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M/S Kong Harald photo LEFT: The Hurtigruten ship Kong Harald, built in 1993, has 490 berths and 50 car spaces.


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Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Hurtigruten route map

Hurtigruten's coastal voyage starts in Bergen, Norway at 8 p.m. (summer) or 10:30 p.m. (winter). Over the next seven days, it stops at 34 ports, including "The Blue City" of Sortland and such well-known towns as Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø, and Hammerfest (which claims to be the northernmost town--as opposed to village--in the world). The final stop, the port and mining town of Kirkenes, is around the northern tip of Norway, close to the Russian border.

The ship then retraces its route to Bergen. Ports that were visited at night on the northbound voyage are daytime calls in the southbound direction, which means you can see all 34 ports during a roundtrip cruise without losing any sleep.

Port calls vary in length from 30 minutes or less to several hours. In summer, Hurtigruten offers shore excursions that last up to seven hours. (You leave the ship, board a bus, and join the vessel later at another port.)

If you don't have the time or money for a roundtrip cruise, you can buy a 7-day northbound or 6-day southbound voyage. The airport at Kirkenes, the northern terminus for Hurtigruten, offers flight connections to various cities (including Oslo), and a catamaran ferry will take you to the nearby Russian port of Murmansk.

Other Hurtigruten routes

In addition to the traditional Northern Cape route, Hurtigruten offers adventure and expedition cruises to Spitsbergen, Greenland, and the Antarctic. Click the Hurtigruten link on this article's Web links page for more information.

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