Thursday, May 24, 2012

Norway's Hurtigruten Prepares to Celebrate 120th Anniversary

Hurtigruten's Nordnorge is a typical Norewgian Coastal cruiser
Hurtigruten's Nordnorge is a typical Norewgian Coastal cruiser
Hurtigruten is commemorating the 120th anniversary of its six to 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyages – long known by the epithet bestowed by Lonely Planet -- “The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage” -- with enhanced offerings focusing on music, culture and culinary and detailed in a new 2013 Norway Brochure.  A staple of Norwegian culture since 1893, Hurtigruten’s fleet of modern ships offers a unique glimpse into Norwegian culture as they transport guests and locals alike along Norway’s spectacular west coast, stopping at 34 ports of call between the cultural center of Bergen and Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle.

    The new brochure details the extraordinary voyage and land opportunities available in 2013 – local culinary specialties, Viking history and myth, the Midnight Sun, the Northern Lights, stunning fjords and rare glimpses of wildlife, to name a few – as well as an exciting array of more than 45 optional excursions to help personalize the voyage for each guest.  Travelers booking by Sept. 30, 2012 are rewarded with an early booking discount of up to 25%; some limitations may apply.  Members of the 1893 Ambassador Club, a free loyalty club for guests who have sailed a minimum of three nights on any Hurtigruten ship in the past, receive a 5% discount on the voyage fare as well as a range of other exclusive benefits.

    Hurtigruten presents guests with an ever-changing landscape of small fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands; Art Nouveau Ålesund, the medieval Viking capital of Trondheim; and Norway's "Paris of the North," Tromsø.  A diverse array of optional excursions provides opportunities for customization of the experience, offering an ever deeper understanding of Norwegian culture.  Options for 2013 include a trip to the breathtaking Geiranger Fjord – a UNESCO World Heritage Site praised by National Geographic – featuring cascading waterfalls, emerald waters and panoramic views of Ålesund; a journey across the 71st parallel to the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe and home to grazing reindeer and the indigenous Sami people; and the Lofotr Viking Feast, which immerses guests in Viking culture with a visit to the Viking museum and a real Viking feast, complete with home-brewed mead.  Guests are encouraged to book optional excursions prior to departure as space can be limited.

    For those seeking to combine other travel plans with a Hurtigruten sailing, the recently added port-to-port pricing allows visitors of Norway to create a truly customized vacation experience, choosing the number of days they wish to sail and between what ports.

    Sailing aboard Hurtigruten ships means large, comfortable lounges with panoramic windows and wonderful views from large outdoor decks; open seating for most meals; authentic Norwegian cuisine designed with fresh seasonal ingredients and incredible seafood, complemented by a comprehensive wine list; multilingual tour directors; a range of comfortable cabin choices that includes large suites, some with private balconies; and a friendly and well-informed crew, ready to offer assistance and learned suggestions.

    Fares subject to availability and include accommodation in cabin grade of choice; full board; a selection of complimentary items onboard for suites; International flights, optional excursions, fuel surcharges are additional.

Membership in the 1893 Ambassador Club loyalty is free of charge and its included discounts are for the cruise component only.  Guest who have already cruised can join by visiting or calling 877-301-3059; new travelers can join the program while onboard their voyage or after returning home.

    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 and fall.  The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, carrying 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.

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