Fjords and wild coasts
From beautiful Bergen, your European expedition cruise will sail to Stavanger and stunning Lysefjord. Across the North Sea, we'll explore historical coastal towns including Hamburg, Harlingen and Oostende. Enjoy rugged scenery and pretty towns along the western seaboard from Normandy to A Coruña.
Wildlife and culture
Scout for whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Bay of Biscay. Discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites from the wonders of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela and Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, to Lisbon’s Belém Tower. You’re sure to savour delicious cuisine, wine and cultural heritage in Porto and Lisbon.
• From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian charm - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights
Explore UNESCO-listed Bryggen and mountain peaks
Your journey starts in what was once Norway's capital, Bergen.
As you stroll through the cobbled streets and alleyways, why not visit the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with its colourful wooden wharfs, or the famous fish market, full of sights, sounds – and scents – to savour.
Ride the Fløibanen funicular, which has been transporting visitors to the summit of Mount Fløyen for over a century, and offers amazing views over this picturesque city and its colourful homes.
If you have extra time in Bergen, why not book our Pre-Programme and enjoy the incredible view over Bergen during a refreshing hike up Mount Fløyen.
Sail into striking Lysefjord with incredible views
Stavanger has an international ambience and a lively cultural scene. Discover the architectural relics of Old Stavanger, including a magnificent 12th century cathedral. You can also visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, pop into a local boutique or simply enjoy a beer on the waterfront.
Leaving Stavanger, we sail into Lysefjord to experience some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords. A five-hour guided hike will reward you with breathtaking views of Lysefjord from the 1,980 ft high Preikestolen viewpoint, famously known as ‘Pulpit Rock’.
Time to relax as we head to Hamburg
Exploration doesn’t end when you’re onboard; there’s plenty to see and do as we sail towards Germany. Why not work up a sweat in the gym, or relax in the sauna or hot tub.
Your Expedition Team will begin a series of lectures, offering unique insights into the history, heritage, and natural sciences of the places we’ll be visiting.
On deck, our biologists will help you scan the seas for wildlife. You can also pick up some useful tips from our onboard photographer. Or simply enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the Explorer Lounge & Bar.
Explore Hamburg's architectual and cultural delights
There's so much to see and do on your own in Hamburg. Visit the old floating dock of Landungsbrücken, see the old ships and yards, waterfront buildings, and the Old Elbe Tunnel.
You’ll find many attractions in the Altstadt district, including the St Nikolai Memorial, St Catherine's Church, City Hall and the historic street of Deichstraße. Art lovers will enjoy Kunsthalle, Germany’s foremost art museum.
Why not visit the world’s largest warehouse complex at Kontorhausviertel and Speicherstadt, which together with Chilehaus are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Experience the Frisian port city of Harlington
You can walk or bike around Harlingen, a city of canals and pretty harbours, and home to the last traditional pottery factory in the Netherlands. Harlingen 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 to 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. Yet 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.
Discover historic beaches, Caen and WWII memorials
Normandy has a fascinating history, from the Viking invasion to the D-Day landings in 1944. In Ouistreham, you'll learn about Operation Overlord at the Musée No 4 Commando.
Check out the German fortifications at Le Grand Bunker and visit the war cemetery at Hermanville-sur-Mer. Or why not stroll along the beautiful Beach of Riva Bella and stop at the 12th century St Samson Church and the 1905 lighthouse.
Afterwards, you'll explore the pretty town of Caen. The 11th century Romanesque church of Saint-Étienne, the Mémorial de Caen that commemorates WWII, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen are highlights not to be missed.
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 even visit the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel or walk to Île de Grand Bé at low tide. The island has remains of an ancient fort and where the renowned local writer Chateaubriand is buried.
Inspiring coastal scenery and maritime history
We’ll use our small expedition 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 hosts 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 and historic city with many medieval fortifications. 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.
Unwind and enjoy the natural world around you
Today is a perfect day to relax on deck with your binoculars and watch 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 waters along our cruise, and join 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?
See Galicia's heritage in Ferrol, Lugo and A Coruña
Our first stop on the rugged Galician coast of Spain is Ferrol. 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.
A walking tour here will reveal its many historic highlights. You can also visit the old town of Lugo, famed for its Roman walls.
You'll then sail to neighbouring A Coruña and dock for the night. Here you’ll find the Tower of Hercules, the world’s oldest functioning lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today you’ll have another opportunity to admire the Tower of Hércules before visiting the town of A Coruña for a true taste of Galician culture.
You’ll want to sample the unique Galician cuisine here. Ask for a selection of tapas and try a glass of local cider. In fact, it’s traditionally poured into a glass from high above it to introduce lots of air bubbles.
A Coruña is one of the starting points for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. It connects to the Camino Inglés – the ‘English Way’. From here, why not join a walk to its eventual destination, 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 has become its 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 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 Leixões. 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 walking, you'll fall in love with the pastel houses, colourful tiled façades, street art, ornate churches and panoramic views across the Douro River.
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 one of southern Europe's most enchanting cities.
Your expedition draws to a close as we arrive at the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.
A tour of Lisbon's classical districts is essential – almost everything of historic interest is here. Start your exploration at the Praça do Comercio in Baixa and walk towards the narrow streets of Bairro Alto.
From there, you'll arrive at Alfama and the old Islamic quarter, the remains of the Roman amphitheatre and the Moorish fortress. If you’ve time, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, where you'll also find the delicious pastéis de Belém.
We feel sure you’ll have had a great cruise discovering the fascinating history of the Atlantic coastline of Europe, but you don’t need to go home just yet. If you would like to explore Lisbon and its surroundings before you return home, we recommend joining our optional Post-Programme.
Not only will you see Lisbon’s fascinating historic districts, you’ll also explore the royal resorts outside the city, including the UNESCO town of Sintra, Monserrate Palace and the beaches of Cascais city during a guided excursion. Afterwards, you’ll return to Lisbon for an overnight stay.
Itineraries are subject to change.
25 September, 2024 to 09 October, 2024
Our Polar outside cabins are situated mostly on the middle or lower decks and all have bathrooms with shower/WC. Most have double beds, while others offer separate beds (one of which is a sofa bed) or upper berths. All the cabins have individual specifications.
Relaxation and comfort are the hallmarks of our Arctic superior cabins. Situated on both the upper and middle decks, the cabins all have double beds, bathrooms with shower and WC. They are also equipped with tea and coffee-making facilities. All the cabins have individual specifications.
Our Expedition suites are the most luxurious cabins on the ship. Situated on the upper deck of the ship, the cabins feature seating areas with TV, bathrooms with shower/WC, and all with double beds. Some of the suites have more facilities than others.
An exciting welcome gift awaits all suite guests in their cabin.
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
• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• On board lectures
• Escorted landings with small expedition boats
• Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities
• Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
• Expedition photographers on hand to assist you
• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Passport and visa costs where applicable
• Travel insurance
• Transfers unless otherwise stated
• Optional Excursions
• Pre and Post voyage accommodation
• Beverages on board unless otherwise stated
• Meals while ashore
• Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
• All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
• Excursions and activities are subject to change
• Please make sure you meet your entry and boarding requirements
• No gratuities expected