New shipping company Havila Voyages is preparing to start operations in August after having to delay its launch because of COVID travel restrictions.
The cruise line will sail the Norwegian coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes, operating a 12-day return voyage, visiting 34 different ports sailing through narrow fjords and open seas, travelling high up into the Arctic Circle.
First ship Havila Capella will start cruises along the Norwegian coast on 24 August, while Havila Castor is expected to sail a week later.
Two more ships, Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux, will join the fleet in 2022.
The operator offers a range of durations and payment options to give agents the flexibility to either sell a complete package or add a point-to-point sailing as part of a more complex itinerary.
Travel Gossip took a peek inside to see what guests can expect.
Each ship will have 179 cabins and carry 640 passengers.
Accommodation choices include interior, deluxe, junior suites with balconies, and two presidential suites.
Havila Voyages says its fleet will be the most eco-friendly ships on the Norwegian coastal route, with large battery packs fitted to each vessel to allow them to sail through the fjords and other vulnerable areas for up to four hours at a time – quietly and emission free.
The batteries will then be charged in one of the numerous ports along the route, using clean hydropower.
While the scenery promises to be spectacular, the cruise line promises the on-board culinary experience will be one of the highlights of the trip, with menus reflecting Norway’s culinary traditions and using the highest quality Norwegian produce.
There’s also an onboard gym and spacious outdoor deck.
Unique experiences include the Midnight Sun and the change to experience the Northern Lights (from October to March).
Excursions include king crab fishing (and, afterwards, eating), kayaking, hiking, dog sledding, sailing through many fjords on the UNESCO World Heritage List and tours of ports of calls, such as the city of Trondheim.
Prices start from £241 per person for a two-day trip from Trondheim to Bergen on cabin-only basis.
The six-day southbound voyage from Kirkenes to Bergen starts from £497 per person, while the 12-day round-trip costs from £829 per person on full board basis.
Prices are based on departures from 15-31 December 2021.