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    An overnight stay in Tromsø
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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

2
  • 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.

Saga price includes...



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, linked to the mainland by road and rail bridges. Although there is a Roman fort at nearby Portchester, occupied later by the Saxons and Normans, there was no settlement on the site of Portsmouth at the time of the 1086 Domesday Book. The town developed in medieval times and received its first charter in 1194 from King Richard I; soon afterwards it became a major naval base. It has the world’s oldest dry dock, and is home to several famous ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, 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, 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 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 collect passengers immediately outside the ship. However, on returning from an excursion, passengers must walk through security at 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

Starting from the pier, your coach takes you into Bergen city centre. You pass Bergen’s historic Bryggen waterfront, with its colourful old Hanseatic warehouses, and contiune past the well- known fish market, now housed in a stunning new glass building, before continuing to the Kode Museum, one of the largest art galleries in Scandinavia. This museum consists of four separate buildings: Kode 1, Kode 2, Kode 3 and Kode 4, which are located along Rasmus Meyers Allée in cental Bergen, near the railway station and the small ornamental lake known as Lille Lungegårdsvannet. Your guide will take you to Kode 4, where you can see the Rasmus Meyer Collection and a fine selection of works by Edvard Munch. Among the highlights are paintings from the Golden Age of Norwegian art, as well as reconstructions of historic house interiors from the Bergen area. Your ticket includes admission to all four parts of the Museum - Kode 1, 2, 3 and 4, so you can spend your time as you wish. You may like to visit the exhibitions of Silver Treasure and art loaned by Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway, both of which are at Kode 1, about 250 metres from Kode 4. After about one hour and 40 minutes at the museum, your coach will take you back to the ship.

To visit Kode 4, you will need to walk about three-quarters of a mile on level ground, with about ten steps inside the building. If you wish to visit the other sections of the museum, additional walking will be required. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and you should wear warm clothing and a waterproof jacket or coat. Edvard Munch - The Gangway (1903)

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 refreshments of coffee and apple cake, 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 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 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

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.

Excursions

Join a guided coach excursion to Bergtatt. The name of this locality means literally ‘captivated by the mountain’, and we are sure that you also will be captivated by this place, which is a combination of a spectacular show cave and a working marble and limestone mine. Your coach takes you right up to the mountainside, where a safety demonstration will be given, following which you will be equipped with helmets and life jackets. It is then time to board a raft for an unforgettable trip on an illuminated, underground crystal-clear lake. Along the way you have the opportunity to taste fresh spring water, tapped straight from the rock wall. Your exciting underground ‘mini-cruise’ takes you to the Grand Hall, where you disembark and sit at tables and watch a short film about the mine and mining. After leaving the mine, your coach will take you on a short orientation tour around Molde before returning to your ship.

This tour involves a gentle walk of about 300 yards along level ground, which may be wet and slippery. Comfortable shoes with a good grip and warm clothes are recommended. A certain amount of dexterity is required to get into the boats. There is no commentary during the boat ride, but information is provided by the film. You will be spending up to 1½ hours underground: anyone liable to suffer from claustrophobia should take this into consideration before booking. The Marble Caves at Bergtatt (© Geir Fjellsjø)

Protected against northerly and westerly winds, Molde lies at the foot of the hills, facing a fjord which opens out on to a magnificent panorama of 87 snow-capped peaks. On our tour you visit two of the town’s highlights. Start with a tour of Romsdal Open-air Museum, established in 1912. This is one of the largest provincial museums in Norway and consists of well over 40 buildings, illustrating developments from the Viking era right up to the end of the 19th century. Many of these structures were in danger of demolition or decay in their original locations, and they have been collected from across the district, carefully dismantled, re-erected and meticulously restored at the museum. Colourfully dressed attendants in historical costumes act as guides in the museum. Exhibits include farmhouses, barns, stables, workshops and a complete pre-war Molde street. After visiting this fascinating place, continue to Molde Cathedral, built in 1957 to replace a wooden church destroyed in World War II. Standing on a terrace on the hillside, this attractive modern church has a free-standing bell-tower almost 200 feet high. The simple, white interior was designed by Finn Bryn and decorated by some of Norway's leading artists. The church was granted Cathedral status in 1983.

You will need to walk approximately 300 yards at the museum and about 100 yards at the Cathedral, with occasional steps at both places. Some buildings at the museum have high thresholds and you may need to remain standing or walking for up to 45 minutes. The ground at the museum is uneven and may be muddy and slippery. Comfortable shoes and warm clothing are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. Romsdal Open Air Museum

Opened a quarter of a century ago, the Atlantic Ocean Road, or 'Atlanterhavsveien', is a remarkable feat of engineering. This five-mile stretch of bridges and embankments jumps from islet to islet across the boundless ocean, connecting Averøy with the mainland. This scenic excursion will take you along the route, passing an array of beautiful scenery alongside Hustadvika, a stretch of sea dotted with skerries and islets. Disembark the coach in the lovely oceanfront fishing village of Bud, where you can enjoy some traditional Norwegian 'svele' served with tea or coffee. Svele is a batter-based cake, similar to a pancake, usually fried on a griddle and eaten as a snack between meals: it is particularly associated with Western Norway. From the surrounds of the village you can also view the World War II coastal fortifications left over from the wartime occupation of Norway, and take in the views across to the island of Bjørnsund. As you head back to your ship in Molde, pass the village of Elnesvagen and admire the picturesque Frænafjord.

Walking on this excursion should not exceed 100 yards, but it does involve a slight incline at the refreshment venue. Bridge along the Atlantic Ocean Road

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

Head to the Tromsø Wilderness Centre, located approximately 12 miles from the city amid beautiful Arctic scenery. Upon arrival you can meet some of the 240 huskies, who are trained to pull sledges through the harshest polar conditions. You will then put on a thermal suit and boots, and walk through the yard to begin your dog sledding experience. This will be a thrilling 20-25 minute ride through the wilderness overlooking the fjords. Each sledge can accommodate up to three people, and will be driven by a guide, pulled by a team of a dozen or so dogs. Afterwards, enjoy a warming cup of coffee from the open fire, served with a cake in a traditional 'lavvu' tent. Finally, take a guided tour around the kennels, before returning to the pier in Tromsø.

There is a 200-yard uphill walk over snow-covered gravel paths to reach the huskies at the Wilderness Centre. As the sledge rides can get bumpy they are not suitable for those who suffer from back and neck problems. All necessary equipment and a thermal suit will be provided – however, it is essential that you wear warm clothing, including a hat, scarf and gloves. We also recommend that you wear clothing which you don't mind getting dirty as the husky dogs often jump up enthusiastically to greet visitors. The journey to the centre should take around 30 minutes each way. This tour will only operate in favourable conditions. Enjoy a dog sledge ride

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

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 take 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. This is the most northerly aquarium in the world. You may like to spend a little time browsing in the interesting gift shop before heading back to the ship.

This excursion requires walking approximately 200 yards. In addition, to reach the Amundsen and Nansen exhibitions at the Polar Museum, you will need to climb a flight of 22 steps. Visit the Polar Museum

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

Beer has been produced in Norway for centuries. During the Viking period, it was an everyday drink, whereas mead was reserved for special occasions. Beer has gone from strength to strength ever since, and on this trip to the world’s most northerly brewery you will learn about the history and present-day operations of Mack Beer, which has been in production for 140 years. Your tour starts with an introduction to the raw materials that go into beer, and continues with an overview of the brewing process, an introduction to Mack’s range of beers and a visit to the microbrewery. Your enthusiastic brewery guide will tell you all about this traditional beverage, and will explain the different kinds of beer, so that you will be able to distinguish a brown ale from a bokøl, and understand why wheat bear often has a fruity taste. After your beer tasting, your guide will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. You also have time to purchase beer and other souvenirs in the gift shop, and can even print your own personal labels for your favourite beer!

The brewery visit involves walking approximately 500 yards, and you will need to negotiate a short spiral staircase with ten steps. Regrettably, the brewery is an old building and is not wheelchair accessible. You will need to remain standing for quite long periods during the tour. Mack’s Brewery in Tromsø

Enjoy an evening concert inside Tromsø's distinctive Tromsdalen Church, also known as the 'Arctic Cathedral', which was built in 1965 and whose architecture was inspired by ice and snow. Clad in aluminium and with a stunning modern interior, the building is an iconic symbol of Tromsø. Your tour starts with a coach journey to the cathedral, which should take around 20 minutes. Once inside, take your seats for an enjoyable concert of Norwegian classical and folk music. The exceptional acoustics within the cathedral make this an inviting venue. During your visit, you may like to purchase postcards, stamps, and other souvenirs that are on sale here, before returning to the port.

Walking at the cathedral will amount to approximately 150 yards up a fairly steep slope with a couple of steps. Comfortable, layered clothing and warm, waterproof shoes are recommended. The concert itself lasts for about 45 minutes. Although the cathedral itself is wheelchair accessible, the wc facilities are not, as they are located down a flight of stairs. Enjoy a concert in Tromsø's Arctic Cathedral

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

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

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

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

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 the North Cape Hall - which houses various small exhibitions about Norwegian life - before starting the journey back towards Alta. 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 discretion, but you should anticipate covering approximately 200 yards on foot 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 a lift to the cinema for those not wishing to climb the stairs. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. 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

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 dark winter nights. Inside, the cathedral is illuminated by the tall windows which spiral around the building. You will have plenty of time to take pictures and to embrace the peaceful atmosphere. The cathedral basement is now home to the fascinating Borealis interactive exhibition, admission to which is included. Here you can learn about this amazing natural phenomenon and hear some of the local legends associated with it.

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

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

Harstad

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

In the north-eastern corner of the large island of Hinnøya, north of the Arctic Circle, Harstad is the second-largest town in Troms county, 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. One of its landmarks 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.

FactFile

Population 24,845
Language Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Krone
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Relatively mild winters and cool summers.
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.
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 Harstad Sparebank at Rikard Kaarbøs 2 and DNB Harstad at Sjøgata 5 are open 0900-1500 from Monday to Friday. 24-hour ATMs are available.

Excursions

Leaving the pier, your coach will take you first on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Harstad. Although it is quite small, Harstad is nevertheless the second-largest city in the county of Troms, after Tromsø. From your coach you can see some of the 19th-century and early 20th-century wooden buildings that characterise this town. After this short tour, you reach Trondenes, to visit the largest land-based gun in the world. Nicknamed the Adolf Gun, this huge naval gun with a calibre of 16 inches was designed by Krupp in 1934 and was intended for use on a series of battleships that were never actually constructed. Instead, the guns were used as coastal defence artillery during World War II. Seven were located at various sites in Norway, while others were used in Poland and in northern France: three guns at Sangatte near Calais fired 2,226 shells at Dover, causing extensive damage and numerous casualties. Each gun could fire missiles weighing up to one ton a distance of 35 miles. The battery at Trondenes was taken over by the Norwegian army after the War and maintained in working order until 1957, and is now preserved as a museum piece along with much of its original equipment. Your guided tour shows you how this huge gun was loaded and fired.

You should expect to walk around 500 yards, with some uneven ground and 37 steps. You will spend about one-and-a-quarter hours walking or standing during the tour of the gun emplacement. All sightseeing in Harstad is from the coach. There is no wheelchair access to the gun site and we do not recommend this tour to those with mobility problems. The Adolf Gun at Trondenes

Leaving the pier, your coach takes you first on a short panoramic drive though the town of Harstad, before reaching the attractive manor house of Røkenes. Here you take a seat in the magnificent 18th-century dining room to listen to a one-hour musical recital by a group of talented classical musicians, led by distinguished bassist Knut-Erik Sundqvist. Harstad is the home town of this renowned performer, and he will tell you about the sort of music that was popular around the time the manor-house was built, and play some pieces from this period. He will also talk about another of his passions, the traditional music of Northern Norway. This music is often inspired by natural sounds, such as the distinctive call of the Havella - a long-tailed duck. Knut-Erik Sundqvist runs his own chamber music festival in Harstad every April, and is well known for his many anecdotes from the international music arena. A finger buffet and soft drinks are served at Røkenes before you return by coach to the port.

You will need to walk around 200 yards at Røkenes Manor, with about ten steps. All sightseeing in Harstad is from the coach. Røkenes Manor

Leave the pier by minibus, and enjoy a short panoramic drive through Harstad. This small town is the second-largest city in the county of Troms, after Tromsø. After passing through the town centre, which survived World War II intact and still has numerous 19th-century and early 20th-century wooden buildings, you reach the seaside home of a Norwegian family who live just outside the town. Your hosts will welcome you into their house, where you can get to know one other and discuss cultural differences. You will be served refreshments of coffee and waffles, and have the chance to enjoy piano music played by your host. After about two-and-a-half hours, it will be time to say goodbye as you travel back to the pier.

You should expect to walk no more than about 200 yards, with the possibility of a few steps. If you wish to take photographs inside the house, please ask your host family for permission before doing so. Numbers on this excursion are strictly limited, and transport between the ship and house is by minibus. A typical family home in Harstad

Leaving the pier, your coach takes you first on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Harstad, passing some of the 19th-century and early 20th-century wooden buildings that characterise this town. After this short tour, you reach Trondenes, where you first visit the Historical Centre. Here you can gain an insight into the exciting history of Northern Norway by viewing the exhibits and enjoying a multi-media experience that takes you on a journey from Viking times and the Medieval period to World War II and the present day, using archaeological finds, music, smells and sounds. Leaving the Historical Centre, continue to the Adolf Gun, the largest land-based gun in the world. Designed by Krupp in 1934, this is one of ten huge guns that were used as coastal defence artillery by Nazi Germany during World War II. It could fire missiles weighing up to one ton a distance of 35 miles. Similar guns at Sangatte near Calais caused serious damage to Dover in Kent. Taken over by the Norwegian army in 1945 and maintained in working order until 1957, the Trondenes gun is now preserved as a museum piece. Your final visit is to Trondenes Church, the world’s most northerly medieval building. Built between 1250 and 1434, it is still in use as an active parish church. The interior is richly decorated, and the church has a Baroque pulpit, an 18th-century organ and the remains of medieval frescoes.

You should expect to walk just under one mile, with some uneven ground. There are 37 steps at the Adolf Gun and a few at the Historical Centre and church. You will spend about one-and-a-half hours walking or standing during the tours of the Historical Centre and gun emplacement. All sightseeing in Harstad is from the coach. There is no wheelchair access to the gun site and we do not recommend this tour to those with mobility problems. The historic church at Trondenes

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

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Ålesund’s main sights, driving through the Art Nouveau quarter to see the architecture that replaced the more traditional Norwegian buildings that were lost to the devastating fire of 1904. After leaving the city, travel through some of the world’s largest under-sea tunnels, which connect the islands of Giske and Godøy to the mainland. Giske is famous as the birthplace of the Viking King Rollo, who conquered Normandy in 911 and was an ancestor of William the Conqueror. Your tour takes you to Giske Chapel, built from Roman marble and used as a private church by the Viking Giske family. The interior of the church was restored in 1756 and features a beautifully-carved pulpit and altar. Continue to the island of Godøy and the charming fishing village of Alnes, where you may enjoy a stroll through the village or climb the lighthouse for some fantastic views. Stop for included coffee and cakes at the lighthouse before returning to your ship at Ålesund by coach via the under-sea tunnels.

This tour is mainly by coach, but you will need to walk about 300 yards along gravel paths to view the church at Giske, the village of Alnes and the lighthouse. Refreshments are served on the ground floor of the lighthouse, but there is a steep spiral staircase to climb if anyone wishes to go up to the top. The 12th-century Giske Chapel was built using Roman Marble

Join this tour at the harbourside and travel into the heart of the city’s art nouveau quarter to see the colourful façades and decorations. Then continue four miles out of the city centre to Borgund, where the Vikings had one of their first settlements. It was the largest trading centre in the district and excavations have revealed that the urban area covered about 11 acres and included three churches. The remains of one of these, St Peter’s Church, forms part of the current Borgund Church. Enjoy a visit to this church, which has a fairytale-like roof and turrets. Afterwards, explore the Sunnmøre Open Air Folk Museum with its restored and reconstructed houses and boats that offer a glimpse back in time. You return to Ålesund via a stop at Mount Aksla where you can see far-reaching views of the city and surrounding areas.

This tour is mainly conducted by coach, although it requires some standing around and walking over uneven surfaces at the Sunnmøre Open Air Folk Museum and to see the views from Mount Aksla. Access to the interior of Borgund Church may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit coinciding with a religious service. Sunnmøre Open-Air Folk Museum

Disembark in Ålesund and embark a modern cruiser for the first part of this enjoyable full-day tour. Cruise from the harbour through Storfjorden, and continue into Geirangerfjord – a small but breath-taking fjord. Cruise for about three hours past dramatic landscapes, including the majestic Seven Sisters waterfalls, arriving at Geiranger in time for lunch. Travelling a short distance by coach up the hill to the Union Hotel we shall enjoy both the fabulous views across the village and the fjord, and a hot and cold buffet lunch. Whilst in Geiranger, visit the Norwegian Fjord Centre to learn more about this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the people who have lived here over the centuries. Wander around authentic old farm buildings and watch a spectacular multi-media show that illustrates Fjordland's history, cultural life and nature. Continuing towards Eidsdal on the scenic and winding Eagle Road, we stop at the Eagle’s Bend viewpoint for a photo opportunity looking back down on Geiranger. At Eidsdal, board a ferry for a crossing to Linge and then enjoy a drive through Liabygda, Stordal and Sjøholt which are all situated along the Storfjord. On arrival back in Ålesund join a short orientation drive around the city before heading back to the pier.

Walking on this excursion is mainly at your discretion. In addition a few steps will be encountered to board the boat and also at the Union Hotel entrance and viewpoints. Half the group will follow a reverse itinerary. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Stunning landscapes on your Geirangerfjord cruise

Join a knowledgeable guide for a tour of the art nouveau highlights of the city. As you walk around the winding streets, learn about the city’s buildings and fascinating history by seeing it at close quarters. Visit the Art Nouveau Centre, housed in the picturesque old Swan Pharmacy set beside the Brosundet Sound. The building has retained some of the original interiors from the early 20th century, including the dining room of former pharmacist J A Owre, which is left as if ready for a dinner party. Other exhibits have been created to tell the story of the famous fire and include a multimedia 'time machine' to take you back to the time of the blaze and the rebuilding of the city. Enjoy coffee and cake at the café here before you return to the ship.

This walking tour will involve two miles of walking on paved surfaces with a flight of stairs to negotiate at the Art Nouveau Centre. Therefore flat, comfortable shoes are a must. Art Nouveau Centre, Ålesund

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.

Excursions

This excursion must be booked in advance and cannot be booked on board ship. It is a comprehensive full-day sightseeing tour that begins with a short walk along the pier to the railway station platform to board the train for a memorable journey on the Flåm Railway, passing through a narrow valley hemmed in by towering, snow-capped mountains. As you ascend, the train will pause at Kjosfossen, where you can disembark to take photographs of the tumbling waterfall (weather conditions permitting). Change trains at Myrdal and join the Oslo to Bergen mainline to the village of Voss which is pleasantly situated beside Lake Vangsvatnet. Although heavily bombed during World War II, its old church which dates from 1277 remained standing. It has some rather unusual features, including an octagonal steeple dating from the 16th century. After a buffet lunch in the restaurant of a local hotel, join your coach and continue through Norway’s dramatic scenery, stopping at another beautiful waterfall, Tvindefossen, before heading down through Stalheim Canyon. After pausing in Stalheim, head off on the final part of your excursion, driving along a thrilling road that negotiates 13 hairpin bends in just one mile (weather conditions permitting). Your return journey to Flåm passes through two long tunnels, which connect the village with Gudvangen.

There will be a few steps to board the train and there can be a wide gap between the train and the platform. Walking will amount to 200 yards in Flåm and 300 yards between Voss station and the restaurant. Any further walking is at your discretion. This tour may operate in reverse and the duration may vary by as much as an hour, depending on train timetables and routing. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. The mighty Kjossfossen waterfall

This excursion must be booked in advance and cannot be booked on board ship. You can savour one of Europe’s most impressive train rides on this 'made easier' tour, which we recommend for those passengers with mobility issues as much of the more difficult walking has been eliminated. The Flåm Railway provides wonderful vistas of the mountains and waterfalls that characterise this beautiful part of Norway. In order to ensure the best possible views the train will proceed slowly and even stop at the finest sections so you have time to take in the dramatic scenery and take photographs. See the stunning Kjosfossen Waterfall where, according to local legend, a ghostly female figure has occasionally been seen. Your train ride takes you 2,850 feet up a mountain gorge and reaches its destination at Myrdal, where you can alight for a few minutes to take photos of the snow-capped mountains and explore the station, or remain seated before returning directly to Flåm.

This excursion involves up to 300 yards' walking and a few steep steps to board the train. In places there can also be a wide gap between the platform and the train. A ramp is available for wheelchair users, but due to the limited number that can be accommodated, it is essential that you notify the shore excursion staff on board ship in advance if you intend using a wheelchair on this excursion. Please also be aware that the toilets on the train are not wheelchair-accessible and that it is not possible for wheelchair users to alight at the waterfall stop. Views will depend on the weather. Most of the intermediate halts have short platforms: when the train stops at these, some of the rear carriages may be in a tunnel. Anyone wishing to take photos at these stops may need to get up and walk towards the front of the train. The Flåm Railway

This scenic excursion reveals the quaint village of Laerdal, set in the innermost part of the Sognefjord. Board your coach and travel along the magnificent fjord towards Aurland, passing through various tunnels before arriving at the village. At 15 miles long, one of these tunnels is the longest road tunnel in the world. You then take a walking tour around Laerdal, which offers a glimpse of old Norway with its 160 protected 18th-century buildings, including traditionally-painted wooden homes. Next, your coach takes you to Borgund, where you visit the beautiful Borgund Stave Church, the best preserved of Norway's 29 stave churches. It has remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1150. The term 'stave' refers to the wooden pillars that form the main supporting structure, and the church was built without nails, bolts or metal of any kind. After entering this intriguing building for a look around, take the scenic route back to Flåm.

This excursion requires a walk of approximately 100 yards at each stop, with less than ten steps. Access to the church interior may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit coinciding with a religious service. Borgund Stave Church in the snow

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, linked to the mainland by road and rail bridges. Although there is a Roman fort at nearby Portchester, occupied later by the Saxons and Normans, there was no settlement on the site of Portsmouth at the time of the 1086 Domesday Book. The town developed in medieval times and received its first charter in 1194 from King Richard I; soon afterwards it became a major naval base. It has the world’s oldest dry dock, and is home to several famous ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, 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, 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 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 collect passengers immediately outside the ship. However, on returning from an excursion, passengers must walk through security at 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

TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen will be joining you in the search for the Northern Lights and talk about her varied career during a Q&A session. You'll also be joined by representatives from ORCA, the foremost European whale and dolphin conservation charity, who will be holding regular whale-spotting sessions on deck and give talks on their research program.

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.


Northern Lights

Saga Pearl II departing Portsmouth

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Saga Pearl II departing Portsmouth

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