The Norwegian fjords, a highlight of Hurtigruten’s Coastal Voyage, have had awards and honors bestowed on them over the years, most recently by National Geographic Traveler which named it the world’s most celebrated and iconic travel destinations. And Hurtigruten is making it easier to take in these Norway treats (and many others) this fall, offering its 12-day roundtrip Norwegian Coastal Voyage for the price of the seven-day northbound portion – five nights free with the purchase of six.
The special, amounting to a 30 percent discount, must be booked by Sept. 30 and is available for cabins on select sailings — 22 to be exact — that depart between Oct. 5 and Dec. 31, 2010. Solo travelers get the same opportunity as there are no single supplement charges for singles cabins during this time period. The voyage takes in Norway’s scenic 1,250-mile west coast between the charming Hanseatic port of Bergen and the near-Russian border town of Kirkenes. Further savings are offered to AARP members — on board cabin credit of up to $100 — and a 10% fare savings for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years. As comparison, regular 12-day fares range from $2,190 to $3,057 per person, double.
Besides seeing many of the celebrated fjords, Hurtigruten guests enjoy a charming portfolio of 34 ports, including Trondheim, one of the country’s oldest cities and a thriving university town; Tromso, Europe’s largest town above the Arctic circle; the Lofoten archipelago, with peaked mountains and villages filled with rust-red fishermen’s cabins; and Alesund, destroyed by fire in 1904 and completely rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style. Those ports that are visited late at night on the northbound leg are visited during the day on the southbound journey – so guests have the opportunity to easily explore every one of them.
Shore excursions range from touring to active explorations: the North Cape, sitting 1,000 feet above the churning Barents Sea and offering a top-of-the-world vista; a visit to the Norway-Russia border station near Kirkenes; a “Taste of Vesterålen” – visits to Harstad, Trondeneshalvoya Peninsula, Hinnoya Island and Sortland; dog-sledding from November on; and a Lofotr Viking Feast with traditional foods, singing and dancing; to name a few. Pre-booking excursions before departure saves guests 5% off the excursion price.
Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten’s visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888)-524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835.