Cruise Norways coastal communities with Hurtigruten
When you set sail with Hurtigruten, you’ll not only enjoy the spectacular Norweigian scenery, but also delight in the freshest local food produced by passionate locals.
All along the Norwegian coast, people share a lifelong connection with Hurtigruten’s fleet of ships; people like Ronald Aas. “The Coastal Express and I, we go way back,” Ronald says proudly. “My first trip on board was the journey home from the hospital in Tromsø after my mother gave birth to me.”
Ronald isn’t alone in experiencing this. Like many other people in Northern Norway, their first voyage in life is aboard one of Hurtigruten’s ships.
Ronald’s family hails from a small fishing village on Magerøya, one of the northernmost inhabited islands on the Norwegian coast. With long, deep fjords penetrating the land, encased by razor-sharp mountain peaks, the landscape is rugged and stark, yet undeniably beautiful. As stunning as the scenery is, it makes travelling by land complicated and sailing by sea the more convenient option.
“The Coastal Express ships are sometimes our only highway home, and act as a literal lifeline for some of the more hard-to-access communities,” Ronald adds.
Hurtigruten’s service to remote communities along the coast for almost 130 years has been a constant for people like Ronald, who has fond memories of seeing our ships go by twice a day.
“They were our connection to the wider world, bringing friends from afar or family from a few ports away,” he reminisces. Ronald notes that The Coastal Express would also bring travellers from all corners of the globe.
“The people along the coast and The Coastal Express are in a partnership, a mutual existence. One cannot exist without the other. I love the fact that my work involves showing visitors the real heart and soul of the Norwegian coast, especially Northern Norway.”
Ronald’s tip for guests: “The journey with our ships really is the most scenic in the world. And it changes with the seasons. No season is the same. I think autumn is my favourite. I really encourage you to experience the coast outside of summer. You won’t be disappointed!”
Caring for the coast: livelihoods
Together with your visits, Hurtigruten’s sailings have helped to support local businesses, create jobs, and sustain livelihoods. When the coastal communities thrive, we all thrive. True sustainability isn’t just about the relationship between people and the environment. It’s also about maintaining an economy that helps people, while protecting the planet at the same time.
Your voyage leaves lasting benefits to the local economy, which in turn ripple out to the wider community. This is sustainable tourism at its best, ensuring small businesses are healthy, and doing good for local entrepreneurs, their staff, and their families.
Hurtigruten cherishes the relationships it has cultivated with more than 60 excursion providers, each handpicked based on the same high standards to which it holds itself.
The goodwill Hurtigruten has built with its excursion partners means you’ll receive a warm welcome. You can look forward to these local experts showing you their homeland, taking you on added adventures that help support their families and community.
A local smorgasbord
Just like the towns Hurtigruten visits along the Norwegian coastline, the food offered on board is diverse.
Their Norway’s Coastal Kitchen concept of using fresh, local produce means at least 80 percent of the food and drink you’ll enjoy on board comes from over 40 different Norwegian suppliers. Milk, berries, fish, meat, cheese, beer, ice cream, and much more are received by their ships at half of the ports they visit, providing farming and fishing families with important income.
At Aalan Farm, one of the few goat farms in Nordland County in the Arctic, owners Tove and Knut Åland have developed a thriving eco-farm. Forty years ago, the couple took over a small farm founded by Knut’s grandparents, a 40-minute drive from Stamsund. “We always wanted to be full-time farmers, and we love it!” Tove says proudly.
Thanks to the partnership Hurtigruten shares with Aalan Farm, you’ll have the opportunity to do a tour on an optional excursion. Take a peek inside the cheese-filled creamery, and enjoy the fragrances of the herb garden.
Aalan Farm also delivers its award-winning cheeses, spices, and teas to the ships as part of Hurtigruten’s Norway’s Coastal Kitchen concept. Serving food based on fresh ingredients is another way they fortify their ties to local businesses.
Here are the ship’s restaurants you can enjoy while travelling with Hurtigruten.
Dine in à la carte style at Kysten where you’ll savour dishes crafted by Hurtigruten’s most skilled chefs, using the finest ingredients the Norwegian coast has to offer.
Seafood is freshly caught, meats are free range, and the cheeses award-winning. In the evening, you’ll be spoilt for choice with four sumptuous starters, five exquisite mains, four desserts, and their famous cheese plate to top everything off. Pair your meal with a bottle of wine from the expertly selected list. Guests on Platinum fares can indulge in all three daily meals here as part of their voyage.
Torget, meaning ‘marketplace’ in Norwegian, is the main restaurant, offering a variety in its menus for all three daily meals. Start your day with a range of hot dishes as well as a buffet of fresh bread, cereal, fruit, yoghurt, smoothies, juices, energy shots, porridge, salmon, made-to-order eggs, and pancakes.
For lunch, look forward to salads, sliced vegetables, local cheeses, deli cuts, homemade desserts and cakes. You’ll also have meat, fish, and vegetarian home-cooked style hot dishes to pick from.
From 6pm, enjoy three-course dinners, choosing from different dishes every day of your voyage. There will be a selection of meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes, as well as a separate vegan menu.
In the Explorer Bar, relax in a comfortable armchair, chat with a drink, and watch the world go by through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Explorer Bar serves premium coffee, organic teas, hot chocolate, fruit juices, various beers, red, white, and Rosé wine, and a collection of Norwegian aquavit that would make any spirit lover jealous.
Enjoy along with a selection of snacks, such as grilled sandwiches using local ham and cheese, or even a Norwegian classic: dried fish!
To find out more and book your journey, visit hurtigruten.com.au.
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