New York, NY, March 2011 – Leading Hurtigruten’s list of its ‘Top Ten Excursions for 2010’ – with more than 55,000 guests in this year alone – is a trip across the 71st parallel to the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape of the North Cape Plateau, the northernmost point in continental Europe. The journey is one of more than 40 diverse excursions, priced from $32, designed to immerse guests in the culture and history of Norway while enjoying one of the company’s classic six-, seven- or 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage itineraries. Coming in second and third, respectively, are the tour of the Arctic Capital Tromsø, including a visit to the stunning Arctic Cathedral, and ‘A Taste of Vesterålen,’ a guided tour illuminating the history and landscape of the lovely town.
“The North Cape is a fantastic experience for everyone – and a must-see for many of our guests,” says Trond Øverås, Hurtigruten product and marketing director. One of the Cape’s first tourists, in 1664, was priest Francesco Negri from Ravenna, Italy – and he wrote “Here I am at North Cape – at the very edge of civilization – and I can say that my hunger for knowledge is satisfied. Now I can travel home content if God permits.”
The other winners, in order, are the unforgettable Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral; a visit to the Russian Border; the Geiranger fjord (Panorama 2), a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle; Breakfast at the North Cape; the ancient Nidaros Cathedral & Ringve; and the Glacier Adventure in Svartisen. Because the ‘Top Ten’ list is based on the number of visitors, some of the smaller group excursions, such as dog sledding and the bird watching safari, did not make the list but are often fully booked.
Despite the success of their current offerings, the award-winning company continues to create new options. “We are constantly working with suppliers to develop new and improved excursions,” says Øverås. “Having been around since 1893, Hurtigruten has good, close contacts to draw on along the coastline as it strives to develop the best possible travel product for its guests. That is one of our clear advantages.”
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, carrying 100 to 646 passengers, allows passengers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.