Havila Voyage Handy Hints
Our 'helpful hints' guide to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage with Havila. Many of our Scandinavian staff have travelled on a coastal voyage and offer detailed explanations to how it works on-board.
Our staff will respond to your query promptly and provide detailed information to your questions.
7 days - "Kystruten" voyage up the coast of Norway
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.
This 7-day voyage begins in Bergen and calls at all 34 ports as you make your fascinating journey north. After crossing the Arctic Circle, you'll notice the landscape change to suit the cooler climate before reaching your final destination, Kirkenes, a remote outpost of Northern Europe next to the Russian border. With daily departures from Bergen year round and eleven vessels to choose from there will be a Norwegian Coastal cruise to suit your taste, ensuring a unique and memorable experience.
Norwegian Coastal Voyage
Click here to see the Hurtigruten fleet - Norwegian Coastal Voyages
Click here to see the Havila fleet - Norwegian Coastal Voyages
Click here to see the Havila fleet - Deckplans and sailing schedule
All prices are for your voyage only, based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin cabin. Your Voyage Price Includes: Voyage in a cabin grade of your choice including all meals.
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.
Flights, travel insurance, luggage handling and optional excursions.
Welcome to Bergen, once the bustling trading centre of the Hanseatic League in the North. Bergen is the perfect strolling town and a free detailed guide of Bergen is available from the Tourist Office centrally located on Fisketorget. As you explore the historical centre of Bergen 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 want to explore the historical area around the harbour known as the Bryggen district and Troldhaugen- the home of famous composer Edvard Grieg as well as a trip on the Fløibanen funicular. Be sure to also visit the new Bergen Fish Market- a fantastic modern architecturally designed building.
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
Havila's representative service in Norway is based in Fosnavåg and can be contacted on their 24 Hour emergency number
Getting to your ship:
Your ship will sail from the Hurtigruten Terminalen, located at Nostegarten 30, 5010 Bergen. Telephone +47 5554 3631. Please ask us about the 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).
Should you arrive early to the terminal, you are free to explore Bergen independently until embarkation time. Lockers are available in the terminal, however you will need local currency to access. 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.
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 UNESCO-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are regular flights connecting Kirkenes to most major cities in Norway. Be sure to consider a longer stay in Kirkenes with a King Crab safari and a visit to the informative war museum.
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 there may be a number of buses and other transport on the pier.
If you have a transfer arranged, please take a moment to orientate yourself and ensure you locate the correct vehicle. Taxis are also readily available to get you to your next destination.
Arriving into Kirkenes, after sailing Bokfjorden, perhaps the first sight you’ll notice are the Russian ships moored at quayside, which is a sign of the most important commercial basis of the area – shipyard services and other commercial trade with North West Russia. Kirkenes and the surrounding settlements is home to approx. 5,000 inhabitants. A short 15 minutes away from the town centre is the Russian border, and only 40kms away you could take a train on the Russian Railway network, where you could journey all the way to Vladivostok on the Northern Pacific coast. It is less than 2km from the ship into downtown Kirkenes. Kirkenes airport is 14km outside of town.
This trip can be combined with the Arctic Snowfun in Northern Norway during the Winter, staying at the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes.
The Coastal Cruise price fluctuates daily depending on demand and so this price can only be indicative as we will need to price based on your day of travel. PLEASE NOTE: This is a FROM price and will not apply during the high season (May to September). Any available cruise discounts will be applied to your personal request.
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.
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 of Norway doing the "Kystruten Route", 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.
Our 'helpful hints' guide to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage with Havila. Many of our Scandinavian staff have travelled on a coastal voyage and offer detailed explanations to how it works on-board.
Our 'helpful hints' guide to your Norwegian Coastal Voyage with Hurtigruten. Many of our Scandinavian staff have travelled on a coastal voyage and offer detailed explanations to how it works on-board.
See the warm and magical light of the midnight sun north of the Arctic Circle. It allows you to go sailing, cruising or hiking no matter how late or early it is.
If you want to commit to a booking please use the Book Tour form below.
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.
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/
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.
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. _