I just returned from an amazing trip up the coast of Norway experiencing the “world’s most beautiful voyage”. While our site is not a travel log, it is worth sharing this incredible journey to encourage you to seriously consider taking the Norwegian Hurtigruten Coastal Express along the beautiful coast of Norway! You and your camera will truly fall in love.
When most people think of a cruise, they think of relaxing on decks in the warm tropical breezes, eating glorious and decadent food, and generally being pampered. Our travels along this rugged and glorious coast was an experience far different.
We left Bergen on the Polarlys, a 400 foot ship, well equipped for its year-round service to 34 ports along the Norwegian coast, and settled in to a very comfortable 2 berth cabin. Our first adventure was to explore the decks and absorb the excitement of spending the next 12 days seeing and sharing a part of the world that so many only read about and never experience.
Each stop along the way offered great walks in the lovely towns and villages where our ship made its calls.
We really loved the colorful house everywhere we went. No matter how remote, the blues, reds, oranges, and yellows dominated the communities.
For people who truly love maritime history, this region of the world is a wealth of past and present ships, boats, fishing vessels, and lovely old sailing ships. Every port of call found us walking to soak in this rich side of Norwegian life.
The fjords, the islands, and the mountains literally soared straight up from the deep, crystal clear water and kept us on the deck of our ship to capture the perfect moment.
I would be remiss not to cheer the Hurtigruten line and it’s incredible staff and services. For those who don’t know, the Coastal Express has been operating for over 100 Years to serve the communities of the rugged Norwegian coast. Their services and the experience traveling with them was absolutely excellent!
The ships all have cargo decks that can handle pallets of supplies to take to the towns, as well as cars, so their ability to serve as a supply line plays an important part of the daily trips made by the current fleet of 11 ships.
The ships are very comfortable for passengers, very well appointed, have excellent staff, and absolutely amazing food. The breakfast and lunch buffets offered up an incredible selection of Norwegian fare; dinner each night took advantage of the local fresh fruits, vegetable, meat or fish that are the mainstay of the coastal communities.
Our ship had about 300 passengers on it, ranging from travelers on board from 2-3 nights to 12 days, like us, to do the full round trip. All the staff loved their jobs and really engaged with the passengers. It was so much like traveling with a family, with each person doing their part. There were people from all over the world speaking many languages. All the narratives were done in Norwegian, English, and German, so we stayed well informed. If you are looking for on-board entertainment, pools, partying, or lots of activities, this is not the cruise for you. If you want to truly experience this part of the world in a relaxing and comfortable manner, the Coastal Express should be a part of “your bucket list” to accomplish in your lifetime.
We traveled over 2500 nautical miles, walked many miles on land, and took thousands of pictures. Gathering the pictures together to tell the story will be such a joy to re-write this amazing journey. Stay tuned as I wade through the process of bringing this all together. I will be using the tools of technology to gather thoughts and photos together to present a full story. I will let you know what I try and what works.
Meanwhile, “the world’s most beautiful voyage” awaits you and your camera on the Hurtigruten Coastal voyage.
The ships go up the coast year round and each season brings an entirely different experience. This is a part of the world that truly must be seen to appreciate. Check it out!