The delights of northern Europe
Your adventure begins in cosmopolitan Hamburg before heading to the Frisian town of Harlingen. In Belgium’s Oostende and Bruges, you’ll discover medieval architecture, and in France, you’ll enjoy visiting historic Saint-Malo and the picturesque seaside town of Douarnenez.
Discover Iberia’s charm
Continuing to Spain, you’ll experience the historical, cultural and culinary delights of Galicia as you visit Ferrol and the ancient port of Vigo. We’ll then sail down the Iberian coast to beautiful Porto with its UNESCO-listed centre, before your expedition cruise ends in Lisbon, a timeless city brimming with mosaic pavements, fado music and old-world charm.
Begin your cruise in Germany’s second city
Your expedition cruise starts in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany and one of the greenest urban areas in Europe.
There’s much to see and do in Hamburg. If you have time, you'll find many attractions in the Altstadt district, including the St Nikolai Memorial and the historic street of Deichstraße.
Hamburg is also home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Chilehaus, and the world's largest historic warehouse complex in Speicherstadt. Art lovers should head to Kunsthalle, the nation’s foremost art museum.
Get to know the Frisian port of Harlingen
You can walk or bike around Harlingen, a town of canals and pretty harbours, and home to the last traditional pottery factory in the Netherlands. It lies on the shores of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You'll find traditional sailing ships and historic warehouses around the old harbours of Noorderhaven and Zuiderhaven. Don’t miss the Harlingen Aardewerkmuseum, where you can admire displays of distinctive Frisian pottery.
Rich medieval architecture among winding streets
First a fishing village, then a medieval city, and later a royal seaside resort, the strategic port of Oostende is steeped in European history. Despite the ravages of war and time, many of its medieval features have survived to the present day.
It’s also a great base from which to visit Bruges. Lose yourself in this beautifully preserved medieval town as you explore winding streets, picturesque canals and grand 14th century buildings.
Reflect and relax on a calming day at sea
Enjoy the day relaxing while we navigate the waters of the channel that separates continental Europe from the British Isles.
While the British call it the ‘English Channel’, it’s more commonly known in continental Europe as ‘La Manche’, or derivations of that. The Dutch may have the most diplomatic name for it, they simply call it ‘Het Kanaal’, or ‘the Channel’.
Whatever the name, a quarter of the world's maritime trade navigates through this passage, and our Expedition Team will be happy to share their knowledge about these historic waters with you.
A beautiful Breton town steeped in history
Viewed from the sea, Saint-Malo is an impressive sight, fringed by fortified bastions and gently sloping beaches.
A circular walk along the ramparts offers the best views of the town and surrounding islands. Follow the historical trail within the old city walls through a maze of cobbled streets and visit Demeure De Corsaire to learn about the feared corsairs and the town’s pirate heritage. You can walk to Île de Grand Bé at low tide or join an excursion to visit the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel. The island has the remains of an ancient fort, and this is where the renowned local writer Chateaubriand is buried.
Inspiring coastal scenery and maritime history
We’ll use our small boats to go ashore at the picturesque seaside town of Douarnenez, where you'll find the colourful quaysides, sandy beaches, and steep cliffs that inspired famous painters like Renoir and Boudin. As well as fishermen’s huts and seamen’s chapels, Douarnenez is home to a wonderful maritime museum with boats from around the world.
If conditions don’t allow a visit to Douarnenez, we’ll head to nearby Brest, a fascinating city where remnants of medieval fortifications can still be seen. Here, you can visit the National Maritime Museum inside the military fortress of Château de Brest. It’s a modern city too, with lively quays and docks that are perfect for a scenic stroll and some food.
Unwind and enjoy the natural world around you
Today is the perfect day to relax on deck with your binoculars and look out for whales, dolphins and porpoises. This is one of the few places in the world where beaked whales can be seen – if you’re lucky – as they’re drawn to the nutrient rich waters of the Bay.
You can also learn about the marine biology of the seas along our cruise, with hands-on demonstrations and in-depth lectures about the history, geography and environment of the destinations to come. And don’t forget the leisure facilities on board – why not try out the panoramic sauna?
Explore Ferrol and get a taste of Galicia
Our next stop is Ferrol on the rugged coast of Galicia. Once a small fishing hamlet, for the past three centuries it’s been Spain’s main naval base. There are more forts, citadels and barracks here than any other harbour in the country.
An overnight stay in Ferrol gives us two full days to explore the highlights of northern Galicia. Get to know the historic centres of Ferrol and A Coruña on guided tours, walk a section of the ancient pilgrimage trails that crisscross Galicia, or join optional excursions to the UNESCO-listed towns of Lugo and Santiago de Compostela.
The beautiful city of Vigo in the heart of Galicia
Our cruise continues to Vigo, once the gateway to the Americas. Protected by the beautiful Islas Cíes, Vigo has one of the best natural harbours in Galicia and is the country’s main trading and fishing port.
Perfectly located for exploring the city on foot, you can visit the bustling Rúa do Príncipe with its eclectic mix of buildings in Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Or seek out the impressive 16th century Castro Castle and park.
On your way to the old town and Neoclassical cathedral, don’t miss the Rúa da Pescadería, and sample some of the delicious seafood Galicia is famous for.
Explore the UNESCO-listed historic centre of Porto
Arriving in Portugal, we dock at Leixoes. From here, you can see the Lighthouse of Leça, the Boa Nova Chapel, and the beautiful beach of Praia Azul.
You can take a shuttle bus to Porto – famed for its port wine and UNESCO-listed historic centre. An undulating city made for strolling, you'll fall in love with the pastel houses, colourful tiled facades, street art, ornate churches and panoramic views across the Douro.
Here, you can stroll along the bustling promenade by the Ribeira docks, cross the Dom Luís I Bridge, snack on delicious petiscos, and enjoy wine tastings at the port cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia.
End your cruise in this enchanting city
Your cruise along Europe’s Atlantic coast ends in one of southern Europe's most enchanting cities – Lisbon.
The Portuguese capital is rich in history and culture. Take a stroll through the classical districts of Baixa and Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Alfama, the old Islamic quarter, where there are remains of a Roman theatre and Moorish fortress.
A bit outside the city centre, you can visit the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery.
With so much to see in and around Lisbon, why not stay longer and join our optional Post-Programme.
Itineraries are subject to change.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 140 m
Passenger Capacity: 530
MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe. Featuring Hurtigruten's revolutionary battery hybrid powered propulsion system, MS Fridtjof Nansen will be a near identical twin to her sister ship MS Roald Amundsen. Combining state of the art technology and premium on board experience with Hurtigruten’s 125 years of experience and unparalleled destinations, the two Norwegian built ships introduces the next generation of adventure travel.
Cabins and public areas
The stunning scenery will be reflected in a rich and comfortable interior design. Scandinavian materials from nature, such as granite, oak, birch and wool will be used to create relaxed and stylish cabins and public areas. All cabins are outside, 50 % will have private balconies, aft suites will feature private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views.
The core of the onboard experience is the Nansen Science Center, an edutainment venue to guests and crew meet to create a deeper understanding of the areas we explore. Nansen Science Center will also be the on board HQ for the Expedition Team.
MS Fridtjof Nansen's three restaurants will host a variety of dining options, with menus drawn from our rich Norwegian and Nordic tradition, as well as international cuisine and local inspiration. Whether enjoying your meal at Aune Main Dining, Fredheim – the informal international meeting place, or the specialty restaurant Lindstrøm, you will indulge in low key yet refined, modern Norwegian Nordic cooking – where our honest and delicious cuisine reflects our destinations.
After a day of exploring new destinations, guests can relax and rejuvenate in the elegant Explorer Lounge, a large gym and Wellness center, or enjoy the scenery and sunsets on the massive in- and outdoor Observation Decks with the aft infinity pool and hot tubs as one of the highlights.
Everything you need for an expedition cruise
Each expedition voyage is accompanied by a hand-picked team of specialists and modern-day explorers. Highly experienced, passionate and knowledgeable, the Expedition Team will be your guides and guardians on your voyage of exploration, instructing you on safety, sustainability and science. MS Fridtjof Nansen will feature a variety of custom built expedition equipment, including kayaks, a fleet of Blueye underwater drones and Expedition Boats for safe landings in remote areas.
In the footsteps of a great explorer
The newest addition to our fleet will honor the heritage of her namesake – the Norwegian explorer, scientist, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen. Known for his innovations in Arctic expeditions, Nansen led the first crossing of Greenland on cross-country skis. He is perhaps most famous for his attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during the Fram Expedition (1893-1896). Interestingly, after Nansen's Fram expedition, the ship was passed on to another great explorer who secretly planned an expedition to the South Pole - Roald Amundsen.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 100 metres
Passenger Capacity: 335
Built / refurbished: 2009 / 2016
MS Spitsbergen is named after the crown jewel of Arctic Norway – the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island, Spitsbergen.
After complete reconstruction, MS Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016. The ship features high technical standards as well as comfortable, modern public areas and cabins. The vessel's fresh Scandinavian design reflects a colour palette derived from the sea. She is modern and environmentally progressive, and we plan further improvements that will reduce emissions and fuel consumption even more. The new ship’s maneuverability and optimal size make her quite suitable for exploring polar waters.
Expedition team on board
MS Spitsbergen has its own on-board Expedition Team and serves as a university at sea. Interesting lectures inside the ship as well as out on the sun deck make this an exciting and educational journey. Topics depend on the season and the waters we sail in. The Expedition Team host a lecture programme and evening gatherings daily. Out on deck you can participate in live points of interest to learn more about the nature, culture and other phenomena we encounter along the coast. In addition, the Expedition Team will introduce you to the uniquely Norwegian notion of `friluftsliv´ (outdoor life), and encourage you take part in `friluftsliv´ hikes and activities during the journey.
Our dedicated Expedition Teams have one mission: to enhance your experience by engaging you and interpreting the nature, wildlife, and culture you encounter during the voyage. Read more about our Expedition Teams here.
Expedition Team - Explorer bar - Panoramic lounge – Explorer lounge - Compass Service Centre - Brygga bistro - Shop - Torget main dining - Wi-Fi - Sauna - Fitness room - Lift - Hot tub - Guest launderette - Panoramic deck 8 - Outside bar for events, decks 7 & 8