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Norway Cruise Astronomy Expedition

Trip type: 
Astronomy
Adventure level: 
1.Easy
Avg user rating: 
Awaiting reviews
Europe, Norway | 12 days
Trip code: 
EXAB
What's included: 

Astronomy - 11 nights of possible Northern light viewing with talks from Astronomy experts, Dr John Mason or Ian Ridpath.

Meals - 11 breakfasts, 11 dinners

Accommodation - Cruise ship (11 nights)

Transport - Plane, cruise ship, coach

Trip Highlights: 
Dramatic landscapes in the Arctic Circle
Displays of the aurora borealis
Cruise the Norwegian fjords
see full itinerary >>

Trip Highlights: 
Dramatic landscapes in the Arctic Circle
Displays of the aurora borealis
Cruise the Norwegian fjords
see full itinerary >>
What's included: 

Astronomy - 11 nights of possible Northern light viewing with talks from Astronomy experts, Dr John Mason or Ian Ridpath.

Meals - 11 breakfasts, 11 dinners

Accommodation - Cruise ship (11 nights)

Transport - Plane, cruise ship, coach

Trip Overview: 

The Arctic Astronomical cruise is a dedicated voyage, viewing some of the most magical skies and northern lights of Norway. Spanning the entire length of Norway, the cruise crosses into the far corners of the Arctic Circle, travelling through the Norwegian Fjords and giving you the best possible chances to view the incredible northern lights. On top of this there is a selection of winter excursions and activities to enjoy in this remote and rugged environment. You fly directly into Bergen, transfer to your ship and begin your voyage north.

Itinerary: 
Day
1

Bergen

Enjoy this Arctic expedition as you sail the length of Norway, through picturesque fjords whilst admiring the incredible scenery as well as the greatest lightshow on Earth, the Aurora Borealis. Your tour has on board Astronomy experts either the renowned Astronomers Dr John Mason or Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy Ian Ridpath who will bring the Arctic night sky to life and explain the magic behind the Arctic night sky colour illuminations.  An ultimate trip for Astronomy enthusiasts in the Arctic Circle.  

DR JOHN MASON MBE (1st November 2013, 18th January, 20th February and 22nd March 2014)

Dr John Mason is an applied physicist by profession, John has been actively involved in science for over 30 years, with astronomy, astrophysics and space technology as his main areas of expertise. He was a Visiting Lecturer at Imperial College, London until 1986, and has lectured at several colleges within the University of London. He is currently Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre in Chichester. 

  • Former President of the British Astronomical Association
  • International Affiliate Member of the American Astronomical Society
  • Honorary Member of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society of Russia
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

Acting Director the Meteor Section of the British Astronomical Association 

IAN RIDPATH (28th Sptember 2013)

Ian Ridpath has been a full time writer and broadcaster on Astronomy since 1972 and has previously worked at the University of London Observatory and in publishing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (Council member 2004 – 07), as well as a member of the Society of Authors and of the Association of British Science Writers. He is also the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and Norton’s Star Atlas, a publication now in its twentieth edition since 1910.

Flying from London and arriving in Bergen, you are then transferred to your cruise ship where you board and can meet your fellow astronomy travellers.  This is the beginning of your Arctic expedition and an exciting city to begin your journey north.

Please note this trip is only available as a flight inclusive package and although we do our best to guarantee your cruise ship, this is subject to change.  All of the fleet are of a similar standard.

Day
2
Ålesund

Ålesund

An early arrival at the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund with its surrounding fjords and the high peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps.   Here you have the opportunity to go ashore and explore this exciting and picturesque town. Ålesund is built on a row of islands extending towards the Atlantic. The compact old city centre is thus surrounded by water and Ålesund is a major fisheries harbour. (BD)

Day
3
Trondheim

Trondheim

Continuing north you head for the medieval city of Trondheim, whose colourful history is reflected in its handsome civic architecture. Trondheim holds a special place in Norwegian history. It was the first capital of Norway, and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing. Situated by the Trondheim fjord, it is surrounded by lovely forested hills, with the Nidelva River winding through the town. It has been and still is a popular pilgrimage site, an ecclesiastical centre, a regional capital and a centre for commerce and administration. Today Trondheim is a modern city, a centre of knowledge with a highly respected university, many popular colleges and a research community ranking among the best in Europe. You will find a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities in Trondheim. Excursions include the medieval Nidaros Cathedral or a walking tour of Trondheim. (BD)

Day
4
Lofoten islands

Lofoten islands

Today is an exciting day as you cross the Arctic Circle made famous by early Arctic explorers who crossed this threshold unprepared by today’s standards.  You continue to the modern town of Bodø and after crossing the Vestfjord the day’s end sees you amidst the glorious Lofoten Islands which have long inspired travellers to their rocky shores. Picturesque fishing villages, pristine beaches and access to seas and mountains make the Lofoten Islands a much loved destination.  Finish up at the Lofoten Islands capital, Svolvaer whose small town offers an atmosphere of a harbour and artistic hub simultaneously and well as being a bustling trading and communications centre. (BD)

Day
5
Tromsø

Tromsø

A relaxing morning on board precedes your arrival in Tromsø, the Capital of Arctic Norway. Here a special visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium is included especially for this tour. Tromsø is a port town which was the starting point for many of the pioneering Arctic expeditions such as the famous explorer Roald Amundsen who sourced both crew and supplies here. (BD)

Day
6
Hammerfest - Honningsvag

Hammerfest - Honningsvag

Following an early call at Hammerfest you arrive in Honningsvåg, the portal to the wonders of the spectacular North Cape.(BD)

Day
7
Kirkenes

Kirkenes

The scenery and sea life become more dramatic as you approach Kirkenes, just a few kilometres from the Russian border.  Kirkenes lies in the municipality of Sør-Varanger with people speaking Norwegian, Sami, Finnish and Russian. The small mining town has approximately 3,300 inhabitants.  With a longitude of 30 east, you are further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The well-policed Russian border and the Kola Peninsula are both close by so it is common place to see signs printed in both Norwegian and Russian. It is in Kirkenes that you have the opportunity to take part a variety of Arctic excursions such as snowmobiling, dog sledging, aurora viewing or even a king crab safari.  Please note due to timings there will only be enough time to undertake one main excursion to suit your preferences.  The beautiful snow-laden environment gives you the feeling of remoteness and sets the scene for a true Arctic expedition.  You depart in the afternoon and make your way sailing towards the easternmost port of Vardø before cruising along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, reaching Berlevåg in the evening. (BD)

Day
8
Hammerfest - Tromsø

Hammerfest - Tromsø

Hammerfest, the world’s most northerly town is your first major stop is a town named after an old anchorage, the first element is hammer, referring to a number of large rocks, good for mooring boats, called Hamran (steep mountainside). The Hamran were covered up in land reclaiming during the early post-war years. The last element is fest, from Old Norse festr which means 'fastening' (for boats).  You continue on to Tromsø and a chance to enjoy the Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral. (BD)

Day
9
Lofoten Islands

Lofoten Islands

Passing once again the beautiful Lofoten Islands the ship navigates an itricately formed and narrow  network of inlets and isles. This is one of the most stunning stretches of Norwegian coast which people from all over the world travel to enjoy.  It has been said that this is the most naturally beautiful and idyllic places visited on your entire expedition through Norway. This remarkable day ends with an evening return to, and a farewell to, the islands at Stamsund which is a small village with approximately 1400 inhabitants, and is an important fishing area with some of the larger fishing companies. Stamsund has a rich cultural life with two free theatre groups, Nordland puppet theatre, and many artists and a popular tourist destination. (BD)

Day
10
Rørvik

Rørvik

Today you cross the Arctic Circle and sail past the breath-taking and towering peaks of the Seven Sisters.  Travellers come from miles around to scale these mountains and associated with these peaks are another world of legends and folklore.  We stop at the port village of Rørvik with a chance to visit and enjoy the award-winning maritime museum. (BD)

Day
11

Trondheim

An early morning arrival into Trondheim where you have time to explore the city (B,D)

Day
12

Fly home

The voyage draws to a close as the ship sail to Bergen. Transfer to the airport for you flight home. (B)

Cruise ship

The cruise ship features high standards of design and decor, as well as large panoramic lounge where you find bars, a cafe serving snacks and drinks, plus a restaurant offering local Norwegian cuisine. An English speaking Tour Leader is on board to issue a daily programme and on hand to assist with arrangements.  However, the main feature of the ship is by far the outstanding scenery along the way and evening aurora viewing opportunities.

During your time in Kirkenes you will have the opportunity to take part in some optional Arctic activities. These include trip to the Russian border, husky advanture, snowmobile safari, and to visit the Kirkenes snow hotel. The incredible scenery will help you appreciate the opportunity to experience such wonderful activities.

Viewing of the Aurora

From your cruise voyager and througout the duration of your trip you have the opportunity and high probability to view the northern lights, or aurora borealis.  This colourful miracle of the skies is a must see phenomenon to appreciate how spectacular a sight it truly is.

Astronomy Expert Guest Lecturer

On this dedicated Astronomy cruise you are guided by your Astronomy expert who helps bring the night sky and northern lights to life.  Depending on your departure you will be escorted by either the acclaimed Dr John Mason who has been actively involved in Science for over 30 years (departures 1st Nov 2013, 18th Jan, 20th Feb and 22nd March 2014), or Ian Ridpath who is a full time writer and broadcaster on Astronomy since 1972 and has previously worked at the University of London Observatory and in publishing (28th September 2013 departure).

Please note this trip is operated by Hurtigruten.