North Cape tops Hurtigruten's list of excursions on lauded coastal voyage
20 percent savings offered during peak summer vacation season.
The North Cape ranks up there with several other ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ travel destinations visited by Hurtigruten’s fleet of modern ships – including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen. Hurtigruten brought nearly 50,000 guests to the North Cape cliffs, the northernmost point of mainland Europe at 71º north, offering the same view seen by the site’s first tourist, Italian priest Fransesco Negri, more than 400 years ago. A 20% savings special is available on more than 50 Norwegian Coastal Voyage departures between May 1 and Sept. 14, 2010 – making the North Cape even more accessible. The special fares range from $1,306 to $9,297 per person, double, on the six-, seven- and 12-day voyages, if booked by May 31.
The 1,000-foot rise of the cliff above the churning Barents Sea offers visitors a stunning vista during the summer months as the sun never sets and it seems like the top of the world is in plain view. “The North Cape is clearly a highpoint of the voyage and a must-see for many of our guests. Anyone who has stood on the plateau and felt overwhelmed will understand. It is utterly unique,” comments Per Eide-Olsen, director of Nordic sales at Hurtigruten. Two of Hurtigruten’s roughly 40 excursions take in the North Cape, both including a visit to the North Cape Hall, a modern interpretive center that showcases Ivo Caprino’s panoramic film on Finnmark and the Cape. Breakfast is enjoyed on one of the excursions, followed by a visit to a Sámi family.
The Norwegian Coastal Voyage takes in Norway’s spectacular fjord-filled, 1,250-mile west coast between the charming Hanseatic port of Bergen and Kirkenes, close to the Russian border. Besides the fjords, Hurtigruten guests get to visit an eclectic array of ports (34 in all), including Trondheim, one of the country’s oldest cities and a thriving university town; Tromso, Europe’s largest town above the Arctic circle; the Lofoten archipelago, with peaked mountains and villages filled with rust-red fishermen’s cabins; and Alesund, destroyed by fire in 1904 and completely rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style.
Shore excursions run the gamut – from touring to active explorations: a get acquainted tour of Tromso; the above mentioned North Cape; a riverboat safari in Kirkenes; a visit to the UNESCO islands of Vega, where eider ducks are kept as pets; taking in the beauty of the Geirangerfjord, also a UNESCO site; a RIB safari to Saltstraumen to witness the world’s most powerful tidal current; an exploration of Lapland; and a Lofotr Viking Feast with traditional foods, singing and dancing; to name a few. Excursions can be booked before departure – 5% discount when pre-booking three or more (six or more on 12-day sailings).
National Geographic Traveler magazine has placed the Norwegian fjords, a highlight of Hurtigruten’s Coastal Voyage, at the top of its list of the world’s most celebrated and iconic travel destinations – based on its survey undertaken in cooperation with the National Geographic Center for Sustainable destinations. This is the third time in the six-year history of the venerated magazine’s “Places Rated” Destination Stewardship survey that the Norwegian fjords have topped the list. This honor follows the 2007 Lofoten Islands’ designation as the world’s third best island destination – another daily stop on the Coastal Voyage – and reinforces Lonely Planet’s “Blue List” description of Hurtigruten’s Coastal Voyage as the “world’s most beautiful voyage.”
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. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten’s visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888)-524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835.