Wild landscapes and storybook villages iced with snow will join the famed Northern Lights as the star attractions of a new cruise tour package in Norway next February during the northern winter.
Offered by Cruise Express, the 15-night fly, cruise and tour itinerary traces the fjord-studded coastline of Norway, north above the Arctic Circle, all the way to the Russian border.
The ‘Hunting the Northern Lights’ Unique Journey offers Australians the opportunity to witness the natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis – multi-coloured swirls of light that illuminate Norway’s crisp, night sky in winter.
The adventure begins on 10 February 2016, when travellers fly from Australia to Norway’s capital, Oslo, for a two-night stay, with a city tour that includes the Viking Ship Museum and Olympic ski jump. Guests then ride Norway’s trains to the country’s famed fjord country for stays in Voss and Bergen and a ride on the panoramic Flåm Railway.
Billed as one of the world’s most picturesque and steepest train rides, the Flåm train climbs from sea level to 863-metre-high mountain tops in just one hour, with the scenery including waterfalls, wild rivers, vast forests and 20 tunnels. A breathtaking cruise through two spectacular fjords – Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord – near Voss is also included.
In historic Bergen, guests will be guided on a walking tour along the harbour, flanked by multi-coloured buildings, and to flower and fish markets. From Bergen, the tour moves to sea for a six-night voyage aboard Hurtigruten’s 822-passenger ship, ms Trollfjord, which also provides a passenger, freight, mail and car service for isolated Norwegian towns only accessible by sea. The cruise features fjords, glaciers and mountains and visits to the enchanting Lofoten Islands and picturesque towns like: Tromsø, Trondheim and Ålesund.
Renowned as one of the world’s most spectacular sea journeys, the Norwegian coastal voyage in winter offers the magical luminescence of pure-white mountains reflecting the low sun and the chance to see the awe-inspiring Northern Lights. After visiting Honningsvåg near North Cape – the northernmost point in Europe, 1000 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle – the cruise ends in the remote town of Kirkenes on the Russian border. Here guests will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of staying at the SnowHotel, where the rooms are carved from ice, with reindeer fur used for cosy bedding. A thrilling dog sled ride through the forest and a rendezvous with local reindeer are also included. A flight back to Oslo for a final night’s accommodation completes the cruise tour.
Including return flights from Australia, the 15-night ‘Hunting the Northern Lights’ package is available from $8490 per person, twin-share, or from $9990 for solo travellers, which represents a single supplement of just 18 per cent.