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Few places on earth can compare to the Norwegian coastline for sheer drama and natural beauty.
Few places on earth can compare to the Norwegian coastline for sheer drama and natural beauty. And no other cruise line knows that coast better than Hurtigruten, the Norwegian company that has been sailing the waters around Scandinavia for more than 120 years.
Hurtigruten offers something that no other cruise line can. Passengers on these ships become part of the working life of the ports that each of the ships visit. As well as passengers seeking adventure and discovery, the ships carry cargo to each port - few of which are ever visited by other cruise liners.
These 12 small working coastal ships cruise around the spectacular coastline of the breathtakingly beautiful fjords, and round the Russian border to north of the Arctic Circle. For a cruise with stunning scenery, there is no better choice than Hurtigruten.
Classic cruises travel north or south along the expansive Norwegian coastline between Oslo and Bergen. A total of seven ports are visited on the five night cruise, including Hammerfest, the world's northernmost town and the Vesteralen and Lofoten Islands. Other Norwegian cruises sail between Bergen and Trondheim or Kirkenes, close to the Russian border.
For those who favour warmer waters, an October cruise takes passengers south from Bergen to Gran Canaria. A transatlantic cruise follows between the Canary Islands and Buenos Aires. In the southern hemisphere, explorers can count on Hurtigruten's expertise to guarantee an amazing Antarctic adventure.
Cruises to the Antarctic last between 14 and 23 days with nine and 18 nights spent on board. Itineraries include ‘Land of the Penguins’, which spends a night in Buenos Aires before flying south to Ushuaia in Argentina to board the ship and sail to the islands of the Antarctic. The dramatic landscapes are matched only by the myriad of wildlife on view, from chinstrap penguins to petrels and albatrosses. The ship returns to Argentina for the flight home after another night in Buenos Aires.
All of the ships in the Hurtigruten fleet were built in the 1990s or the new millennium and a manned by a Norwegian crew. They are all classed as very small or small, with between 200 and 300 cabins and capacity for a maximum of 1,000 passengers. Typically cabins are small but comfortable with one berth and a sofa bed and TV. Bathrooms are equipped with a shower and toilet.
These are working ships, not cruise ships, meaning that passengers can immerse themselves in a way of life that has changed little over the decades. As such, none of the ships have a cinema, a casino or an entertainment lounge, but what could compare to the spectacular show that nature is putting on outside?
Relaxation and sightseeing are the entertainments on offer here. Nonetheless the ships are noted for their well-appointed interiors and panoramic lounges that make the most of the unspoilt scenery the ships sail through. Some of the latest additions to the fleet have two jacuzzis on the sun deck, a male and female solarium and sauna, a massage room, plus a basic fitness room.
On a Hurtigruten ship, the inclusive meals are served in the single restaurant and the cuisine is Norwegian. In addition, each boat has one or two cafés where snacks and drinks can be bought at an extra charge. Lunches are a cold table selection while dinners are served from a set menu. There's no need to pack a penguin suit on your Antarctic voyage – the dress code is informal on Hurtigruten ships and most guests favour a smart causal look at dinner to formal wear.
Hurtigruten offers cruises with a difference for explorers who are hungry to see wildlife and dramatic scenery that no other line can offer. There is no better choice to explore Norway's rugged coastline and experience at first hand the working lives of some of the most remote communities in Europe. Hurtigruten has carved a niche as a specialist in the Polar Regions with the chance to see the amazing wildlife of the Antarctic.
Closer to home, the line can offer some insight into our own islands and even make for the warmer waters of the Mediterranean to guarantee an authentic packed with variations in landscape, climate and natural beauty.