Last updated: 12:30 PM ET, Wed February 03 2016

Hurtigruten’s Cultural Voyages Highlight Norwegian Art, Music and History

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Hurtigruten | February 03, 2016

Hurtigruten’s Cultural Voyages Highlight Norwegian Art, Music and History

WHY IT RATES: One of the great things about Hurtigruten is that it doesn’t just leave the cultural aspects of river cruising to your own devices. It immerses you in local culture, even more so with this new program. – Rich Thomaselli, TravelPulse Senior Writer

PHOTO: A Hurtigruten ship stops in Lyngenfjord, Norway. (Courtesy Hurtigruten)

Hurtigruten’s sailings along the Norwegian coast have been called “the world’s most beautiful voyage.” Now, with the announcement of 12 new Cultural Voyage sailings this spring, they’re also a chance to get an in-depth view of the country’s fascinating culture.

Inspired by Norway’s national hero, classical composer Edvard Grieg, Cultural Voyages invite guests to an up-close experience of Norway’s music, art and cultural history while traveling along country’s award-winning coastline. And though Grieg may not be a household name here in the US, most know his music without realizing it -- “In the Hall of the Mountain King” is a ubiquitous classical piece, making an appearance in Harry Potter movies as well as in video games, and even cartoons like Scooby Doo and the Smurfs.

SEE MORE: The Hurtigruten Difference

Twelve Cultural Voyages planned for April and May 2016 will follow the same itinerary as Hurtigruten’s Classic Coastal Route, with the addition of concerts, art tours and lectures will bring a more in-depth educational element to the sailings. And 17 exclusive music, art and cultural events not available on any of Hurtigruten’s other Norway Coastal sailings up the ante.

Guests can learn about “The Story of the Norwegian Witch Process”—the dark tale of the witch trials that took place in Vardø in the mid-17th century; take in a piano concert featuring Grieg’s music at his former Bergen home, Troldhaugen; as well as a concert in an old fish-oil tank in Vesterålen.

Other highlights include an organ concert at the beautiful Church of ålesund; several onboard concerts during the course of the sailing; onboard lectures on “What Is Norwegian Culture?” and “Norwegian Legends and Myths”; a guided tour of the ship’s artwork and an excursion to Witch Monument in Vardø.

Six optional culturally-focused excursions are also available for booking (either on board, or in advance). These include Classic Art excursions in Lofoten and Tromso; a concert at the Nidaros Cathedral and trip to the Ringve Museum of Musical History in Trondheim; an Art, Music and History Tour in Harstad; a trip to KaviarFactory, an international venue of contemporary art located in Henningsvær; and a tour of the museum dedicated to 18th Century Norwegian poet, Petter Dass, in Alstahaug.

READ MORE: 10 Cool Cruise Ship Excursions

Seven out of the 12 Cultural Voyages departures will be on Hurtigruten’s newly renovated ships: MS Polarlys, MS Nordkapp, or MS Kong Harald. These ships will feature a new design concept dubbed New Arctic Interior and will reflect the breath-taking coastal landscapes in a stylish and yet unpretentious manner. All of the ship’s common areas, reception foyers, cafes and bistro areas and the aft deck will be renovated. Designs and shapes are expected to bear a resemblance to those found in nature - such as the flow of the waves or the strength of the majestic fjords.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in exploration travel, sailing to the remote of destinations of Antarctica, Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland, as well as year-round along Norway's coast. The company’s fleet of intimate ships, each of which carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere.

Additional information and reservations can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly website,; by phone at 800-323-7436; or fax at 888-524-2145. Brochures can be ordered online or by calling 800-582-0835.

SOURCE: Hurtigruten press release

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