Sail on the Top of the World to the Finnish Line

Award-winning Hurtigruten has operated voyages along the craggy Norwegian coast since 1893. This year guests will be crossing the 71st parallel during their top-ranking “North Cape” cruise.  The 71st is the northernmost point on the European continent — way north of Iceland – and very valuable for bragging rights as a claim few people can make.

Plying these nippy sub-Arctic waters in the part of the world known as “Finnmark” offers a rich tapestry of Sami, Russian and Finnish cultures.  Summer visitors see grazing reindeer and Sami camps, and in winter a special bus follows a snow plow up the final eight miles to reach the 1,000-foot high plateau where, bracing against the winds, you get to stand beside the iconic North Cape globe for photographic proof positive that you have literally stood at the top of the world.

Top stop, Tromsø, Norway’s biggest city north of the Arctic Circle, was named top cruise destination for 2012 by Frommer’s. “The Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral” in the candlelit Tromsdalen Church is always a high note. Another highlight: the Polaria Centre, an aquarium and theater featuring educational programs about the Northern Lights (greatest show not on earth), and local polar bears and seals.  Opportunity to ride a dog sled or just meet and greet the huskies without sledding.

As a world leader in expedition cruising to the most remote of destinations – including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen, Hurtigruten’s fleet of 14 intimate ships (100 -646 guests each) offers a vast menu of thrilling excursions in the 34 ports between Bergen and Kirkenes …  anyone for a Viking feast in Stamsund-Svolvaer or a scooter expedition in Lapland?

Chill out!  Check out:  Or call (877) 301-3117.


Take A National Geographic Arctic Expedition

Summer sail – high and cool in the Arctic Svalbard (northern Norway)

During the Arctic summer the tundra, miraculously carpeted with wildflowers, awakens to the thunder of glacial ice cracking and crashing into the sea. Polar bears, seabirds, reindeer, arctic fox, seals and great pods of walrus are out sunbathing, foraging, and camera-ready in up-close viewing. Temperatures push up to a toasty 30° – 45°F, perfect for walking, hiking, kayaking and Zodiac sorties under the sun that never sets.

Maximize your experience by travelling with one of the best teams in the biz: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic offers exceptional itineraries aboard their 148-guest National Geographic Explorer — a state-of-the-art, ice-strengthened Arctic cruise ship with the best Ice Team on earth. Great guest speakers, professional photography instructors, oceanographers, and filmmakers.

Choose from:

  • Northern Norway and Fjords -13 days of deep fjords and ice-capped mountains and the best place on earth to observe polar bears in their natural habitat — on pack ice.
  • Norway to Greenland via Scotland -26 days of fairytale villages and the Lofoten Islands jagged peaks.
  • The Faroe Islands and Iceland.

Cabin discounts (up to $1000) and free air offers are available now through March 31, 2012. So rush! Click: for all details or call 1-800-EXPEDITION.

Chill Out

….break the ice, literally, and sail in the wake of Norway’s heroic explorers, Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, for 7 amazing days aboard the the 691-passenger MS Nordkapp. Dip into small fishing villages, bustling towns and remote islands along the “world’s most beautiful voyage” according to Lonely Planet.

As the MS Nordkapp wends along the rugged, wiggly fjords of Norway’s west coast, Scandinavian historian Arne Kertelhein will reveal some of the mysteries, history, culture and lore of the land.

Push off from Bergen on October 14, 2011 and sail up to the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, medieval Trondheim, head into Arctic Circle and the really rugged Lofoten Islands. Port of call: the colorful, charming Tromsø, capital of Arctic Norway, and Honningsvåg for a shot at the spectacular wonders of the North Cape.  The last port is Kirkenes, near the Russian border.

Prices, including all meals and all onboard programs for the Oct. 14, 2011 voyage range from $1,550 to $2,949 per person, double occ.,. And hey, they toss in a wind- and water-proof jacket to boot.

Operated by Hurtigruten, a world leader in expedition cruising sailing to the most remote destinations — Antarctica, Greenland, Norway’s coast has a fleet of 12 ships.

Cruise to:; or call: (877) 301-3117.