We have the pleasure of inviting you to yet another Knitting Cruise on the Coastal Steamer “Hurtigruten” – and once again the famous knitwear designers ARNE & CARLOS are joining us! By popular demand, we will this time do the classic round trip, from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen – on the newly renovated MS Finnmarken (will be renamed MS Otto Sverdrup). Even though the ports of calls are the same northbound and southbound cruise, the times are different so this is the best way of experiencing the entire coast, what you missed on the northbound sailing, you will get on the southbound sailing!
Autumn along Norway’s coast is known as the season of color. In September, brilliant reds, yellows and orange dominate the mountainsides, hilltops and woods. Astonishingly blue skies contrast against the highest peaks, white with the season’s first snows. The days grow shorter, the nights longer, and with luck, you will see the magical Northern Lights.
September is a very special time to cruise the Norwegian coastline with Hurtigruten. Many guests rate autumn as their overall favorite season to sail, and here’s a few reasons why:
- Experience coastal Norway at its most naturally colorful
- Enjoy a more tranquil journey without summer crowds
- Encounter darker nights, with the chance to see the magnificent Northern Lights
- Enter the majestic Trollfjord and beautiful Hjørundfjord
- Visit the famous North Cape plateau, the Northernmost point in Europe
If you are drawn to knitting and design, you may be familiar with ARNE&CARLOS, and their international success as knitting fashionistas. Lately they have become knitting superstars, and many people, both in the Europe, US and Asia, are familiar with their work, both through their inspiring books and social media presence.
Their home and creative base is a disused railway station about 170 km north of Oslo, in the mountainous region of Valdres. Here, the old railway station has been converted into their own designer studio. From this idyllic location, surrounded by mountains, placid lakes and dense forests, they create their arts and crafts inspired by old Norwegian and Scandinavian traditions, but adding their own unique touch. They share their creativity through their blog, Youtube channel and knitting books. Their first book, “Knitted Christmas balls” became a bestseller both in Norway and the US. ARNE & CARLOS will join us during the cruise, and inspire us with their humorous talks and workshops. They bring a Scandinavian flavour to both knitted and crocheted items that make them uniquely attractive.
During the classic roundtrip, we will knit, learn about knitting traditions and listen to exciting talks by ARNE & CARLOS, maybe even learn a new thing or two. The cosy and warm lounges onboard welcome us, during chilly nights whilst we enjoy the company of fellow knitters. We might enjoy a glass or two, while enjoying the ever changing and dramatic coastline outside the panoramic windows.
From Bergen to Kirkenes to Bergen
Day 1: 11th September – Arrival in Bergen
Overnight stay at Thon Hotel Orion on the day before the cruise. Late evening snack is included, as well as a sumptuous breakfast buffet the next morning.
Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains, and by one of the most popular attractions of the world: the fjords. The city offers the ideal combination of nature, culture, history, and exhilarating city life. What has made Bergen famous is its unique charm, which is something you have to experience for yourself. Enjoy strolling around the old streets and alleyways where people have lived for centuries.
Walking through UNESCO-listed Bryggen’s narrow alleyways, made even darker and more mysterious by overhanging balconies, feels like stepping back in time. Bryggen is not a museum but part of the cultural heritage that is still in use – a living historical area of the city. The Fløibanen Funicular is a very popular attraction that runs from the city center to the top of Mount Fløyen in about 7 minutes. From the viewing platform you can admire spectacular views of the city, mountains, and fjords.
The picturesque and lively Fish Market is one of Norway’s most visited outdoors markets. Mingle with the crowds, enjoy some seafood, or just experience the atmosphere. Visit the Aquarium to see fish, penguins, sea lions and seals in their natural element, as well as crocodiles, snakes and spiders. Take stroll to the old fortress at Bergenhus, or visit one of Bergen’s many museums and galleries.
Day 2: 12th September – Bergen – Hillesvåg Tour
The excursion which is included in your pre cruise package, will start this morning after breakfast, with a full day tour around Bergen. Pick up from your hotel in Bryggen area, checked out and with your luggage which will be stored in the bus.
We will have a scenic drive out of Bergen, to the oldest yarn factory in Norway, where there will be an interesting guided tour around the factory, with an opportunity to visit their store. ‘Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk AS is a family owned wool spinning mill founded in 1898. It has been in the same family for four generations. The mill produces and offers yarn for hand and machine knitting, hand weaving and crocheting, and also carded wool for felt making – all available in a wide range of qualities and colors. The production is of high quality and each product is handmade with passion and commitment.
After the visit to Hillesvåg, we will continue to Oleana, a famous Norwegian brand for knit wear. Here we will also have lunch, after they have shown us around their factory.
‘Oleana is a family company founded in 1992 with the aim of creating new jobs in Norway’s textile industry. Most of Western Europe’s production had by that time moved to countries with far cheaper labour. Norway has a long and rich tradition of textile production and pattered knitwear in wool. People all over the world are becoming more aware of what they buy. Their material choices of wool, alpaca and silk are not just superior quality but also good environmental choices.
After lunch we return to Bergen, and we will visit the most famous tourist attraction in Bergen – the Fløibanen. This is a funicular which takes us up to one of the seven hills surrounding the city. From here you will have an amazing view over Bergen, the mountains and fjords – you may even see our ship come in! After this the bus will take us to the ship’s terminal, in time for embarkation, which starts at 16.00.
We meet for a welcome drink in the Panorama Lounge at 19.00. This is also our first Mystery Knit Along gathering and the mystery knitalong kits will be given out.
Dinner buffet is served at 19.30. The ship sails from Bergen at 21.30.
Day 3: 13th September – Ålesund – Hjørundfjorden
MS Finnmarken arrives in Ålesund at 09.45, and is by many considered the most beautiful town in Norway. The ship has a short stop here in the morning before it sails into the picturesque Hjørundfjorden. We return again to Ålesund for a longer call in the afternoon, when it will be possible to explore the town.The ship offers a guided tour through this unique town, known as the “Art Nouveau City” of Norway (can be booked onboard). Ålesund is a genuine architectural gem, and a result of a devastating fire that raged through the town in 1904 when 850 houses were burnt down. After a remarkable effort of the townspeople, the town was rebuilt in the beautiful Art Nouveau style. We will meet for dinner at 19.30, which is when the ship leaves Ålesund.
Day 4: 14th September – Trondheim
Arrival in Trondheim at 10.00 am. You will have the opportunity to explore the city at your own pace, or get all the highlights by joining one of the interesting excursions on offer. (Optional, tickets can be bought on board).
Trondheim is a large city by Norwegian standards, but has managed to preserve the intimacy and charm of a small town, with its colourful wharves and beautiful red painted wooden bridge. The main attraction is the towering Nidaros Cathedral, burial site of St Olav, the patron saint of Norway, and considered the most beautiful religious building in the country.
Departure from Trondheim is 13.15 and the cruise continues through the Arctic Circle into the wild north, land of the Midnight Sun in the summer, whilst during the autumn we might experience the iconic Aurora Borealis, it normally starts appearing in September.
After departure and lunch, at 15.00 we will enjoy an inspiring talk ARNE & CARLOS, and you will be given the next clue in the mystery knitalong!
Dinner 18.30 pm.
Day 5: 15th September – Bodø
At 12.40 pm we arrive in the harbour of Bodø. From here we can recommend a visit to Norsk Flid – a traditional handicraft shop with Norwegian sweaters and other knitwear, with focus on traditional patterns and techniques. A large collection of knitting and weaving yarns and needlework accessories are on offer, as well as cardigans, sweaters, dresses, arts and crafts, silk scarfs, pewter and rose painted items.
If you feel adventurous, you can join a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) safari to the legendary Saltstraumen! This is the world’s most powerful tidal current (tickets on sale on board). There is also the chance to see sea eagles and other wildlife.
The ship sails from Bodø 15.00. Dinner at 18.30.
Day 6: 16th September – Tromsø
“The world’s most beautiful sea voyage” continues northwards to Tromsø, where we arrive at 14.15. At the very top of continental Europe and 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, we find Tromsø, this remote, but surprisingly vibrant city, which is the reason for its nickname “Paris of the North”. Also called “Gateway to the Arctic”, with its wide horizons and clean air. There will be a few hours to explore the city at own leisure. The harbour is very close to the city centre, and just a short walk from the ship, we find all the main attractions. It is a lovely place for a stroll, or you may join the “Hurtigrutens Historic Polar Walk” (tickets can be bought on board).
At 18.30 the ship will leave Tromsø and it is time for dinner.
Day 7: 17th September – Honningsvåg – Nordkapp
Now we have arrived at the northernmost point of our cruise; the town Honningsvåg, and from this port you will visit the famous North Cape, this excursion is included in your cruise package.
Standing on the North Cape – a large mountain plateau that ends in a 307 metre high cliff that plunges into the sea – is a breathtaking experience. Here you can marvel at the views of the Barents Sea and maybe even see the northern lights. Located at 71° north at the Magerøya island, the North Cape Plateau is the main attraction in the area and a popular destination for travellers. The journey there goes through wild and beautiful nature that gives you an exciting taste of the Arctic winter.
Day 8: 18th September – Kirkenes
The “MS Finnmarken” arrives at Kirkenes at 9 am.
Kirkenes is located in the extreme northeastern part of Norway near the Russian border, about 250 miles north of the Arctic Cirle and as far east as St. Petersburg. Most of the approximately 7,000 inhabitants are of Norwegian background, while a minority is Sami, and a few Russians and Finnish people live here as well. After docking in Kirkenes we will be picked up by bus and taken on a tour around Kirkenes and learn more about the history of the area, and the significance of Kirkenes during WW2. We will see where the locals where hiding during the bombing and visit the border museum ‘Grenselandsmuseum’ which also has a collection of Sami art, and we will have a performance by Sami musicians. After a visit to the Russian border, we return to the ship in time for lunch onboard and the ship’s departure from Kirkenes at 12.30, and we will start our southbound journey.
We will meet in the afternoon for a new clue from ARNE&CARLOS for the mystery knitalong. Dinner at 18.30.
Day 9: 19th September: Hammerfest – Tromsø
At 10.45, MS Finnmarken will dock in Hammerfest – the northernmost town in the world, established in 1789. Hammerfest has a unique history to share. You can join an excursion (optional, book onboard) which starts with a visit to the Museum of Reconstruction for Finnmark and Northern Troms. The museum features an impressive exhibition about the impact World War II had on Northern Norway and the massive post-war effort to rebuild the region.
Late evening the ship will dock at Tromsø – Paris of the North, in time to enjoy a midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. The ship is docked right in the center of this lively town and you may want to drop by Ølhallen to enjoy a beer and a chat with friendly locals.
Dinner will be served in restaurant at 18.30.
Day 10: 20th September: Tromsø – Lofoten Islands – Trollfjord
This morning, we arrive early at 07.50 in Harstad, where you can join one of the (optional) ship’s excursions – A Taste of Vesterålen. Discover history, beautiful scenery, and cultural heritage sites on this tour that rejoins the ship at Sortland. Those who stay on the ship experience the passage through the Risøyrenna, a shallow channel made for Hurtigruten in the 1920s.
There will be some amazing scenery as we sail through the world-famous islands of Lofoten and Vesterålen. Lofoten is known for its natural beauty, steep mountains, wild nature and picturesque fishing villages. Sailing through this region is the voyage highlight for many. Another highlight today is the amazing Trollfjord. If conditions allow, we will sail between sheer cliffs that seem close enough to reach out and touch. It’s an unforgettable experience!
In the evening the ship calls at the charming fishing village Svolvær, where there are many things to do. Go horseback riding along a beach at sunset, head out on spectacular hikes, join a fast-boat tour on the fjord, or relax in town at one of many cafés, pubs and restaurants.
Dinner will be served in the restaurant at 18.30.
Day 11: 21st September: Arctic Circle and Helgeland Coast
Crossing the Arctic Circle is an important ‘rite of passage’. Today we celebrate the occasion on deck with a taste of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil!
Sailing along the Helgeland coast, you see the strange mountain, Torghatten (258 m above sea level), famous for the distinctive hole through its centre. The hole is 160 m long, 35 m high and 20 m wide, and was formed during the ice age. Hike up the mountain if you are up to it!
Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. It is easy to see how the peaks influenced ancient legend. The story goes that seven beautiful troll sisters were caught out at sunrise and turned to stone, thus creating the seven beautiful mountaintops. Even though we are south of the Arctic Circle, there are still good chances to see the Northern Lights!
In the afternoon we will meet again for a lecture by ARNE&CARLOS and Mystery Knitalong.
Dinner will be served in the restaurant at 18.30.
Day 12: 22nd September: Trondheim – Molde
The ship arrives in Trondheim at 06.30. Trondheim is a large city by Norwegian standards, but has managed to preserve the intimacy and charm of a small town, with its colourful wharves and beautiful red painted wooden bridge. The main attraction is the towering Nidaros Cathedral, burial site of St Olav, the patron saint of Norway, and considered the most beautiful religious building in the country.
As we sail south along the coast – the world’s most beautiful sea voyage, – you will realize the importance of fishing to Norway’s coastal communities. Kristiansund is regarded as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its long-time export of salted dry fish. Here you can join an excursion along the Atlantic Road, a National Scenic Route. The 8 km stretch of highway spans eight bridges, crosses picturesque landscapes and is surrounded by open sea. If you choose this excursion you will join the ship again in Molde. Those who remain aboard at Kristiansund will experience the ship´s open sea crossing towards Molde – Norway´s ‘City of Roses’. From there, you can see the distant pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps across the fjord, called ‘the Molde panorama’.
This is the last evening of our wonderful Knitting cruise – and we will meet in Panorama Lounge at 18.00 for a farewell drink.
Dinner will be served in the restaurant at 18.30.
Day 13: 23rd September: Bergen
In the morning, we dock at Florø, Norway’s westernmost community. A few nautical miles south of Florø, we cross the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord, taking in superb views of the magnificent island-studded coastline en route. Before docking in Bergen, there is fascinating scenery to see, including picturesque Nordfjord beneath Jostedal Glacier. Here the fjord widens to the east and forges 90 km inland.
MS Finnmarken arrives in the Hanseatic city of Bergen at 14.30. We will disembark the ship and our bus will take us to the Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, centrally located in Bergen.
This evening take the opportunity to explore Bergen on your own, and maybe enjoy a good dinner in one of the many charming restaurants, to be found within walking distance of your hotel.
Day 14: 24th September: Bergen and departure
Breakfast in the hotel at your own leisure.
Check out and departure for the airport or train according to individual travel arrangements (not included in package). The airport shuttles’ pick up is five minutes walk from Thon Hotel Rosencrantz.
Every day of the cruise there will be a knitting café in the Panorama Lounge from 10.00 – 17.00.
From Bergen to Bergen (12 days/11 nights cruise) and pre/post cruise package in Bergen, entire tour package is 11 – 24 September 2020:
Rate pr. person in Outside Polar Cabin (shared): NOK 38.900,- (approximately USD 4.290,-)
Single cabin surcharge: NOK 8.000,- (approximately USD 900,-)
Upgrade to Arctic Superior Cabin (shared only): NOK 4.000,- (approximately USD 450,-)
Included in the rate:
- 12 days cruise (from Bergen to Kirkenes to Bergen) with Hurtigruten, Coastal Steamer MS Otto Sverdrup, all meals on board included
- One night accommodation including breakfast in Bergen at Thon Hotel Orion the day prior to the cruise.
- Full day tour in Bergen area including lunch with visit at Hillesvåg and transfer to ship
- Half day excursion to the North Cape
- Half day excursion in Kirkenes with visit to the Russian border.
- Mystery Knit Along and lectures with ARNE & CARLOS
- Mystery Knit Along Kit, specially designed by ARNE & CARLOS for this trip
- One night accommodation in Bergen at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz post cruise incl breakfast, and transfer from ship to hotel
- Tour manager from Reisecompaniet is Githa Kristensen
- Flights – can be arranged through Reisecompaniet if required.
- Upgrade to Arctic Superior Cabin (NOK 4.000,- surcharge per person)
- Other international flights also available.
- Drinks onboard
- Optional excursions (as mentioned in the program)
INTERNATONAL AIR TRANSPORT FEEDERS:
We offer international flights from/to your choice of departure destination. On request only.
MS Otto Sverdrup
MS Otto Sverdrup (formerly MS Finnmarken) is named after a great Norwegian polar hero. Sverdrup was the first person to ski across Greenland, was a key member of polar expeditions and was the captain of the legendary Arctic ship “Fram”. He also served as a Hurtigruten captain between expeditions. The re-designed MS Otto Sverdrup is an ice class 1C ship. It’s equipped with advanced maritime technology that makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises.
Natural Scandinavian materials like granite, oak, birch and wool have been used in the ship´s renovation to create a relaxed and stylish atmosphere that adds to the premium onboard experience.
This ship also offers a chance to indulge yourself in our new Wellness area, complete with gym, lounge, treatment rooms and sauna, and guests can enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tubs on deck 7. For taking in the magnificent scenery, Observation decks are located on deck 8, and in the aft of decks 5 and 6.
We sail from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen on this twelve day cruise, where you will see incredible landscapes – each one more dramatic than the next and enjoy the atmosphere and culture in cities such as Bergen, Ålesund, and Tromsø which are filled with coastal history. This cruise will give you spectacular experiences you will never forget.
The ship sets sail from Bergen harbor in the evening, heading for the Arctic. As we sail along the coast, a wealth of experiences awaits us: the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, and further north the medieval town of Trondheim, where the Nidaros Cathedral is a highlight for many of our guests. Experience the excitement as we cross the Arctic Circle and visit Tromsø before we continue even further north and arrive at Kirkenes. This city is right on the Russian border. We are actually as far east as St. Petersburg!
The program for the cruise is tailormade for the nifty knitters, with exciting excursions ashore and interesting lectures and activities onboard. During the cruise we can enjoy the local cuisine Hurtigruten is well known for. The philosophy behind the food served is ”Taste the Coast”, using ingredients of local origin, fresh fish like cod, Arctic char and meat like reindeer.
International air transport:
We offer reasonable rates for international feeders, from Asia, Europe, North- and South-America. On request.
Githa is working for Reisecompaniet as an all-rounder in travel – in addition, she joins several of our groups as a tour leader. With Githa as your tour leader, you can count on her sharing her competence, enthusiasm and good spirits, as well as her knowledge of the destination. She has extensive experience in organising bespoke tours, especially tailor-made cruises, putting together a unique itinerary to suit the style and individual requirements of her guests.
Githa has worked all her professional life in the tourism industry, including 10 years at Wikstrom Reiser, a tour operator specializing in long-hauls destinations and the Far East.
She has also worked 5 years for the luxury cruise line companies Seaborn Cruise Line and Radisson Seven Seas, with ports of call around the globe. Her passions are travelling, skiing, fine dining, wine, and she often chooses a destination based on its food and wine options.