Northern Lights Quilting Cruise

Prices from £2,495


17 Mar 2020 - 25 Mar 2020
Duration: 8 nights
Ref: 20004
With: Karin Hellaby


Prices from £2,495
Single Supplement: from £1286
Deposit: £500

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Join Karin Hellaby for an exciting voyage along Norway’s stunning coastline with a chance to experience the magic of one of nature’s most amazing phenomenon - a breathtaking performance against the Arctic sky of the dazzling Northern Lights. There’s plenty of time for workshops with Karin as MS Kong Harald cruises amongst the fjords, islands, islets and skerries that make up a coastline considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Each day you can step-ashore and explore or relax and simply take in the scenery and lifestyle of Norway’s remotest coastal communities.


"I am so pleased that Stitchtopia have asked me to be the patchwork and quilting teacher on this, the most beautiful voyage in the world, along the coast of Norway. This is the tour that many of you have been waiting for, having heard so many say it is is one of the best ways to see Norway. March is a month when we have a good chance of seeing the northern lights as well as the country, as it emerges from the winter darkness.

My parents were Norwegian, I speak the language, regard the country as my second home and have travelled with Hurtigruten since I was a small child. Heading north from Bergen we will call into 34 ports, visit several quilting, craft and yarn shops and see the most amazing scenery.

I will be teaching various hand sewing techniques including stitchery, easy pineapple, and compass designs to suit varying abilities. A couple of the projects will have a Norwegian theme and at least one will be given to you as a kit. My mantra on this tour is, 'Look left, look right, stitch', as we sit and sew in the lounge, floating past snow-covered mountains, glaciers, fjords and pretty coloured houses."


Meet with Karin Hellaby and your Tour Manager at London Gatwick airport for your flight to Bergen. On arrival we’ll transfer to our hotel, where we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner this evening.


This morning, our guided sightseeing tour of Bergen will introduce us to the highlights of Norway’s charming second city known as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’. We’ll also visit a local quilting store. We’ll enjoy time at leisure for lunch and explore the traditional handicraft stores on historic Bryggen waterfront before embarking MS Kong Harald to start your northbound coastal voyage. Dinner will be a buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast, as we sail north along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once plied to the Shetland Islands and beyond.


If we wake up early this morning, we’ll have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we are out on the open sea. The ship then navigates through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund.

Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers and highly-ornate buildings, Alesund is a town renowned for its beautiful art nouveau architecture. Following a devastating fire that burned a large proportion of the city to the ground in 1904, the entire town was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time, art nouveau. Here we’ll visit a shop specialising in Norwegian and Nordic arts and crafts.


This morning we’ll have the opportunity to explore Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. Norway’s Viking King, Olav Tryggvason, founded this ancient city in 997. There’s a lovely quilt shop for us to visit here. In the afternoon, the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship heads towards charming Rorvik.


Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66 degrees 33 minutes north and marks the border to the Arctic Region, where the hunt for the Northern Lights begins! We’ll step ashore in Bodo and visit a quilt shop there.

In the afternoon, the sight of the 1,000 m high Lofoten Wall appears on the horizon. Tucked between majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches, Lofoten is an experience that is out of the ordinary. The charms of the Lofoten Islands are revealed in the small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian ambience.


During the morning hours, we briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes. The ship then continues to Tromso, `Capital of the Arctic´, for a longer stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. After a day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. The ship is now sailing into waters where we have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.


Today we’ll enjoy magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent. Honningsvag is the gateway to the spectacular North Cape, from where we continue north, sailing into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the Finnkirka rock formation, as we approach our next stop, the fishing village of Kjollefjord.


The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes. We arrive in nearby Vadsø early in the morning and just after breakfast, arrive in Kirkenes. At 30° East Kirkenes is further east than both Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The Russian border is just a few miles away.

We disembark the ship this morning and take a guided sightseeing tour to the Russian border. You may find it intriguing that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. We’ll return to Kirkenes and stop at the Snow Hotel for a lunch of soup, cake and coffee before checking into our hotel later in the afternoon. This evening we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.


This morning we bid farewell to Norway as we board our return flight to London.


Please see accommodation page for full cabin descriptions & deck plans.

Twin Polar Inside Cabin (Category I): £2495 per person
Twin Polar Outside Cabin (Category N): £2794 per person
Single Polar Outside Cabin (Category L): £3764 per person
Single Polar Outside Cabin (Category N/O): £4080 per person
Single Arctic Superior Cabin (Category P): £4214 per person

Deposit: £500 per person

Please note: All single cabin prices include single rooms at the hotels in Bergen and Kirkenes. Cabin category can be chosen when booking and actual cabin number will be allocated by Hurtigruten & advised on boarding. If you would like a cabin allocated at time of booking, a Cabin assignment fee of £93 per person will be applied.


  • Flights with Norwegian Air London to Bergen and Kirkenes to London (via Oslo)
  • Private airport transfers
  • 1 night half board accommodation in Bergen
  • Half-day Bergen sightseeing tour
  • 6 nights full-board accommodation on MS Kong Harald in a twin Polar Inside Cabin on the Lower Deck (Category I)
  • Wifi and tea and coffee on MS Kong Harald
  • Half day Russian border tour
  • Lunch at the Snow Hotel
  • 1 night half board accommodation in Kirkenes
  • A full programme of workshops with Karin Hellaby, kit included
  • Services of an Arena Travel Tour Manager throughout the tour


  • Meal and drinks not mentioned above
  • Optional excursions from MS Kong Harald
  • Driver and guide gratuities
  • Travel insurance


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you? If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays: Europe- £50


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

MS Kong Harald

Norway's reigning monarch lends his name to this remarkable vessel which was refurbished in 2016 and now features a modern, Arctic-inspired interior. On board are three different restaurants, the Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. Out on deck you can enjoy the view from one of the hot tubs and there is a comfortable bar at the front of the ship. The vessel has a large compass area where you’ll find the reception, the Expedition Team, conference room and shop. The top deck of the boat features a sun deck, observation saloon and panorama lounge, all of which provide splendid views of spectacular coastal scenery.

MS Kong Harald has its own on-board Expedition Team and serves as a university at sea. Interesting lectures inside the ship as well as out on the sun deck make this an exciting and educational journey. Topics depend on the season and the waters we sail in. The Expedition Team host a lecture programme and evening gatherings daily. Out on deck you can participate in live points of interest to learn more about the nature, culture and other phenomena we encounter along the coast.


See the deck plan here.

Polar Inside Cabins (Category I)
Cosy Polar inside cabins include bathrooms with shower/WC. These comfortable, standard inside cabins on the lower deck have separate beds, one of which converts into a sofa.

Polar Outside Cabins (Category L, N & O)
All Polar Outside cabins have bathrooms with shower/WC, flat-screen TVs and separate beds, one of which converts into a sofa.
Lower deck outside cabins (Cat. L) have portholes, some with limited or no view.

Arctic Superior Cabins (Category P)
Relaxation and comfort are the hallmarks of the Arctic superior cabins. The cabins all have bathrooms with shower and WC. They are also equipped with tea and coffee-making facilities and a TV. All of the cabins have double beds, and unobstructed views.

Clarion Hotel Admiral

This 4-star hotel, which welcomes its first guests in 1984, is housed in old warehouse buildings that date back to 1904. The hotel is located in central Bergen and enjoys fantastic views of the harbour, the famous Bryggen, and the mountains. Rooms feature classic design and comfortable beds and are equipped with a minibar, kettle, desk, chair, iron and ironing board, and toiletries.

Thon Hotel, Kirkenes

This 4-star hotel is perched on the quay in central Kirkenes, with unimpeded views of the fjord. The bright and modern guest rooms come equipped with hairdryer, TV and wifi.