Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Sail In The Wake of Norwegian Explorer!

In 2011, Norway will celebrate 150 years since the birth of one of their most famous polar explorer, Fridtjof Nansen.

And, to mark the occasion, Hurtigruten has launched a unique sailing from Spitsbergen to Bergen following a similar route to that travelled by Nansen in 1896 on his return journey to mainland Norway after three years in the polar ice and reaching the northernmost point any human had ever been. The voyage in September is onboard MS Fram, Hurtigruten’s explorer ship which was named after Nansen’s polar ship which sailed the original journey.

Nansen sailed with Captain Otto Sverdrup and they received honour and glory in every port they visited on the way down the Norwegian coast. These ports form the backbone of the Hurtigruten service, which launched in 1897 with Captain Sverdrup at the helm.

The ‘Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords’ voyage starts by sailing into Northwest Spitsbergen National Park and the Magdalenafjord (above) before heading further north to latitude 80 degrees and the Moffen nature reserve, an important resting place for walrus. Then the ship heads southwards via Ny Alesund and the remote region around Bjornoya (Bear Island). After crossing the Barents Sea, the ship reaches the world’s most northerly town, Honningsvag, and the gateway to the North Cape.

From here, MS Fram will travel down the coast of Norway calling at a selection of ports, including several that do not usually form part of the traditional coastal voyage route but were visited by Nansen on his return journey. Highlights will include stops at Tromso, sailing through Trollfjord and the Lofoten Islands plus Alstahaug, a community of some 7,000 spread across no fewer than 917 islands and the UNESCO protected islands of Vega which encompass a staggering 6,000 islands, inlets and skerries with remote fishing villages.

The Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords voyage - from £3,196pp - departs on September 7, 2011, and includes 11 nights full board on the ship, flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen. one night’s pre-cruise accommodation in Longyearbyen with breakfast and sightseeing, Based on two sharing. Flights are extra.

For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601 http://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/ or look up the adventure cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.