Hurtigruten Unveils New Norwegian Cruises to Svalbard and Oslo in 2023

The cruise line's iconic Coastal Express is getting a major upgrade

MS Trollfjord

Courtesy of Hurtigruten Norway

For nearly 130 years, Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Express has been the best, most authentic way to travel across Norway. And things are about to get even better. In 2023, the cruise company is unveiling two upgraded versions of the iconic route: the Svalbard Express and North Cape Express, both of which will allow passengers to see even more of the Scandinavian nation.

These new extended routes mark the biggest product evolution since the Coastal Express—part expedition cruise, part ferry system, part cargo transport—launched in 1893. 

“We have a lot of guests that come again and again on the Coastal Express, but now we will make something a bit different,” Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norway, told TripSavvy. “Now we can really say that guests can experience the best of Norway.”

While the original Coastal Express travels round trip from the southern city of Bergen up to the far northeastern town of Kirkenes, the new Svalbard Express will venture even further north to—you guessed it—Svalbard, an archipelago about halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Upon arriving in Svalbard, passengers will get to experience excursions like dog sledding tours and wildlife photography lessons—the latter of which is particularly exciting, considering that Svalbard is one of the few places on the planet where you can see polar bears in their natural habitat.

Meanwhile, the North Cape Express takes guests to Oslo, marking the first time Hurtigruten will offer regular sailings to the capital city. According to Felin, this particular sailing will appeal to a new demographic for the cruise line—namely younger crowds interested in good art and good food.

“If you travel far to visit Norway, you probably want to see Oslo anyway,” Felin said. “Our dock will be just outside the Opera House, so it’s a very good way to experience a cool city.”

Both journeys will take place on board the MS Trollfjord, a current Hurtigruten vessel that will receive a complete refurbishment during the first half of 2023. Renovations will include upgraded cabins with modern Scandinavian décor and updated restaurants. Though these updates are exciting, long-time Hurtigruten fans can rest easy knowing that both routes will still include some of the brand’s most beloved features: impeccable service, onboard lecture programs, and incredibly strong ties with Norway’s coastal communities.

hurtigruten gronnsaker

Courtesy of Hurtigruten

Those community ties are perhaps best seen in the cruise line’s Coastal Kitchen program. As part of this initiative, over 80 percent of the ingredients served onboard come from the ports you visit along every Coastal Express route. This past March, the program got an even more hyper-local boost by introducing a set of “Culinary Ambassadors”—award-winning Norwegian chefs who work with the cruise line's chefs to create new dishes and themed menus. (Don’t be surprised if you sit down to a five-course meal in which every dish features seaweed, for example.)

“We really want our guests to feel like they’re part of a bigger mission,” said Felin. “It’s not just tourism. Guests will be involved in a very critical part of Norway.”

The 14-day, round-trip Svalbard Express is scheduled to run from June to September in 2023, and from May to September from 2024 onward. Meanwhile, the 13-day North Cape Express cruise will run from late September through May starting in 2023. Outside cabins start at $7,369 per person on the Svalbard Express and $4,483 per person on the North Cape Express.