Friday, 27 April 2012

Hurtigruten's 'Taste of the Arctic'


Want to take a short voyage and sail through Norway’s beautiful Lofoten Islands next winter? How about visiting the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund with its myriad of turrets and spires all covered in snow? You can now do both on a brand new ‘Taste of the Arctic Voyage’ introduced by Hurtigruten for 2013. 

Sail from Bergen in the south along the coast and up into the Arctic Circle to Tromsø, or take the voyage in reverse. Until now, the only winter short break available was all north of the Arctic Circle from Tromsø to Kirkenes and back. Prices for the five-day ‘Taste of the Arctic Voyage’ travelling south from Tromsø to Bergen lead in at just £1080pp, including flights, on selected departures from January to March and November to December 2013.

Depending on which direction guests choose to sail, they will experience many of the highlights of a full 12-day ‘Classic Round Voyage’ from Bergen to Kirkenes and back, including the Lofoten Islands, Seven Sisters Mountains and the fascinating towns of Bergen, Tromsø, Ålesund and Trondheim. Excursions are also pre-bookable in both directions, including dog sledding, snowmobiling and a Northern Lights safari by cable car in Tromsø. 
 
For those with a keen interest in the coastal wildlife, Hurtigruten has introduced two new bird-watching excursions. Those travelling on a seven-day ‘Classic Voyage North’ or the ‘Classic Round Voyage’ from May 1 to August 31 can take an expedition to Runde Bird Island near Ålesund. This is home to Scandinavia’s largest sea bird colony, with more than 500,000 of them nesting here. Amongst them are Atlantic puffins, blacklegged kittiwakes and guillemots. Prices for the expedition to Runde Island are from £133pp. 
 
The new Birds of the Arctic excursion can be enjoyed from Vadsø for guests travelling northbound, or from Vardø for those journeying southbound, from April 15 to July 31. The Varanger region is one of the most attractive and popular bird-watching areas in the Arctic due to it being directly in the path of migrating birds. This is the only place in Europe that you are likely to spot the rare Steller’s Eider. Prices cost from £247pp for this full day excursion. 
 
For those looking for more flexibility and better value, Hurtigruten has also included more packages with flights for next year. These are available on two itineraries, the ‘Arctic Highlights Voyage’ from Tromsø to Kirkenes and back and the ‘Classic Round Voyage’. Eight new departure dates are available for the ‘Arctic Highlights’ itinerary, departing on selected dates from January to March and October to December from four regional airports in total, including Belfast, which is brand new for this year and Edinburgh, previously only featured as a flight-package departure airport for the ‘Classic Round Voyage’.  
 
Furthering Hurtigruten’s aim to bring guests closer to the Norwegian culture, new music and culinary concepts are being introduced on all ships in 2013 following a pilot scheme this year. Local delicacies will feature on the daily menu affording a real taste of the coast while guests will also be able to enjoy Norwegian music played on board.
 
For more information visit this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's premier adventure-cruise specialists.