Cost: The price for a 12-day voyage for travel from this March 1 to April 14 ranges from $2,051 to $4,751 for Hurtigruten ships. Prices increase April 15.
Dining: Meals are bountiful, delicious and fishy, but not elaborate. Breakfasts and lunches are buffet-style featuring salmon, eel, salads, cheeses, beets, fruit and desserts. Three-course dinners are plated and served at 6 p.m. Large Hurtigruten ships have two seatings for each meal. All meals are included in the price.
Excursions: There are many choices. You can board a bus to a Viking museum, a Sami village, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim; take a snowmobile trip in Lapland or a sea-eagle safari, and ride a sturdy rubber raft to powerful whirlpools, where fresh and salt water meet. Check the prices before you sign up; excursions are costly, but incredible.
Contacts: 1-866-552-0371; www.Hurtigruten.us. The line also goes to Greenland, Spitsbergen and Antarctica.
Prices in Norway: We paid roughly $12 for a glass of Norwegian beer on ship, $10 of which, we were told, is liquor tax; $6 for a cup of regular black coffee in cafes off ship, and $2 for use of a toilet in a Bergen department store. Tourist items are pricey: $30 for a bottle opener crudely carved from wood, which made $60 for a nice set of reindeer antlers seem cheap. (But no thanks.) Get ready for a whopping credit card bill, especially if you're fond of the Norwegian sweaters everyone wears at the St. Olaf College Christmas Festival. They run from about $100 to more than $500. We saw, but did not buy (for $15), an ordinary tea towel that read, "Land of the Midnight Sun." We figured the slogan should continue, "... and Extraordinarily High Prices."