Skip to navigation Skip to content
  • *
    The magical Northern Lights
  • *
    Taking to the slopes in Narvik
  • *
    Norwegian wildlife
  • *
    Magnificent scenery
Ocean Cruises
Saga Cruises

Bright Lights in Norway

Saga Pearl II departing Portsmouth

from £2,915 15 2
Including optional travel insurance or a discount of £98 if not required
  • Full Board Full board
  • No fly No fly

Prepare to be spellbound

Seek out Norway's mesmerising Northern Lights and enjoy a host of active winter experiences such as skiing in Narvik, a husky-sled ride and sleeping overnight in a cosy Arctic pod! We've planned an overnight sojourn in Alta too. Known as the ‘Town of the Northern Lights’, there's an included an excursion here to increase your odds of sighting the aurora borealis. You can also look forward to visiting the bustling fishing town of Kålvag, which is a new port for Saga.

Inspiring experiences to enjoy… An exhilarating dog sled ride followed by a night beneath the Arctic sky in a cosy sleeping pod, an included excursion to look out for the Northern Lights, a beginners' ski lesson in Narvik and a boat safari to photograph white-tailed eagles.

Saga price includes...

  • A Northern Lights excursion worth £150
  • Complimentary Arctic jacket
  • All meals on board, including 24-hour room service
  • A choice of wines at lunch and dinner
  • All on-board gratuities
  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • Entertainment and activities
  • Welcome cocktail party and Captain’s dinner
  • All port taxes and visas
  • UK mainland travel service to and from Portsmouth
save up to 30%
Book today and and save upto 30% of full fare. How our discounts work


View Full Itinerary

Portsmouth

Embark Saga Pearl II.

Depart 1600.

Portsmouth is one of the most densely populated cities in Southern England, and is unusual as most of its built-up area occupies Portsea Island, which is linked to the mainland by road and rail bridges. Although there is a Roman fort at nearby Portchester, which was occupied later by both the Saxons and the Normans, there was no settlement on the site of Portsmouth at the time of the Domesday survey in 1086. The town developed in medieval times and received its first charter in 1194 from King Richard the Lionheart; soon afterwards it developed into a permanent naval base. It has the world’s oldest continuously used dry dock, and is home to several famous ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, which millions of television viewers watched being raised from the Solent in 1982. Portsmouth remains an important naval base and is home to a large proportion of the British service fleet. The waterfront area is now dominated by the Spinnaker Tower, 560 feet high, which is the United Kingdom’s tallest building outside London. Other things to see in the city include the house where Charles Dickens was born, and the City Museum, which contains a permanent exhibition devoted to another famous writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived in the town.

FactFile

Population 205,400 (approximate)
Language English
Currency Pound sterling
Time Difference N/A
Climate Portsmouth experiences an oceanic climate, with cool winters and mild to warm summers.
Ship berths at Portsmouth International Port
Distance from Centre ½-mile
Distance from gangway to coach Coaches can pull up immediately outside the terminal building.

Useful Information

Shopping The nearest shops to the terminal are in Gunwharf Quays, near the Spinnaker Tower.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open Monday to Friday 0900-2000, Saturday 0900-1900 and Sunday 1100-1700.
Post Office The main Post Office is in Slindon Street, near Portsmouth & Southsea railway station.
Tourist Office The Tourist Information Office is on Clarence Esplanade. Telephone: 023 9282 6722.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial the full STD code followed by the subscriber's number.
Emergency Services Dial 999.
Banks All main UK banks have branches in the city centre, and there are ATMs in the Cruise Terminal.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Bergen

Arrive 0800. Depart 1600.

Surrounded by mountains and sparkling fjords, the waterside city of Bergen has a spectacular setting. There has been a settlement here since medieval times and the colourful waterfront buildings of the Hanseatic wharf, known as Bryggen, are testament to its fascinating history of trade. As Norway’s best known medieval settlement, the Bryggen is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Our comprehensive selection of excursions allows you to discover the many sides of Bergen, such as the fish market and narrow cobbled streets, as well as stunning views of the city from the summit of Mt Fløyen. Alternatively, those who have visited the city previously may like to experience one of the tours that travel further afield. Just 300 yards from the main piers, you will find the Fortress Museum (Fesningsmuseum), which has an interesting collection of objects related to World War II.

FactFile

Population 280,000 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Temperate with frequent rain
Ship berths at Bontelabo or Jekteviken Cruise Terminal, or Skolten Pier
Distance from Centre Up to half-a-mile
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping Shops can be found along the Hanseatic Wharf and at the Galleriet Shopping Centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Open from Monday to Saturday from 1000-2000. A limited number of shops are open on Sundays.
Post Office Bergen Sentrum Postkontor, Småstrandgaten 3. Open Monday to Friday 0900-1800 and Saturday 1000-1500.
Tourist Office The Turistinformasjonen Bergen is located on the 1st Floor of the new Mathallen indoor fishmarket at Strandkaien 3. Opening hours are 0830-2000.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 113 for an ambulance, 112 for the police and 110 for the fire service.
Banks Forex Bank at Strandkaien 2B is close to the Fish Market and Tourist Office. Open Monday to Friday 0900-1900 and Saturday 1000-1730. ATMs are available.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Go sightseeing around the beautiful Hardanger region on this excursion. First take a short orientation drive through Bergen, passing the fish and flower markets, the 13th-century Bergenshus Fortress, medieval King Håkon’s Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower. Leaving the city behind, your scenic journey cuts through a variety of landscapes following the Hardangerfjord and passes through quaint market towns along the way to Hardanger. After passing the Kvamskogen mountain plateau and Fossen Bratte waterfall you will pause at a second waterfall, Steinsdalsfossen, where you can actually walk behind the curtain of water without getting wet. Your drive continues to the village of Øystese. Hardanger is renowned as a prime fruit-growing region, and is especially prized for its apples, which have been growing here since the 14th century. You can admire the fruit farms on the hillside of the fjord. At a local hotel by the fjord you will enjoy a light lunch served with musical accompaniment, before returning via the same scenic route to Bergen.

Although this tour requires just a few yards of walking, some of it is over uneven ground with a handful of steps and thresholds. In addition, if Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall is not frozen, you may have the opportunity to walk behind it. Extra care should be taken as this is a 200-yard walk, up a steeply sloped path that is likely to be very slippery. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with comfortable, flat-soled walking shoes. Views will depend on the weather. Hardanger, still as beautiful in winter. Don't forget your camera!

This tour allows you to discover more about Bergen’s long seafaring history. Your morning begins by passing the Royal Hall, Haakonshallen and the old buildings of Bryggen, known as the Hanseatic Wharf and listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Then continue to the Old Bergen Museum for a guided tour through the exterior of the museum area, before driving to the Fantoft Stave Church situated about 20 minutes from the city centre. Here you stop for a guided tour of the church, which has been painstakingly rebuilt using traditional methods after a fire in 1992 destroyed the original 12th-century building. Finally take a thrilling cable car ride to the top of Mt Ulriken, which at just over 2,000 ft is the highest of the seven mountains that surround Bergen and from where spectacular views, not just of the city, but also the fjords, sea and mountains, can all be enjoyed.

To access the cable car there is a 100-yard walk with a few steps. Further walking at the Old Bergen Museum area is over steep uneven surfaces and cobblestones. Views from Mt Ulriken may be spoilt by inclement weather. In the event of the cable car being closed due to high winds, then a funicular ride to Mount Fløyen will be substituted. Also, the visit to Fantoft Stave Church requires a slight uphill walk of about 150 yards on an uneven footpath. Depending on traffic, these sights may be seen in a different order. The Old Bergen Museum (© Bergen Tourist Authority)

This panoramic excursion starts with a drive through Sandviken or 'Sandy Bay', where you can see many charming white wooden buildings built in the traditional Bergen style. On your return pass beautiful St Mary’s Church, the oldest building in Bergen and one of the few Romanesque buildings in Norway. Then take a funicular ride to a height of 1,000 feet up Mount Fløyen, one of the seven mountains that surround Bergen, for a bird's eye view of the city below. Discover the well-known fish market, now housed in a stunning new glass building, before continuing to the Nordnes Peninsula for a photo-stop at the old customs pier. Next, travel past the Bergen Aquarium: near here you can glimpse a typical narrow Bergen street, known as a 'smug'. Pass Bergen Theatre and drive into the Hakonsgaten for a glimpse of St John's Church. Your tour finishes with a drive past the Grieg Hall, the busy Danmarksplass intersection, Haukeland University Hospital and Kalfaret, a residential area with many charming old buildings.

Whilst walking on this excursion is mainly at your discretion, there is a 100-yard walk with a few steps to access the funicular. However, a lift is available at both the top and bottom stations. No other entrances are included on this tour. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. Views from Mount Fløyen may be spoilt by inclement weather. Depending on traffic, the sights may be seen in a different order. Mount Fløyen Funicular in the snow (© Bergen Tourist Authority)

This comprehensive day-long tour heads first to Voss, a popular winter resort set beside a peaceful lake. Here you board a train for one of Europe’s most impressive rail journeys, which will take you through valleys, past rivers and under mountains. At Myrdal you change trains and descend the famous Flåmsbana railway line to the tiny village of Flåm, beautifully set alongside the mammoth Sognefjord. En-route, stop at the stunning Kjösfossen Waterfall, disembarking the train to take photographs of this stunning panorama. You then travel by coach through two long tunnels to Gudvangen, which translates as ‘worship place of the heathen gods’. Enjoy unrivalled mountain scenery as you pass Oppheim Lake and arriving at Tvinde Waterfall. After a short stop to admire the foaming rapids of the falls, you return to Voss where you will have lunch in one of the local hotels. Afterwards enjoy some free time to explore the town, perhaps visiting the beautiful 13th-century stone church which managed to remain standing despite some heavy bombing in the area during World War II. Finally, you re-board the coach and return directly to Bergen.

There are three steep steps to board the train. At some stops there may be a wide gap between the platform and the train. Walking at all the stops is mainly at your discretion. Please note that there are many tunnels on this tour and few comfort stops. Please advise the Shore Excursion Manager on board the ship of any dietary requests, at least 48hrs before arrival in Bergen. Myrdal Station in the winter

This comprehensive day-long tour heads first to Voss, a popular winter resort set beside a peaceful lake. Here you board a train for one of Europe’s most impressive rail journeys, which will take you through valleys, past rivers and under mountains. At Myrdal you change trains and descend to the tiny village of Flåm, beautifully set alongside the mammoth Sognefjord. En route, stop at the stunning Kjössfossen Waterfall, disembarking the train to take photographs of this stunning panorama. You then travel by coach to Gudvangen, which translates as ‘worship place of the gods’. Enjoy unrivalled mountain scenery as you tackle several hairpin bends and ascend Norway’s steepest road, the famous Stalheimskleivene. Next, enjoy a buffet lunch at the Stalheim Hotel, packed with antiques, furniture and paintings, before passing Oppheim Lake and arriving at the Tvinde Waterfall. After a short stop to admire the foaming rapids of the falls, return to Voss. Here you will have some free time to explore the town, perhaps seeing the beautiful 13th-century stone church. Finally, return to Bergen, arriving in time for dinner on board.

There are three steep steps to board the train and at some stops there can be a wide gap between the platform and the train. Walking at all stops is mainly at your discretion. This excursion must be booked in advance and cannot be booked on board ship. Stalheim Canyon

This interesting tour reveals the legacy of Bergen's most famous son, the world-renowned composer Edvard Grieg, who was born in the city in 1843. Begin by travelling into Bergen’s suburbs passing King Håkon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower, the colourful Bryggen area and the fish market. Continue to the village of Paradis to visit Troldhaugen, which was Grieg’s home from 1885 until his death in 1907. Enjoy a guided tour of the beautifully-furnished villa which has been preserved just as it was when the composer died, with many of his possessions, including his Steinway piano, still in situ. In the concert hall next to the villa, attend a piano recital of Grieg’s music, before heading back to your ship.

This tour involves walking a minimum of 500 yards at Troldhaugen. There are also around a dozen steps up to the front door of the villa. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. Winter view of Troldhaugen, Grieg's home

Åndalsnes

Arrive 0800. Depart 1630.

A small town in Norway’s fjord country, Åndalsnes is a gateway to the rugged wilderness of the Romsdalfjord. Known as the 'village between the mountains and the fjords', it typifies Norway's striking natural beauty with its setting on a promontory lined by alps and set at the mouth of the Rauma River. The town itself is tucked under the lofty mountain peaks, backed by lush, green scenery. Nearby is the impressive Trollveggen, or 'Troll Wall', which at 6,000 feet is Europe's highest vertical cliff face and is often topped by cloud. The precipice is said to be the ultimate trial for rock climbers, who regularly flock here to accept the challenge. Åndalsnes is also the terminus of the famous Rauma Railway which runs 70 miles alongside the emerald-green Rauma river and through some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery to Dombås (2160 feet above sea level) where it then connects to the main Oslo to Trondheim line.

FactFile

Population 7,500 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Temperate with frequent rain
Ship berths at Natokaien
Distance from Centre Approximately 300 yards
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping There are a wide selection of shops in the town and also at a shopping centre 1½ miles from the pier
Shopping Opening Hours Most are open Monday to Friday from 1000-1700 and on Saturday 1000-1500
Post Office The Post Office situated in the Coop Extra Åndalsnes store located at STRANDGATA 1 6300 ÅNDALSNES. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 0700-2300 and Saturday 0800-2200.
Tourist Office There is not a Tourist Office located in the town.
How to Phone Home Dial 00 44 followed by the STD code (omitting the first 0) and then the number
Emergency Services Dial 113 for an ambulance, 112 for police and 110 for the fire service
Banks The Sparebanken Møre Bank is located in Jernbanegate about 100 yards from the pier. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 0900-1530. It is closed weekends, but there is a 24-hour ATM

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

The vast Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park extends to some 650 sq miles and is the only place in Norway and Europe, and one of the few remaining places on earth, where you can still see the mighty musk oxen. Your hiking tour commences with a leisurely two hour drive through the Romsdalen Valley where you will pass Troll Wall, Europe's highest vertical rock face. You continue across the truss bridge at Sogge and through Bjorli before finally arriving in Dombås. Here an expert guide will come onboard the coach and together you will travel for a further half an hour to the realm of the musk ox. On the way the guide will explain about the life of these fascinating animals and their habitats and how they first came to Dovrefjell. Having arrived at a suitable spot, closest to where the animals are expected to be on the day, you will commence your three or four hour hike through the national park. After about a mile you will reach Snøhetta viewpoint some 4000 feet above sea level. Having paused to admire the picturesque views across the park to the snow-capped peaks of the Snøhetta Mountain in the distance, you continue your hike in search of the Musk Ox but stopping enroute also to admire the ever changing flora of the area, including some species which are not seen elsewhere in Norway. Whilst sightings of Musk Ox cannot of course be guaranteed, you would be unlucky not to see at least one, as well as the occasional reindeer and ptarmigan. Following your exhilarating hike you will reboard the coach and continue to a mountain lodge for a light meal, before commencing the 80 mile journey back to Åndalsnes.

The hike will last up to 4 hours and is expected to cover several miles over rough terrain as well as established paths. Please bear in mind that you will only be able to observe the musk oxen from a safe distance of approximately 200 yards and not approach them close up. The only available bathrooms will be at the viewpoint and mountain lodge. Remember to bring binoculars as well as your camera. Insect repellent is also recommended. Hide in search of the mighty Musk Ox

Join this leisurely panoramic drive to view the famous Troll Wall and visit one of Norway’s few remaining stave churches. Travelling north from Åndalsnes you follow the banks of the Romsdalsfjord through the village of Isfjorden, known for its many small clothing and woodworking factories, to Lerheim where your journey then continues alongside the Rødvenfjord to the ancient stave church, dating back to 1300. Since 1907, when a new church was built across the road, Rødven stave church has been owned by the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments and now only holds one service a year on the eve of St Olav’s Day. The church’s interior furnishings and decorations mainly date from the 1600 and 1700s but the wooden crucifix is older and goes back to the 13th century. Returning by a similar route, you will continue beyond Åndalsnes and drive south along the scenic Romsdalen Valley to a viewpoint in front of the stunning Trollveggen. The Troll Wall forms part of Trolltinden (Troll Peaks), and at 3600 feet is Europe’s tallest vertical rock face. Having witnessed this impressive feat of nature, you then return to the ship in Åndalsnes.

This excursion requires less than 100 yards walking with a couple of high threshold steps to access the church and pews inside. Walking at the Troll Wall viewpoint will be at your own discretion. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. Flash photography is not permitted inside the stave church. The beautiful winter landscape of Romsdal

Step aboard the scenic Rauma Railway for a train ride through some of the most spectacular mountain formations in Norway. After walking the short distance to the railway station in Åndalsnes, board the train and ride 35 miles along the line to Bjorli, while admiring the picture-postcard scenes from the large panoramic windows. Throughout the journey several stops will be made allowing you to take photographs of the dramatic scenery from the train. Your ride will take you along the course of the Rauma River, ascending the Romsdal Valley and passing the Horn of Romsdal and the 'Troll Wall' mountain face. You will see many waterfalls, cross several bridges, and ride through two 'turning tunnels' which allow the train to ascend further up into the valley. Then, cross over the Kylling Bridge from where there is a dramatic view of the river flowing into a canyon below. After alighting the train at Bjorli Station your mode of transport changes, and you take a coach drive through one of Norway’s most beautiful valleys, surrounded by impressive peaks rising straight up from the valley floor. Pause at the Slettafossen waterfall viewpoint and get a closer look at the ‘Troll Wall’, Europe’s highest perpendicular mountain wall, before returning to your ship at Åndalsnes.

This excursion requires walking approximately 450 yards in total, with a few steps to board and disembark the train. Any further walking at the photo stops is at your own discretion. For half the group the itinerary will operate in reverse, travelling first by coach and then boarding the train in Bjorli. Please be aware that places for this excursion are restricted, especially during the winter months when the number of train departures is quite limited, so early prebooking is essential. Photo Credit: Leif J Olestad. Join the Rauma Railway and see a Winter Wonderland

Step aboard the scenic Rauma Railway for a train ride through some of the most spectacular mountain formations in Norway. After walking the short distance to the railway station in Åndalsnes, board the train and ride 35 miles along the line to Bjorli, while admiring the picture-postcard scenes from the large panoramic windows. Your ride will take you along the course of the Rauma River, ascending the Romsdal Valley and passing the Horn of Romsdal and the 'Troll Wall' mountain face. You will see many waterfalls, cross several bridges, and ride through two 'turning tunnels' which allow the train to ascend further up into the valley. Then, cross over the Kylling Bridge from where there is a dramatic view of the river flowing into a canyon below. After alighting the train at Bjorli Station your mode of transport changes, and you take a coach drive through one of Norway’s most beautiful valleys, surrounded by impressive peaks rising straight up from the valley floor. Pause at the Slettafossen waterfall viewpoint and get a closer look at the ‘Troll Wall’, Europe’s highest perpendicular mountain wall, before returning to your ship at Åndalsnes.

This excursion requires walking approximately 450 yards in total, with a few steps to board and disembark the train. Any further walking at the photo stops is at your own discretion. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes.For half the group the itinerary will operate in reverse, travelling first by coach and then boarding the train in Bjorli. Photo Credit: Leif J Olestad. Join the Rauma Railway and see a Winter Wonderland

On this leisurely panoramic drive you will pass beautiful mountain scenery and foaming rapids as you follow the Rauma River up to Bjorli. Your first photo stop after leaving Åndalsnes will be at a viewpoint at the foot of Trollsveggen, the Trolls Wall. Forming part of the Trolltinden peaks, the 3600ft high Trollveggen is Europe’s tallest vertical overhanging rock face. On the opposite side of the valley, the majestic Romsdalshorn peak towers to a height of over 5000ft. Continuing along the narrow valley beside the banks of the foaming salmon river, Rauma, you eventually reach Bjorli Ski Centre which is situated at 1800ft above sea level . Enjoy refreshments here at the Bjorligard Hotel before returning back along a similar route and, weather conditions permitting, pausing near Verma to admire a particularly pretty stretch of the River Rauma as it flows rapidly through a deep gorge to form the Slettafossen Waterfall.

Walking to access the Bjorligard Hotel and the Trolls Wall viewpoint will amount to less than 100 yards and just the occasional step. To view the Slettafossen Waterfall will involve walking a further 100 yards over uneven and possibly icy surfaces. The Troll Wall: Europe's highest perpendicular rock face

On this pleasant excursion you travel to the Fokstumyra Nature Reserve for a great chance of spotting the elusive moose. Your drive commences with a leisurely two hour drive through the Romsdalen Valley where you will pass Troll Wall, Europe's highest vertical rock face. You continue across the truss bridge at Sogge and through Bjorli before finally arriving in Dombås. Here an expert guide will come onboard the coach and together you will drive through Dovre National Park to the realm of the moose in Fokstumyra Nature Reserve. The moose is the largest species in the deer family and are nervous solitary animals. Whilst sightings, cannot be guaranteed of course, the moose does become more active towards the evening, so twilight is the best time of day to see these 'kings of the forest' and your expert guide normally manages to find them. Although generally slow-moving and sedentary, the shy moose can become agitated and move surprisingly quickly if startled, so its important to be quiet and avoid sudden movements when you see one. After spending approximately two hours driving in the nature reserve you will enjoy a light meal at a mountain lodge before embarking on the return journey to Åndalsnes. Hopefully having spotted several moose as well as red deer and some interesting species of birds too.

Walking on this excursion will not amount to more than 500 yards as the safari is mainly carried out from the comfort of your coach. There will be a couple of steps to negotiate at the mountain lodge where the meal is served. Remember to bring binoculars as well as your camera. The elusive Moose

Cross the Arctic Circle.

Tromsø

Arrive 0800 on February 20. Depart 1800 on February 21.

With its centre located on the island of Tromsø, the municipality of Tromsø is more than five times the size of Norway’s capital, Oslo, and is the world’s northernmost university city. Lying 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, it is known as the 'Gateway to the Arctic' because it was used as a starting point for hunters looking for Arctic foxes, polar bears and seals. In the 19th century it was a base for explorers on Arctic expeditions – a history that is remembered in the city’s Polar Museum, which you can visit on an excursion. Also commemorated in the area is the history of Norway’s indigenous people, the Sami. Visitors can learn about the traditions, heritage and modern preservation of the Sami culture at the Tromsø Museum. Nowadays, Tromsø is a charming mix of old and new, with wooden buildings sitting alongside contemporary architecture such as the impressive glacier-like Arctic Cathedral, which features one of the largest stained glass windows in Europe. Looking down on the city is Mount Storsteinen, and a cable car runs to the top, giving wonderful views over the surrounding countryside of forested peaks and reindeer pastures.

FactFile

Population 72,681 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cold with a risk of snow showers
Ship berths at Prostneset or Breivika Pier
Distance from Centre 200 yards or three miles, depending on pier
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The Nærstranda Steen og Strøm Shopping Centre has a good selection of shops.
Shopping Opening Hours Usually 1000-2000 Monday to Friday and 1000-1800 on Saturdays.
Post Office The Post Office is located at Strandgata 41 and is open Monday to Friday from 0800-1800, and 1000-1800 on Saturdays.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located at Kirkegata 2. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 0900-1600, and 1000-1600 on Saturday.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 113 for an ambulance, 112 for police and 110 for the fire service.
Banks Banks are open Monday to Friday 0900-1530. 24-hour ATMs are located at Storgata 65 and Sjøgata 8.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Your tour begins with a short drive to the Tromsø Museum, where you can enjoy a guided tour and learn about the challenges facing the native Sami people as they struggle to preserve their way of life. Continue with a drive past Lake Prestvatn and the Meteorological Institute, as well as the world-renowned Northern Lights Observatory. Pass by the place where Hitler's Tirpitz (sister ship of the Bismarck) was finally sunk by British Lancasters in November 1944, and discover the modern architecture of the breathtaking Arctic Cathedral, a mighty structure dominated by a beautiful stained glass window depicting the Resurrection of Christ. Then take a thrilling cable car ride up Mount Storsteinen for a stunning bird’s eye view of the city and its surroundings before returning to your ship.

The guided tour of the museum involves climbing one flight of stairs. Walking at the cable car amounts to 100 yards and involves 60 steps. You will need to remain standing during the cable car ride. There is a further walk of 100 yards up a fairly steep incline and a few steps to enter the cathedral. Your tour includes the iconic Arctic Cathedral

Your tour begins with a drive around the city of Tromsø before you proceed past Lake Prestvatn and to the Meteorological Institute and former Northern Lights Observatory. Pass by the place where Hitler's Tirpitz (sister ship of the Bismark) was finally sunk by British Lancasters in November 1944 before arriving at the Science Centre Planetarium which is based at the world's northernmost university campus and boasts a 360° multimedia screen. Here you have the opportunity to watch a fascinating film about the Aurora Borealis and to learn more about this mystical phenomenon. As you continue your tour and drive across Tromsø Bridge you will begin to appreciate the modern architecture of the breathtaking Arctic Cathedral, a mighty structure in the shape of an iceberg which is clad in aluminium. This distinctive and memorable building was consecrated in 1965 and is dominated by a beautiful stained glass window depicting the Resurrection of Christ. which was designed by Viktor Sparre and is one of the largest stained glass windows in Europe.

Walking at the Planetarium amounts to not more than 100 yards with 20 steps to negotiate inside, although a lift is available. There is a further walk of 100 yards up a fairly steep incline and a few steps to enter the cathedral. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. The Planetarium

Your tour begins with a short drive to the Tromsø Museum, where you can enjoy a guided tour and learn about the challenges facing the native Sami people as they struggle to preserve their way of life. Continue with a drive past the Meteorological Institute, as well as the world-renowned Northern Lights Observatory. Pass the place where Hitler's battleship Tirpitz, sister ship of the Bismarck, was sunk by British Lancaster bombers in November 1944, and discover the modern architecture of the breathtaking Arctic Cathedral, a mighty structure dominated by a beautiful stained glass window depicting the Resurrection of Christ. Then take a thrilling cable-car ride up Mount Storsteinen for a stunning bird’s eye view of the city and its surroundings, before concluding your tour at the world's most northerly botanical gardens to admire their fine displays of Arctic and alpine plants.

The guided tour of the museum involves climbing one flight of stairs. Walking to the cable-car amounts to 100 yards and involves 60 steps: there may be a long queue before boarding, and you will need to remain standing during the ride. There is a further walk of 100 yards up a fairly steep slope and a few steps to enter the cathedral. The botanical gardens are situated on a moderate incline, and whilst the precise amount of walking is at your discretion, you should expect to cover about 200 yards. Guiding inside the Arctic Cathedral is prohibited, so your guide will give an explanation before you go in. Access to the interior may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit clashing with a religious service. Visit the Botanical Gardens on your tour

This interesting excursion first takes you over to Troms Island to visit the Polar Museum, located in an old customs warehouse dating from 1830. The museum is home to several fascinating exhibits and displays relating to the early polar expeditions, hunting and trapping. Following time to browse at leisure, continue to the Polaria adventure centre. Opened in 1998, this modern building brings to life the wildlife and environment of the polar regions. Enter the large panoramic cinema to watch films about the Aurora Borealis and Arctic Wilderness, which takes you on an airborne trip along the west coast of Spitsbergen. You can then walk along the Arctic Trail to experience first hand some elements of Arctic nature, including a snowstorm, the tundra and the Northern Lights. Next, visit the aquarium and touch pools which are brimming with aquatic life, including bearded seals and fish from the Barents Sea. Perhaps browse the interesting gift shop, before heading back to the ship.

This excursion requires approximately 200 yards of walking. In addition, to reach the Amundsen and Nansen exhibitions at the Polar Museum, it is necessary to climb a flight of 15 steps. Visit the Polar Museum

Departing the pier you will drive to the other side of Troms Island and then across the 1335-yard long Sandnessund Bridge to Whale Island, where the Tromsø Friluftsenter is situated, a journey of approximately half an hour. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your Sami hosts who will explain a little about the centre and activities offered. You will then be taken to where a small herd of specially trained reindeer are waiting to take you on an old fashioned sled ride. During the next half hour you will travel quietly through the pristine Norwegian winter landscape, hearing nothing but the jingle of the reindeers' bells as they meander sedately along. After your sledding experience you will be served coffee and Bidos, a traditional sami meal consisting of vegetables and reindeer meat, in a lavvo tent. Your guide will then tell stories about the Sami people, their history and way of life, and demonstrate the art of lasso throwing, which you will also have the opportunity of trying for yourself. You will then return to the city having experienced a glimpse of Sami life.

This excursion will involve walking a total of 300 yards much of which will be over uneven ground covered in snow. Warm clothing is essential so we recommend you wear warm trousers, jacket, hat, scarf and gloves. Please also wear warm, waterproof boots. Enjoy Reindeer-Sledding through the snow

The Sami people are indigenous Finno-Urgic people who inhabit the Arctic areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. They are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognised and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. This tour will introduce you to their history and traditions. A visit to Tromsø Museum, the largest in northern Norway, will tell you about their history through two comprehensive exhibitions. This is followed by a visit to a Sami camp, where you will meet real Sami people and hear from them about their way of living. Tromsø Lapland employs only Sami guides, who will tell you about reindeer and reindeer herders. You have the opportunity of seeing reindeer as they have a small herd of between ten and 15 in the camp. You may learn how to throw a lasso, as reindeer herders catch their own reindeer. About 10% of the Sami are involved with reindeer herding, out of whom 2,800 are employed on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries. Your hosts will invite you into a lavvu, a tent where you will be entertained with a 'joik' - a traditional Sami folk song. You should leave Tromsø with a much better understanding of the proud Sami people, their origin, their history and their vision for the future.

You should expect to walk up to 200 yards across variable terrain. There is one long flight of between 25 and 30 stairs at the Museum. Learn about Norwegian wildlife

Alta

Arrive 0800 on February 22. Depart 1300 on February 23.

People have been attracted to the community of Alta for thousands of years, and prehistoric rock carvings discovered in 1973 can be seen at the Alta Museum. Situated at the head of the Altafjord, it is a lush, green and hospitable shelter in the otherwise cold and windswept Finnmark landscape. Halfway between the grim, barren mountain plateau and the wet, stormy coast, Alta offers tree-clad valleys, pleasant temperatures and no more rain than the Sahara. However at 70 degrees North it is quite a different story in winter, when heavy snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures are the order of the day, and clear dark night skies become the arena for dazzling displays of the elusive Aurora Borealis, also referred to as 'the temperamental lady' by Laplanders. The world’s first Northern Lights Observatory, which played an important role in the development of geophysical and meteorological research during the first half of the 20th century, is located just 12 miles from Alta. Perched atop Haldde Mountain, it towers almost 3,000 feet above Kafjord, where the battleship Tirpitz was based during the Second World War.

FactFile

Population 12,000 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cold with snow showers
Ship berths at Alta Pier
Distance from Centre 5 miles
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping A variety of shops are to be found within the pedestrian precinct of Alta town centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open between 0900-1800 on weekdays.
Post Office The Post Office is located in the town centre where the shuttle bus stops and is open on weekdays between 0900-1800.
Tourist Office The Tourist information centre is located in the town centre where the shuttle bus stops.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 113 for an ambulance, 112 for police and 110 for the fire service.
Banks Nordea Bank is located in the town centre and is open 0900-1600 on weekdays.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

The Northern Lights Cathedral is one of Alta's newest and most striking landmarks. The church first opened in 2013 and has delighted visitors with its challenging symbolism and unique design ever since. During a short panoramic tour of Alta, your guide will talk about the architecture, the construction and the artwork, both inside and out. The cathedral is an extraordinary achievement, rising as a sculptural peak to contrast the natural environment around it. The building symbolises the Arctic northern lights through the spiral that rises to the top of the cathedral and the titanium covered façade, offers a reflection of the phenomenon during the darkness of winter. Inside, the cathedral is illuminated by the tall windows which spiral around the building. You'll have plenty of time to take pictures and to embrace the peaceful atmosphere.

This tour requires walking approximately 550 yards in total over relatively flat, somewhat uneven ground with a slight incline. Due to ongoing construction works there may be 6 steps that cannot be avoided, any other walking is at your own discretion. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes The Northern Lights Cathedral

Enjoy a short husky dog sledge ride and learn about the fascinating Sami culture on this excursion. Begin with a visit to the Holmen Hundesenter dog sledging centre, where you can enjoy a 20-minute ride seated in a wooden sledge pulled by a pack of huskies, under the control of an experienced 'musher'. After this thrilling experience, learn from the dog trainers about how these energetic canines are trained for the annual Finnmarkslopet, a true test of stamina in which the dogs compete in a 600-mile race, the longest in Europe. You can also enjoy hot refreshments and cake served in a 'lavvu' tent. Following this, rejoin your coach for the short journey to Boazo Sami Siida, a traditional Sami settlement of reindeer herders located close to the Alta River. During a tour of the 'siida' you can learn a little about reindeer herding, look at the equipment and utensils used by the herders, and meet the friendly reindeer themselves. Other activities include Sami chanting, known as 'joik' and lasso throwing. Coffee will also be made over an open fire in a 'lavvu' which you can try. Perhaps purchase some Sami handicrafts before setting off for the return journey to your ship in Alta.

This excursion requires walking up to half-a-mile at the dog sledging centre, plus a further 300 yards at Boazo Sami Siida, the majority of which will be over snow. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves. Please note that the excursion provider requires all participants to sign a form acknowledging the inherent risks involved with this type of activity. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. We recommend that those passengers who have chosen not to take Saga's included insurance, check that their travel insurance covers them for this specific activity. Due to the bumpy conditions, sled rides are not suitable for those who suffer with back and neck problems. Meet the huskies that will pull your wooden sledge

Join this included excursion for the best chance of seeing the amazing natural phenomena of the Aurora Borealis, world renowned as the 'Northern Lights'. After an early dinner on board the ship, attend an interesting lecture by your expert guide. As a group, you will plan and decide on the best location for viewing the Northern Lights that evening, based on the latest meteorological forecasts. Then board the coach and travel to your selected spot, far away from any light pollution. Enjoy a campfire outside as you hunt for a glimpse of this incredible natural phenomenon, a colourful display of light created by emissions of photons in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Take in the quiet and beautiful scenery of your secluded position as your guide tells you stories of the region and gives tips on how to take good photographs of the light phenomena. Warm drinks and snacks will also be served while here. One by one the coaches will then depart for the return journey back to the ship, with the last coach returning around 0100.

This excursion is dependent on good weather conditions and will be cancelled if they are unfavourable. Walking is not expected to exceed 400 yards. Warm clothing is essential as most of the time will be spent outside. Torches will be provided. The only toilet facilities may be those on board the coaches. Sightings of the Northern Lights cannot be guaranteed. Marvel at the Northern Lights

Your day starts with a short sightseeing coach tour of Alta alongside the River Altaelva, one of the best salmon rivers in Norway. It runs through one of the largest canyons in Europe, as it travels from the high plateau of Finnmarksvidda down to the Altafjord. Continuing on through Repvåg you enter the North Cape Tunnel to the island of Magerøya, home to the North Cape which is Europe’s most northerly point. Built in the 1990s, the tunnel sits 700 feet below sea level and at four-and-a-quarter miles long was the longest and deepest sea tunnel at that time. Arriving on the island, pass through Honningsvåg, the ‘capital’ of Magerøya, and cross the unique ‘lunar-like’ landscape to reach the North Cape. Named by Richard Chancellor, a 16th-century traveller, who sought the north-east passage, this sheer cliff rises 1,000 feet above the Arctic. Walk to the globe monument and enjoy the far reaching panorama (weather conditions permitting) or visit the shops, chapel and cinema in the North Cape Hall before starting the journey back to your ship. A late lunch will be served on the island of Mageroy before returning via the same route.

Please note that eight hours of this tour will be spent on the coach and that the last part of the drive to and from the North Cape will be in convoy. Most walking at the North Cape is at your own discretion but you should anticipate approximately 200 yards of walking to reach the Globe and the panoramic views outside. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. There is an elevator to the cinema for those not wishing to climb the stairs. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise our shore excursion staff on board ship at least 72 hours before the port call. The North Cape, Mainland Europe's most northerly point

Lapland covers the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The indigenous inhabitants of Lapland are known as Sami and they total around 80,000, of whom about half live in Northern Norway’s Finnmark region. Their culture is very traditional and has been influenced by their isolated nomadic subsistence lifestyle. Start by travelling through the Alta and Eiby valleys before arriving in Maze, a journey of about an hour. Arriving in the village of Maze, where all but a handful of the 350 inhabitants are Sami, your hosts will welcome you wearing kofta, their traditional costume, and introduce you to the history and culture of the Sami people. In the late 1970s the Norwegian government first planned the Alta Dam, which would have resulted in a complete flooding of Maze. However, due to resistance and demonstrations, the government downsized its plans and this beautiful village survived. You will then be taken to where a small herd of specially trained reindeer are waiting to take you on an old-fashioned sled ride. During the next half hour you travel quietly through the pristine winter landscape, hearing nothing but the jingle of the bells. Afterwards you will be served coffee, tea and biscuits whilst your guide recounts stories about the Sami people, their history and way of life before you return to Alta.

This adventurous tour requires half-a-mile of walking and a certain degree of agility to access the wooden sleds. As the number of trained reindeer is limited, half the group take the sled ride after the meal. Warm clothing is essential: we recommend a hat, scarf and gloves. Owing to the bumpy conditions, sled rides are not suitable for those who suffer from back or neck problems. Enjoy a Reindeer Sled ride

Meet your guide at the pier and take the 30-minute journey of approximately 13 miles to the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. Upon arrival you will be equipped with a crash helmet, and receive a safety briefing on how to operate your snowmobile, before setting off. Your experienced guides will then lead you through the breathtaking and changing landscapes of forest, and on the ice on the Alta river - a tour that will take between 20 to 30 minutes. Your adventure ends back at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, which you enter for a guided tour. The hotel is built entirely out of snow and ice every January and only remains standing until mid-April when the warmer weather melts it. Enjoy a drink in the bar where even the glasses are made from ice. Following this, rejoin your coach for the journey back to your ship.

As some driving will be on public roads, you must carry a valid driving licence and have a zero blood alcohol level. You also need to sign an insurance waiver and agree to pay up to NOK12,000 excess (approximately £1,350) in the event of a collision, which is not covered by Saga's included insurance. If you have chosen not to take Saga's included insurance, please check that your travel insurance covers you for this specific activity and the excess. Although very little walking is required on this tour, it has been rated Moderate owing to the amount of strength and agility required to mount and drive the snowmobile. Due to the bumpy conditions, snowmobile rides are not suitable for those who suffer with back and neck problems. All necessary equipment and protective outer clothing will be provided. However, warm clothing along with a hat, scarf and gloves are recommended. Temperatures at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel are between -4◦ and -7◦ Celsius. All participants will be allocated their own snowmobile to drive, but travelling companions may share a vehicle if they desire: however, there will be no reduction in price. Guests should wear warm, and wind proof winter clothes and flat boots for this tour. Experience the exhilaration of snowmobiling

Take the opportunity to stay overnight at the magical ice-built Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel on this unforgettable excursion. Begin with a short half-hour coach journey through the winter landscape to the hotel. Upon arrival in Sorrisniva your host will tell you a little about the history of the hotel – which is rebuilt every winter – and the area surrounding it. You can then enjoy a welcome drink and take a look at the bar, chapel, lounges and 'igloo' bedrooms, all carved from ice before being served a two-course dinner of either locally-sourced reindeer or salmon. Following dinner, perhaps enjoy a bright-blue vodka tipple in the ice bar, where even the glasses are frozen, or jump in the hot tub outside (at additional cost, payable locally) or simply relax in the warm and cosy amenity building, a large wooden structure in the shape of a 'lavvu' tent which is close by. The hotel is also well placed for spotting the fantastical Aurora Borealis or 'Northern Lights', and during the evening you may choose to walk around the surrounds of the hotel to catch sight of this dazzling, colourful display in the skies (weather conditions permitting). When it's time to retire, your private igloo bedroom will certainly offer a memorable end to the night, with the reindeer fur lined bed and warm sleeping bag making the freezing temperature much more comfortable. The following morning enjoy a sauna and buffet breakfast in the restaurant before making your way back to Alta by coach.

Much of the walking will be at your own discretion in and around the Igloo Hotel, but will be over ice and snow. For the night we recommend you wear thermal underwear and warm woollen hat and gloves. Please note the bedrooms are accessed through a low arch and are screened off by a curtain. The bedrooms do not have ensuite facilities. Whilst the welcome drink is complimentary, any additional drinks ordered during your stay will be charged for locally. Cancellations received after the cruise departure date will result in a 75% cancellation fee. Sorrisniva Ice Hotel

Take the opportunity to stay overnight at the magical ice-built Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. Begin with a short half-hour coach journey through the winter landscape to the hotel which is rebuilt every winter. Enjoy a welcome drink at the bar before admiring the chapel, lounges and 'igloo' bedrooms, all carved from ice before being served a two-course dinner of either locally-sourced reindeer or salmon. Following dinner, perhaps enjoy a bright-blue vodka tipple in the ice bar, where even the glasses are frozen, or jump in the hot tub outside (at additional cost, payable locally) or simply relax in the warm and cosy amenity building, a large wooden structure in the shape of a 'lavvu' tent which is close by. The hotel is also well placed for spotting the fantastical Aurora Borealis or 'Northern Lights', and during the evening you may choose to walk around the surrounds of the hotel to catch sight of this dazzling, colourful display in the skies (weather conditions permitting). When it's time to retire, your private igloo bedroom will certainly offer a memorable end to the night, with the reindeer fur lined bed and warm sleeping bag making the freezing temperature much more comfortable. The following morning enjoy a sauna and buffet breakfast in the restaurant before making your way back to Alta by coach.

Much of the walking will be at your own discretion in and around the Igloo Hotel, but will be over ice and snow. For the night we recommend you wear thermal underwear and a warm woollen hat and gloves. Please note the bedrooms are accessed through a low arch and are screened off by a curtain. The bedrooms do not have ensuite facilities. Whilst the welcome drink is complimentary, any additional drinks ordered during your stay will be charged for locally. Cancellations received after the cruise departure date will result in a 100% cancellation fee. The Chapel at the Igloo Hotel

Discover the enchanting Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel on this excursion, a truly remarkable structure which is made entirely of ice and snow. Board your coach and travel to the hotel, which is about 13 miles from Alta and should take approximately 30 minutes to reach. Along the way your guide will give a talk on the history, culture and day-to-day life in this area. The Igloo Hotel is constructed anew every year, and is only able to stay open from January to April, before it begins to melt in the warmer weather. This fascinating structure can accommodate 60 guests who sleep on reindeer furs to keep warm in the icy temperatures, which usually average between minus 4 and minus 7 degrees Celsius. The public lounges and bar are decorated with ice sculptures carved by local artists, and you will be able to enjoy a drink in the bar served, of course, in an ice-glass. Take a fascinating look around the hotel before heading back to Alta through picturesque winter landscapes.

This tour is by coach and involves limited walking in and around the Igloo Hotel, but it will be over ice and snow. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes Enjoy a drink served in an ice-glass

Tirpitz was a German battleship which spent much of World War II in Nazi-occupied Norway. Known as the 'Lonely Queen of the North', she was the sister ship of the Bismarck, and at 52,600 tonnes, was the largest battleship ever built in Europe. This major threat to Allied convoys travelling through the Atlantic and Barents seas to Russia, was damaged by British mini-submarines in the Kåfjord, close to Alta, in September 1943. The battleship was then relocated to Tromsø, where on November 12, 1944 it was attacked by RAF Bomber Command and sunk in the bay of Håkøybotn. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, this excursion will take you to the Tirpitz Museum in Kåfjord, which exhibits a host of World War II artefacts, including many associated with the Tirpitz. At the museum you can also watch a short film before enjoying a tour around and a talk on the region's turbulent wartime history. Before returning to the port, stop to discover Kåfjord church, a 19th-century building which has some Gothic touches and an interesting past. Built in 1837 for the copper mine workers, it is the area's oldest building left standing after the devastation of World War II.

This excursion requires minimal walking, approximately 200 yards in total but includes a short uphill slope and a couple of steps to access the museum and church, which can be icy in winter months. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes Tirpitz Memorial

A short transfer will take you from the pier to the Holmen Husky Centre for a unique husky dog experience and a magical overnight stay. On arrival, your hosts will welcome you and provide you with a thermal suits, boots and gloves. After a safety briefing, your exciting dog sledging ride will begin, with a trained driver-guide taking the helm. You travel ten miles through the beautiful forest and alongside a river, admiring the winter landscape as you go. Once back, you’ll be shown where you will be staying for the night and will then have some time to relax before dinner. Accommodation is in an intriguing tepee cabin with a double bed, electric blankets, and a wood-burning stove. There’s also a clear plastic part of the tepee which gives you panoramic views of the night sky – you can gaze at the stars whilst you listen to the huskies in the nearby yard. In the morning, a delicious breakfast will be served before you make your way back to Saga Pearl II.

This excursion requires you to walk up to 330 yards, the majority of which will be on snowy ground. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves. Due to the bumpy conditions, the sledge ride is not suitable for those who suffer with back and neck problems. The tepee-cabins do not have private toilets and showers; these, as well as a sauna and Jacuzzi, are available in the main building some 30 meters from the cabins. The Husky Centre will need to know of any dietary requirement one week beforehand. Dinner will be a main course and dessert with coffee or tea. If you’ve chosen not to take Saga's included insurance, we recommend that you check your travel insurance covers you for this specific activity. Please be aware that this tour requires two passengers per tepee to operate. Cancellations received after the cruise departure date will result in a 100% cancellation fee. Holmen Tepee Cabin

Narvik

Arrive 1200. Depart 1800.

At 68 degrees North, Narvik lies 140 miles inside the Arctic Circle. Its history as a settlement began in the Stone Age, and Vikings are also known to have lived in the area. The modern town came into existence in the 1870s to serve the needs of the iron industry. Iron ore is mined in neighbouring Sweden and, as an ice-free port, Narvik was chosen as the ideal export location. The LKAB mining corporation is still a major employer and landowner in the area, shipping some 25,000,000 tons of iron ore from the port annually. This industrial heritage has shaped the town and now forms the basis of some of its most popular tourist attractions. In 1883 a co-owned British-Swedish company was given permission to build a railway connecting the Swedish iron mines in Kiruna to Narvik. It opened in 1902 and the town, then christened Victoriahavn, grew up around it. Unfortunately much of Narvik was destroyed in World War II. Invaded by the Nazis on 9 April 1940, it was later retaken by the Allies, representing the first military defeat of Hitler’s troops, but was evacuated as part of Operation Alphabet when it came under German occupation again. The local war museum documents the turbulent history of this period.

FactFile

Population 18,500 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cool with a risk of wintry showers
Ship berths at Fagernes
Distance from Centre Under one mile
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping Shops are located at the AMFI and Narvik Storsenter Shopping Centres situated in the town centre near the bus and railway stations.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open weekdays between 1000-2000.
Post Office Post Office services are available in most supermarkets.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is at the railway station. Opening hours are 1000-1500.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 113 for an ambulance, 112 for the police and 110 for the fire service.
Banks Banks are open from 0900-1500. 24-hour ATMs are located in every bank as well as inside shopping centres.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Join your guide at the pier and journey through the heart of Narvik, passing the town square and war memorial on the way to LKAB's shipping port. LKAB is a Swedish mining company, who chose Narvik as the ideal port to export their goods around the world. This is because the Gulf Stream keeps Narvik ice-free all year round, unlike seaports in Sweden. To connect Narvik with Sweden, thousands of navvies built a special railway line, the Ofotbanen. In time, this led to the tiny village of Victoriahavn or 'Victoria Harbour', to grow into Narvik, one of northern Norway's biggest industrial towns. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town, astopping for photographs at the Power Station viewpoint overlooking the entire town and the Ofotfjord. Finally, rejoin the coach and return to the port by passing back through the town centre. You can disembark here, if you wish, to enjoy some free time in the town before returning to the pier independently.

Walking is limited to less than 100 yards at the photostop. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form. LKAB Plant Narvik

The city of Narvik is situated in the Ofotfjord and is surrounded by majestic mountains, making it the perfect base for both mountaineering and skiing. Narvik's ski resort, Narvikfjellet, offers some of the best extreme and alpine skiing in Norway. It has one of Scandinavia's largest drop heights and offers excellent conditions for off-piste skiing. On this excursion you’ll be collected from the quayside for a ten-minute drive to the Narvikfjellet skiing area where your adventure begins. You’ll be kitted out with skis, boots and helmet before a professional ski instructor takes you up to the beginners’ slope where you will have a two-hour ski lesson. Afterwards, make your way by cable car to the restaurant for tea or coffee and cake while enjoying the views of Narvik and its fjord below. After your refreshment break you will take the cable car back down for your transfer back to the ship.

This trip is suitable for complete beginners that have never tried skiing before. However, good health and good mobility is required to participate. Please note that passengers may be refused at the pier if the operator or guide feels that they are not suited for this kind of activity. Extra clothes and a change of clothes should be brought along in case you get wet or feel cold after skiing. The ground will be uneven and snowy, and there will be 10 steps and a walk of 150 yards to the cable car. Please be aware that any passenger who has chosen Saga's included insurance will be covered as the additional surcharge required has been added to the tour price. If you have chosen to take out your own travel insurance we ask that you check with your travel insurance company that it covers you for this specific activity: if it does, the surcharge will be refunded to you. Why not join skiing for beginners from Narvik?

Enjoy a city sightseeing tour from the comfort of your coach and learn about Narvik's fascinating war history from a local guide. Several important battles were fought in Narvik during World War II and many soldiers lost their lives here. Your tour will take you to the war cemetery where British, French, German, Norwegian and Polish soldiers are buried. Narvik was badly damaged during the first few months of the war and on April 9, 1940 it was invaded by the Nazis. Less than two months later, the Allies managed to recapture the city but as troops were required elsewhere, it fell to the Nazis again, who occupied it for a further five years. This fascinating story is told in chronological order at the compact War Museum, which you visit next. You will receive a brief introduction and watch a short film about the Battle of Narvik and then have the opportunity to wander around the array of exhibits, models, charts and maps independently, before rejoining the coach and returning to the pier.

This tour requires a walk of approximately 200 yards on flat paths at the war cemetery, with a couple of steps. At the War Museum there are eight steps at the entrance, with a further 17 steps up to the first floor. Visit Narvik's War Museum

Join your guide at the pier and take a guided tour through the town, passing the town square and LKAB's iron-ore shipping facilities and see the War Cemetery. Make a stop at the best location for views across the town and of the Ofotfjord, the 48 mile long fjord which is Norway’s 12th longest and 18th deepest fjord with a maximum depth of 1,814 feet. Next, you head for the cable car station, where you board the gondola for the scenic seven-minute ascent up the Fagernes Mountain to the restaurant which sits almost 2159 foot above sea-level. On a clear day, fantastic views all the way to the Lofoten Islands can be enjoyed. In winter Fagernes Mountain is an international ski resort and is also a popular jump-off point for hang-gliders and paragliders so don’t be surprised if you see either gracefully dancing in the sky. Enjoy refreshments in the panoramic restaurant before the return by gondola back down the mountain. Then, after re-joining the coach, make your way back into the town centre where you will stop at the brand new exhibition centre. World War II is a big part of Narvik’ s history and here you will be shown a film giving you some background into our history. For those of you who want to enjoy some free time before returning to the ship, the bus will stop in town.

This tour requires a walk of approximately 200 yards on flat paths at the war cemetery, with a couple of steps. Walking during free time is at guests own discretion. You should wear warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves along with flat comfortable walking shoes. Stunning views across the town

Around 45 miles from Narvik, the Polar Park at Bardu is the world's northernmost wildlife park for predatory animals. Covering a vast area, the park is home to brown bear, wolf, lynx, deer, reindeer, moose, musk oxen, Arctic fox and mountain fox, to name just a few, with the animals able to wander quite freely in large enclosures. As you travel to the wildlife park, admire the changing landscapes as you journey north through the towns of Bjerkvik and Salangsdalen. Upon arrival, you will be taken around the park by a knowledgeable local guide, who will tell you about each of the animals and answer any questions you may have. Look out for the wolverine – a Nordic species and the largest of the weasel family that is the symbol of the community shield in Bardu. Following your guided tour, enjoy hot refreshments and some free time to look around the park and shop for souvenirs, before making your return journey back to Narvik through dramatic scenery.

The guided tour around the park involves walking approximately 1½ miles on snow covered asphalt paths with some steep inclines, so good shoes are essential. The guided tour should last about an hour. Please be aware that the bears may still be in hibernation at the time of your visit. The coach journey to the wildlife park should take a little over an hour each way. Red Deer, Norway Narvik Polar Park

Join your guide at the pier and take a short tour through the town, passing the town square and LKAB's iron ore shipping port. Make a stop at the best location for views across the town, and of the Ofotfjord and Rombakfjord. Next, head for the cable car station, where you board one of six gondolas for the scenic eight-minute ascent up the Fagernesfjellet mountain. Home to a popular ski resort at the top, you will disembark the cable car at 2,100 feet above sea level, which on a clear day, affords fantastic views all the way to the Lofoten Islands. It is also a popular jump-off point for hang-gliders and paragliders. Enjoy refreshments in the panoramic restaurant before the return gondola ride back down the mountain. Then, after rejoining the coach, make your way back through Narvik to the port. A stop will be made in the town centre where you can disembark, if you wish, to enjoy some free time before returning to the ship on your own.

This excursion involves minimal walking of approximately 200 yards in total, plus a few steps to board the cable car. However, there are a further 50 steps down to the viewpoint at Fagernes Restaurant. Please note the tour is weather dependent and therefore may be cancelled at short notice if the conditions are windy or foggy. Enjoy far-reaching views from the cable car

Take the opportunity to journey aboard the Ofotbanen Railway which travels through spectacular scenery on this trip to the Swedish border. The main purpose of the railway is to transport iron ore from Sweden to the ice-free port of Narvik, where it is then loaded onto ships and exported, a process that has now been happening for over a century. Your 26-mile train journey will take you from Narvik to Riksgränsen, which lies just half-a-mile inside the Swedish border. Along the way you can admire beautiful scenes looking out across the southern cliffs of Rombaksfjord. Hugging the steep rock face, the line passes through Katterat and on to Bjørnfjell which is the last station on the Norwegian side of the border, sitting 1,600 feet above sea level. Look out for the Norwegian and Swedish flags painted on the tunnel wall which marks the border between the two countries. After alighting the train in the Swedish ski-resort of Riksgränsen, receive a warm welcome at the local hotel and enjoy refreshments and some free time, before the return journey back to Narvik by coach.

This excursion requires walking approximately 200 yards in total, with three steep steps to board the train and a steep hill to negotiate between the station and the hotel. Any additional walking at Riksgränsen is at your own discretion. For some groups the itinerary will be reversed. Warm clothing and shoes are highly recommended. On some departures where timings necessitate, a packed lunch may be provided to augment the included refreshments. The Ofotbanen Railway runs through stunning scenery

Cross the Arctic Circle.

Spend the day at sea.

Kalvåg

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Kalvåg is a village on the island of Frøya at the southern entrance to the Nordfjord. It is noted for the old timber buildings on its waterfront, most of which were originally warehouses, which have been restored and converted to provide accommodation for visitors. Kalvåg used to be a major fishing port, and during its heyday there were as many as 50 herring salting houses in the town, employing 10,000 workers. Today there is just one factory on the outskirts, and Kalvåg is starting to develop as a tourist destination. It is within easy reach of the seaside resort of Grotlesanden, the cliffs at Hornelen, the prehistoric rock carvings at Vingen and the picturesque parish church at Rugsund.

FactFile

Population 453
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Krone
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cold winters and cool summers, with a risk of rain at any time of the year.
Ship berths at At anchor
Distance from Centre The tender pier is in the town centre
Distance from gangway to coach 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping There are a few shops near the tender pier.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open 0900-1900 from Monday to Saturday.
Post Office The post office counter is located inside the Spar supermarket.
Tourist Office There is a small tourist office on the quayside.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 0044 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 113 for an ambulance, 112 for police and 110 for the fire service.
Banks There is a branch of the Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane in the village, near the tender pier.

Spend the day at sea.

Portsmouth

Arrive 0800. 

Disembark Saga Pearl II after breakfast.

Portsmouth is one of the most densely populated cities in Southern England, and is unusual as most of its built-up area occupies Portsea Island, which is linked to the mainland by road and rail bridges. Although there is a Roman fort at nearby Portchester, which was occupied later by both the Saxons and the Normans, there was no settlement on the site of Portsmouth at the time of the Domesday survey in 1086. The town developed in medieval times and received its first charter in 1194 from King Richard the Lionheart; soon afterwards it developed into a permanent naval base. It has the world’s oldest continuously used dry dock, and is home to several famous ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, which millions of television viewers watched being raised from the Solent in 1982. Portsmouth remains an important naval base and is home to a large proportion of the British service fleet. The waterfront area is now dominated by the Spinnaker Tower, 560 feet high, which is the United Kingdom’s tallest building outside London. Other things to see in the city include the house where Charles Dickens was born, and the City Museum, which contains a permanent exhibition devoted to another famous writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived in the town.

FactFile

Population 205,400 (approximate)
Language English
Currency Pound sterling
Time Difference N/A
Climate Portsmouth experiences an oceanic climate, with cool winters and mild to warm summers.
Ship berths at Portsmouth International Port
Distance from Centre ½-mile
Distance from gangway to coach Coaches can pull up immediately outside the terminal building.

Useful Information

Shopping The nearest shops to the terminal are in Gunwharf Quays, near the Spinnaker Tower.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open Monday to Friday 0900-2000, Saturday 0900-1900 and Sunday 1100-1700.
Post Office The main Post Office is in Slindon Street, near Portsmouth & Southsea railway station.
Tourist Office The Tourist Information Office is on Clarence Esplanade. Telephone: 023 9282 6722.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial the full STD code followed by the subscriber's number.
Emergency Services Dial 999.
Banks All main UK banks have branches in the city centre, and there are ATMs in the Cruise Terminal.

Please note

We cannot guarantee the appearance of the Northern Lights, which is a natural phenomenon, but this cruise will take you to the best spot at the best time of year for sighting them. You'll be provided with an Arctic jacket so that you can fully enjoy all the activities and excursions on offer. Unless stated as included, all excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost, and are subject to availability and change. Some of the highlights detailed may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently.


Bright Lights in Norway

Saga Pearl II departing Portsmouth

from £2,915 15 2
Including optional travel insurance or a discount of £98 if not required
Read reviews
Ask a traveller