The Hurtigruten Cruises in Norway are increasing, and each year approximately 200 000 passengers travel along the world’s most beautiful voyage. Approximately 8,000 of these are round trip passengers – those traveling from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen.
Along the 18.000 miles (28,953 km) long Norwegian coast, passengers can experience the beautiful scenario of mountains, valleys and fjords as well as the great Norwegian ocean, fishing villages and the plains of Finnmark.
North Cape (Norway’s northernmost point) is by far the most visited attraction. Last year, 54,000 guests visited the famous plateau located at the 71st parallel north.
For several years, the trip to the North Cape has been Hurtigruten’s most attractive destination. In the early 1900’s, the route was extended to Kirkenes. The ships sailed past the Cape – and passengers were able to admire the 1000 feet (307 m) high cliff from the ship.
In the 1950’s, the main road leading out to the plateau was finished and excursions to the North Cape were included in Hurtigruten’s summer program. About 10 years ago, it was added to the winter program. Since then, the interest has increased considerably.
From the Cape, it is 1300 miles (2100 km) up to the North Pole, and the feeling of being on the “edge of the world” might give goose bumps.
In 2012, the second most popular excursion was “Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral” in Tromsø, with over 21,000 people visiting the famous cathedral. The attraction offers a visit to the Arctic Cathedral with its impressive stained glass windows and architecture, in addition to Norwegian folk music, classical music and church music. The atmosphere is beyond explanation.
The excursion “A Taste of Vesterålen” is also a popular excursion. Nearly 17,500 people explored the beautiful and dramatic scenery in Vesterålen at the exciting bus trip from Harstad to Sortland where you get a chance to experience Viking and Medieval culture at Trondenes Historical Centre (see photo below).
Hurtigruten offers about 45 tours as part of the round trip program from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. Passengers can choose their favorite activities from a wide range of excursions. Many tours are customized for the different seasons. Hurtigruten also focuses on shorter trips. You do not need to join in on the round trip to get a taste of Norway.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews