Hurtigruten, the award-winning exploration-oriented cruise line, is offering two fjord-focused sailings in 2015. This pair of Norwegian Fjords ‘Explorer Voyages’ in 2015 has the same aim – to exceed expectations, and Hurtigruten has early booking savings of 25% for this unique experience. The 10-day ‘The Norwegian Fjords,’ departing May 1, and the 12-day ‘Fjord Highlights & Viking Trail,’ departing May 12, visit Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, Sognefjord and Nordfjord. Wildlife sightings range from dozens of bird species to the reindeer that roam the hills, while optional excursions include the spectacular 20-kilometer Flåmsbana railway between Flåm and Myrdal, one of the steepest railway tracks in the world, and dog-sledging on a glacier outside the town of Eidfjord. Early booking rates range from $3,151 to $9,388 per person, double, with the higher pricing for suites.
Sailing from Dover, England, ‘The Norwegian Fjords’ includes Lysefjord, home to the 2,000-foot tall, flat mountain plateau known as Preikestolen, and Stavanger, Norway’s fourth largest city and the center of the North Sea oil industry; Hardangerfjord, and its Vøringfossen waterfall; and Sognefjord. Optional excursions include an exploration of the 1,000-year-old town of Skudeneshavn, rich in Viking history, hiking the old Postal Route of Nærøyfjord and learning about the shipbuilding history of Rosendal where Gjøa, the first ship to transit the Northwest Passage, was built. Early booking fares start at $3,151 per person, double occupancy.
‘Fjord Highlights & The Viking Trail’ combines the natural scenery and the seaside villages of Norway’s fjords with the wild beauty and charm of the Shetland and Faroe Islands. Setting sail from Bergen, the 318-passenger Fram enters the world’s third largest fjord, Hardangerfjord, and explores several of its arms including Eidfjord and Ulvikfjord. Sognefjord is next with some of Norway’s best landscapes and one of the world’s oldest stave churches, Undredal, built in 1147.
Norway’s National Day is spent celebrating with the 500 inhabitants of Olden in Nordfjord while a day each is offered in the Shetlands’ main port of Lerwick; Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands; and the Faroe Islands’ Tórshavn, one of the world’s smallest capitals. The trip ends in Iceland’s Reykjavik. Numerous excursions are offered including one that visits an expedition leader’s private boat house where visitors learn how her grandfather made his living as a fisherman. Early booking fares start at $4,000 per person, double occupancy.