You’re never too old to embark on a new adventure
There comes a certain point in your life where you look back and reminisce on the chances you took to discover new places and experience exotic cultures – only to realize how much of the world there is yet to see. Take it from comedy-drama ‘The Bucket List’ starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman: when there are still boxes left unchecked on your bucket list – countries you haven’t visited, peaks you haven’t climbed, food you haven’t tried – you do what you can to tick them off, one by one, and live the life you’ve always wanted.
The best part about taking a cruise is that everything is planned out, from the accommodation, tourist attractions, and meals to exciting mini-excursions at every port – and this is what you can expect from Hurtigruten. The expedition fleet prides itself on its explorer heritage that dates as far back as 1893 and has become one of the most reliable and popular expedition cruises in the world. If you’re looking for a new adventure, check out these bucket-list-worthy cruises from Hurtigruten:
1. Circumnavigating Spitsbergen: In The Realm of The Polar Bear
Price starts at $8,704
Duration: 10 days
- The Northwest Corner is an archipelago full of majestic fjords and beaches often barricaded by sea ice. Still, it’s a unique spot Hurtrigruten skillfully navigates so you can access exciting attractions like Kongsfjorden (one of the most beautiful fjords in Spitsbergen) and the former mining settlement turned research center of Ny-Ålesund.
- Eastern Svalbard has the highest population of endangered polar bears in the archipelago, where mothers and cubs are typically found on ice floes to hunt for seals during summertime. Weather permitting, the cruise can travel further north into the 80th Parallel (80 degrees north of the equator) and Sjuøyane, the northernmost part of the Svalbard archipelago.
View the full itinerary and book the Circumnavigating Spitsbergen cruise here.
2. Circumnavigating Iceland: Land of Elves, Sagas, and Volcanoes
Price starts at $4,478
Duration: 9 days
- Sagaland refers to the Western part of Iceland where most Icelandic sagas originated, hence the name. Stykkishólmur is home to Helgafell Holy Mountain, where first-time climbers will be granted three wishes if a) they don’t talk or look back during the climb, b) they face east, and c) they keep their wishes to themselves. You may also opt to explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you can stand in awe of the basalt cliffs of Lóndrangar basalt cliffs or the black sand beaches of Djúpalónssandur.
- Borgarfjörður is known to Icelanders as “the land of the elves” due to the amassed folk stories on the mythical creatures that apparently took place in the locale. You’ll also find puffin colonies in the surrounding area of the fjord and breathtaking views that’ll make you feel like you’re in your own epic tale.
- Heimaey, or “Home Island,”is the site of a volcanic eruption in 1973, when the island’s 4,000 residents saved their home by combating the lava flow with seawater. Now safe to hike, Eldfell Volcano has the best views of the island as well as the additional land the eruption created, known as Eldfellshraun, which you can also trek.
View the full itinerary and book the Circumnavigating Iceland cruise here.
3. European Atlantic Coast: Cultural Highlights
Price starts at $5,285
Duration: 13 days
- Bilbao is the heart of the Basque Country in Spain. Casco Viejo, the city’s Old Quarter, is a charming corner with preserved centuries-old streets that date back to the 1400s. The surrounding cityscape cuts through the historic vibe with contemporary architecture, with the Guggenheim museum as the crown jewel.
- Bordeaux is one of the wine countries located in the south of France. Its Old City is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans 5,000 acres full of monuments, churches, and chateaus surrounded by vineyards.
- Amsterdam is another stop on this European coast cruise. What began as a small village in the 13th century has become one of the most picturesque attractions in the Netherlands. Bike through the famed Canal District, and appreciate Dutch culture at the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House, or Van Gogh Museum.
View the full itinerary and book the European Atlantic Coast cruise here.
4. The Scottish Isles: Whisky and Wildlife from the Hebrides to the Shetlands
Price starts at $3,545
Duration: 13 days
- The Scottish Isles have many world-renowned single-malt whisky distilleries, each with their own whiskies made from their signature blends. Definitely worth trying. The island used to be the seat of the MacDonalds – the Lord of the Isles – one of the many noble clans that used to vie for kingship in Scotland.
- The Isle of Mull is where you’ll find the 800-year-old Duart Castle that’s still owned by the original noble family. Here, you’ll meet legitimate clan chief Sir Lachlan MacLean, who’ll also be giving a guided tour of the castle, where you get to see clan memorabilia, Edwardian bedrooms, and other sights in its hallowed halls.
- Stornoway is one of the main towns in the Hebrides, an archipelago off the Scottish coast. It used to be a Viking settlement but is now a bustling waterfront lined with museums and art galleries. It is also home to Lews Castle, which is open to visitors. Visit the Callanish Standing Stones, the 2,000-year-old fort Carloway Broch, or buy yards of famous Harris Tweeds fabric as souvenirs.
View the full itinerary and book The Scottish Isles cruise here.
5. Caribbean: Hidden Highlights of the Caribbean from Nassau to George Town
Price starts at $2,072
Duration: 8 days
- Port Antonio used to be a Jamaican escape for celebrities back in the 1940s. Explore the Reach Waterfall, discover the famous Blue Lagoon, or take a bamboo raft to Monkey Island.
- Montego Bay is another tourist hotspot in Jamaica known for its white sandy beaches and fresh cuisine. Historically, Christopher Colombus docked at Montego Bay in 1494 and dubbed it the “Gulf of Good Weather.” Check out the bay’s colonial history at Rose Hall, discover underground caves or raft along the Martha Brae River.
View the full itinerary and book the Caribbean cruise here.
6. Peru & Chile: Macchu Picchu and Incan Highlights
Price starts at $5,260
Duration: 11 days
- Macchu Picchu is perhaps one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with many tourists visiting the Andes mountains every year. Overlooking the Urubamba River, the hidden city holds no historical accounts regarding its rise and fall. The site’s mysterious origin story makes it all the more thrilling to visit. After immersing yourself in Incan civilization, you might be interested in checking out the strange Nazca lines in Pisco Valley to continue your historical tour.
- Arequipa can be found in the Peruvian port city of Matarani and is known for the snow-capped El Misti volcano. Due to El Misti’s past eruptions, most of the district’s colonial architecture is a product of ashlar masonry from white volcanic stone, which is also why Arequipa is also known as “The White City.”
View the full itinerary and book the Peru & Chile cruise here.
7. Andean Coast: Expedition from Jungle to Desert
Price starts at $5,358
Duration: 16 days
- Salaverry is a port in Peru where you’ll get the chance to visit one of two historical sites: the mud-brick runes of UNESCO World Heritage Site Chan Chan (“Sun Sun”), which dates back to the Chimu Kingdom, and the Mochica Sun and Moon pyramid temples, which are made entirely of adobe rock.
- Paracas is within close proximity to the Ballestas Islands, Peru, which remains uninhabited by humans but is rife with wildlife like sea lions, turtles, dolphins, and Humboldt penguins. Another must-see attraction near Paracas is Pisco Valley, where you’ll find mysterious geoglyphs etched into the desert called Nazca lines. These can only be fully viewed from the sky. Plus, if you’re into strong liquor, Pisco has a local brandy of the same name, and you can learn how it’s made and join a pisco tasting in an optional excursion.
View the full itinerary and book the Andean Coast cruise here.
Book a Hurtigruten cruise and tick the next box off of your travel bucket list. Find out more about their destinations and cruises here.
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