Norway’s dramatic coastline is one of the world’s natural wonders. Zigzagging among a pattern of islands, weaving in and out of narrow inlets, manoeuvring through gaps between rocky islets, the ships of the Norwegian Coastal Voyage reveal both the captivating scenery and the rich culture that lies ashore. In brightly coloured hamlets, neat wooden houses are painted in spice shades of mustard and cinnamon and bells ring out from traditional wooden churches. Russet barns dot the farmland, fishing boats bring home their catch and, in the cities, history sits alongside a 21st century lifestyle.

Every day of the year, a Hurtigruten (Coastal Voyage) ship leaves Bergen for Kirkenes, way above the Arctic Circle and close to the Russian border. The 12 day round-trip takes in 34 ports delivering passengers, freight and essential supplies to big towns and remote island communities. Ports visited at night on the northbound route can be seen in daylight hours on the journey south, which is when the full splendour of the craggy-peaked Lofoten Islands is revealed.

Although many of the ships are newly built and each has its own character, they don’t pretend to be glitzy cruise liners, which is undoubtedly part of the charm for travelers more interested in the Northern Lights than light entertainment. They are, however, very comfortable, with excellent restaurants and public spaces hung with fine Norwegian art. While on board, there are many opportunities to savour the extravagant beauty of land and sea from the panoramic-view lounges. Step ashore and there is always much to explore, including intriguing little museums in the towns. Varied excursions take passengers on city tours, into glacier country, on polar history walks, dog-sledding or snowmobiling. The trip is truly a unique voyage of discovery. Somerset Tours & Travel now invite you to join them on M/S Richard With on a journey of a lifetime; the memories of which will remain with you forever.

Departing from South Africa on 26 January 2019, we’ll fly on Emirates via Dubai to Oslo where we’ll spend two nights with time to explore this vibrant city before taking the train to Bergen. Here we’ll have one night with a guided tour of the city before boarding our Hurtigruten ship M/S Richard With for our 11 night/12 day cruise. During our cruise we’ll be cruising the traditional ferry routes of Norway with stops along the way to immerse ourselves in the rich history and culture of this beautiful country. We’ll be cruising above the Arctic Circle as far as Kirkenes before returning south-bound.

Liz Cotton will be leading the tour from South Africa and professional local guides will be escorting the group in Oslo and Bergen.

If you have any queries, or would like to secure your reservation on this tour, please do not hesitate to contact Liz on +27 (0)21 786-2598 or cell +27 (0)83 357 4855 or email info@somersettours.co.za. I look forward to booking your place on this unique tour.