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    An overnight stay in Tromsø
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    Gateway to the Arctic
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    Searching for the Northern Lights
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    Flåm’s scenic railway
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    Beautiful Ålesund
Ocean Cruises
Saga Cruises

Northern Lights

Saga Pearl II departing Portsmouth

from £2,941 16 2
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £98 if not required
  • Full Board Full board
  • No fly No fly

One to tick off your bucket list!

Cruise across the Arctic Circle in search of the Northern Lights, Norway's spectacular natural light show which never ceases to amaze. We've increased your chances of a sighting with overnight stays in Tromsø and Alta, plus an included Northern Lights excursion spent around the campfire will guarantee a memorable tale to tell when you get home. Saga Pearl II will also visit a collection of quaint ports, including a first for Saga cruising, Harstad, from where you can set off on an exciting sea safari.

Inspiring experiences to enjoy… Seeking out the amazing Northern Lights and embarking on thrilling wildlife sea safaris.

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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.

Excursions

Molde

Arrive 0800. Depart 1730.

Molde is surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of snow-capped mountains. From the Varden viewpoint it is possible to see the 222 peaks of the Romsdal mountain range. The town of Molde itself sprawls along the banks of the River Moldeeva and is one of the region’s older towns, though much of it was destroyed by the Luftwaffe during World War II. The cathedral, built in 1957, has been decorated by some of Norway's leading artists. Known as the Town of Roses, a statue of the Rose Maiden stands outside the Town Hall, which boasts one of the town’s finest rose gardens on its roof. Surrounded by mountains, the town is sheltered from northerly and westerly winds, allowing the fragrant flowers and plants, for which it is famous, to bloom. With its traditional wooden houses and lovingly tended gardens, its peace and tranquility inspired the famous Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, author of 'Peer Gynt', who came to live here.

FactFile

Population 24,000 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Temperate with frequent rain
Ship berths at Storkaia
Distance from Centre 100 yards
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 50 yards

Useful Information

Shopping A wide variety of shops can be found in the town centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open daily from 1000-2000.
Post Office The Post Office is located on Fjordgata 1 and is open from 0800-2000.
Tourist Office Maps and limited tourist information will be available at the pier.
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 between 0900-1500. 24 hour ATMs are widely available.

Cross the Arctic Circle.

Tromsø

Arrive 0800 on March 7. Depart 1800 on March 8.

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.

Excursions

Alta

Arrive 0800 on March 9. Depart 1300 on March 10.

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.

Excursions

Harstad

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

Located in the north-eastern corner of the large island of Hinnøya, north of the Arctic Circle, Harstad is the second-largest town in the county of Troms, after Tromsø. Although the island has been inhabited since the Iron Age, Harstad is a relatively young settlement: it was founded in the 19th century by businessman Rikard Kaarbø and formally incorporated as a town in 1904. It is nicknamed the Pearl of Vågsfjorden (Vågsfjordens Perle): the Vågsfjord is a fjord that separates Harstad from the neighbouring municipality of Ibestad. Among the town’s more interesting sights is the dramatic modern parish church, built of white concrete in 1958 and designed by the architect Jan Inge Hovig. There is also a surprisingly large number of 19th- and early 20th-century timber buildings: it is one of the few towns in this part of Norway that escaped major damage in World War II. Harstad experiences the Midnight Sun every year from May 22 to July 18, and between early May and early August it never gets really dark. On the other hand, the sun is always below the horizon from November 30 to January 12: this is a good period to view the Northern Lights, which can often be seen from here on clear nights. Harstad makes an ideal base for visiting the attractions of Hinnøya. Just outside the town is Trondenes, which has a stone-built parish church dating from 1250 - the most northerly surviving medieval building in the world. To the north-west is the mountain of Nupen, 1,352 feet high. It is also relatively easy to reach the Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands and the Cathedral City of Tromsø.

FactFile

Population 24,845
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Krone
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Relatively mild winters and cool summers. The mountains to the west shelter Harstad from the bitter cold weather experienced in much of northern Norway, and it enjoys milder winters than many cities located much further south.
Ship berths at At anchor
Distance from Centre The tender pier is in the town centre
Distance from gangway to coach 75 yards

Useful Information

Shopping There is a small shopping centre, Amfi Bertheus, on Fjordgata. Strandgata and Storgata are also main shopping streets.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open 0900-2000 from Monday to Saturday.
Post Office Inside the Amfi Bertheus shopping centre on Fjordgata.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is at Sjøgata 1B, about 100 yards from the pier. Limited tourist information may also be available at the pier.
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 The nearest banks to the pier are Harstad Sparebank at Rikard Kaarbøs 2 and DNB Harstad at Sjøgata 5. They are open 0900-1500 from Monday to Friday. 24-hour ATMs are available.

Excursions

Cross the Arctic Circle.

Ålesund

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

Ålesund is the commercial capital of the Møre and Romsdal district and has a distinctive and unique character. It does not look like other Norwegian towns as there are no wooden clapboard buildings around its harbourside – instead, the city is crammed with art nouveau architecture and design. This distinctive look is down to a massive rebuild that took place after a fire devastated the city in 1904, miraculously only one person died but some 10,000 people were left homeless. The rebuilding programme used the style of architecture that was popular at the time and was helped by donations of materials from all over Europe. Although the town was largely spared during the Second World War, as most of the military combat took place at sea, Ålesund was described as ‘Little London’ due to all the illegal resistance activity in the town and because so many managed to escape to England from here.

FactFile

Population 44,000 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Temperate with frequent rain in summer and cold with occasional snow showers in winter
Ship berths at Ålesund Cruise Terminal
Distance from Centre Approximately 200 yards
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The main shopping streets are Løvenvoldgata and Apotekergata, located within walking distance of the pier
Shopping Opening Hours Shops usually open Monday to Saturday from 0900-1700
Post Office The Post office is situated in the Kiwi Kremmergaarden Åpningstider store located at Asmus Rønnebergs Gate 6 6002 Ålesund. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 0700-2100 and Saturday 0800-1900
Tourist Office The main Tourist Office is located at Skateflukaia, and will be open from 0830-1800. There is also a smaller Tourist Information kiosk at the pier
How to Phone Home Dial 00 44 followed by the area 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 Banks are open Monday to Friday from 0900-1500

Excursions

Flåm

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

The village of Flåm, surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, lies in the heart of western Norway at the innermost part of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord. Tourists come from all over the world to ride on the famous Flåm Railway, which runs up to Myrdal to connect with the main Oslo to Bergen line. A masterpiece of engineering, it offers one of Europe’s most scenic train journeys, passing cascading waterfalls, steep hillsides and snow-capped mountains. Over a distance of less than 13 miles, the track climbs from sea level to approximately 2,850 feet, crossing back and forth over rivers and through 20 tunnels. A museum at the station tells the history of the line. Flåm is also home to the Ægir Microbrewery, located directly on the pier: guided tours and tastings are available. Please bear in mind that the Flåm Railway is very popular and capacity is limited, and therefore any excursions involving a train ride must be booked in advance: these tours will not be available from the Shore Excursions Desk on board ship once the cruise has started.

FactFile

Population 450 (approximate)
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Kroner
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Temperate with rain showers in the summer and cold with some snow in the winter
Ship berths at At anchor, close by in the fjord
Distance from Centre The tender pier is located in the centre of Flåm.
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping A small selection of shops, selling locally produced goods as well as traditional souvenirs, can be found in central Flåm as well as at the railway station and along the pier.
Shopping Opening Hours Most are open from 1000-1800.
Post Office There is no post office, but stamps can be bought from souvenir shops or at the Co-op store behind the station.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located inside the station building and is open from 0845-1600.
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 the police and 110 for the fire service.
Banks There are no banks in Flåm, but there is an ATM inside the Visitors' Centre.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Portsmouth

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.

Also on board

You'll be joined by representatives from ORCA, the foremost European whale and dolphin conservation charity, who'll be holding regular whale-spotting sessions on deck and give talks on their research programme.

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.


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