaxed Atmosphere
Relaxed Atmosphere

Life on board is intended to feel laid back and as natural as your surrounds. Relax. Dress casually. Feel at home. Read more

Norway's Coastal Kitchen
Norway's Coastal Kitchen

Discover Norway's culinary traditions and enjoy fresh produce sourced from local suppliers in port daily. Read more

Live the Local Life
Live the Local Life

Join locals on a spellbinding voyage as Hurtigruten ferries goods and passengers along the traditional coastal route. Read more

A Front Row Seat
A Front Row Seat

Watch nature's show unfold from the outdoor hot tubs, observation decks, or through the expansive windows. Read more


Norwegian Coastal Express

Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express (2023-24)

Our signature voyage along the Norwegian coast travels from Bergen in the south, across the Arctic Circle, up to Kirkenes, and back. It’s 12 days and 2,500 nautical miles of some of the most stunning scenery you’ve ever seen. Along the way, your ship stops at 34 coastal communities, day and night. This is the everyday Norwegian coast; an authentic experience...more in the making since 1893.

Availability Click on the cabin prices below to view upgrades and cabin details

Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Hurtigruten.

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