Norway is, by anyone’s standards, one of Europe’s most beautiful and awe-inspiring countries. Its unhampered landscape and pristine wilderness promises to delight those with a love for the natural world. Join us as we voyage along the western coast of this remarkable country, punctuated by seemingly endless beaches, bustling coastal towns, fjords of cinematic grandeur and thriving fishing communities.
Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Serenissima itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON TO TROMSO.
Fly by scheduled flight via Oslo. Arrive and transfer to the MS Serenissima and sail this evening.
Day 2 - ANDENES, BLEIKSOYA & TROLLFJORDEN.
This morning we arrive at the small town of Andenes where we will use our ship to search for whales. There is an excellent chance for us to see sperm whales and if we are lucky we also hope to see minke whales and orcas. Over lunch we continue to Bleiksoya. Here we will find the largest concentration of puffins in the whole of Norway with 80,000 pairs. We also hope to see kittiwakes, cormorants, razorbills, guillemots and sea eagles. We will end our day sailing through the beautiful, narrow and steep sided Trollfjorden enjoying the birdlife, waterfalls and dramatic scenery.
Day 3 - LOFOTEN ISLANDS.
This morning we arrive in the Lofoten Archipelago, we will have a full day tour to explore the villages and life of these islands. We will disembark in the small fishing village of Aa where we will visit the local museum before continuing to the nearby village of Reine. Our next stop will be the village of Sund where we will visit the blacksmith famous for their forged cormorants. We continue to the Viking centre at Borg where we enjoy a local lunch before continuing to Kabelva where we visit the Lofoton museum and Kare Espolin Johnson gallery. Our day ends in Svolvaer where the ship has sailed to meet us.
Day 4 - BRONNOYSUND & TORGHATTEN.
Morning cruising. During lunch we will sail through Bronnoysund before Mt Torghatten comes into view, one of the most famous landmarks on the Norwegian coast. A fairly strenuous optional walk will take you to the ‘hole’ in the mountain which has been eroded by the sea.
Day 5 - TRONDHEIM.
We arrive into Trondheim this morning and have a full day to explore. On a morning excursion we will see the outdoor Norwegian Folk Museum with its vintage buildings, stave church and Sami huts. We continue to the spectacular Nidaros cathedral and explore the town centre itself with its colourful wooden houses and canals. This afternoon is free for independent exploration or you may wish to visit the optional tour to Munkholmen (Monk’s Island) situated in Trondheim harbour, with a fort which has served as a monastery, prison and execution venue.
Day 6 - NORDFJORD AND OLDEN.
Here we find the very essence of the fjord country, with many side fjords, waterfalls and lakes. We spend the morning crusing in Nordfjord before arriving in Olden at lunchtime. We will drop anchor and travel up the beautiful Olden Valley.Where the road ends we continue on foot to the great cascade of water, which rushes from beneath the Briksdal Glacier.
Day 7 - SUNNFJORD & BYGSTAD.
Sunnfjord lies at the heart of Western Norway. Its little known fjord arms and gentler landscape in harmony with powerful and diverse watercourses have left their impression on the landscape and settlement. Today’s tour will visit Sunnfjord Museum, which provides an insight into how life was in Sunnfjord settlements in the mid- 1800s, before taking a scenic drive to the region known as ‘the waterfall country’ making various stops at waterfalls and small settlements.
Day 8 - SOGNEFJORDEN & NAEROFJORDEN.
We spend the day enjoying spectacular fjord scenery from aboard the MS Serenissima. Sognefjorden, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord extends more than 200km inland and is surrounded by three national parks. Here we will see thundering waterfalls, glacier arms stretching down into green valleys and many small farms clinging to the mountainside. We will continue to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Naerofjorden, one of the many fjord arms of Sognefjord and considered one of the most dramatic. This evening we will moor at the village of Flam.
Day 9 - FLAM.
This morning we will embark on one of the most dramatic train rides in Europe. The Flâm Railway is only 20 kilometres long but a masterpiece of engineering. The train climbs up from sea-level to 867 metres during these 20 kilometres, crossing back and forth across rivers and through 20 tunnels. To allow you to view the magnificent scenery the train will proceed slowly and even stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall where you may leave the train to take a closer look or take some pictures. After lunch onboard the afternoon is free to spend time relaxing in the village or join the optional excursion to Undredal. Here we will taste some goat’s cheese, still made using traditional methods and also visit Scandinavia’s smallest church which is still in use.
Day 10 - BERGEN.
Spend the morning in this lovely fjord capital. A guided excursion will include the old quarter with its quaint Hanseatic houses and the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Greig
Day 11 - LERWICK, SHETLAND ISLANDS.
Arrive this morning in Lerwick, the Shetland capital and begin your exploration of this historic port with a tour that wanders through its narrow stone lanes. Visit the Shetland Museum, containing artifacts from shipwrecks and the whaling era. Continue on to the remarkable Neolithic ruins of Jarlshof. The site contains a remarkable sequence of stone structures – late Neolithic houses, a Bronze-Age village, an Iron-Age broch and wheelhouses, several Norse longhouse, a medieval farmstead, and the 16thcentury laird’s house.
Day 12 - ABERDEEN.
Disembark this morning. A transfer will be available to the airport and train station at a fixed time.
Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising. Noble Caledonia chartered her for cruises around Britain, the Baltic and Mediterranean and as far away as Antarctica.
Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.
Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.
The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.
Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. In areas such the United Kingdom and Norway the vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.
The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.