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JOIN US IN NORWAY!

 

We organise knitting trips to Norway a couple of times every year onboard Hurtigruten (The Norwegian Coastal Express) or Havila (The Norwegian Coastal Route).

 

The Most Beautiful Sea Voyage in the World

Hurtigruten and Havila are the only operators allowed to cruise the historical Norwegian coastal route from 1893 (see video below), which is owned and subsidised by the Norwegian government. The Norwegian coastal route is the lifeline of the north of Norway and is essential to connect the isolated northern part of our country with the more populated southern part of Norway. There is a daily departure from Bergen 365 days every year shared between Hurtigruten (5 departures per week) and Havila (2 departures per week). The ships stop in 34 ports on their northbound and southbound journeys, linking small towns north of the Arctic circle together and helping those living in isolated communities to receive goods and mail and to travel to larger cities. The classic roundtrip journey takes 12 days and is considered the most beautiful sea journey in the world.

Map of the coastal route. Click to enlarge.

 

The Ships

The ships function as cargo ships, car ferries and passenger ships and are tiny (maximum 400 passenger capacity) compared to the massive, 4000+ passenger cruise ships of which we strongly disapprove. They also operate as the official carrier of the Royal Norwegian Post. Life onboard is very relaxed and comfortable. There are large glassed panoramic lounges to make the most of the gorgeous views. An expedition team is at hand to organise excursions (at an extra charge) and host lectures on local life and culture, ecosystems, wildlife etc. (free of charge). Food is farm-to-table, and both Hurtigruten and Havila focus on serving the best Norwegian cuisine based on healthy, high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Both operators are putting massive efforts into becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly: Havila’s ships are loaded with the world’s largest battery packs and can sail without noise or emissions through vulnerable fjords for four hours at a time. The batteries are recharged with clean hydropower at the shore, and when the batteries are low, the ships switch to natural gas, which cuts CO2 emissions by 25%. Excess heat from cooling water and sea is used for heating onboard.

Hurtigruten and Havila are official carriers for the Norwegian Post and sail under the Royal Norwegian swallowtail flag.

 

Knitting Under the Aurora Borealis

Typically, we offer our “Knitting under the Aurora Borealis (northern lights)” experience, which consists of 2 nights in Oslo, one night in Bergen and either the 12-day classic roundtrip journey or the 6-day northbound journey onboard one of the coastal ships. We also include, among many other things,  a visit to our favourite Norwegian yarn factory, the oldest yarn producer in our country, still owned by the same family – and a great partner of ours for the past ten years.

The Aurora Borealis can only be seen in the darkness, which means that in Norway, it is only visible from mid-September to mid-March. This is also, in our opinion, the best time to travel onboard the coastal ships and enjoy the stunning and magical scenery in our country. Life onboard will combine fun knitting activities and that ever-changing but always gorgeous view, plus visits to our largest cities (Bergen, Ålesund, Trondheim, Bodø and Tromsø), small local communities, and lots of yarn stores along the way!

MS Castor under the Aurora Borealis.

 

And What About Non-Knitting Spouses?

This trip is on many bucket lists, so non-knitting spouses are welcome to join! There is plenty to do onboard or on land during all 34 stops to stay busy. However, because our knitting concept is so relaxing and casual, the non-knitters tend to hang around the group and enjoy themselves even though they are not knitting! Pricing is the same regardless of knitting status.

The MS Nordlys

 

Why Cruise With Us?

When you undertake this breathtakingly beautiful journey in our country together with us, you are supporting local businesses. We are Norwegian, live in Norway, speak the language and know every aspect of the Norwegian culture. We have travelled the coastal route since 2007 and know it by heart. The travel agency we work with is also from Norway, and our tour leader has organised trips on Hurtigruten for the past 20 years, so they also know this product better than most. We work with local suppliers and choose to include guest lectures with some of the country’s most excellent experts, such as Annemor Sundbø (Setesdal) and Anne Bårsdgård (Selbu), to give you the best and most authentic Norwegian experiences while you visit our country. We also know the very best times to travel in Norway within the period when the Aurora Borealis is visible (not all months were created equally), and we have made this journey so many times that we know where all the yarn stores along entire the coast (including the hidden ones) are located!

Solvær, a town in the stunning islands of Lofoten, receives visits from the coastal ships twice daily. Our cottage is located on the south side of the island seen in the centre of this photo.

 

We have been travelling on Hurtigruten since 2007. Do we ever get tired of it?

Absolutely not! Hurtigruten is deeply embedded in our culture, and all Norwegians have a special and loving relationship with the ships and the coastal route. It is a strong part of our cultural identity. We have spent a lot of time in Northern Norway, and it always fills us with joy when we see the ships arrive and depart (We own a cottage on an island in the Lofoten archipelago from where the northbound and southbound ships can be seen daily). Also, the most beautiful journey in the world is always beautiful, regardless of the time of the year. We have experienced it during all four seasons, and it is always absolutely stunning, regardless of the weather, and every time, we see new things, that we hadn’t seen before.

Get on the Waitlist

When we open our trips for registration, they tend to sell out very fast. Therefore, we recommend that you get on our waitlist so that you are the first to be notified when a trip opens for signups. The waitlist is by request only, so please use the link below to write to us and ask to be put on the list.

Click here to join our waitlist now!

See you in Norway!

ARNE & CARLOS x

In front of the Hurtigruten ship, the MS Finnmarken, in Honningsvåg – the gateway to the North Cape.

 

Check out this video that explains the history behind the Norwegian Coastal Express. Subtitles in English are available.

 

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Garden and Textile Trips

We also organise garden trips in Europe  (Italy, the UK)  and will soon organise textile trips to exciting destinations worldwide. So, get on our waitlist if you wish to join us on our adventures!

Click here to join our waitlist now!