Hurtigruten , the subject of the recent Guinness World Record-breaking “Longest Live TV Documentary,” is inviting travelers to celebrate the start of 2012 by experiencing firsthand what six million viewers tuned in to see – the company’s award-winning Norwegian coastal cruise.
Departing Dec. 26, the 12-day round-trip “Celebrations in the Arctic” rings in the New Year with several additions to the classic coastal itinerary: a special dinner in Honningsvåg; a full roster of festivities on New Year’s Eve in the North Cape; and a stop in the port of Alta. Other highlights include the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, the small fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands, the medieval Viking capital of Trondheim and the western fjords, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Geiranger. Guests can personalize their holiday with an impressive range of optional excursions that range from a traditional Viking feast to an exhilarating husky ride. Prices range from $2,255 to $5,252. Members of the 1893 Ambassador Club, a loyalty club for those who have sailed on Hurtigruten in the past three years, receive 10% savings as well as a range of complimentary onboard benefits.
The special holiday itinerary, aboard 646-berth MS Trollfjord, sails from Norway’s cultural center, Bergen, to Kirkenes above the Arctic Circle, and back. Some additions to the normal itinerary include a visit to Alta, the world’s northernmost city with more than 10,000 residents, and additional time to explore the North Cape. At the heart of the voyage are the special New Year’s Eve activities. After a festive dinner in the harbor of Honningsvåg, guests kick off the New Year with an exclusive celebration at the “end of the world” that features music, dancing, canapés and champagne – all enjoyed against a background of Arctic-inspired fireworks displays.
An expanded range of optional excursions allow for guests to personalize their holiday. Time in Alta can be spent learning about the Sami people while enjoying a guided snowmobile safari; taking a three mile, adrenaline-fueled husky ride over three miles of frozen tundra; or visiting the fascinating Snow Hotel, where guests are welcomed with an ice cold shot of “Rudolf’s Revenge” (crowberry) before touring the magnificent suites and the nearby Gabba Kennel. Other options throughout the voyage include a genuine Viking feast, complete with homebrewed mead, and a city tour of Trondheim.