Viking Cruises, the rapidly expanding premium market cruise line, announced a new ocean cruise itinerary that will allow guests the rare opportunity to explore the far north in Norway’s winter, during a peak period for aurora borealis sightings.
“Sailing between London and Bergen starting in January 2019, In Search of the Northern Lights will establish Viking as the first U.S. cruise line to offer a full-length itinerary in the Arctic Circle in the winter season,” the company said in a statement.
“Our Nordic heritage is evident in all that we do, from our spirit of exploration to the serene, understated elegance of our ships. Scandinavia is Viking territory, and no other cruise line can show guests this part of the world like we can,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises.
“Norway’s landscapes in the winter are truly magnificent, something few North Americans get to witness. I am pleased to offer this exclusive opportunity for our guests to explore my homeland.”
Sailing on Viking’s third 930-guest ocean ship, Viking Sky, guests will experience Norway’s pristine beauty and dramatic snow-dusted wilderness, with a chance each day to stargaze and scan the dark skies for the northern lights.
On the 13-day itinerary, guests will be able to immerse themselves in the rich culture of northern Europe, visiting seven destinations – with overnights in Tromsø, Alta and Bergen, Norway, and a complimentary excursion in each port. Highlights of the new In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary include:
Experience the Northern Lights in Alta: Home to some of northern Europe’s most magnificent natural beauty, Alta’s frequent clear skies make it an ideal place to view the luminous aurora borealis during the height of the viewing season.
Experience Nordic Life with the Sami Community of Máze: While in Alta, visit the nearby native Sami community of Máze for an authentic lunch of local dishes and an exciting ride in a reindeer-drawn sleigh.
Visit the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø: Home to the largest concentration of wooden houses in northern Norway dating back to 1904, marvel at the classic architecture contrasted with modern buildings, including the Arctic Cathedral, a stunning triangular building in white and icy blue often called the “Opera House of Norway” for its resemblance to the Sydney Opera House.
Step into the Viking Age in Stavanger: Visit the Archaeological Museum, where a host in traditional Viking dress will demonstrate essential tools and artifacts of the time period, then stop at the Swords in Stone monument commemorating the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872.
Ascent of Mt. Ulriken in Bergen: A panoramic tour of Bergen takes you to the beautifully preserved wharf of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was central to Bergen’s role in the Hanseatic League. Afterwards, embark on a gondola ride for a scenic ascent to Mt. Ulriken, the highest of Bergen’s famous Seven Mountains