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Viking Oceans Cruises – In Search of the Northern Lights (Norway, The Netherlands, United Kingdom) 13 Days

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  • 13 Days
  • River Cruise
  • 3 Countries

Map of In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary

Feel the spirit of the north

Experience a land where dawn and twilight merge on the edges of the long Arctic night. Sailing far north during Norway’s winter, witness snow-covered landscapes dotted with rugged mountains and steep fjords, and seek out the brilliant aurora borealis dancing in the night sky. Delve into Sami legends and World War II history, and pilot a dog sled or snowmobile to further immerse yourself in the Norwegian Arctic as you join us on this illuminating voyage.

In Search of the Northern Lights

Departure & Return Location

London (Tilbury), England / Bergen, Norway

Departure Dates/Times

2024 Sailings from January to March

2025 Sailings from January to March

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

Rates

Cruise fare from $6,499.0 per person

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

What's Included

Itinerary

Day 1London (Tilbury), England

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Situated on the north bank of the Thames, Tilbury is steeped in history. The town is most famous as the site of a fortress built by Henry VIII to defend London from invasion by ships coming up the Thames. Upriver, the city is home to iconic power centers—Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey—from which the fate of the British Empire rose and wavered. Today, the city thrives amid a long tradition of arts and architectural innovation—from Shakespeare’s Globe Theater to West End musicals, from Tower Bridge to the London Eye.

Day 2Amsterdam (Ijmuiden), The Netherlands

Ijmuiden is a small port city in the province of North Holland and connects to the Dutch capital via the North Sea Canal. Amsterdam is just 11 miles from Ijmuiden, and is famed for its patchwork of charming waterways, elegant gabled houses and splendid museums. The legacy of the Dutch Golden Age lives on in gilded manses and in the lush paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch masters that adorn the Rijksmuseum. Discovering Amsterdam is a pleasure best pursued on foot; visitors line the tranquil canals and linger over Dutch pancakes, or take a stroopwafel to go.

Day 3Sail the North Sea

Cross the North Sea, where Vikings sailed as they established colonies on Scottish islands, coastal France and beyond. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.

Day 4Scenic Sailing: Norwegian Inside Passage

The Norwegian Inside Passage is a protected shipping lane that runs from Norway’s capital of Oslo, down the Skagerrak coast and around the country’s southern tip. It continues north along the coastline of the Norwegian Sea, before eventually terminating in the Russian waters of Siberia. It has been used by mariners for centuries, its channels protected from the dangers of the open water by countless skerries and the rugged coastline presenting opportunities for shelter in its many natural bays and inlets.

Day 5Narvik, Norway

Narvik is situated on the innermost shores of the Ofotfjorden, within the Arctic Circle. The small town enjoys a dramatic backdrop, encircled by mountains and a glacier that spills right to the water’s edge. The town served as a port city for the early Viking settlers. Much later, the discovery of iron ore in the nearby Swedish town of Kiruna forever shaped Narvik. Kiruna needed a year-round ice-free port from which to ship its new discovery, and so a rail link was built directly to the water. Still today, Narvik is a major exporter.

Day 6Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø is Norway’s most northerly city and has long been considered the gateway to the Arctic. During the summer months, pretty wooden houses exude an air of sophistication as they bask beneath the glow of the Midnight Sun. Winter brings pristine landscapes surrounded by snowcapped peaks and the aurora borealis, whose magical lights dance across the nighttime skies. World-renowned explorers have set sail from Tromsø’s shores; Roald Amundsen, Norway’s first son and the first explorer to reach both poles, is commemorated with a bronze statue in the city.

Day 7Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø features an array of French Empire, Swiss and neoclassical architecture, earning its nickname “Paris of the North.” Visitors from Southern Europe were surprised that an Arctic city encircled by snowcapped mountains could exude such a cosmopolitan air. By the 19th century, the city was recognized for its polar exploration know-how; expedition crew members were often recruited from here. The 1970s brought a renewed interest in protecting the language and traditions of the Sami culture, ensuring that its cuisine and pastimes are now celebrated cultural treasures.

Day 8Alta, Norway

Resting on the stunning shores of Altafjord, Alta is the gateway to some of Europe’s most magnificent natural beauty. With its frequent clear skies, it is an ideal place from which to see the northern lights. Alta is perhaps most known as the site of ancient rock carvings dating back as far as 4200 BC. These fascinating depictions of hunters, gatherers, rituals, animals and geometric symbols are Norway’s only primitive UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alta Museum was built around the largest concentration of the carvings.

Day 9Alta, Norway

The small town of Alta lies in Norway’s largely unspoiled county of Finnmark and is considered one of the world’s northernmost cities. Here, pristine woodlands spill into the stunning Altafjord, which stretches some 24 miles. Perhaps, however, one of Alta’s most striking sights is not natural at all; the boldly designed Northern Lights Cathedral in the center of town is a vision in titanium, with its circular exterior spiraling upward into a narrower cylinder and a breathtaking belfry.

Day 10Scenic Sailing: Norwegian Inside Passage

Norway’s jagged coast was formed as melting glaciers receded, eroding bedrock and creating innumerable valleys and fjords, as well as the characteristic skerries that run along the country’s more than 16,000 miles of shoreline. These thousands of large islands, small islets and reefs shelter the famous Norwegian Inside Passage from the sea’s punishing winds and waves, making the journey along the coast smoother and more comfortable than when traveling on the open waters of the Norwegian Sea.

Day 11Bergen, Norway

Bergen is home to the Hanseatic League’s only kontor (trading enclave) still in existence. Bryggen wharf, a row of timbered Hanseatic warehouses along a quaint quay, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Narrow wooden walkways are flanked by parallel rows of small, vibrantly painted buildings overlooking the picturesque Vågen Harbor. This is perhaps the most charming district of Bergen and a delight to explore, from its tight-knit community of workshops where artisans sell their wares to its cafés where freshly prepared smørbrød, or open-faced sandwiches, are on the menu.

Day 12Bergen, Norway

Bergen, an ancient city with deep Viking roots, is nestled between gargantuan snowcapped mountains, magnificent fjords and one of Europe’s largest glaciers. Founded in 1070 on what was a Viking settlement, Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway. Not to be missed is a stroll through the Fisketorget, where the fresh catch of the sea awaits—from cod and prawns to local caviar and icy oysters. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Additional Info

* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.

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