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Autumn sailing:


Winter FAM trip:


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PORT OF LEKNES - LOFOTEN GATEWAY TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS IN THE WORLD Fishing villages, fishing trips, hiking, kayaking, Vikings, Northern Lights and Midnight Sun safaris Lofoten offers spectacular nature and adventures all year round


P.O. BOX 203, N-8376 LEKNES +47 900 35 379




Port of Harstad: Culture and gourmet destination


Autumn cruise: Why not go cruising in September?


Vesterålen: An ideal base for whale watching


Facts about CNNS: Ports & Destinations


Winter FAM trip: In search of the Winter Wonderland


Svalbard: Slow down at Svalbard


Festivals & Events

Editor: Erik Joachimsen (Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard), Layout: Krysspress AS, Tromsø, Norway English translation and proofreading: Gavin Tanguay Oversetting og språkvasking, Tromsø, Norway Print run: 500

Photo: Frank Andreassen Photo: Gøran Kristensen

Editorial: Much more to offer

Photo: Erik Joachimsen


Photo: Einar Veimoen


Printing: Skipnes, Trondheim, Norway Paper quality: Multiart Silk, 130 gr E-publish edition: Ecolabel: The Swan Copyright: Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard SA ( Cover photo: Lofoten Links

CNNS is an associate member of Cruise Norway, and represents 12 cruise ports. For more details, please visit:


Foto: Frank Andreassen, NNRL fotobank

Port of Harstad – culture, history and coastal adventures! The cruise port of Harstad offers wide variety of tailormade excursions and activities for passengers visiting Harstad during both winter and summer.

Visit Harstad, PO Box 654, NO-9486 Harstad Tel. +47 77 01 89 89

Schedule your turnaround operations in Harstad and utilise Evenes airport and the Port of Harstad.

Port of Harstad, PO Box 193, NO-9482 Harstad Tel. + 47 77 00 12 10

Our authorized guides will ensure your visit is a memorable one!

Harstad Havn KF

Welcome to Vesterålen and Sortland The Northern Lights appear with the advent of the winter season. The breath-takingly beautiful colours of the Aurora Borealis shimmer across the sky and create a bewitching atmosphere. In summer we have 24 hours of daylight and you can experience the awe-inspiring Midnight Sun. Vesterålen is the only place in Norway where we do whale safari all year round

Trollfjorden northern lights

whale safari

midnight sun

• Whale Watching • Trollfjorden • Northern Lights • Midnight Sun • Sami Culture

• Museums • Bird/Eagle & Seal Safari • Aqua Culture Center • Fishing Trips • Nyksund


sami family

Tel 0047 75 57 71 00


Sjøveien naturligs i Norge


seum Photo: Sør-Troms Mu

Photo: Marten Bril Photo: Erik Joachimsen / cnn

Much more to offer After a slight decline in the cruise traffic to Northern Norway and Svalbard in 2016, the graph for the coming years is pointing firmly upward. Last year aside, our cruise region has experienced continuous growth in recent years. What can this growth be attributed to? One factor is obviously that the cruise industry is experiencing solid growth globally, which is consequently having an impact on the world’s northern­most cruise region. Norway has also ­experienced solid growth, with the slogan “Powered by Nature” as its main selling point. What may surprise the first-time visitor to Northern Norway and Svalbard is the degree of civilization right up to 78 degrees north; the prosperity is high, unemployment is extremely low and wellbeing is considerable. For us who live here in the north, it is precisely this proximity to nature that provides the impetus to live and work in a region that is experiencing strong growth in many industries, such as energy production, fishing, aquaculture and tourism. Our region has a proud story to tell, including contemporary developments in business and industry. The tourism boom in the north has created many new ­opportunities for tourists in general, and this also benefits cruise passengers. However, to experience these, we are often dependent on cruise ships staying for longer, preferably with overnight calls at the various ports. This is because many of the activities take place in the countryside, often in the evening. We believe that a 24-hour call will provide an entirely different insight into the culture, people and business

in the north than a traditional eight-hour daytime call can offer. Such  calls will also demonstrate that our region has far more to offer than you can find in a product manual. Four of our largest cruise ports account for more than 80 per cent of the region’s cruise passengers. In this edition of Cruise North, we introduce you to some places that do not top the passenger statistics, but which have many gems that they are keen to show off. Since our inception, we have worked actively to ensure that the least visited ports receive more calls. We are also launching the concept of scheduling cruises to our region in September, before the onset of winter but after the magical Northern Lights start dancing in the evening sky. Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard has now worked as a regional network for six years, as an associate member in Cruise Norway. This has enabled us to improve coordination and become stronger by the ports collaborating about activities, product development and FAM trips. We will continue to do this, and we look forward to your visit. Enjoy Northern Norway & Svalbard!

Erik Joachimsen

Managing Director Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard



A TASTY CULTURAL GEM Midway on the shipping route between Lofoten and Tromsø is beautiful and calm Harstad, surrounded by a wonderful landscape and a gorgeous fjord. The town is not among the most visited cruise ports, but the destination intends to do something about that. “Gourmet restaurants and culture!” says Cruise Coordinator Gro Dagsvold from Visit Harstad when we ask about the destination’s unique selling points. Harstad is surrounded by farmland in a favourable, lush climate, considering its location at 68 degrees north, where daylight supplies the pastures with good growing conditions around the clock during the short and intense summer. Although the temperatures can be described as modest, they contribute to slow growth, creating the “world’s best strawberries”. We guarantee you won’t


find the same flavour elsewhere. Such growing conditions provide the basis for Harstad having four gourmet restaurants, despite its population of just 25,000. Harstad is the oil capital of the north, spearheaded by the state oil company Statoil. The combination of an abundant supply of local produce and an oil industry that frequents the restaurants has created a market for high-end ­restaurants. Naturally, this is something that cruise passengers can also enjoy during calls to Harstad.

Harstad’s Tourism Manager, Jan Erik Kristoffersen, recites a list of local produce that is important for the region, and which is reflected in the menus at the town’s restaurants. “Wild sheep and halibut. Our pantry is just outside the town, in the pastures and the sea. The produce couldn’t be any fresher when it’s delivered to the local kitchens,” he says. “Consequently, we spend a lot of time telling our guests where food comes from and the story behind it.” Visit Harstad is working to develop new concepts on this theme, and will gladly

Photo: Visit Harstad

The schooner "Anna Rogde" of Harstad.

Photo: Visit Harstad

cooperate with the cruise industry to achieve this in the best possible manner.

The guides will also explain the Trondenes peninsula’s painful history during World War II, which is ­characterized by slavery, Soviet prisoner of war camps, starvation and disease. For many, it was their final resting place. The fort, which was built by the Germans during the war, is the site of the ­well-known land-based Adolf Guns.

PROUD HISTORY The town by the fjord has a rich history, dating back to when the Vikings crept north to what was then wilderness. The Viking Age certainly had an impact on the area. Chieftain Tore Hund, who died in 1030, was a powerful commander in the crusade against King Olav II Haraldsson. He lived on the island of Bjarkøy, in Harstad’s archipelago. The surrounding islands bear many traces from that time. The site at Trondenes is 30 m long, and is believed to have housed a sizeable Viking ship.

Trondenes Church, the world’s northern­most medieval stone church. Photo: Ivan Arntzen

building is believed to have been built in the 12th century, a couple of hundred years before work began on the present church. A stone’s throw away is the Trondenes Historical Centre, where the main exhibition With crosses and swords through 1000 years depicts the local history from the distant past up to modern times. The major focus is on the Viking Age and Middle Ages. Harstad became a town in the late 19th century, based on the mechanical industry, agriculture, fishing and trade.

North of Harstad, which is often referred to as the “Gem of the Vågsfjord”, is the world’s northernmost inhabited ­archipelago. Just a 30-minute trip from town in a fast boat, the guests can frolic in a paradise of white sandy beaches. As you approach the archipelago, there is one thing you can take for granted: There is always a free beach waiting just for you.

White sandy beaches at Elgsnes outside Photo: Bård Løken Harstad.

Medieval Archaeology: the portal at Trondenes Historical Centre, Sør-Troms Museum Photo: Sør-Troms Museum

Trondenes Church is one of the finest and most important medieval churches in Northern Norway. The first church


A visitor checks the World War II Adolf Gun at the Trondenes Fortress. Photo: Bård Løken

This is definitely not a cruise ­ estination for large cruise ships to d deliver bread-and-butter tours with a high volume of guests. Harstad stands out from the pack with its strong commitment to culture and local food. CRUISE NORTH 2017 7

The annual Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad. The region’s largest annual cultural event, the Arctic Arts Festival, takes place in week 25 every year. It has a distinctly Nordic profile, and the ­organisers don’t mind arranging p ­ erformances for cruise lines. It’s an international event focusing on the people of the Arctic. Several cruise lines have already scheduled calls to Harstad for precisely this week, when the town of culture is full of hustle and bustle around the clock. As there is daylight 24/7 from 22 May to 21 July, there is no point wasting time sleeping...

Useful links: - Arctic Arts Festival: - Visit Harstad:


Restaurant 4 Roser

Røkenes Gård


Harstad has four gourmet restaurants: - Hoelstuen ( - Restaurant 4 Roser ( - Røkenes Gård ( - Umami (

THE PORT WILL RECEIVE LARGER CRUISE SHIPS Cruise port Harstad currently has three quays suitable for cruise. Larsneset in downtown Harstad is 215 m long and 7.5 m deep. Unfortunately, it’s not available from 6.30 am until 8.30am, as both the northbound and southbound Hurtigruten ships call at Harstad. Another quay close to the town centre is slightly further into the port area. This quay is 270 m long and 7 m deep. The new cultural trail being ­established here means it will only be a 5 or 10-minute stroll into the town centre. The third quay, which is 120 m long and 11 m deep, is in an industrial area 5 km outside town. The obvious disadvantage


with this quay is the need for shuttle buses into the town centre. Port Director Ivar Hagenlund outlines the major plans underway to make

Port Director Ivar Hagenlund Photo: Harstad Havn FK

Harstad more attractive for mediumsized cruise ships too. “All cargo handling will be moved away from the town centre. Moreover, considerable amounts will be invested in commercial buildings, apartments and restaurants, which will give the entire area a real boost,” says the Port Director, adding: “When this development project is completed in late 2018, the basin will be 9.5 m deep and the combined length of the quays will be 300 m. Naturally, everything will be ISPS certified. This will turn Harstad into a very attractive cruise port for both small and mediumsized cruise ships.”

Experience Nordkapp 71°10’21’’ Visit us at ACTION!


Welcome to the northernmost point of Europe and enjoy the wealth of facilities at Nordkapp


“Cave of L

The North Cape Hall offers: • New film, Nordkapp Panoramafilm shown in a 160° widescreen portraying the four seasons at Nordkapp • Exhibition from the long history of North Cape as a travellers’ destination • Chapel of St. John - the northernmost ecumenical chapel in the world • Exciting gift and souvenir shop with a rich varity of beautiful items • Restaurant, cafe and bar with a fantastic panoramic view of the Arctic Ocean

• Northernmost post office with at special North Cape mark

KingCrab Safari



Midnattsol IceBar


Local Gallery Photo: Aune forlag. Illustration: Bjørn Holthe

Hotel & local food



NORTHERN LIGHTS CR In late August, many cruise ships from Europe head to other parts of the world. But why not sail northwards in September? “There’s a lot to experience in Northern Norway after the summer season ends,” says Knut Schreuder from Tromsø-based Farout Event. “Take for instance the autumn reindeer migration. Thousands of reindeer are moved from the coast towards the mountain plateau. If you are in the right place at the right time, you can have an adventure that not even the permanent residents have had.” Sami culture is an important part of Northern Norway’s culture and history. Nevertheless, authentic Sami experiences are few and far between. “Consequently, it’s important to use plenty of time to evaluate the various offers. Several of our destinations have good Sami shore excursions, but they are often not so easily ­accessible,” says Erik Joachimsen from CNNS. The reason for the explosive growth in winter traffic to Northern Norway is largely due to the aurora phenomenon; a magical light that often occurs when it’s cold, clear and dark. However, many are unaware that the Northern Lights, which are caused by solar storms hitting the Earth’s polar regions, can occur all year round. Northern Norway is one of few places where Miss Aurora flirts in a way that is so accessible, primarily because it’s so easy to get here. “That means there are good opportunities to spot the Northern Lights from late August, when the dark and cold nights return to the ‘land of the Midnight Sun’. At the same time, it rarely snows in September and most people find the temperatures acceptable,” says Joachimsen. September is great time to chase the Northern Lights. The landscape is filled with beautiful colours, and the contrast with the evening darkness and the magical Northern Lights Magic is truly amazing. Visiting the Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta, with a Northern Lights attraction in the basement, is a must. Or you can choose to stay in a lavvu in the realm of the husky, which is a wonderful experience. 10 CRUISE NORTH 2017

Staying in small, private lavvus with large windows, guests can lay in bed and gaze up and see the stars or the Northern Lights, while the 70-80 dogs next door don’t make a peep. If this does not suit, a culinary course at Trasti and Trine where you make your own lunch or dinner with expert guidance is another great experience. “If you don’t want to cook, we recommend eating a memorable lunch or dinner with the Lyrek & Trasti family,” says Henriette Bismo Eilertsen from North Adventure, the Cruise Coordinator in the Northern Lights town of Alta. Grethe Parker at Cruise Port Narvik agrees that September is a good month for chasing the Northern Lights. “The evenings can be cold and crisp and the foliage in full of autumn colours. A recommended daytime activity is to take the train from Narvik to Riksgränsen in Sweden. Watch the terrain change and maybe winter arrives as the train climbs up the mountain. In the evening, you can hunt for the Northern Lights, combined with a visit to Polar Park, where you will find the big four predators: the wolf, wolverine, bear and lynx.” When nature goes into hibernation in late autumn, visitors are greeted by beautiful plays of colour as the leaves change colour from green to yellow and red, often in combination with a

sprinkle of snow on the surrounding mountaintops. The North Norwegian cruise destinations wish to promote this relatively unknown seasonal alternative. Bodø is an exciting all-year cruise

Northern Lights Cathedral Photo: Anne Olsen-Ryum

RUISE IN THE AUTUMN the beach and golf on one of the world’s most spectacular 18-hole golf courses. Not far away, you can visit fascinating Henningsvær, known as the “Venice of the North”, which has the potential to become a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Photo: Gøran Kristensen

destination and autumn is no exception. In early September, you can see the beautiful Northern Lights in Bodø on clear days. “You may wish to enjoy a Coastal Walk along our beaches together with your guide, or visit the Arctic Circle followed by lunch with a Sami family,” says Cruise Coordinator Solveig C. Henriksen at Visit Bodø. “Other highlights include downhill skiing, deep-sea fishing, the coastal train and the famous Saltstraumen – the world’s strongest tidal current, with visible evidence of an exciting Stone Age heritage.” With the Port of Leknes in the western part of the Lofoten Islands as your base, you can go on a variety of autumnfriendly excursions eastwards as well as westwards. The Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg is an obvious attraction. This exciting museum has invested heavily

in interactive experiences. Guests can taste authentic Viking food and drink, while dressing up in Viking outfits if they wish. Slightly further east, Hov Gjestegård offers horseback riding on

Further north in Svalbard, the long, bright nights continue well into September, with the Midnight Sun season lasting until around 23 August. Climate change means the port at the world’s northernmost cruise destination, Longyearbyen, is now ice-free virtually year-round. The most popular excursions in Longyearbyen in summer are boat trips on Polarcirkel boats, which are purposebuilt for harsh Arctic conditions. The ­excursions on Isfjorden take guests to see other animal life. Other popular activities include dog sledding on wheels, visits to dog kennels and sightseeing in Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen’s impressive range of museums and galleries includes Svalbard Museum, North Pole Expedition Museum, Gallery Svalbard, Kunsthall Svalbard Gallery Storø and WildPhoto Gallery.“ September is also perfect for hikes in the mountains and up to the glaciers near Longyearbyen, from where you get great views of Longyearbyen and Isfjorden,” says Eva-Britt Kornfeldt from Visit Svalbard. Tempted by the sound of an autumn cruise? Please contact us at and we can customize a suggested itinerary.

On a hike in the mountains near Longyearbyen, you get great views of Longyearbyen and Isfjorden. Photo: Frank Andreassen / CRUISE NORTH 2017 11



Vesterålen is a popular destination for spotting whales, including the sperm whale in summer.

Photo: Marten Bril

Vesterålen is located near the nutritious waters of the continental shelf, where the whales come to feast. This makes it an ideal base for whale watching safaris and is the reason why Vesterålen is regarded as the best place in Northern Europe for such excursions. “We can offer whale watching safaris all year round. In summer we take the guests out to Bleiksegga, while winter safaris often take place in the fjords,” says Astrid Bertinussen, the Director of Tourism at Visit Vesterålen. The Vesterålen region consists of several islands connected by bridges. The large and small islands scattered throughout a beautiful area north of the better known Lofoten Islands, provide countless ­opportunities for cruise lines wanting to offer something completely new. Sortland is the largest town in Vesterålen, and is the operative base for the Norwegian Coast Guard. Naturally, this means that Sortland has a good port with quays designed to handle even the largest cruise ships. “As well as good port facilities, Vesterålen has good bus capacity and multilingual guides. When you combine the varied and beautiful 12 CRUISE NORTH 2017

nature with the variety of activities and attractions within a relatively short distance from the port, we consider that Vesterålen is an extremely competitive alternative for cruise lines wishing to experience something new,” says the Director of Tourism.

THE PEOPLE AND THE NATURE Visitors to Vesterålen can see three bird reserves from a distance. Puffins, gannets, razorbills, black guillemots, white-breasted guillemots and ­cormorants are the main attractions in summer, while you can spot eagles, especially the white-tailed eagle, all year round. Another attraction in Vesterålen is Inga Sami Siida, a traditional Sami siida (camp). For guests wanting to experience

the authentic Sami culture, Laila Inga’s camp near Sortland is well worth visiting. Her family has a large herd of reindeer, which they move between the inland pastures in winter and coastal pastures in the summer. This ensures that the reindeer have the best possible grazing conditions year-round. Visitors can hear her fascinating story of how indigenous people still live in and by nature, as well as gain an insight into the joik (traditional Sami song) and, not least, meet and feed the reindeer. You will find a modern display centre for aquaculture in the village of Blokken, just a 30-minute bus ride from the port. The General Manager of Akvakultur i Vesterålen, Marte Sørbø Hoholm, proudly shows visitors how a modern fish farm is run. In an interactive and very ­educational way, the company presents how Atlantic salmon smolts grow into

one of Norway’s main export products of modern times. Visitors can also travel by boat out to the fish farm, while the centre offers adapted and educational experiences for children. The highlight among Vesterålen’s museums for cruise passengers is undoubtedly the Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes. MS Finnmarken, which was built in Hamburg in 1956, sailed the “world’s most beautiful voyage” from Bergen to Kirkenes right up to 1993. The well-preserved ship is the main attraction at a museum that presents an important part of the coastal culture in a dignified manner. Visit Vesterålen is now working actively to offer more excursions. “We are conducting continuous product develop­ment,” says Bertheussen, mentioning the fishing village Nyksund, the old trading post Skipnes and the mysterious Trollfjord as products that have untapped potential for cruise tourism. “Only our own imagination, combined with customer’s wishes and the guests’ willingness to pay, limit what we can achieve. Special features of our region that I would like to emphasize are proximity to the beautiful nature, local people, culture and harvesting of natural resources. One example of this are the hikes that start in the town centre and go out into the countryside and up the mountain overlooking town. There are marked trails for those who want to walk on their own, but we also offer guided walks. It’s hard to imagine a more local experience.”

Inga Saami Siida

Photo: Marten Bril

Whale safaris in Vesterålen: n Vesterålen offers whale watching safaris year-round, where you can

experience some of the world’s largest sea mammals at close range. n From May to September, whale watching safaris also depart from Stø on

the outer coast of Vesterålen. n In the summer, the whale watching safaris head to Bleiksegga in search of

sperm whales. n The boats used for the whale watching safaris vary in size, interior design

and engine output. All boats and crews are subject to strict requirements for public certification, and safety and comfort are the top priorities. Consequently, the whale watching safaris are operated weather permitting. n When you head out whale watching, we recommend warm clothing and good footwear. In summer, there is an influx of whale enthusiasts to Vesterålen, so it’s important to book well in advance. n In winter, the whales follow the herring into the fjords, so it’s possible to see killer whales (orcas), humpback whales, pilot whales and fin whales. The chances are also high that you will see white-tailed eagles. Stø Useful links: Nyksund Visit Vesterålen: VESTERÅLEN Inga Sami Siida: Akvakultur i Vesterålen: Sortland Hurtigruten Museum: Stokmarknes You will find more information about the Port of Vesterålen (Sortland) on page 15.

Fireweed and old farm at Hadselfjord in Vesterålen

Photo: Bård Løken CRUISE NORTH 2017 13

1 Svalbard / Spitsbergen - Longyearbyen

Unique Selling Points: High Arctic nature and wildlife, explorers, ­adventurers and polar history Quay “Bykaia”: 300 m/9 m, Quay “Gamlekaia”: 90 m/5 m Shorex contact: Svalbard Cruise Network, Port contact: Port Manager Kjetil Bråten,

2 Tromsø


1 Longyearbyen

Unique Selling Points: Where your Arctic adventure begins, Northern Lights, Arctic adventures, the Arctic capital powered by nature, world’s northernmost university, the “Paris of the North” and “Gateway to the Arctic Ocean” Quay Breivika: 102 m/11 m, 104 m­/­11.5 m, 150 m/11.5 m Quay Prostneset – City Centre: 200 m/8 m and 300 m/9 m Shorex contact: Arctic Guide Service, or Farout, Port contact: Marketing Manager Harriet Willassen,



8 7 Vesterålen

6 Leknes

This map provides an overview of all the cruise destinations associated with our network, Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard (CNNS). Our cruise network was established to develop new shorex offers, create interest in turnaround operations and promote CNNS in collaboration with Cruise Norway. CNNS is an associate member of Cruise Norway. If your cruise line or cruise company wants to come on a FAM trip to our ports and destinations, please feel free to contact us. You will find contact details on our website, You will also find all ­information imaginable about each destination, including port ­information, shorex database, image gallery, sailing distances, downloads and turnaround ­opportunities.

4 Brønnøysund 14 CRUISE NORTH 2017

6 Svolvær

5 Bodø Bodø Airport




3 Honningsvåg / North Cape

Unique Selling Points: North Cape, the ultimate place to see Midnight Sun and Northern Lights, life in the fishing villages, catching the Red King Crab, the Sami life and the reindeer migration and seabirds Quay North: 100 m/12 m Quay 1: 150 m/10 m Quay 2: 70 m/10 m Quay 3: 125 m/10 m Quay West: 115 m/10 m Quay South: 80 m/10 m Quay East: 80 m/10 m Shorex contact: Arctic Guide Service, and Artico Ice Bar, Port contact: Keth Lokke Pettersen,

3 Honningsvåg / North Cape

11 Hammerfest

Lakselv, Banak Airport 10 Alta

2 Tromsø


Harstad Evenes Airport 9 Narvik

4 Brønnøysund

Wide body aircraft

Unique Selling Points: World Heritage area, geology, where Northern Norway starts/ends and trade history Quay 1: “Gårdsøya”: 250 m/25 m Quay2: “Central Port – town centre”: 140 m/6.2 m Shorex contact: Tove Nordås, Port contact: Port Manager Sølvi H. Kristoffersen,

5 Bodø Medium body aircraft CNNS Cruise destination


Unique Selling Points: Coastal culture, trade history, defence history, the “spy city”, the modern service centre and the Saltstraumen Tidal Current Quay1 + 2: City Centre 150 m/7 m and 200 m/7 m Quay Rønvika: 1: Rønvika 300 m/8 m 2: 150 m/9 m 3: 210 m/8.4 m 4: 200 m/8.5 m Shorex contact: Visit Bodø, Solveig Caroline Henriksen, Port contact: Port Manager Ingvar M. Mathisen,

6 Lofoten - Leknes

Unique Selling Points: The Lofoten seasonal fisheries, spectacular nature and Viking history Quay 1: 230 m/10 m Shorex contact: Destinasjon Lofoten, Sissel Hansen, Port contact: Port Manager Ann-Helen Ernstsen, ann-helen.

6 Lofoten - Svolvær

Unique Selling Points: The Lofoten winter fishery, spectacular nature and Viking history East Quay: 214 m/6 m West Quay: 122 m/10 m Shorex contact: Destinasjon Lofoten, Sissel Hansen, Port contact: Port Manager Ole J. Osland,

7 Vesterålen (Sortland)

Unique Selling Points: Amazing nature and wildlife, whale safaris year-round, life in and by the sea, the fishing industry (historical and modern) Quay: 450 m/7.5–12 m Shorex contact: Ssemjon Gerlitz Port contact: Port Manager Einar Glad Hansen ­

8 Harstad

Unique Selling Points: Viking, medieval and military history Quay “City centre”: 300 m/9.3 m Shorex contact: Gro Dagsvold, Port contact: Port Manager Ivar Hagenlund,

9 Narvik

Unique Selling Points: Polar Park, The Ofoten Line Railway / Ore industry and World War II history Quay “Fagernes”: 250 m/15 m Quay “Pier 1”: 140 m/15 m Shorex contact: Grethe Parker, Port contact: Maritime Manager Øistein Kaarbø,

10 Alta

Unique Selling Points: Northern Lights, the Sami and Alta River Quay Terminalkaia: 265 m/10.2 m Quay Marinekaia: 63 m/12.5 m Shorex contact: Henriette B. Eilertsen, Port contact: Port Captain Arnt Trygve Nilsen,

11 Hammerfest

Unique Selling Points: The world’s northernmost town, from Pomorian trade to energy town (5 energy sources), Meridian/land surveying history Quay 1: 220 m/9 m Quay 2: 120 m/8 m Quay 9: 300 m/12 m Shorex contact: Christian Dederichs Port contact: Port Manager Per-Åge Hansen,


Photo: CH -

Experience Tromsø City – takes you to all the attractions in Tromsø We offer Shuttle and Naviguiding sightseeing based on GPS. Photo: Frithjof Fure -

Experience Tromsø Region – takes you to all our winter activities in the Tromsø region RINGVASSØYA Lyngen Havfiske- og Tursenter



Breivikeidet 91

Koppangen brygger Olderdalen


Mefjord brygger


Lyngen Årøybukt Aurora Spirit






Finnsnes E8




Buktamoen E6


Målselv fjellandsby/ Destination Snowman


FINLAND Kilpisjärvi


Foldvik brygger


Lapphaugen Turiststasjon E10



Polar Park



Route 1: Tromsø – Narvik – Tromsø Daily departures from 12.12.2016 – 31.03.2017 E6

Route 2: Tromsø – Lyngen – Tromsø. Daily departures from 12.12.2016 – 31.03.2017

– takes you all the way from door to door Contact us for more info: • • e-mail: • tel: +47 40 00 21 96 16 CRUISE NORTH 2017





1 Unforgettable concert at the Bodø Cathedral 2 Kjerringøy Trading Post, a gem north of Bodø 3 Arctic tapas at the Norwegian Aviation All photos: Erik Joachimsen / Museum 4 Arctic Coastal Walk near Bodø


THE NEVER-ENDING AURORA CHASE Warning: This article contains product placements, which are hidden as big and small gems along the world’s most beautiful coastlines. These products can evoke strong withdrawal symptoms and craving to experience the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) again. Miss Aurora does something to you. Hunting the Northern Lights in Northern Norway has been a driving force for tourism in the region. But there is far more to our region than this, as CNNS sought to demonstrate to various European cruise lines who had taken the time to accompany us for three very hectic days in late February/early March. This was the first time CNNS had organised its own FAM trip in the winter – and it won’t be the last.

BODØ – FIRST PART OF CALL The small talk about the Northern Lights started in Bodø, the first of our selected destinations. The sky was clear, it was cold and it would soon be dark; the three factors that must occur simultaneously for there to be any chance of observing the Northern Lights. In the meantime, we visited the impressive Bodø Cathedral as we waited for

it to get dark. Built in 1956, this beautiful building stands as a sort of symbol of the reconstruction of a city that was hit hard during World War II. The passion for music could be felt in the room when the organist Brian Hepworth performed one of Bach’s most famous symphonies. If you are not an enthusiast before you climb the stairs, chances are high that you will be after a lesson with the organist. What amazing acoustics and passion. CRUISE NORTH 2017 17





5 Dog sledding at Tromsø Wilderness Centre 6 Tove Sørensen at Tromsø Wilderness Centre - a very experienced musher 7 Reindeer herder Johan-M 9 Reindeer sledding at Sorrisniva in Alta 10 Sorrisniva Ice Hotel, Alta 11 Nils Henrik Sara at Sami Siida in Alta 12 Reindeer and lavvu at Sami Siida, The evening concluded with Arctic tapas inside under an airplane wing at the Norwegian Aviation Museum’s unique collection of civilian and military aircraft. “We aim to recount the history of Norway and not to be a museum for enthusiasts,” Museum Director Hanne Kristin Jakhelln explained to our guests. Then there’s Henry Johnsen, Stella Polaris’ star guide. He enthrals groups with his knowledge and oral presentation skills. This time he took us on a guided walk along the seashore. The concept, known as Arctic Coastal Walk, is quite simply a 3-km guided walk along the beautiful beaches just outside Bodø. “There is a Viking grave,” says Henry, pointing. “You can see from the formation that it was robbed when Christianity swept across the country.” Travelling in an open boat in the world’s strongest tidal current in late February at 68 degrees north may sound like an extreme sport. Bodø’s guiding in outdoor activities, Stella Polaris (The Pole Star), invited us to dance with swirls in Saltstraumen as white-tailed eagles guarded us from the air. The refreshing trip was rounded off with a Stone Age meal served indoors at Tjuvsjyen, an 18 CRUISE NORTH 2017

attraction built on ancient monuments. No one can claim to have visited Bodø without experiencing Kjerringøy, a wellpreserved trading post north of the city. The peninsula was ruled by a privileged trader, one of many nessekonge (peninsula kings) along the coast of Northern Norway. He controlled the local area, and used this dominance to build power and prosperity. The trading post, which is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist spots along the coast, has been used as a film location on several occasions.

TROMSØ – THE GATEWAY TO THE ARCTIC Would we see the magical Northern Lights in Tromsø, a city bustling with tourists from all around the world in such large numbers that the locals will soon feel outnumbered in the main pedestrian street, Storgata? We went up the iconic Cable Car, which can proudly present new gondolas after the original ones – the ‘Seal’ and ‘Polar Bear’ – were retired last year after 55 years of service. Serving burgers in Arctic does not mean going to McDonald’s. Reindeer burgers were on the menu at the restaurant at the upper

station as we admired the wonderful panorama of the Arctic gem Tromsø. But no, Miss Aurora disappointed us today too. Once you have met Tove Sørensen from Tromsø Wilderness Centre, you are unlikely to forget her. She has been a musher for nearly 40 years, and participated in the world’s longest dog sledding race, Iditarod, despite being almost blinded in one eye just before the start and learning that her mother had died during the race. She finished 29th. It’s easy to use the term fighting spirit after watching a film about her experiences. Rather ironically titled A Housewife’s Vacation, the transitions between smiles and tears are rapid. The film was followed by nearly an hour’s dog sledding trip in beautiful winter weather with panoramic views of the white snowcovered mountains, clear blue skies and Tromsø in the distance. Tove’s son, Torkil, is now Chair of the company’s board. “It gives me time to teach my grandchildren to be good mushers,” says Tove with a smile. We rounded off our time in Tromsø by visiting a cathedral and a pub. The distinctive Arctic Cathedral presented a concert with Norwegian classics from past and present. The midnight concerts have proven very popular and are probably






Mattis Sara shares stories about the Sami culture and way of life in his lavvu in Alta. 8 Concert at the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø Alta 13 Fatbiking with Glød Explorer, Alta one of the main reasons why many of the winter cruises stay overnight in Tromsø. That and the darned Northern Lights that we still have not seen. We drowned our sorrows over precisely that at the legendary pub Ølhallen (The Beer Hall) at the Mack’s brewery. This male bastion met its doom when a women’s toilet was finally installed in the early 1970s.

ALTA - THE NORTHERN LIGHTS CAPITAL Perhaps here in Alta, the “Town of the Northern Lights”! If this is correct, we must get to see the Northern Lights during the last 24 hours of an otherwise wonderful trip – so far? Probably mixed with a little app­rehension, our guests were transported up to the Sorrisniva Ice Hotel to stay in a hotel made of snow and ice. Prior to that we went on a reindeer sled ride into the deep forest, where Johan-Mattis Sara received us in his lavvu (Sami herdsmen’s tent). He served coffee brewed on the fire in the middle of the tent while he told us about life as reindeer herder. Johan-Mattis focused on dialogue with his guests, so the whole group was involved. This makes

every visit a unique experience. The time to sleep at Sorrisniva had arrived. Everyone was given two sleeping bags and good advice about how to survive a night in the cold. Although the room temperature was -5 ˚C, most of the guests got a good night’s sleep on the comfortable reindeer hides. No doubt those who did not slept well on the flight home. The hotel is beautifully decorated with ice sculptures. It contains both a bar and a church, so there is something for every taste. The following morning, we visited Pæskatun, a slate quarry with long ­traditions. It is equally impressive every time Trond Strifeldt transforms 800-million-year-old slate from a boulder weighing several tonnes into beautiful souvenirs or slate titles as if it were a game. Constantly new products are developed up at his plateau, which Trond Strifeldt describes as one of the best places in the world to hunt the Northern Lights. This was the very place where the guests from AIDAcara experienced an aurora explosion a few weeks earlier. But unfortunately, not us. It’s as if Miss Aurora does not want to show her face. What have we done wrong? Dog sledding is a passion for both

Trasti & Trine and Holmen Husky. Trine Kristiansen Lyrek and Eirik Nilsen have two things in common: They have many dogs and they are passionate mushers. The dog teams undergo thousands of kilometres of training in the autumn so they are in the best possible shape for the event of the year, Finnmarksløpet, Northern Europe’s longest dog sledding race. They gladly share this passion with guests on shorter dog sledding trips on the banks of the Alta River, combined with their authentic stories from the seemingly endless trip on the plateau. The longest version of the annual Finnmarksløpet is 1000 km. Guiding guests on Northern Lights chases is an art, and one who has mastered this is Trygve Nygård from Glød Explorer. Glød translates to “glow” and, even after hunting the Northern Lights with guests until 3.30 in the morning, Trygve is still glowing when he meets our guests before lunch. As well as cold, clear weather and darkness, the secret of a successful Northern Lights chase is patience. “Wait, wait and wait,” as he puts it. He and his guests saw the Northern Lights about an hour after our group was tucked up in their sleeping bags at the ice CRUISE NORTH 2017 19





14 The Northern Lights Cathedral, Alta 15 Marit Hætta Øverli captivated our guests with Sami joik (traditional music). 16 Northern Lights art at the Northern Lights Cathedral 17 Finally! The Northern Lights appeared right before takeoff from Tromsø. hotel. So close, yet so far. You need to do something while you are waiting for Miss Aurora to appear. Fat biking is the big thing in Alta, which has become the capital of this activity. Fat bikes are off-road bikes with ­exceptionally fat tyres. It’s as if they were specially created to float on the snow. We got to ride a circuit in the forest before our journey continued to the Northern Lights Cathedral, Alta’s most recent addition to consolidate its position as the capital of the Northern Lights. Marit Hætta Øverli and Klemet Anders Buljo captivated our guests with beautiful Sami music in a cathedral that is decorated like one big Northern Lights experience. Is this as close as we will get?

IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT But the time to bid farewell had ­mercilessly arrived, and the recognition that the Northern Lights would not appear for us began to sink in. There were still many highlights on this trip and, after all, our guests can return later to greet the Northern Lights. Our group took Widerøe flight WF 677 to Tromsø and then transferred to SAS 20 CRUISE NORTH 2017

flight SK 4416 to Oslo. I was returning home to Tromsø and consequently bid farewell to the group at the airport after several wonderful days. As the organisers of the trip, we were probably the most disappointed of all that we did not see the Northern Lights, even though we did our utmost to lower the group’s expectations. But, wait! What was that? Right above the plane that was now parked behind us, someone started to flirt with us. Yes, it was Miss Aurora, better known as the Northern Lights! It was as if there was something she wanted to say to us – sorry and goodbye at the same time. Sorry that she had been busy and had not had time for us, and farewell because our guests were now returning to their respective homes further south in Europe. She danced lightly, and not so visibly, but at least our guests had seen it.

Just a short time later, the social media of our new friends were filled with pictures of the Northern Lights – taken through the aircraft window. Soon after departing from Tromsø, the night sky exploded with Northern Lights. A trip that had been a wonderful experience had an ending one can only dream of. The following post written by one of our guests is a fitting conclusion to a trip the group will remember for the rest of their lives: As if Northern Norway was bidding us farewell, we were treated to this on the flight from Tromsø to Oslo! Now that's in-flight entertainment! Thank you CNNS and all your suppliers for showing us everything that you have to offer! Great new friends, fantastic memories and lots of wonderful experiences! Miss Aurora certainly knows her visiting hours.

These cruise lines are making calls to Northern Norway outside the summer season in 2017: • P & O Cruises: Oriana, Aurora: Alta, Tromsø • AIDA: AIDAcara: Alta, Tromsø, Sortland (Vesterålen) • Saga Cruises: Saga Pearl II: Alta, Tromsø, Narvik • Fred Olsen Cruises: Balmoral, Braemar, Black Watch: Harstad, Tromsø, Alta, Narvik • Cruise & Maritime: Astoria, Magellan, Marco Polo: Alta, Tromsø





– Gateway to the World Heritage Area The beautiful coast of southern Helgeland with over 12.000 islands, islets and skerries are the home of a unique nature and cultural heritage. Brønnøysund is the regional centre of southern Helgeland and is a a lively and charming town.

Torghatten – the mountain of legends

The renowned Mount Torghatten pierced all the way through by a distinctive hole, has to be seen to be believed! You can walk a wellprepared path up to the hole, go through it and enjoy a fantastic view.

The Norwegian Aquaculture Centre

At the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre you can get a glimpse of the life in the sea, and learn about modern aquaculture, from fish-eggs to ready products of high quality.

Vega World Heritage Area

Vegaøyan are on UNESCO`s World Heritage list due to the islander`s unique and ancient tradition as guardians of the migrating eider ducks that nest here. After a new generation of young birds leave, the islanders collect the eider down, which is used to make the world`s best down duvets. Other excursions can be booked. Cruise on shore excursions, contact

Brønnøysund Cruiseport P.O.Box 65, N-8901 Brønnøysund Tel. +47 75 01 20 70

Sømnaveien 92, N-8900 Brønnøysund Email. Tel. +47 75 01 80 00 / +47 900 64 984


SVALBARD GOES SLOW Svalbard is focusing on slow cruising, after the ban on heavy fuel oils in 2015 placed limitations on sailing around much of Svalbard. Svalbard Cruise Network is further ­developing its shorex provision to offer quality cruise products using the Isfjord basin to show a Svalbard in miniature. “When the cruise ships get up here, they have already travelled a long way. Consequently, we think it would be favourable to offer cruises where you can experience far more within a compact area, such as Isfjorden,” says the Chair of the Svalbard Cruise Network, Eva Britt Kornfeldt. The base is the Svalbard archipelago’s only cruise port in Longyearbyen, from where the cruise ships can reach many attractions and settlements within a small radius (see map). Many exciting activities are available in Longyearbyen, such as dog sledding, an Isfjord safari in an open boat, guided walks in the glacier moraines and mountains around Longyearbyen, sightseeing tours of Longyearbyen including visits to the coal mine, museums and art galleries and not least “Taste of Svalbard”, which allows you to sample locally produced delicacies. Apart from the “capital” Longyearbyen with a population of 2,200, Barentsburg is Svalbard’s only major settlement. It’s a vibrant and extremely authentic mining community with around 500 inhabitants, almost all of whom are from Russian or Ukrainian. The multi-lingual guides are proud to show visitors how this small population manages to live at latitude 78 degrees north. Travelling further up the fjord brings you to Pyramiden, originally a twin town of Barentsburg. Unlike Barentsburg, Pyramiden was abandoned in a hurry in 1998. The breakdown of the Soviet Union, low profitability from mining operations and the plane crash near Longyearbyen in 1996, which claimed the lives of 142 Russians, all contributed to the abandonment of Pyramiden. The settlement was founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union 17 22 CRUISE NORTH 2017

years later. The buildings remain in what is now a ghost town reminiscent of the heyday of communism in Svalbard.

THREE LEVELS The new slow cruising concept features shore excursions at three levels. On the top shelf is Longyearbyen, offering excellent museums, galleries, activities and duty free shopping. Fjord sightseeing offers calls at the two abovementioned Russian settlements, while the most exotic trips go to the fjords of Tempelfjorden and Billefjorden. Visitors who venture here will experience a rich array of cultural relics from trapping settlements, expeditions and mining, as well as a rich animal life, flora and beautiful nature. It will be possible to follow the cruise ship with Polarcirkel boats to and from the different areas. In this way, the cruise passengers will get much closer to the shore and can take photos of the ship they are sailing on. “We have many capable and experienced activity providers,” says Kornfeldt, adding: “The safety of our guests and protecting the nature are the top priorities in a landscape of extremely vulnerable nature.” In recent years, Visit Svalbard has made considerable efforts to certify the ­destination as sustainable. It has now achieved the status of a sustainable destination. “This is especially important for a cruise destination surrounded by and based on extremely vulnerable nature and relics of culture from a rich history of trapping and mining,” says Kornfeldt. “We are going to turn the possible dis­advantages of a ban on heavy fuel oils around other parts of Svalbard into an advantage for the nearby fjord areas. If it’s possible, the product will be even better,” she concludes optimistically. Facts about the Port of Longyearbyen: Page 14-15


Prins Karls Forland

Photo: Jarle Røssland

Pyramiden Nordfjorden




Billefjorden Sassenfjorden





1 Longyearbyen



2 Barentsburg Grønn­ fjorden

Map: Norwegian Polar Institute CRUISE NORTH 2017 23


2016 WINNER! Certificate of Excellence Lofotr Viking Museum


USEFUL FACTS: PRACTICAL: OPEN ALL YEAR. Exhibition halls: audio guide system, 6 languages. “Live guides” in the Viking Chieftain´s house.

Museum gift shop. Museum café (June – August). Activities: daily 01.06 – 15.08, and on request. Viking meals: snacks, drinks, lunch, Viking feasts/dinner (request). Recommended time use: 60 – 100 min (extra when optional activities/meals). Drop off zone for buses, nearby entrance. Location: Central, 15 km from harbour Leknes, 50 km from harbour Svolvær. Capasity:


3 buses/ ca 130 persons pr 15 min. HARSTAD

Travel more than 1000 years back in time






THE LARGEST Viking longhouse in the world was found at Borg in Lofoten and reconstructed in full size, impressive 83 m. Upon entering, feel the smell of tar and smoke. See beautiful interior decorations, architecture, craftswork and demonstration.

Feel the Viking daily life. Enjoy a different meal - delicious Viking style meals and drinks.

BORG IN LOFOTEN, NO - 8360 Bøstad Booking: +47 76 08 49 00



Every year in August: 5 day Viking festival. Welcome to the Viking age! MO I RANA






MEET THE COD Lofoten depends on the Lofoten fisheries for its livelihood. GALLERI ESPOLIN Immerse yourself in artist Kaare Espolin Johnson’s expressive power. Explore the region’s dramatic history and the life and destiny of coastal people. The art gallery offers a different way of understanding everyday life in Northern Norway and Lofoten.

LOFOTEN AQUARIUM Experience the fascinating underwater world of the North Norwegian Sea at the Lofoten Aquarium. Learn about the Lofoten cod, known by it’s Norwegian name «Skrei». Meet the otters and enjoy the seals in their outdoor pools.

LOFOTEN MUSEUM Study the history of the fisherman at the Lofoten Museum. Enter one of the region’s best preserved squire’s mansions, feel the history in authentic fishermen’s cabins and traditional boathouses.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: • Three different attractions all within walking distance of each other. • Open all year • Museum gift shops, café at the Lofoten Aquarium. • Recommended time use: 30 minutes pr. attraction. • Location: 5 km from Svolvær. • Capacity: total 150 / 50 pr. museum SKREI EXPERIENCE CENTER LOFOTEN Storvågan • Kabelvåg +47 76 15 40 00

SOMETHING FOR EVERY TASTE This overview includes all relevant large-scale festivals, sporting events and cultural events for cruise passengers. You will also find photos and links on our website:

North Cape




The North Cape Festival

Winter Festival in Narvik

Month: June

Month: March

Nordland Music Festival – Winter

North Cape Film Festival Month: September


Bodø International Organ Festival

Northern Lights Festival (Nordlysfestivalen)

Month: April

Month: January / February

Nordland Music Festival – Summer

Tromsø International Film Festival (TIFF)

Month: August

Month: January

Finnmarksløpet (sled dog race) Month: March


Sami Week in Tromsø Month: February (Sami National Day, February 6)

Midnight Sun Marathon Month: June

RidduRiddu (International ­indigenous people’s festival) Hammerfest Days (Hammerfestdagene) Month: July


Month: March


Arctic Race of Norway (International cycling race)

Cod Fishing World Championship

Month: August

Month: March

Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival Month: July

Brønnøysund Rootsfestivalen Month: July


Month: July

Harstad Arctic Arts Festival (Festspillene i Nord-Norge)

Lofotr Viking Festival

Month: June (Week 25)

Month: August

Month: July Annual three-day trade fair in South Helgeland combining entertainment, information, sales promotions and amusement – and with a lively atmosphere right in the thriving Brønnøysund.

CRUISE NORWAY The Ultimate Nature-based Cruise Destination

Photo: FotoKnoff / Nidarosdomen

Photo: Bjarne Riesto / / / Nordkapp

Photo: Christopher Hagelund / / The Opera house

Photo: Lars Erik Martinsen / Helgeland Reiseliv / Vefsn

Photo: Marten Bril / / Andoey

Photo: Andreas Gruhle / / The Pulpit Rock

Welcome to Norway, the ultimate nature-based cruise destination. Our long stretched coastline offers unique possibilities for cruising in both summer and winter. Norway offers vibrant cities, picturesque villages, awe-inspiring fjords, unique islands and the Top of The World. We have the spectacular Northern Lights in the winter and the midnight sun in the summer. Throughout the year, Norway offers something for everyone.


Northern Norway & Svalbard Northern Norway and Svalbard offer ultimate cruise opportunities. Our region is powered by breathtaking nature and offers a host of unique opportunities based on nature, culture and activities.

On our website you will find information about our shorex project, turnaround opportunities, winter cruise and port information. In addition, you will be able to read news and browse through our extensive photo gallery.

At Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard (CNNS) we will do our utmost to facilitate the cruise lines and agents to provide an outstanding service for passengers who visit our cruise region.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss joint opportunities in Northern Norway and Svalbard. We will do our outmost to offer your cruise line or agency the best shore excursion opportunities and infrastructure in our cruise region to create unforgettable adventures for your passengers

We strongly believe that our future success will depend on our ability to constantly improve existing shore excursions and develop new ones. CNNS also considers that turnaround operations in the northernmost part of Europe are the key to success.

Kindest regards

Harriet Willassen

Chair of the Board

Erik Joachimsen Managing Director

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