Hurtigruten is now offering guests a "Polar Heroes" voyage aboard MS Finnmarken where travelers can take part in escorted hikes and excursions and sit in on lectures as experts impart their knowledge and experiences. The 12-day Bergen roundtrip voyage sails along Norway’s fjord-indented west coast, heading up above the Arctic Circle to Kirkenes, a few miles from the Russian boarder, before turning and heading back.
Thirty-four ports of call in both directions include 22 ports above the Arctic Circle. Fares range from $1,511 to $4,674 per person, double. Guests on this voyage also receive a 10 percent discount on any MS Fram Expedition Voyage in 2015 and 2016, whether booked before, during this sailing or within four weeks after returning home.
Guest lecturers include Pål Brekke, a leading solar physicist and public outreach expert, a senior advisor at the Norwegian Space Centre and the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship and the Laurels for Team Achievements from the International Academy for Astronautics. Orheim Olav is a glaciologist and climatologist who has led numerous scientific expeditions in both the Arctic and Antarctica and served as the managing director of the Norwegian Polar Institute from 1993 to 2005. Westphal Ralf holds academic degrees in Physical Education, Biology and Outdoor Education and has held jobs ranging from national park ranger to Outward Bound instructor to Svalbard sea kayak guide.
Expedition Leaders escort guided hikes at several ports along the route while seminars are led by the guest lecturers. Activities include ice dipping in the Arctic Ocean; meeting with local fishermen, learning about Sami history and learning to tie marine knots. There are also a variety of optional excursions offered including the Wilderness Adventure Camp, a Viking feast, dog-sledding, polar history walks, polar night snowmobile trips, city walks and a visit to the Kirkenes Snow Hotel.
Included in the fare are all lectures, numerous hikes and selected excursions and a Helly Hansen “Hunting the Light” fleece jacket. Hurtigruten’s new “taste of Norway” program – a partnership with Norway’s most celebrated chef Andreas Viestad – is also part of the voyage.
For more information, visit www.hurtigruten.us.