Follow the Lights | Southbound | Season 2023 – 2024

Follow the Lights | Southbound | Season 2023 – 2024

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Join an expedition cruise in Norway and back. These expeditions are the perfect choice to uncover gems of the stunning Norwegian coast, exclusively handpicked by those who know it best. Explore the most scenic spots the coastline has to offer and enjoy included excursions to experience even more. Instead of short visits to lots of ports, we spend several hours to really get to know each area, giving you ample time in the magnificent scenery to bask in summer’s Midnight Sun or gaze up at the Northern Lights.

Trip Name
Follow the Lights | Southbound | Season 2023 - 2024
Since 1893, the Hurtigruten ships have been a hallmark of the Norwegian coast. Today, our ships sail to the Arctic and Antarctica, and many destinations in between. On each ship you will find modern facilities carefully blended with true character. MS Fridtjof Nansen MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe. Featuring Hurtigruten's revolutionary battery hybrid powered propulsion system, MS Fridtjof Nansen will be a near identical twin to her sister ship MS Roald Amundsen. Combining state of the art technology and premium on board experience with Hurtigruten’s 125 years of experience and unparalleled destinations, the two Norwegian built ships introduces the next generation of adventure travel. MS Fram The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions. MS Kong Harald Norway's reigning monarch, a seasoned sailor, lends his name to this remarkable vessel. MS Kong Harald was refurbished in 2016 and now features a modern, Arctic-inspired interior. On board are three different restaurants, the Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. Out on deck you can enjoy the view from one of our two hot tubs. There is a comfortable bar at the front of the ship where you can enjoy a nice traditional drink. The vessel also has a large compass area were you find the reception, the Expedition Team, conference room and shop. The top deck of the boat features a sun deck, observation saloon and panorama lounge, all of which provide splendid views of spectacular coastal scenery. MS Maud MS Maud is designed to take you on an expedition of the Norwegian coast in maximum comfort, equipped for a sustainable and memorable expedition. MS Maud, the current MS Trollfjord, is named after one of the most famous polar vessels of all time, Roald Amundsens “Maud” from 1917. The original “Maud” got her name from the first Queen of modern-day Norway. She also had her namesake in Hurtigruten’s 1925 flagship DS Dronning Maud (“DS Queen Maud”). Today´s MS Maud is an ice class 1C ship equipped with advanced technology that makes her exceptionally well-suited for expedition cruises in Norway. MS Nordkapp MS Nordkapp is named after the northernmost point on mainland Europe: North Cape (71ºN) - one of the geographical highpoints you can visit on a Hurtigruten voyage. MS Nordkapp was refurbished in 2016 and now features a modern, Arctic-inspired interior. On board are three different restaurants, a Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. Out on deck you can enjoy the view from one of our two hot tubs. We also have a cosy bar at the front of the ship where you can enjoy a nice traditional drink. The ship additionally has a large compass area with reception, a tour guide, conference room and shop. MS Nordkapp was christened by Norway´s Queen Sonja in 1996 and her maiden voyage was to the Shetland Islands. The ship started sailing the Norwegian coast in April 1996. She has also sailed in Antarctica. Since 2007, the vessel has been part of Hurtigruten´s fleet of ships dedicated to sailing the Norwegian coastline. MS Nordlys Both the name and the interior design of this modern expedition ship are inspired by the spectacular Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The art, décor and colours employed aboard this ship are all inspired by the northern lights. The delicate aesthetic creates a distinct and unique on-board ambience. Passengers are invited to relax after a long day experiencing Hurtigruten´s various excursions and activities in comfy reclining chairs in the one of the ship’s lounges. In May 2019 MS Nordlys was refurbished. All cabins got a makeover, while new cabin grades were added. The upgrade saw a number of new features being added to the ship. MS Nordstjernen MS Nordstjernen is named after the North Star or Stella Polaris, famous for helping seafarers find their way back home and the Vikings to navigate the north. The ship was built for the Coastal Voyage fleet in 1956 and extensively modernised in 2000 for exclusive Arctic sailing. Today she takes explorers on adventures in the waters around Spitsbergen. Despite modernisation, she still retains the aura of an old Atlantic ship, restored to her former splendour with new brass, classic wooden interiors and all her original art. Out on deck you come extra close to the untouched nature of the Polar Arctic and with roofs over a lot of the deck space you can enjoy being outside, even in rough weather. MS Nordstjernen is equipped with a dining room and bar, a café, a panorama lounge and a library. Inside you’ll find cosy interior and exterior cabins, the majority of which have upper and lower berths. All rooms and deck surfaces exhibit that old, beautiful wood. MS Nordnorge MS Nordnorge is aptly named for northern Norway, most of which lies above the Arctic Circle. MS Nordnorge was refurbished in 2016 and now features a modern, Arctic-inspired interior. On board are three different restaurants, the Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. Out on deck you can enjoy the view from one of our two hot tubs. We have a comfortable bar at the front of the ship where you can enjoy a nice traditional drink. The vessel also has a large compass area where you find the reception, a tour guide, conference room and shop.  MS Polarlys Polarlys is Norwegian for `polar light´, and refers to the natural Arctic phenomenon we pursue in winter. MS Polarlys was refurbished in 2016 and now features a modern, Arctic-inspired interior. On board are three different restaurants, the Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. Out on deck you can enjoy the view from one of our two hot tubs. We have a comfortable bar at the front of the ship where you can enjoy a nice traditional drink. The vessel also has a large compass area where you find the reception, the expedition team, conference room and shop. MS Roald Amundsen In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible. MS Roald Amundsen is the first of two hybrid ships Hurtigruten will add to its fleet over the next few years. Emissions are cut by sailing with electrical propulsion. Innovative sustainable technology reduces fuel consumption and CO2-emissions on the ships by 20 percent. Named after the first man to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole, MS Roald Amundsen leads the way towards an even more sustainable way of travelling. The ship is specially constructed for voyages in polar waters. It serves as a comfortable basecamp at sea – bringing adventurers from all over the world to the most spectacular destinations in the most sustainable way. MS Richard With MS Richard With proudly carries the name of Hurtigruten's founder. It is aptly designed and built in classic maritime style. When Captain Richard With established the Norwegian Coastal Express in 1893, he made an enormous impact on life along the Norwegian coastline. The MS Richard With lives up to that legacy. Relax in the ship´s panorama lounges and take in the unforgettable views of remarkable coastal scenery, much of it the same as when the first Hurtigruten boats sailed by more than a century ago. Beautiful art throughout the ship´s interior adds contemporary elegance to the vessel´s maritime ambience. MS Spitsbergen Our new ship, MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary. MS Spitsbergen is named after the crown jewel of Arctic Norway – the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island, Spitsbergen. Hurtigruten has a long history of travelling to Spitsbergen, beginning in 1896 with the `Sports Route´. MS Spitsbergen cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Explorer sailings during the rest of the year. After complete reconstruction, MS Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016. The ship features high technical standards as well as comfortable, modern public areas and cabins. The vessel´s fresh Scandinavian design reflects a colour palette derived from the sea. She is modern and environmentally progressive, and we plan further improvements that will reduce emissions and fuel consumption even more. The new ship’s maneuverability and optimal size make her quite suitable for exploring polar waters. MS Trollfjord The ship is named after the spectacular Trollfjord in Lofoten. Inside she provides spectacular comfort, modern facilities and interior design that makes extensive use of Norwegian wood and stone. The art exhibited aboard ship includes original paintings that were once on board the old Hurtigruten ship, MS Harald Jarl. MS Trollfjord´s sun deck and hot tub are on deck 9. The ship´s spacious, two-storey panorama lounge is above the bow. Its wall-to-wall windows bathe the lounge in natural light and provide extraordinary views.  MS Vesterålen MS Vesterålen is named after the first Hurtigruten ship that sailed along Norway´s rugged coastline in 1893. She is one of our smaller boats and has an intimate on-board atmosphere. MS Vesterålen provides passengers an authentic heritage experience. In its exciting programme you will learn more about the ship´s maritime operations, logistics and hotel operations. You will get an opportunity to get closer to the Hurtigruten operation and to learn more about the operation along the Norwegian coast. 


Day 1 - Day 1: Arrive in Helsinki
Arrive in FinlandWelcome to Finland!Helsinki is often dubbed one of the world’s most liveable cities due to its vibrant nature and delicate balance of historic architecture and contemporary living. Make your own way to the hotel and spend the afternoon on your own exploring the city and discovering the many hidden gems, cafes and restaurants dotted around the city centre.In the evening, you will have the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers and tour escort for an included welcome dinner as you prepare to follow the Northern Lights through Finland and Norway.
Day 2 - Day 2: Helsinki
Finland’s CapitalOn our first full day, we take to these streets for a walking tour that takes in the sights and sounds of this modern European city. At the heart of the city's historic quarter lies the Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square, this large plaza is one of the most famous and important monuments and a great place to stop and embrace the vibe of the city. Another iconic stop on the tour is a visit to the Tempeliaukio Church, built into the bedrock of the city it has also become known as the ‘Church of Rock’ and a nod to the city's modern culture.Spend the afternoon and evening uncovering the many hidden gems of the city! With a wide range of bars, restaurants and cafés there is something to satisfy every taste.
Day 3 - Day 3: Helsinki - Rovaniemi
To Finnish LaplandIn the morning we set out from Helsinki and start our journey towards Finnish Lapland and the arctic wilderness. Jump on board the train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi - the reputed home of Santa Claus. As the train winds north gaze upon snow-capped forests and a true winter wonderland. Arriving in Rovaniemi, we are now in the capital of Finnish Lapland, where you will have the afternoon to explore this quaint town at your leisure. At night, keep your eyes on the skies as we are above the arctic circle, the chances of spotting the Northern Lights increase.
Day 4 - Day 4: Rovaniemi
Canine CompanionsWake up in the heart of Lapland and prepare for our first authentic experience, a meeting with the cute furry locals at a husky kennel. Learn about how huskies are reared to become as fit and as hardy as the local Sami people who have worked with these iconic arctic heroes for many years. After getting to know these animals we will enjoy lunch before joining a thrilling husky-drawn cart or sled ride through the Lapland wilderness with your new furry friends.After spending the day living like a local, warm up with a hot drink at Lappish Kota, a traditional wooden hut dawned with reindeer hides and a roaring fire.
Day 5 - Day 5: Rovaniemi - Saariselkä
Santa and ReindeersFeel like a child again as we spend the morning exploring the wonderous Santa Claus Village, and even get to meet the man himself! In the afternoon we continue our journey north making a short stop to see the Sodankylä Old Church before continuing to the Northern Lights Village of Saariselkä. Upon arrival, be wowed at your accommodation for the night – your very own Aurora Cabin or Glass Igloo where you can watch the Northern Lights from your bed whenever they appear.Following the included dinner at the hotel, we’ll be welcomed into the traditional tent of a local Sámi family who’ll talk enthusiastically about their unique culture and lifestyle. Feed the family’s reindeer in the nearby paddock or practise your lasso skills under your host’s expert tutelage. Weather permitting, we will also enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride. If you are really lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights on this authentic arctic experience.
Day 6 - Day 6: Saariselkä – Inari - Kirkenes
Sámi History and HuskiesAs we continue North through the Finnish Lapland we arrive in the small township of Inari, the Sami capital (traditional nomads of Scandinavia, reindeer herders). On our stop in Inari, we will visit the newly renovated SIIDA museum - which is home to a collection featuring the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish Sami presented to the public through exhibitions and publications.In the afternoon we cross into Norway and arrive at the iconic Snowhotel in Kirkenes, where you have the opportunity to join an optional excursion, choosing from activities such as king crab or Northern Lights safaris. Spend the night inside a traditional Gamme cabin, inspired by the traditional hunting and fishing hut known as ‘gamme’ which are typically found in the Lapland wilderness. Tonight’s included dinner is in the unique farmhouse restaurant, Låven.
Day 7 - Day 7: Kirkenes – Berlevåg
Your Hurtigruten Coastal Express Voyage StartsYour voyage onboard the Coastal Express begins in the Arctic in the town of Kirkenes. Our first port of call is Vardø and its iconic star-shaped Vardøhus Fortress, built-in 1737. The northernmost fortification of any kind, it remains a part of the military to this day. Weather permitting, brave swimmers may want to take a dip in the icy Arctic Ocean (strictly optional of course!).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. These two idyllic ports are home to Norway’s most famous male choir, comprising local fishermen.
Day 8 - Day 8: Mehamn – Tromsø
Unmatched Arctic SceneryWe make a late-night stop at Mehamn, where there is the option to join snowmobile trip through the vast Arctic wilderness. A great opportunity to experience snowy plains and valleys, crisp winter air under the Northern Lights in the starry sky above.During the day we pass through various ports including Honningsvåg and Hammerfest where you can visit the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to honour the first precise geographic measurement of the globe.Late in the evening, we arrive at Tromsø, in time to enjoy a magical Northern Lights concert at the Arctic Cathedral in winter (optional).
Day 9 - Day 9: Finnsnes – Stamsund
Lofoten, Where Nature AmazesThis morning, we arrive at Harstad, where you can join one of our optional classic excursions - A Taste of Vesterålen. Discover the history, beautiful scenery, and cultural heritage sites of this iconic and breathtaking landscape. Those who stay on the ship experience our passage through the Risøyrenna, a shallow channel built for Hurtigruten in the 1920s.Prepare for some amazing scenery as we sail through the world-famous islands of Lofoten and Vesterålen. Lofoten is known for its natural beauty, steep mountains, wilderness and picturesque fishing villages. After a short stop at the tiny village of Risøyhamn, we continue to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten began more than 125 years ago. Continuing south, it will look like we’re headed straight into a mountain, but don’t worry, we are in fact sailing through a passage into the narrow Raftsund, flanked by peaks rising 1000m out of the sea. If that wasn't enough, we arrive at amazing Trollfjord. If conditions allow, we will sail between sheer cliffs that seem close enough to reach out and touch. It’s an unforgettable experience!
Day 10 - Day 10: Bodø – Rørvik
Cross the Arctic CircleWe 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!Sailing along the Helgeland coast, you see the strange mountain, Torghatten, famous for the distinctive hole through its centre. 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!Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. It is easy to see how the peaks influenced ancient legends. The story goes that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus creating the seven beautiful mountaintops.Even though we’re south of the Arctic Circle, there may still be good opportunities to see the Northern Lights.
Day 11 - Day 11: Trondheim – Ålesund
Rich History and Living CultureToday you have a chance to explore the wooden city of history: Trondheim. Be sure to visit the majestic Nidaros Cathedral, built over the burial site of King Olav II who reigned from 1015 to 1028. 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.As we sail along the coast, you will realise the importance of fishing to Norway’s coastal communities. Kristiansund is regarded as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its long-time export of salted dry fish. An interesting excursion is to the Bergtatt marble mine, which takes you inside a mountain and across an illuminated subterranean lake before serving you a meal in the mine´s ‘Grand Hall’.
Day 12 - Day 12: Ålesund – Bergen
A Fjord FarewellDuring the night, the ship calls at Ålesund, Torvik and Måløy, as our voyage draws to a close. Before docking in Bergen, there is fascinating scenery to experience, including picturesque Nordfjord beneath Jostedal Glacier. A few nautical miles south of Florø, we cross the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord, taking in superb views of the magnificent island-studded coastline en route. In the early afternoon, we arrive in the Hanseatic city of Bergen where our time on the Coastal Express comes to an end. After disembarkation we join our private coach for a city tour including a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Bryggen, St Mary’s Church, and Håkon’s Hall, before heading to Troldhaugen, the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg. After arrival at the hotel the evening is yours to enjoy and explore this vibrant city. One recommendation is to take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of nearby Mount Fløyen to enjoy views of Bergen and the surrounding mountains.
Day 13 - Day 13: Bergen – Oslo
Norway in a NutshellToday enjoy an amazing journey by rail, coach and ferry on the famous ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ route between Bergen and Oslo. We start with a rail journey from Bergen to Voss, from here we travel by coach to Gudvangen - where Waterfalls line the road as we weave our way through the valley.In Gudvangen board a ferry and enjoy a fjord cruise along the narrow and dramatic UNESCO protected Nærøyfjord, ending in the quaint village of Flåm. As we climb three thousand feet to the mountain train station of Myrdal, you will understand why this is considered one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. From here we continue south to our final stop in Oslo.
Day 14 - Day 14: Oslo
Sightseeing in OsloEnjoy breakfast in the hotel and prepare for our final full day on tour.On our coach tour learn more about this vibrant European city, as we journey through the history of Oslo, from the world's largest sculpture park by a single artist - Vigeland Sculpture Park to the site of the 1952 Winter Olympics and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. The afternoon is your to continue exploring before joining your fellow travellers and tour escort for our final farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 15 - Day 15: Flight out of Oslo
Your adventure endsIt is in the morning that we say goodbye as this exciting arctic adventure comes to an end. Depart the hotel with lifelong memories of your time in Norway and Finland under the dancing skies of the Northern Lights.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-03-202424-03-2024Array Array8,591Polar Outside. From
10-03-202424-03-2024Array Array8,941Arctic Superior. From
10-03-202424-03-2024Array Array0Expedition Suite. From
10-03-202424-03-2024Array Array0Polar Inside. From
25-03-202408-04-2024Array Array8,591Polar Outside. From
25-03-202408-04-2024Array Array8,941Arctic Superior. From
25-03-202408-04-2024Array Array0Expedition Suite. From
25-03-202408-04-2024Array Array0Polar Inside. From


    • More to explore. Explore every place for a half or full day, and join a wide range of excursions.
    • Arctic towns and attractions. Explore the attractions of Arctic towns like Vardø and Hammerfest
    • The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage. Visit the famous Norwegian fjords on the world’s most beautiful voyage
    • Home-grown on the coast. Fresh ingredients are grown and harvested naturally along the coast, and delivered directly to our chefs.