23 days - Independent cruise and tour of Scandinavia's coast and capitals.
Combine the spectacular voyage along the Norwegian Coast with an independent tour of the charming Nordic capitals; Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo & Helsinki. This is an all-encompassing itinerary offering a variation of traditional culture, breathtaking scenery and modern city life. Enjoy a 6 day voyage on the the Norwegian coast, as well as the famous Flåm Railway and 'Norway in a Nutshell' tour.
This tour is an independent tour with all the highlights of this region in one trip!
Discover Norway's entire coastal route with 34 ports of call, sailing past more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains.
Cross the Arctic Circle and search for the Northern Lights in winter, or enjoy 24 hours of daylight and midnight sun in summer.
Overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo in an outside cabin
Experience the famous Flåm Railway
Discover the cities of Copenhagen, Bergen, Oslo and Helsinki with city passes
Charming Stockholm, explore the museums, castles and alleyways.
Days 3 - 4
Overnight ferry to Oslo, enjoy the views leaving Copenhagen...and the islands as you approach Oslo.
Days 6 - 7
Oslo - the most beautiful capital in the world.
From Oslo to the Mountains & Flåm Railway
Bergen: The Capital of the Fjords
The Coastal Voyage begins
Sail through Skerries and Islands
The Royal City of Trondheim and then thousands of islands towards Rørvik.
Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands
Tromsø - Gateway to the Arctic
Honningsvåg and the North Cape
Kirkenes, transfer to Inari
Days 18 - 19
Days 20 - 22
Stockholm, Sweden tours
Helsinki, Finland tours
Easy independent holiday suitable for singles & couples
Local trains, overnight ferry, Norwegian trains, Hurtigruten ships, local buses, local flight (Rovaniemi to Helsinki) and transfers
Full board includes buffet breakfasts & lunches, tea & coffee with meals and a 3 course sit down dinner in the evening. You are presented a menu when you check in. Visiting 34 ports, Hurtigruten have an exceptional opportunity to get fresh produce from local suppliers everyday. This means delicious new and fresh ingredients, both from coastal and inland areas.
We strongly recommend upgrading to an Arctic Superior U package which includes the water package, an amenity set, kettle, tea & coffee making facilities and a TV.
Rates fluctuate daily and we can often find discounts up to 25% depending on departure date and proximity to travel. Please ask us for a specific quote for your preferred dates.
International flight tickets, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.
Day 1 - Arrive Stockholm
Arrive in Stockholm any time and make your own way to our centrally located hotel.
Optional Add Ons
Day 2 - Charming Stockholm, explore the museums, castles and alleyways.
Sweden's Capital is charming, vibrant and surrounded by beauty and water - hence its nickname, Venice of the North. Stockholm offers interesting museums and castles & charming small alleyways. Be sure to make time for the new ABBA museum, opened May 2013, if you are a fan.
There are many great guided walks to do in Stockholm - ABBA walking tour, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, ghost walks, Viking walks and even a walk that guides you to the best places to take photos.
Days 3 - 4 - Wonderful Copenhagen
In the morning catch a 6-hour train ride through the Swedish countryside to the Danish capital. Copenhagen has a long history, and many delightful attractions and sights - you will never run out of something to see or to do. The city is small and cosy, an ideal way to explore the city is by foot, and public transport. You will have a Copenhagen Card on hand allowing you to free travel on buses and trains within the city metropolis, as well as free entrance to over 70 museums and attractions.
Optional Add Ons
Day 5 - Overnight ferry to Oslo, enjoy the views leaving Copenhagen...and the islands as you approach Oslo.
The morning and early afternoon is free in Copenhagen before boarding the overnight voyage to Oslo. Accommodation in seaside cabins with shower/WC.
Twin cabin with sea view and private facilities
Days 6 - 7 - Oslo - the most beautiful capital in the world.
Arrive Oslo in the morning. The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer the discerning traveller, and you have two full days to discover the city with the help of an Oslo Pass. We can recommend visiting some of the Oslo highlights, including the Viking Ship, Kontiki & Fram museums, the Vigeland Sculpture Park and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. A walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle, the Harbour area and the new Opera House is well worth it.
Optional Add Ons
Day 8 - From Oslo to the Mountains & Flåm Railway
Over the next couple of days you will experience Norway’s most popular round trip; Norway in a Nutshell. The excursion takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Norway's fjord region.
After breakfast, make your own way to the Oslo Central Railway Station and depart Oslo by train across the Hardanger Plateau, with its highest point at Finse (1222m), and to the village of Myrdal. At Myrdal you will change trains and board the Flåm Railway taking you from a height of 900 metres above the Sognefjord, through wild and beautiful mountain scenery with waterfalls and steep mountainsides to the fjord village of Flåm. There is no other adhesion railway in the world running on normal tracks that are so steep over a long distance.
Wander along the edge of the fjord, pick apples growing wild along the village roads or climb to the local waterfall.
NOTE: Your luggage will be transferred from Oslo to Bergen, so please bring a 1-night overnight bag for this exclusive fjord experience.
Summer: Fretheim Hotel or similar, Flåm Winter: Fleischer's Hotel, Voss
Day 9 - Bergen: The Capital of the Fjords
This morning, continue by boat to Gudvangen and further by coach up the steep and spectacular hairpin bends to Voss.
Train to Bergen, the capital of the fjords with a free day to explore this old Hanseatic harbour city. Recommended sights of interests are the Hanseatic harbour ‘Bryggen’, Fløibanen Funicular, Edward Grieg’s house at Troldhaugen and the Fish & Flower market.
Optional Add Ons
Day 10 - The Coastal Voyage begins
After a leisurely breakfast on the harbour, it is time to explore the historical centre of Bergen where you'll be transported back to a time when Bergen was the centre of political power and trade for the entire North Atlantic. It was the Capital of the Kingdom of Norway for a short period, before the capital was moved to Oslo in 1299, and the town grew to become the largest in Scandinavia. The Hanseatic League established itself here in 1350 and had a trade monopoly that lasted 200 years.
While in Bergen you might wish to visit the UNESCO heritage listed historical area around the harbour known as the Bryggen district, and the home of Edvard Grieg, Troldhaugen, Norway's internationally famous composer.
Representative Service in Norway
Hurtigruten's representative service in Norway in based in Bergen and may be contacted on +47 9094 6905
24-Hour Emergency number +61 280 695 866
Getting to your ship:
Your Hurtigruten ship will sail from the Hurtigruten Terminalen, located at Nostegarten 30, 5010 Bergen. This is not far from our hotel. Telephone +47 5554 3631. Please ask us about the Hurtigruten transfer shuttle.
The terminal is staffed from 13:00 (1pm) and is open from 15:00 (3pm) for baggage check-in. If you are in the harbour, you can watch as your ship arrives from the north and passengers disembark around 2pm.
Embarkation takes place from 16:00 (4pm) and your cabin will be available from approximately 18:00 (6pm). Dinner (buffet style) will be available from 18:00 (6pm). There are no restaurant facilities (there is a simple cafe) in the terminal should you arrive early to the terminal. Please note you carry your own luggage onboard from the pier to your cabin.
Your ship departs at 20:00 (8pm).
An information meeting is usually held on the evening of departure from Bergen and includes details of safety onboard. There is an information folder in each cabin and safety procedures are illustrated on the back of your cabin door and in public areas. The Tour Leader on board will assist with general information and the shore excursion programme.
Your ship navigates the skerries and islands further north before reaching Ålesund. Marvel at the inspiring architecture in the Apotekergate and Kongensgate pedestrian precinct, perfect examples of the Art Nouveau style. Don’t miss out on the view from Mount Aksla but beware, there are 418 steps to the top! In the summer months, the next destination will be the spectacular UNE SCO-listed Geirangerfjord. En route to the end of this beautiful fjord you pass sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls.
In Autumn, you will explore the Hjørundfjord, amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass, Art Nouveau Tour and Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla and the A Taste of Norway which visits the historic Hotel Union.
1 Breakfast 1 Lunch 1 Dinner
Optional Add Ons
Day 12 - The Royal City of Trondheim and then thousands of islands towards Rørvik.
When visiting the old royal city of Trondheim, be sure to get a good view from the Gamle Bybrua (“Old Town Bridge”). Dating from 1861, this neo-gothic wooden bridge used to be the only way into the town centre. Nidaros Cathedral, built between1070 and 1300, is Norway’s largest Gothic religious edifice. In the neighbouring Archbishop’s Palace, the Norwegian Crown Jewels are kept. In Trondheim itself, the Hanseatic, waterside storehouses built on wooden stilts are just as charming as the Rococo-style Stiftsgården, the largest wooden building in Norway and residence for the Royal Family when visiting Trondheim. New optional activities will have you kayaking on the river Nid and into the city's smaller channels or during winter time, you have the opportunity to try typical Norwegian winter activities such as skiing, tobogganing and sledding.
You then set a course for the northwest, past the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and thousands of little islands and picturesque rocky outcrops. In autumn, you will learn more about navigation and lighthouses along the Norwegian coast during the Captain's talk. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship will arrive at charming Rørvik.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Nidaros Cathedral and Ringve Museum, Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral, Munkholmen boat trip & the new cycling and kayaking tours.
This morning, between Nesna and Ørnes, you pass a globe on a small islet, which heralds your crossing of the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle marks the border of the the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight - often referred to as the 'Midnight Sun'. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude gives you the best chance of experiencing the Northern Lights.
Passengers sailing in Arctic waters for the first time are given an Arctic Circle baptism by Njord, the ruler of the Seven Seas. This comes in the form of an ice cube down your front or back, but is entirely optional. This ceremony is tremendous fun to watch on the deck.
In the afternoon, your ship gradually closes in on the 3,280 feet high Lofoten Wall towering above the tiny and colourful fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands. This is an extraordinary place to disembark and take a stroll.
These islands are renowned for their small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere surrounded by majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. Complete your visit with a stroll between the stockfish racks and ‘rorbuer’, the traditional, red fishermen’s residences. The Lofoten Islands are a truly extraordinary experience.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Glacier Adventure, Winter Hike, Rib Safari to Saltstraumen & Meet the Vikings.
During the night the ship navigates the narrow Raftsund strait. After a stop in Harstad, situated on the largest island of Norway, Hinnøya, you continue via Finnsnes to Tromsø for a prolonged stay. Many of the epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point; the famous explorer Roald Amundsen sourced both crew and supplies here. With the presence of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the city has cemented its position as the Polar Capital of Norway.
Ishavskatedralen, the Arctic Cathedral, is the most famous landmark with its modern design and extraordinary stained glass window. Tromsø is also home to the world’s northernmost university and the large number of people arriving here has created a vibrant cultural scene with numerous restaurants and cafes constantly teeming with life.
After Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter the Captain invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship now sails inot the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March, and we gather on deck to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: Wilderness Adventure Camp, the Arctic Capital Tromsø, Dog Sledding, Scenery and Huskies, Mountain hiking, Polar History Walk and Kayaking.
Following the scenic sailing through Magerøysund and after an early stop in Hammerfest, you arrive in Honningsvåg. This small port is the gateway to the wonders of the spectacular North Cape which rises 300m from the ocean, and at 71° 10’ 21” north it puts you a mere 2,000 kilometres from the Geographical North Pole.
Standing atop the North Cape Plateau you’ll get the eerie feeling of being at the end of the world. The area is also known for its birdlife, and Gjesværstappan, a bird sanctuary with up to 250,000 seabirds is home to some High Arctic species that can only be observed here on the Norwegian mainland, including the ever cute puffins. In summer, you might see herds of reindeer and campsites belonging to the indigenous Sami people. In winter, experience the snow-clad valleys, the fresh winter air and your best chances to see the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
During winter and spring, if you are lucky, local fishermen from the village of Kjøllefjord visit us to share their catch of the day (King Crab & cod).
This evening, as you approach Kjøllefjord, you pass a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sámi people, Finnkjerka.
Optional Excursions depending on the season: The North Cape, Birdwatching Safari, A Taste of Lapland, Sami Autumn and Snowmobile trip in Lapland.
1 Breakfast 1 Lunch 1 Dinner
Optional Add Ons
Day 16 - Kirkenes, transfer to Inari
Disembark in Kirkenes and transfer to Inari in Finnish Lapland. Inari is a beautiful Finnish town rich in Sami Culture with many handicraft stores and places to visit.
Day 17 - Finnish Lapland
Enjoy the Lapp town of Inari in far north Finland where you have a chance to meet the Sami people and make a visit to a reindeer farm.
Days 18 - 19 - Rovaniemi
A local bus takes you south to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland in Finland. There is time to visit the Arctic Centre, Santa Claus Village and Provincial Museum hosting interesting exhibitions year round.
Days 20 - 22 - Chique Helsinki
After a short flight to Helsinki you have near two full days to explore this fabulous eastern Nordic capital. We recommend a walking tour of the city, which is known for its great mixture of neo-classical buildings, orthodox style churches and chique bars and restaurant scene. You have the opportunity to visit the Senate Square, Uspenskij Cathedral, Parliament House, New Opera House, Sibelius Park & Monument and the Underground Temple. The included Helsinki card offers free entrance to almost 50 museums and use of public transportation.
Day trip to Tallinn
On one of your days in Helsinki we have included return tickets for the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. Your trip to Tallinn would normally take a full day departing Helsinki at 07:30 in the morning and arriving back in Helsinki at 19:30. The ferry trip each way takes 2 hours and suddenly you are at the shores of this Eastern beauty. The infinitely charming medieval Old Town is well worth the visit. The cobblestone streets and medieval buildings are a whole world away from what you can expect from the other capitals that you have seen so far. Tallinn feels distinctly Eastern, its architecture reminding the visitor of other beautiful Eastern European Old Towns, such as those of Prague and Riga. Through its history, culture, and location, Estonia connects Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and Scandinavia, offering something altogether different to your itinerary so far.
Let us know if you would like to book a three hour minivan/walking tour with us for this day.
Optional Add Ons
Day 23 - Depart Helsinki
Our services end after breakfast.
Dates & Prices
All prices listed are per person and are based on Director's Choice hotel categories. Ask us for upgrade options to Design or Historic hotels.
Hurtigruten rates fluctuate daily depending on departure date and proximity to travel. Please ask us for current Hurtigruten specials.
If you have travelled on a Hurtigruten voyage (for more than 3 nights) previously, enjoy a 5% loyalty discount on all Hurtigruten voyages including Explorer voyages. Extra perks and discounts on the excursions are also available. Please ask one of our Destinations Specialists for details. 'In search of the Northern Lights' programme not included.
1 Oct 2020 31 Dec 2020
1 Oct 2020
31 Dec 2020
1 Oct 2020 20 Dec 2020
1 Oct 2020
20 Dec 2020
Extra for Single
1 Jan 2021 31 Mar 2021
1 Jan 2021
31 Mar 2021
1 Jan 2021 31 Mar 2021
1 Jan 2021
31 Mar 2021
Extra for Single
When securing your cabin with us, please take note of the dimensions of the cabin to ensure that you are satisfied with it's size. There is additional storage room available on board if you wish and you just need to contact staff to request it when you are on board.
Alcohol can be expensive on board due to taxes imposed.
You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are onboard and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out. It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions.
Seasonal pricing varies from winter, spring, summer and autumn. Winter; Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb & Mar is low season, and prices are good. Spring; Apr & May is a popular time and is shoulder/high season. Summer; Jun, Jul & Aug is high season with prices approx. 50% higher than in low season. Autumn; Sep & Oct is shoulder season. A voyage starting in Bergen on 01 April can be 25-30% higher than starting 31 Mar.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical Information before your Hurtigruten Voyage
Practical information before your Hurtigruten Voyage
Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable, as shown in the Hurtigruten brochure and the above detailed itinerary, carrying goods, vehicles and foot passengers between ports, by night and day, as an integral part of Norwegian daily life (some noise may be experienced during docking and loading/unloading). It may very occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail stops due to weather or other conditions. Some stops may be very short and some are at night. As Christmas approaches itineraries may change in order for ships to host dinners and celebrations for local communities. Please ensure you are back onboard by sailing time, especially if the ship has arrived late, as it may leave as scheduled to make up time.
The departure time is advertised at the gangway and vessels are NOT able to wait for passengers who are late. If you miss the ship it is your responsibility to make arrangements to rejoin the voyage at the next possible stop or return home.
This is generally available 24 hours a day serving beverages, sandwiches and a small selection of hot and cold dishes. On some departures the catering service at night will be managed by the reception staff.
If you are travelling by car further information on vehicles and parking at ports is available from Hurtigruten. Access to the vehicle deck is only permitted when the ship is moored.
We accept VISA, American Express, Eurocard, Diners Club and JBC International, plus most currencies. On board MS Lofoten and MS Nordstjernen currently only VISA and Mastercard are accepted.
We recommend that passengers acquire a cruise card to make payments on board. This may be obtained from reception onboard and used to make payments throughout the ship. They accept credit cards or cash as a deposit. You need to get the bill sorted on the last night to be sure it is finalised.
Special diets, such as vegetarian must be ordered well before departure.
All ships, except MS Lofoten have lifts and cabins for disabled guests. People with severe disabilities or who are unable to take care of themselves must be accompanied by a carer.
The ships are licensed to sell drinks onboard, however please note the price of alcohol in Norway due to heavy taxes. The water package can be included into your voyage at a small extra cost
220 V AC 2 pin, and a continental adaptor is required.
Available on all ships except MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten.
Be sure to bring some swimming attire for the jacuzzi!
All ships, except MS Lofoten, offer internet access via satellite. In most harbours, mobile/cellular networks (3G) are available if bringing your own PC and a mobile access subscription. The wireless coverage varies from ship to ship and will be improved yearly. The passengers have to contact the reception on board for information on how to get access to the internet (free of charge). No internet access in the cabins (except in some suites). Internet cafe (if present), with minimum 2 PCs.
Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set schedule, carrying vehicles, cargo and foot passengers by day and night (some noise may be noticed during docking or loading). Some stops are short and/or are during the night. It may occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail visits due to weather/local conditions, and you will be notified of this.
Most ships have laundry facilities with washing machines and tumble dryers, except MS Lofoten. Tokens may be purchased from reception.
A daily baggage service is available in Bergen from the airport and selected city-centre hotels to the Hurtigruten terminal. For groups, luggage handling must be agreed with Hurtigruten prior to travel. This in not included in the price of your voyage.
Meals are served at set times in the restaurant. In high season, times may vary if there are several sittings. A breakfast buffet (open seating) with a wide selection is served 07.30hrs -10.00hrs. A buffet lunch (open seating) with hot and cold dishes and desserts is usually served 12hrs-14.30hrs and a three course set dinner 18.30hrs-21.00hrs. In Bergen a buffet is usually served 18.30hrs-21.30hrs. Exact times are given on board. Tea and coffee facilities are only provided in cabins above U Class. Tea and coffee are available free of charge after lunch and dinner but can be purchased around the clock. Please read our news articles about dining on board Hurtigruten.
It is recommended that pets are not brought on long journeys and special rules apply to the transport of animals; contact us for further information. We do however welcome guide dogs on board.
As there are only short distances between ports there is neither a doctor nor a pharmacy on board.
Most ships have a playroom except MS Lofoten, MS Midnatsol and MS Trollfjord.
Do not forget to bring your binoculars, camera and/or a video camera. Take practical, warm and windproof clothing for going out on deck. Smart, but casual clothes are recommended on board. Good comfortable footwear is vital for excursions.
Souvenirs, knitwear, postcards, DVDs of the journey, stamps and a small supply of toiletries are sold on board.
Smoking is not permitted in cabins or public areas. It is allowed up on the open deck but prohibited at all times when the ships are in port.
For reasons of safety it may sometimes be necessary to keep cabin ventilators/port-holes obscured.
On all ships except MS Vesterålen, MS Nordstjernen and MS Lofoten.
Telephone and fax
All ships have payphones and a fax machine. There is generally good coverage for mobile phones.
There is a tour leader on board all year round. On some departures this service is managed by reception. External tour leaders (groups) are requested to contact the reception for information on practical details.
We can offer transfers in Bergen, Trondheim and Kirkenes.
There is a safe in reception. Hurtigruten accept no responsibility for valuables and money kept in cabins.
When arriving at night disembarking passengers are woken between half an hour and one hour before arrival.
Weather and climate
Temperatures usually vary between 2°C and -10°C in winter. Summer temperatures in northern Norway vary between 10°C and 30°C depending on latitude.
End of your voyage
On your final morning of your voyage, be sure to take everything with you when you go for breakfast. The ship gets prepared for the next voyage and your rooms will be cleaned promptly. You may be charged for re-entry.
Optional Activities on board your Hurtigruten voyage
You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are onboard and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out. It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions. During quieter months, some excursions may not get the numbers required so please ask us when booking about the minimum numbers needed for each excursion.
Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway
Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway:
Norway has a few items that typically surprise travellers when visiting Norway for the first time. Alcohol and luxury items are heavily taxed and therefore prices are higher than you would expect. On the other hand, necessities such as bread and milk, are taxed low and therefore are great value.
Alcohol import allowance into Norway:
We recommend that you bring all the alcohol you’re allowed to bring into the country when you arrive. There are many lovely parks and balconies where you can enjoy your duty free. However, be sure not to bring more than you’re allowed!
As of May 2014, the allowances according to Visit Norway are:
Minimum age: 18/ 20*
1 litre of beverages with more than 22% up to and including 60% alcohol per volume as well as 1½ litre with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume or three litres with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume and
2 litres of beer with more than 2.5 % or other beverages with more than 2.5% up to and including 4.7% alcohol per volume.
This means that you may for example bring with you five litres of beer provided you do not have any other alcoholic beverages with you.
*For importing alcoholic beverages with more than 22% alcohol per volume the minimum age is 20.
It’s illegal to bring extra alcohol into Norway and can end up costing you. Another thing you should bring and not buy in Norway is razor blades. Good razor blades in Norway are expensive.
Norway in a Nutshell luggage porter service
Norway in a Nutshell luggage porter service:
We include a porter service which offers a safe and secure transportation of your luggage between Oslo and Voss/Bergen (the Norway in the Nutshell component of the tour).
Please leave your luggage at the hotel reception before 6:30AM and the Porter service will then pick your luggage up and bring it to your destination hotel, where it will be available at 9:00PM the same day.
The luggage service allows you to travel between Oslo and Bergen with just a small day/overnight bag.
Please note that 1 piece of luggage per person is included unless otherwise specified.
Dressing for Norwegian winter - Hurtigruten winter voyages
Dressing for Norwegian winter
In winter, Norway becomes a picturesque world of snow and ice. As beautiful as this is, it's also incredibly cold. Here's how to dress for travel near the arctic during the coldest parts of the year:
One of the most effective ways to stay warm in cold weather is to invest in a good set of thermal underwear. This bottom layer helps trap the heat your body produces, and effectively uses your own warmth as a radiator.
When it comes to choosing long underwear, you have to give the material serious thought. Most thermal underwear is made of either wool or high-tech yarn. To be truly warm, you'll want to go for something that's designed with channels that trap your heat while also wicking away any moisture you produce. Damp clothes in the arctic is a recipe for disaster, so focus on materials that will keep you warm and dry.
Your long underwear should cover your entire torso, and your arms and legs down to your wrists and ankles. You might also find versions of this layer that include a turtle neck, which gives you an extra protected area.
These are the layers you'll have exposed when you're out of the elements - basically, this layer is your chance to show off your sense of style. Norwegian fashion is the epitome of form meets function, which means that sweaters and other knitwear make up the popular look during the cold season.
Go for choices that reflect your personality while still keeping you nice and warm. If you're a fan of skirts, make sure you've invested in a good pair of knit leggings that will keep you warm. However, it's a better bet to go for pants if you're really focused on comfort. Fleece-lined jeans are a great choice for the coldest time of year.
It might not be a bad idea to have a fashionable short-sleeved shirt between your bottom layer and this one, just in case you go into a particularly warm location. It's easy to end up overheated when you're wearing multiple insulating layers, so you'll thank yourself if you have an opportunity to shed one in a well-heated store or restaurant.
Depending on how far north you're heading, you'll want to be well-stocked in outer layers. For your upper half, wear a water and windproof shell or jacket, and then a full winter coat to wear over that. At least one of these should have a hood, but it's better if they both do.
If you're going to be trekking through lots of snow, or if you're just going to be in freezing weather for an extended period of time, you may also want to bring a layer of waterproof pants. Although you may feel awkward shedding and replacing these pants when you transition from indoors to outdoors, your legs will appreciate the extra protection.
Hands and feet
Your hands and feet are two of the most important parts of your body to protect in cold weather. Along with your ears and nose, these are the parts of your body most likely to end up with frost bite. That's why you need to have good socks, shoes and gloves when you're spending time in or near the arctic.
Wool, moisture-wicking socks are your best bet for keeping your toes warm when walking through snow and sleet. You'll also want to invest in a pair of heavy-duty snow boots. Good waterproof boots will keep your feet from getting soaked, and help you keep traction on slippery surfaces.
When it comes to your hands, you have a couple of good options. Your best bet for warmth is insulated mittens, as these trap the heat from your fingers. However, mittens aren't particularly functional. A good alternative that won't limit dexterity is a good pair of knit gloves. If you can, find a pair that will work with a touch screen. This way, you won't have to partially remove your glove if you need to make a phone call.
In addition to your coat and pants, you're going to want to pack plenty of warm accessories. Knit scarves and hats will help you protect your face and head from the chill. You'll also want to bring a warm pair of ear muffs to keep this sensitive area covered. Remember, your nose and ears are particularly at risk for developing frost bite, so you'll want to take extra care to make sure they're safe and warm.
Other Packing Tips
Consider getting a waterproof lining for your suitcase, since you'll probably be carrying it through snowy or wet conditions. If you have any electronics in your bag, these should absolutely be kept in a waterproof container for protection.
It's a good idea to bring an extra hat, scarf and piece of ear protection when you're out and about. These pieces are easy to drop - you'll appreciate having a spare on hand if your hat ends up covered in snow.
Although for most trips it's best to bring as little as possible, it's not a bad idea to err on the side of bringing too much when it comes to the arctic. You can always remove layers, but you can't add what you don't have.
_Information supplied by Hurtigruten USA. _
Restaurants to try in Oslo
Oslo restaurants, in the tradition of the New Nordic Food Movement, have the depth and sophistication you would expect from the capital city of Norway. Read our options for places to try.
In Oslo you find restaurants in all price categories and genres.
Norwegian cuisine in its traditional form is based largely on the raw materials readily available in Norway and its mountains, wilderness and coast. It differs in many respects from its continental counterparts with a stronger focus on game and fish. Many of the traditional dishes are results of using conserved materials, with respect to the long winters.
Here is a few of ourfavouritesin Oslo's wide variety of restaurants:
Lofoten Fish Restaurant, traditional and quaint with the broths and creamy fish options you would expect in Norway
Restaurant Kontrast , near Mathallen, 1 Michelin-star restaurant with a moderate price tag (pictured above)
Topp Hem, Norwegian, seasonal and local from nearby farms served as share-platters
Nedre Foss Gård - it’s an old historic farm in Oslo that is now a refurbished (after a fire in 2016) restaurant/ bar with and outdoor courtyard. Nedre Foss Gård means Lower Waterfall (Foss) Farm.
-De Fem Stuer, is located in the old wooden building from 1894 and is one of Oslo's best restaurant set in a great surrounding on top of hill overlooking Oslo
Frognerseteren Restaurant: Finstua
For less expensive restaurants, head to the Grunerlokka district. It is great place to take in the city's pulse in the city's more ethnically diverse east. In this once working-class area, the vital signs of budget Oslo are most apparent, with low-cost restaurants, second-hand clothes shops and student bars grouped around the streets Markveien and Thorvald Meyers Gate. Among them, the café bar Fru Hagen has a legion of blond locals seeking cheap eats. On a Sunday evening, when much of the city is almost deserted, Fru Hagen is heaving.
When in Oslo try these local cuisines:
Smoked Salmon or Røkt Laks
Kjøttboller - Meatballs
Krumkake - waffle-like pancake, which are then filled with whipped cream