Norway is known for its extremes and weather is no exception. Particularly in spring, a Classic Coastal Voyage can take guests from balmy weather in Bergen, to wind with rain showers in Stockmarknes, to the only just receding depths of winter up north in Kirkenes. And all in the space of 12 days!
This of course makes packing a little bit of a headache, so we have come up with some tips for the gear we trust the most to serve you, no matter the season! Most importantly, remember that a Hurtigruten voyage is about seeing the incredible Norwegian coastline in relaxed comfort, so bring comfortable clothes that allow you to participate in various activities. There is no requirement to change for dinner onboard and the dress code is casual.
Basics – all year round
This list presumes you already have your basic holiday essentials and builds on that. First of all, don't forget your camera! You'll certainly be creating some unforgettable memories and it will be nice to be able to share them with your friends when you return home through photos. And bring along an extra memory card too: even if you don't use it, it's better to have space than to run out.
From the panorama decks onboard, there are some great opportunities to spot wildlife so a set of binoculars can really come in hand. There are many day and shore excursions on offer on the Hurtigruten Coastal Voyages so it is a good idea to bring a small backpack, just big enough for your camera, jacket, a water bottle and maybe some souvenirs you pick up along the way.
For clothing and accessories, we suggest:
- Comfortable everyday shoes – for wearing around deck and exploring port towns.
- Wool or fleece jumper – this should be a jumper you can wear as either a layer or an outer layer in balmier weather.
- Sun screen – sun reflecting off the snow is especially notorious.
- Sunglasses – polarised, the Midnight Sun can be very bright!
- Bathers – many of our 12 ships that sail the coastal route have Jacuzzis and swimming pools onboard, where you can relax and watch the world drift past.
- Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers – a high performing jacket is really worth the investment. Waterproof overpants work well – once you are back inside, you can hang them out to dry without having to get changed.
- Mid layer jacket – great for the southern section of the voyage, this sort of jacket should be warm but most importantly wind-resistant as it is often the ocean breeze that will make you cold.
- Woollen underwear – long johns and a thin long sleeve top in a merino wool will be warm, lightweight and the natural fibres in the merino stops them from getting too smelly. If wool irritates you, there are plenty of high performing synthetic polypropylene fabrics that will be equally as good.
Winter, Spring and Autumn
Clothing and accessories:
- Winter boots with good grip – try to buy these at least six weeks before your trip and wear them in, even if that just means wearing them around the house. This means that you'll avoid any nasty blisters when you wear them on treks ashore.
- Spikes- if you can't get these, never fear, they are also for sale onboard.
- Thick winter jacket – a down or synthetic equivalent
- Beanie, gloves, scarf
- Woollen socks – if you find that woollen socks irritate you, consider buying some bamboo liner socks to wear underneath your warmer woollen ones. Liner socks can also help to prevent blisters when you are walking long distances.
- Woollen or fleece jumper
Clothing and accessories:
- Lightweight fleece jumper
- Sandals – consider buying sandals with strong arch support so that you can wear them while exploring port towns and maybe even for some light hikes.
- Light water-resistant jacket – something that folds up nice and small is ideal, making it easy to slip into a backpack and ready at a moments notice
- Light woollen socks – again, if wool irritates you, try bamboo socks instead.
- Hiking shoes or boots - same as the winter boots, try to buy these well in advance and wear them in.
- Lightweight scarf, summer hat and thin gloves
- T-shirts – quick drying fabrics are easy and breathable. If you'd like to participate in some of the more active excursions, consider buying some t shirts with moisture-wicking technology.
If you forget anything in your excitement about your impending adventure, the Hurtigruten onboard shops carry a selected range of high quality knitwear, clothing, souvenirs and gift items. In addition, there is also a small selection of toiletries available for purchase.