Norway, YOUR way

When it comes to travel, nothing is quite as beneficial for the Vantage team as experiencing the trips and destinations we make come alive for travelers in our marketing materials and in our videos. That’s why Product Marketing Director Carley Thornell was so excited to be able to travel on the ms Nordkapp, a Hurtigruten ship featured on our Norway trips: Coastal Norway: The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage and Scandinavian Splendor: A Nordic Adventure by Land & Sea.

“I wanted to go on a trip that combined awesome scenery with a culture I’ve only experienced in Iceland before,” she said of Scandinavia. “It was an awesome opportunity to not only relax and enjoy what truly are some of the world’s most beautiful views with the fjords, but venture out with optional tours and the new Expedition Team aboard the ms Nordkapp.”

Here are Carley’s top 5 reasons to reserve a trip to Norway—now featuring Finland on 2018 departures!

1.) The food: In addition to some of the world’s freshest fish, the Nordkapp features a refurbished dining room (Torget) that includes a neat concept where each day’s menu has a map showing where you’ve sailed and what food comes from there. Plus, I discovered brunost, a uniquely sweet and nutty brown cheese only found in this part of the world—it’s worth taking home a pound or two as a souvenir!

2.) Hurtigruten ships: In addition to a complete renovation of their upper passenger decks (with wonderful linens!), the ms Nordkapp and ms Nordnorge, used by Vantage, each feature a fun coffee shop that’s set up to look like your Grandma’s house, with rocking chairs and cozy crocheted items. Plus there’s a hot tub and fun open deck space at the top where you can enjoy some lectures, food demonstrations, and even try to glimpse one of the world’s most fascinating natural phenomena …

3.) The Northern Lights! Though my departure was in late August through early September—the classic Voyage North, featured on Vantage departures—that’s a bit early to spot the Northern Lights. Even still, my husband and I were able to spot them clearly and marvel with other travelers on the top deck at this unseasonable sighting around midnight two days in a row!

4.) Optional tours: Not only do Vantage departures include five optional tours, but you can also customize your trip with other tours in your free time. One of my favorites was the hiking with huskies summer tour, where we learned about the Iditarod, took about 1,000 pictures of the huskies in their little doghouses, snuggled with puppies, and took a short scenery walk before enjoying cocoa and an outdoor fire. A priceless experience for dog-lovers!

5.) The Expedition Team: New for 2017, in addition to your Vantage Cruise Director, Hurtigruten has enhanced departures with local specialists called Expedition Team leaders. These are the folks that are going to help lead your local optional and included tours and provide enhanced entertainment options like songs and some talks about the history of the native Sami culture and people. Each presentation comes to life with aplomb and the team has enormous energy to represent their country in the most fascinating way possible.