Friday, 19 December 2014

Hurtigruten to offer expeditions to 80° North

Polar bear sighting during a Spitsbergen voyage
Hurtigruten are to become the only company to offer spring expedition cruises as far as 80° North in 2016. Setting sail on 25 April and 4 May 2016, the ten-day ‘Polar pioneers of Svalbard’ itinerary departs Tromsø and calls at the remote island of Bjørnøya, Spitsbergen and the North Cape (the northernmost point of mainland Europe) before heading back.

Despite it being springtime then guests will likely encounter snow and ice at all ports of call, as well as sea ice during the voyage. The wildlife opportunities are bountiful though, with sightings of seals and polar bears a likely possibility.

Prices for this itinerary start from £1,222 per person including early booking savings of more than 25 per cent. 

Hurtigruten are also offering new shore excursions during their Norwegian coastal voyages in 2015.

Experience the traditionally Norwegian activities of cross-country skiing, sledging and tobogganing on a short excursion out of Trondheim. Available as of 1 February this excursions costs £67 per person.

Alternatively you could opt for a sightseeing tour of Trondheim by bicycle. Available from 3 April 2015 at a cost of £43 per person, this tour includes a trip on the world’s only cycle lift and a journey along the new bike bridge crossing the River Nid.

If you are more comfortable on a river than over it, a kayak tour along the River Nid offers a different perspective of the city. Priced at £97 per person this excursion is available in the summer.

Follow in the footsteps of polar explorer Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm by hiking to the top of the mountains of Hammerfest, the most northerly town in the world. Available from 8 January this excursion is priced at £71.

To learn about local culture and fishing heritage a tour of Svolvær, the largest town in the Lofoten islands, is ideal. Available during the winter months this leisurely tour costs £51 per person.

Lastly, for those wanting to get close to killer and humpback whales then this tour in the Andenes area is a perfect choice. The tour is being trialled on selected winter dates at £232 per person and takes place on a nimble rigid-hulled inflatable boat.

(Photo credit to Hurtigruten)