North Norway, Aurora Borealis, Hike, and Sail

An Arctic Expedition aboard the Rembrandt van Rijn

Overview

The northern Norway coastline is renowned for its spectacular beauty, a forested terrain contoured with rugged mountains and vast blue fjords—and it’s not just during the summer months that Norway shows off its splendors. In winter and early spring, mountains are capped with snow, the ground is laced with frost, and the sun hangs low in the sky, giving the landscape an ethereal glow and creating dramatically colorful sunrises and sunsets. This journey aboard a classic sailing schooner brings you north of the Arctic Circle to steep mountain ridges and remote islands where you’ll lace up your boots (and strap on snowshoes when necessary!) for incredible days of hiking and magical nights beneath the northern lights. On daily adventures by land and sea, enjoy the company of experienced guides who will plan routes according to your desired level of activity and share their insights of this northerly wonderland all along the way.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1
Tromso, Norway, "Paris of the North"

Your adventure begins in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” and located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age. Board your sailing vessel in the evening, and cruise through Grøtsundet and Ullsfjorden toward the northeast, keeping an eye out for white-tailed eagles and other wildlife.

Day 2
Lighting out toward Lyngen

Sail to the Nord-Lenangen fjord, just under Lyngsfjella (Lyngen Alps), where you’ll anchor for the night if conditions permit. If the sky is clear and the weather conditions allow for it, enjoy an evening walk along the coast where you’ll likely catch your first glimpse of the majestic northern lights.

Days 3-6
Into the Nordic Fjords

The ship will sail along the base of the Lyngen Alps, across the Lyngen fjord. In true expedition style, weather and ocean conditions will dictate landings and shore excursions. One possible anchorage is in Hamnnes, on the island of Uløya. Hamnnes is an ancient trading and fishing settlement that originated in the 17th century. (In fact, the town still exports this cod for the traditional Mediterranean dish, Bacalhau.) Uløya offers excellent hiking, often on snowshoes.

From Hamnnes, sail farther northeast into the Kvaenangen Fjord. In the afternoon, the captain will locate a harbor to anchor in for the night in one of the scenic fishing villages, such as Skjervøy, Seglvik, Reinfjord, or Burfjord. There are several great hiking possibilities in the area. On the island of Spildra, you might climb the 240-meter-high (788 feet) Staurhammaren, and enjoy panoramic vistas over the fjord. There are also great hiking options in Burfjord, just 50 km (31 miles) from the northerly town of Alta. During the evenings and nights, you’ll watch for the auroras when skies are clear.

Days 7-8
Below the Northern Lights

Heading back toward the southwest, the ship will anchor for the night in Finnkroken, a tiny hamlet where you have another great chance to see the northern lights. In the morning, enjoy a final hike (with snowshoes if necessary) to the 315-meter-high (1,033 feet) Småvasshaugen. On Day 7, sail back to Tromsø and arrive around midday. Enjoy some free time to browse the shops in town, visit a museum, or simply take a walk in the fresh winter air. Spend your last night on board the ship with fellow travelers, and disembark on Day 8.

Highlights

Highlights

Enjoy customized hikes and snowshoeing adventures from between 2 to 6 hours a day, depending on conditions
Gaze at the sky to see the northern lights when skies are clear
Watch for a variety of Arctic wildlife including white-tailed eagles
Explore charming hamlets and remote fishing villages

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $2500  
Arrive: Tromso, Norway
Depart: Tromso, Norway
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a 33-passenger schooner
Meals: All meals aboard ship included
Activity: Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Special Interest, Photography, Hiking / Trekking, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

8-day cruise, nature walks, hikes, snowshoeing, and Zodiac excursions