The Onboard Experience
Comfortably explore new cultures, ecosystems and historic sites with Hurtigruten. With a mission to bring guests closer to nature, wildlife and local communities, Hurtigruten offers unforgettable trips to extraordinary destinations.
Over 120 Years of Experience
In 1893, Captain Richard With's steamer, DS Vesteraalen, was brought into regular service along the coast of Norway, and Hurtigruten was established. The service offered several weekly departures, first from Trondheim to Hammerfest and later from Bergen to Kirkenes in only seven days. He called this important connection "Hurtigruten," meaning "the fast route."
Over 120 years later, the company still travels this route. Today, Hurtigruten ships are a part of Norwegian coastal life, with one of the fleet's ships departing Bergen daily and sailing to Kirkenes and back in 12 days. In recent years, Hurtigruten has extended its expedition cruising program, venturing to destinations like Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and more.
Hurtigruten's fleet is made up of 12 ships. The MS Finnmarken, MS Midnatsol and MS Trollfjord are part of the "Millennium Class" and were built between 2002 and 2003. These ships are the largest and most modern of the fleet, each carrying over 650 passengers. They boast amenities such as Jacuzzis, swimming pools, saunas, fitness centers, Internet cafes and libraries.
Six "Contemporary Class" ships were built between 1993 and 1997: MS Kong Harald, MS Richard With, MS Nordly, MS Polarys, MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge. These ships carry an average of 460 passengers. The MS Nordkapp, MS Nordnorge and MS Richard With feature Jacuzzis on board, and all six ships have a fitness center, sauna and library.
The MS Lofoten and MS Vesteralen are "Traditional Ships" and are Hurtigruten's oldest active ships. The MS Lofoten was built in 1964 and refurbished in 2003 while the MS Vesteralen was built in 1983 and refurbished in 1995. Although these ships have limited amenities, many guests enjoy their nostalgic quality and intimate atmosphere.
In 2007, Hurtigruten introduced MS Fram, an expedition ship designed for sailing in polar waters. On board, guests will find Jacuzzis, sundecks, a sauna, fitness center and Internet cafe.
Days of Discovery and Relaxation
Unlike traditional cruises, there is no commercial entertainment on board, as Hurtigruten prefers to let nature's beauty be the star attraction. The emphasis is on discovery and relaxation in a welcoming environment, allowing you to share new experiences with fellow like-minded travelers.
Interesting onboard activities, demonstrations and presentations are offered seasonally on Norway trips. These activities, which take place both inside the vessel and on deck, are relevant to the season. In the winter, for example, you might enjoy a lecture on the Northern Lights phenomenon.
Experienced naturalists travel with you aboard the MS Fram. These experts lead discussions on topics such as biology, history and geology throughout your journey.
Each Hurtigruten ship features an observation lounge where you'll find large panoramic windows, ample comfortable seats and even a pair of binoculars so you can view the changing landscape and wildlife. Most ships also have multiple bars and lounges. Occasionally there may be some musical entertainment in the evenings.
A journey with Hurtigruten is not only a feast for your visual senses, but also a mouth-watering experience for your palate. You'll enjoy fresh coastal flavors aboard all Hurtigruten ships. The onboard cuisine for Norwegian coastal voyages is inspired by the traditional dishes available in the regions and ports visited. You might have venison medallions in Kirkenes or a classic fish soup in Trondheim. Meals are prepared by experienced Norwegian chefs who offer an impressive range of traditional fare and modern fusions.
Guests traveling aboard the MS Fram will enjoy delicious meals at the ship's restaurant, Imaq. Menus change with the seasons.
Norway's Seasonal Experiences
No matter what season you sail with Hurtigruten, you're guaranteed a memorable journey set against a backdrop of impressive views. But your vacation experience will be drastically different depending on when you travel. Watch as sunlight returns to Norway's shores and rejuvenates life along the coast in springtime, or discover 24-hour daylight above the Arctic Circle during summer. As summer fades into fall, see the coastline shift colors as vibrant reds and yellows fill the mountains, hilltops and woods. Norway's winter brings crisp air, a blanket of snow and the magical Northern Lights.