Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
This cruise crosses the Arctic Circle, then continues far beyond. First visit the world of the reindeer, then enter the realm of the polar bear. Glaciers, sea cliffs and fjords – this is nature at its northern wildest and most spectacular
Norway is an amazing country. Including the fjords it has over 15,000 miles of coastline. Nearly one third of the country is above the tree line and huge glaciers can be found as far south as central southern Norway. It’s two and a half times the size of the UK, but has a population of fewer than five million. You can quote many amazing facts and figures about the country, but it’s the jaw-dropping scenery which leaves everyone looking for words good enough to describe Norway’s natural wonders. And the further north you go, the better it gets. Photos don’t do the country justice – you have to come here yourself to believe it. Sailing from Liverpool we spend a couple of days getting used to life at sea and all the comforts of the Black Watch. Our first Norwegian port is the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, spectacularly situated on a promontory, surrounded by sea, fjords and mountains. We then continue north, crossing over the Arctic Circle and entering the realm of the midnight sun.
Our first venture ashore in the Norwegian Arctic is Honningsvåg on the island of Magerøya, just short of North Cape. Here the landscape is truly wild and untamed and our hike across the hills is normally rewarded with sightings of reindeer.We spend two days in Svalbard, the collection of islands halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, calling into the ports of Pyramiden and Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen is the northernmost year-round settlement on earth, where all forms of life battle with the harsh environment. Pyramiden is a bleak and barren former Russian mining colony truly at the ends of the earth.
Heading south from here we again have a chance to view Norway’s spectacular coastline before arriving in Tromsø The city is traditionally seen as the gateway to the Arctic, the city from where many groundbreaking polar adventures have started. Our final port of call in Norway is Bodø. It’s one of those places of which you may never have heard, but once visited, will long to go back to. From the town access to pristine Arctic wilderness and stunning scenery is relatively easy. We then cross the North Sea to weigh anchor in Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands, halfway to Norway from the UK in more ways than one. The islands are closer to Oslo than London and 30% of the population claim Norwegian heritage, mainly stemming from the 7 centuries when the Shetlands were ruled by Vikings. The local accent is a mixture of Scots & Norwegian. During the cruise we have several days at sea, some spent cruising the spectacular coastline, with views of mountains, remote islands, isolated communities and the seaward end of fjords. With our walks we aim to explore coastal Norway’s scenery. The walks are sometimes shorter than you might expect for a grade 4 holiday but the views we will be rewarded with are still breathtaking.
Norway does have a reputation for being expensive, but on a Ramblers Cruise & Walk holiday you benefit from excellent value and all the amazing scenery you would get on a land-based holiday. At the end of each day’s activities we return to the excellent food and comfort of Black Watch and sail on to another scenic destination.
Please note, ports of call may change between different departure dates. It is important to check the individual tour date proposed itinerary for details of your cruise.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.