Whether the attraction is the perpetual summer light of Norway’s Midnight Sun, energizing the spirit and providing hours-long sunsets, or heaven’s stunning fall/winter light show known as the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, guests may have a tough time choosing as Hurtigruten offers substantial savings packages that are equally enticing. The company’s “Two-For-One” sale, allowing companions to share a cabin for the price of one fare, or its newest bundled savings offer – the “Norwegian Coastal Value Package,” which combines air, land and cruise into one discounted parcel, have been extended to cover bookings made by August 31. The six-, seven- and 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage sailings on one of Hurtigruten’s modern fleet of ships provide abundant opportunities to take in the many attractions lining the country’s 1,250-mile west coast including the verdant fjords, charming fishing villages, and cities such as Art Nouveau Alesund and lively Tromso and Trondheim.
The “Norwegian Coastal Value Package,” a one-stop all-inclusive promotion available on peak season bookings through September, includes roundtrip air, hotel and transfers. The select six-, seven- and 12-day itineraries become nine-and 14-day cruise-tours with the addition of one night in Oslo and Bergen or one in either city. Prices range from $2,359 to $4,129 if booked by August 31. Air fare add-ons for the two promotions from North American gateways are priced from $100 to $360. Air fuel surcharges, air and cruise taxes and ticketing are included.
Hurtigruten’s “Two-For-One” applies on most sailings between Sept. and Dec. and is as simple as its name suggests – companions sharing a cabin and booking by August 31 each pay 50% of the normal per person fare. Cabin prices on the six-day southbound voyage are $680 to $1,110, per person, double with the discount; on the seven-day northbound voyage the reduced rates are $865 to $1,410; and the 12-day roundtrip comes in at $1,235 to $2,015. Gov. fees and cruise taxes are included.
Rental bicycles are now onboard each Hurtigruten ship so guests can strike out a bit further afield when they head for shore — exploring the nooks and crannies of each port visited. The ships’ 34 ports feature a fascinating array of sites, with many offering bragging rights upon return home: in Bergen, travelers can visit the Akvariet Aquarium, boasting the largest collection of saltwater fish in the world; and at the Bryggen Museum, explore the remains of five wooden houses dating back to the 11th century, as well as well as the world’s largest collection of rune stones, inscribed by the Vikings. In Hammerfest, guests can visit the world’s northernmost Catholic community; and in Vardo, the world’s northernmost fort. In Longyearbyen, the ships call at the world’s most northern town; and in Tromso, Norway’s seventh largest city, the world’s most northernmost mosque, brewery, university, botanical garden and planetarium.
Shore excursions proffer up options as well including visits to Geirangerfjord, a World Heritage site, with a stop at Ornesvingen, boasting stunning views of the fjord, mountains and the “Seven Sisters” waterfall. A sailing adventure transports travelers through Norway’s second largest glacier, Svartisen, where sea eagles spread their wings overhead. From Bodo, guests can embark on an excursion to Saltstraumen, where in sturdy rafts, they witness the world’s most powerful tidal currents and a range of mountains dating back more than 250 million years. At the Lofotr Museum, guests will learn about Viking history, experiencing a recreated Chieftain’s house where a feast, mirroring dishes from the Viking Ages, will be served.