|Nordnorge - Hurtigruten|
The Top 10 Excursions for 2011 were as follows:
- The North Cape – Hunningsvåg: A stop 1,000 feet above the Arctic Ocean
- Midnight Concert in Tromsø: A visit to the “Arctic Cathedral,” Tromsdalen Church
- The Arctic Capital Tromsø: A tour of the largest town above the Arctic Circle
- A Taste of Vesterålen: A sampling of Viking history accompanied by breathtaking scenery
- Lofoten Islands: An exploration of a region known for aquaculture, agriculture and art
- Geiranger Panorama 2: A journey up the “Eagle Road” and down the Trollstigen Road
- The Russian Border – Kirkenes: An excursion to the place where East meets West
- Breakfast at the North Cape: An early-morning adventure at the top of the world
- Glacier Adventure – Svartisen: A trip to Norway’s second largest glacier
- Trondheim and Nidaros Cathedral: A sightseeing experience in Norway’s first capital
On the top-ranking “North Cape” tour, offered on Hurtigruten’s northbound Bergen-Kirkenes sailings, guests cross the 71st parallel – something few people can claim – and take in the sub-Arctic landscape as they make their way to the North Cape Plateau. This part of the world is known as “Finnmark,” and it combines Sami, Russian and Finnish cultures. Summer visitors may see grazing reindeer and Sami camps, and winter visitors’ bus may follow a snow plow up the final eight miles to reach the plateau, which rises more than 1,000 feet above the Arctic Ocean. Once there, guests eagerly brace themselves against the winds to stand beside the iconic North Cape globe for photographic evidence that they have literally stood at the top of the world. Guests on the “Breakfast at the North Cape” tour, offered on Hurtigruten’s southbound travels, have the opportunity to greet the day in this beautiful setting. On their way back to their ship, participants meet a Sami family and their reindeer, then ultimately rejoin the ship in Hammerfest, the world’s northernmost town.
Tromsø, which is Norway’s biggest city north of the Arctic Circle, also offers excursions that are popular among voyage guests. “The Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral,” which drew nearly 20,000 guests to Tromsdalen Church in 2011, was Hurtigruten’s second best-selling excursion last year; the “Arctic Capital Tromsø” excursion, which attracted more than 18,000 participants last year, was the company’s third best-selling tour. Hurtigruten guests must be on to something, as Tromsø was recently named the top cruise destination for 2012 by Frommer’s. On the midnight concert tour, offered on southbound trips, guests enter an elegant church filled with candlelight and Norwegian folk music; on the capital tour, offered on the northbound route, guests get a grand tour of “The Paris of the North.” A highlight of this excursion is a visit to the Polaria Centre, an educational facility that features an aquarium, displays and a panorama theater. It’s a good place to learn about the Northern Lights and the polar bears and seals that are at home here in the tundra. Other excursions in Tromsø offered by Hurtigruten include opportunities to ride a dog sled, visit with 250 huskies (without sledding) or gain a better understanding of the history of polar expeditions.
Hurtigruten offers approximately 45 excursions in the 34 ports it visits on its sailings between Bergen and Kirkenes. Guests can choose activities that suit their individual interests and taste for adventure – from embarking on a glacier adventure in Svartisen or participating in a Viking feast in Stamsund-Svolvaer on the northbound route, to taking a scooter expedition in Lapland or enjoying a day of sightseeing in Bergen on the southbound route.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations – including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen – as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.
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