Expedition Cruise from the Northern Lights to Dover
- Explore the rarely visited islands and the villages of Senja, Mosterøy, and Kalvåg
- Sail above the Arctic Circle for the chance to see Norway’s Northern Lights
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
- Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
- Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research
- The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
- The ship has hot tubs, a panoramic sauna, and outdoor and indoor gyms
- Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations
- Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
- Trekking poles and head lamps available, if necessary
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings
- International flights
- Travel protection
- Baggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
- Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
- All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities are expected
Gateway to the Arctic - Tromsø, Norway
Welcome to your winter adventure to Dover, starting in Tromsø. The modern Arctic Cathedral is one of the most striking landmarks in Tromsø, especially when lit up at night. It features an attractive and massive stained-glass window that is worth seeing up close.
Historically, Tromsø was a frontier town visited mostly by hunters and explorers. It also served as a launching point for several Arctic expeditions. Today, the city has been called the ‘Paris of the North’, given its international and cultural diversity.
Once you board the ship, pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, and settle into your cabin. Feel free to explore the ship before attending a mandatory safety drill. After the first of many sumptuous dinners and a welcome toast by the captain, you’ll meet your expert Expedition Team.
They’ll be your knowledgeable lecturers, warm hosts, and good-natured guides throughout your journey. Many of them grew up and live in the places you’ll visit, and they are passionate about sharing their homes with you.
But first and foremost, they’ll keep you safe and sound. Their first priority will be to run through important health and safety information with you and your shipmates.
Sailing north toward the North Cape, spending time out on the deck will give you the best chances at seeing the magical Northern Lights. Since you’ll be above the Arctic Circle during wintertime, you’ll experience the phenomenon of the Polar Night. This means more opportunities for the Aurora to appear in the night sky.
It’s not complete darkness, though—you’ll be one of the few to experience the very atmospheric and romantic ‘blue hour’. This extended twilight can last several hours. As the winter sun glows just below the horizon, it bathes Norway’s fjords and mountains in a dreamy cobalt-blue light.
At Europe’s edge - Honningsvåg, Norway
We will begin the day at the hamlet of Honningsvåg. An included excursion here will bring you to one of the northernmost points in Europe.
The scenic bus ride from Honningsvåg brings you past small bays and tiny villages, then crosses a mountain plateau before arriving at the spectacular North Cape. At 71°10’21´N, it is just 1,300 miles away from the Geographic North Pole, with only the Svalbard Archipelago in between.
Stand at the cliff’s edge and gaze across the sea—the North Cape is likely the closest you’ll ever get to the top of the world. Take the mandatory selfie at the Globe Monument before visiting the North Cape Hall for several exhibits and a short film that chronicles the cape’s history. Back in Honningsvåg, stroll along the harbor and browse its charming shops, houses, and church. Like many towns in northern Norway, fishing is the primary industry and source of livelihood here. Local restaurants offer fresh fish and seafood, with king crab available all year round. This is the ship’s turning point—from here, we begin our southbound journey.
The City of the Northern Lights - Alta, Norway
Alta lies at 70 degrees north—well above the Arctic Circle. This is one of the northernmost towns in the world, with a population over 10,000. It’s the biggest city in the vast wilderness of Troms and Finnmark County, making it the perfect destination for winter activities.
We’ll arrive here early in the morning and stay until tomorrow afternoon. The town is directly beneath the Auroral Oval, a zone known for consistent Northern Lights activity. If the sky isn’t overcast and the conditions are right, get ready for nature’s most spectacular show...
You’ll learn more about the Aurora at the modern Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta, located at the end of a charming pedestrian street. This titanium-clad building and its spiral belfry dominate the skyline here. It’s even more impressive when illuminated at night.
An interactive exhibition in this cathedral chronicles how Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland established Alta as the epicenter for groundbreaking Northern Lights research in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll also be treated to a classical music concert in the cathedral as part of your visit.
The following day will show you that visiting Alta includes much more than just hunting for the Northern Lights. Alta is also home to several dog-sledding teams, some of which compete in the biggest races in the world. You can even visit one of the teams on an optional excursion. Other optional excursions include taking a snowmobile tour or mountain hike, or riding a snow-equipped fat bike in the hills around Alta.
Troms and Finnmark County form part of the traditional territory of the indigenous Sámi people, whose livelihoods still revolve around semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Not far from Alta is Máze, a Sámi village located along the Kautokeino River, which you can visit to experience Sámi culture and food as part of an optional excursion.
When more snow falls and deep winter arrives, Alta is prime territory for visits to ice hotels, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. The ice hotel in Sorrisniva, for example, has a new design every year and is open to visitors for tours. You can also join optional excursions to go snowshoeing and hiking in the incredible tundra wilderness.
Microcosm of Norway - Senja, Norway
Today we dock at Senja, one of the most ruggedly beautiful and rarely-visited islands in Norway. This scenery will leave you awestruck and you’ll understand why it made CNN Travel’s list of ’10 of the world’s most beautiful islands’.
The captain will find a location to drop anchor at one the ports, if possible, weather permitting. Should weather conditions be rough, we might move to Finnsnes. Either way, you’re sure to have a great day exploring.
Senja is Norway’s second-biggest island, with fewer than 8,000 inhabitants, most of whom work in the fishing and aquaculture industries. The captain will decide where to drop anchor or which port where we can dock. Should weather be rough on the coastal side, we’ll seek a bit more shelter in a bay or inlet.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Norway in miniature’, the island’s diverse landscapes seem to change in the blink of an eye. Senja’s northern coastline features lofty mountains that plummet straight into the sea, with isolated coves and sandy beaches along crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Southern Senja boasts a rocky coastline and pine forests, and is home to Ånderdalen National Park. Senja’s eastern side has gentler, more forgiving landscapes, with rolling hills and birch forests.
Idyllic island life - Reine, Norway
In the morning, we’ll dock at the picture-perfect fishing village of Reine, tucked into the Lofoten Islands. This is where red-painted rorbuer (traditional fishermen’s houses), covered in snow, cling to the coastline beneath sharp granite mountain ranges. The nearly 1,500-foot-tall Reinebringen is one of the most distinctive peaks and is especially dramatic with a dusting of snow.
This combination of setting and color makes Reine one of the most photographed landscapes in all of Norway. Cross your fingers that the Northern Lights are active above the village, which would be the cherry on top of this little slice of paradise.
After marveling at the scenery and the pretty town of Reine, you’ll move to today’s included activity. A 30-minute bus ride will take you to Å, one of the best-preserved traditional fishing villages in Norway.
The Norwegian Fishing Village Museum sits at the heart of this tiny village, and covers fishing’s importance and the development of fishing in Lofoten over the past 250 years. Exploring at your leisure, you’ll soon discover that the village is the museum and the museum is the village.
Later, we’ll return to Reine, where you can join optional excursions to hike with the Expedition Team or even try some winter kayaking. These views here will make these options tempting. Then rejoin the ship and marvel at the surrounding scenery, which is spellbinding whether it is bathed in the Northern Lights or not.
Scenic nature and mythical mountains - At sea
Spend time in the ship’s lounge today, soak in a hot tub, or step out on deck. Whatever you do, don’t take your eyes off the scenery as we sail through Helgeland County, noteworthy for its jagged, pointed mountains and thousands of islands.
Count the peaks of the Seven Sisters mountain range, long fabled to be the petrified bodies of seven troll sisters caught out at sunrise. Let the Torghatten Mountain amaze you, with its distinct hole right through the middle. Local legend has it that the mountain was a hat worn by a troll king, which turned to stone when it was pierced by an arrow.
The Expedition Team will continue their onboard lectures, ranging from local folklore and fairy tales to the history of navigation, from lighthouses to satellites, along the coast. You might also learn about the concept of friluftsliv, the quintessentially Norwegian love of the outdoors. You can also pick up tips from the professional onboard expedition photographer about how best to capture the Northern Lights when they appear.
From the fjord to the mountaintop - Loen, Norway
Start the day with a scenic cruise into the Nordfjord. Early in the morning, we’ll pass by Hornelen, Europe’s highest sea cliff. The fjord runs off from Jostedalsbreen, the Jostedal Glacier, Europe's largest mainland glacier, and flows west into the ocean just south of the Stadlandet Peninsula.
As you might expect, today’s lectures center on Norway’s geology, including the formation of its fjords, mountains, and glaciers. You might also learn more about the Vikings who used to inhabit the region; their thirst for exploration still beats in the hearts of Norwegians today.
You’ll spot numerous old fishing communities located along the fjord that actually date back to pre-Viking times. One such place is Loen, and we expect to dock there around noon. At the very heart of the Nordfjord, in the shadow of the mighty Jostedal Glacier, Loen is the perfect place to explore this gorgeous area.
We’ll use our small boats (RIBs) to land on a floating jetty, the starting point for the Loen Skylift. The cable car climbs over 3,300 feet, in just five minutes, to the top of Mount Hoven. At the summit, you’ll be treated to unforgettable views over the fjord. Gaze at Mount Skåla and Lake Lo to the east, with the Jostedal Glacier and Olden to the south.
With this scenery as your backdrop, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in one of several optional winter activities on the mountain, such as snowshoeing or sledding. Time- and weather-permitting, you might also have an opportunity to do some exciting winter kayaking on the fjord.
The hidden ‘Frozen Bay’ - Kalvåg, Norway
After breakfast, we’ll say hello to the little fishing village of Kalvåg, situated far up the coastline with the open North Sea to the west. Its name literally means ‘Frozen Bay’ in Old Norse. As its name implies, it isn’t always possible for our ships to land here. This will depend on the local weather and sea conditions at the time.
If you come ashore here, you’ll discover one of the best kept secrets of the Norwegian coast. No other expedition ships visit Kalvåg, so you’ll experience an authentic slice-of-life community who will likely be thrilled to have visitors.
Our captains have sailed these waters as part of our traditional Norwegian coastal voyages for decades, and always wished there was time to stop and show you more of this charming village. We’ve listened to their expert recommendation and that’s exactly what you’ll do on this expedition cruise.
Admire an open-air art exhibition and walk around Kalvåg’s collection of old waterfront buildings, ranging from restored wooden wharfs to warehouses for salting herring. Cozy-looking houses are clustered around the bay, with the reflections of their lights shimmering off the waters like candles. The wonderful winter atmosphere is even more captivating if the village is coated with a blanket of snow.
Exploring Norwegian heritage - Mosterøy, Norway
Your final day of exploration begins with Mosterøy and Klosterøy in the morning, two of the many islands located around the city of Stavanger. The islands are relatively exposed to the sea, so landing ashore here will depend on the waves and wind conditions.
Mosterøy is a lovely island, made up of a mixture of cattle pastures, horticulture, and cute neighborhoods. To the west of the island is Fjøløy fort, a small coastal battery built by the German army in 1941 during World War II.
Klosterøy measures less than one square mile, but is home to the historic Utstein Abbey and Utstein Church, more than 800 years old. The abbey is Norway’s best-preserved medieval monastery, sitting among beautiful surroundings. Parts of the monastery are hired out as a venue for concerts, seminars, and conventions. On arrival, you might just be greeted by guides in medieval costume.
The islands are connected by bridges and tunnels and all roads here lead to the city of Stavanger on the mainland.
This is the oil and energy capital of Norway, an international, cosmopolitan city that is as hip as it is historic.
Learn more about Norway’s off-shore wealth on an optional excursion to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. It’s possibly the only one of its kind in all of Europe and built as a replica of an oil platform.
Few places in Norway have embraced the culinary scene as well as Stavanger. Stavanger’s two Michelin-star restaurants have helped earn it the nickname of ‘The Food Pantry of Norway’. You can stroll down Øvre Holmgate and peek at the cafés, pubs, restaurants, and boutique stores.
Modernity may thrive in the avant garde gastronomy and Scandi street art, but the city’s proud history is never far from sight. Take a walk around the Gamle Stavanger neighborhood, which features 170 of Europe’s best-preserved wooden houses from the 18th century. You can also see Norway’s oldest domkirke (cathedral), constructed in Anglo-Norman style around 1125 A.D. by an English bishop and virtually unchanged since the 1300s.
Headed for the U.K. - At sea
The end of your expedition is on the horizon. By this stage of your journey, you’ll likely regard your fellow explorers as friends, after finding so much in common in your interests and passion for nature.
Chat with your shipmates over a snack at the bistro-style Fredheim restaurant and share your favorite stories from the expedition so far. Enjoy drinks at the Explorer Bar over friendly banter and share stories of past adventures. You might even spot a few members of the crew and Expedition Team here too.
If you’d rather spend this last day at sea in quiet contemplation, just check out your camera roll—you’ll hopefully have multiple images of the Northern Lights to sift through. Or head to the gym to clear your mind and take stock of everything you’ve seen and experienced, then relax one last time in the soothing sauna.
The White Cliffs of England - Dover, U.K.
We pass the White Cliffs of Dover in the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbor. After a final breakfast on the ship, the time has come to bid a fond farewell to the ship, the captain, the crew, the Expedition Team, and your new-found friends. As for us, we look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon!
As you head ashore, you’ll take with you special memories of Norway in winter: beautiful fjords, fascinating towns and cities, friendly people, and the magical Northern Lights.
Dover is the gateway to the English countryside, the lush counties of Kent and Surrey, and beyond that, the melting pot of London. Before you head out of the area, Dover itself has a number of attractions you won’t want to miss.
No trip here is complete without walking alongside or atop the iconic white cliffs that have become a symbol for England. One of the best places for that is St. Margaret’s Bay, offering great views of the chalky coastline from its wide shingle beach.
Consider visiting Dover Castle, said to be the largest castle in England. There is also a rare Roman lighthouse here, one of only three in the world and reputedly the U.K.’s oldest building. You can also take a tour of the underground hospital and secret World War II tunnels that run beneath the castle complex.
Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure!