Our staff will respond to your query promptly and provide detailed information to your questions.
- Adventure options
9 days - Expedition team on board with special activities and hiking pass
From the fjords to the High Arctic - The essence of Norway’s appeal is remarkably simple: this is one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
Hurtigruten is expanding their Coastal Expedition Sailings concept. A total of seven ships have expedition teams on board to provide added service and expertise to your voyage. This tour is the classic 9-day voyage with Hurtigruten on one of these ships.
Begin in Bergen where you will stay in a waterfront hotel with lovely views across to the historic Bergen bryggen. After a day of sightseeing, embark on your voyage where you find the wild beauty of the Lofoten Islands and the Lyngen Alps. And there is more than wilderness: you will enjoy the atmosphere and culture of towns like Ålesund, and Tromsø – all steeped in coastal history. The voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes takes you from the 60th to the 70th latitude on a 7-day tour de force. Advancing north, a constantly changing landscape unfolds – one scenery more dramatic than the other. Kirkenes – your final destination – is right on the Russian border where you spend a night in this fascinating & remote town.
The Hurtigruten Coastal Expedition Sailings include a team of Norwegian Expedition Staff. On each day of your voyage, the expedition team will present you with fascinating talks on a wide range of topics such as glaciology, wildlife, fishing traditions, Viking history, Nordic folklore, geology, natural phenomena, and so much more. All members of the expedition team are focused on eco-friendly tourism in polar areas. They are handpicked for their local expertise and specific knowledge in relevant fields.
Our knowledgeable staff will handpick the vessel and cabin for you to include the Expedition team. These voyages also include the ability to purchase the HIKING PASS - your gateway to the Norwegian mountains during your voyage.
- Experience Norway's beautiful fjords, charming ports, and rare wildlife under the Midnight Sun or spectacular Northern Lights
- Be accompanied by an expert Expedition Team. The Expedition teams are present the 7 Coastal Hurtigruten ships along the Norwegian coast, and are included in your voyage
- Expedition with likeminded adventurers who value personal growth and exploring over luxury
- Day 1
- Arrive Bergen and transfer to your hotel
- Day 2
- Embarkation in Bergen
- Day 3
- Ålesund and Geirangerfjord
- Day 4
- Be enlightened by the Medieval Spirit - The Royal City of Trondheim
- Day 5
- Discover your inner explorer - Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands
- Day 6
- Excitement in the Arctic - Husky dogsledding, mountain hiking & kayaking.
- Day 7
- Explore the Northern Soul & Cape - Honningsvåg and the North Cape
- Day 8
- Disembark in Kirkenes
- Day 9
- Transfer to the airport
- Start Place
- Bergen, Norway tours
- End Place
- Kirkenes, Norway tours
- Country Visited
- Norway tours
- 9 Days
- Easy independent voyage suitable for singles & couples
Norwegian ferry boat
- Overnight in comfortable & central hotel in Bergen & Kirkenes (1 night pre & 1 night post voyage, superior rooms, fjord view in Bergen)
- Voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes 6 nights in a twin outside cabin with toilet & shower with the expedition team on board. Arctic Superior U package which includes the water package, an amenity set, kettle, tea & coffee making facilities and a TV.
- All meals on board the Hurtigruten ship, other meals as per itinerary
Full board includes buffet breakfasts & lunches 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.
The Expedition teams are present on the Hurtigruten ships along the Norwegian coast, and are included in your voyage. They are present every day, all year. If you want to do additional hikes with the Expedition team, this comes at an extra cost.
Day 1: Welcome on board info
Day 2: Outdoor nature life “Friluftsliv”/Fjords of Norway
Day 3: Life of Vikings
Day 4: Polar History (hunters and trappers)
Day 5: Sámi Culture
Day 6: Theme from the relevant topic menu*
Day 7: Theme from the relevant topic menu*
Day 8: Polar History
Day 9: The history of Hurtigruten
Day 10: Myths and Legends
Day 11: Topic from the relevant topic menu*
Day 12: Farewell session
Flights, travel insurance, luggage handling & optional excursions.
Day 1 - Arrive Bergen and transfer to your hotel
Arrive to Bergen and make your way to your hotel.
Enjoy an independent day in Bergen. Bergen offers many attractions and sights - many within walking distance. You can visit the popular Fish and Flower Market, the famous Bryggen Harbour with its gabled pack-houses or the old Hanseatic Quarter. You can also take ride on the funicular up to Mt. Fløien, for the best views of the city and fjords way below.
Day 2 - Embarkation in Bergen
You have another morning to explore Bergen.
Your Hurtigruten ship will sail from the Hurtigruten Terminalen, located at Nostegarten 30, 5010 Bergen. 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. 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). Left luggage lockers are available in the terminal, however, you will need local currency (Norwegian Kroner) to access them. 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 & Expedition Staff on board will assist with general information and the shore excursion programme.
Day 3 - Ålesund and Geirangerfjord
Ports visited today: Florø, Måløy, Torvik, Ålesund, Molde.
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, Hiking in Hjørundfjord, Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla and the A Taste of Norway which visits the historic Hotel Union.
Optional Add Ons
Day 4 - Be enlightened by the Medieval Spirit - The Royal City of Trondheim
Ports visited today: Kristiansund, Trondheim, 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.
Optional Add Ons
Day 5 - Discover your inner explorer - Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands
Ports visited today: Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Nesna, Ørnes, Bodø, Stamsund, Svolvær.
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 reiong. 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.
Optional Add Ons
Day 6 - Excitement in the Arctic - Husky dogsledding, mountain hiking & kayaking.
Ports visited today: Stokmarknes, Sortland, Risøyhamn, Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø, Skjervøy.
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.
Optional Add Ons
Day 7 - Explore the Northern Soul & Cape - Honningsvåg and the North Cape
Ports visited today: Øksfjord, Hammerfest, Havøysund, Honningsvåg, Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, Berlevåg.
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.
Optional Add Ons
Day 8 - Disembark in Kirkenes
Ports visited today: Båtsfjord, Berlevåg, Vardø, Vadsø, Kirkenes.
The last port on the Voyage North is Kirkenes. And at longitude 30 east, you are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The well-policed Russian border and the Kola peninsula are close by which explains why the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
Information regarding your disembarkation this morning will be provided to you onboard during your voyage. You will be kindly asked to vacate your cabin and check-out no later than 9:00am. On arrival you carry your own luggage ashore with you. Once ashore in Kirkenes, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Today can be filled with fun excursions such as a King Crab safari or visit to the informative war museum.
AccommodationThon Hotel Kirkenes
Day 9 - Transfer to the airport
Our services finish after breakfast. We can arrange a transfer to the airport if you wish.
Prices listed are FROM prices per person twin/double share. Please note the below prices are indicative only. Hurtigruten prices may fluctuate daily, so please contact us for any specials, early booking rates and/or specific prices for your preferred date of travel. Single cabin pricing available on request.
Our Scandinavian staff offer expert advice on ships, cabins and routing, as well as the best time to travel.
31 Aug 2023
This is an independent tour - with the Hurtigruten Expedition team on board the vessel providing expertise, special excursions, hiking opportunities, food tastings and ad hoc on board activities, both inside and out on deck.
If you are travelling on the Coastal Expedition Sailings, you can take advantage of the guided hiking opportunities with an option of two different Hiking Passes – your ticket to hiking heaven. This is an additional cost and not combinable with regular ship excursions.
This Pass gives you access to special hikes accompanied by your loyal expedition team. Here are some features offered by the Hiking Pass, which can be bought once onboard:
- Three hikes during winter and spring or 7 summer and 8 winter hikes.
- Guided hikes and lectures on the hike are all conducted in English
- A hiking kit is available for purchase onboard consisting of a backpack, map, water, and energy bar
- Depending on the route, hikes can last between 1.5 to 4 hours
- Most of the hikes are level 4 hikes and require a good standard of fitness.
Full Summer Hiking Pass Practical Information
- Available in ports:
- Northbound : Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø, Honningsvåg, Kirkenes
- Southbound : Svolvær and Brønnøysund
- Available period: 01 June - 31 October
- Duration: from 1- 4 hours depending on port
- Level: 4
- Transportation: Included where needed
- Meals on the trip: Hot and cold drinks, sometimes snack
- Clothes/Footwear: Comfortable shoes and warm clothing
- Note: Some of the hikes are physical demanding, so a general good physical condition is required. The terrain will be variable, sometimes slippery and uneven.
- The outdoor activity will be adapted due to weather conditions, seasons and physical level of the participants. All outdoor activities are subject to local weather/ice and snow conditions. Contact the Expedition Leader on board for more information.
- Hiking poles are complementary if you have a full hiking pass.
Full Winter Walking Pass Practical Information
- Available in ports:
- Northbound: Ålesund, Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø, Honningsvåg, Kirkenes
- Southbound: Svolvær and Brønnøysund
- Available period: 01 November - 31 May
- Duration: from 1- 4 hours depending on port
- Level: 3-4
- Transportation: Included where needed
- Meals on the trip: Hot and cold drinks, sometimes snack
- Note: Some of the hikes are physical demanding, so a general good physical condition is required. The terrain will be variable, sometimes slippery and uneven.The outdoor activity will be adapted due to weather conditions, seasons and physical level of the participants
- All outdoor activities are subject to local weather/ice and snow conditions. Contact the Expedition Leader on board for more information.
- Hiking poles are complementary if you have a full hiking pass
It is also possible to buy single hikes on board, but this is subject to availability.
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. There are restrictions on how much you can take on board - similiar to what you can bring into Norway through customs.
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.
Just remember that when you are travelling along the coast on the Hurtigruten, you are joining a piece of history and practical everyday life in terms of the boats still operating to support the local vicinities they visit: locals bringing their cars home, post being delivered and supplies being dropped off and collected. When the boats stop for a few hours it is not just to let you have a stroll around the local World Heritage Site.
Interactive Tour Map
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 Norwegian Coastal Voyage
Norwegian coastal ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable, and a set 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.
Ships generally accept VISA, American Express, Eurocard, Diners Club and JBC International, plus most currencies.
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 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.
Be sure to bring some swimming attire for the jacuzzi!
All ships 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.
Kystruten 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. 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 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.
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. Ships 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.
Dressing for Norwegian winter - Norwegian coastal winter voyages
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. _