Every day one of Hurtigruten’s 11 ships departs from Bergen, the starting point for the line’s coastal voyages. Founded by King Olaf III in 1070, it’s a fitting place to begin your maritime adventure having been a center of trade for more than a thousand years. Beginning in the 14th century, the city was the home of a settlement of Hanseatic League traders, and the colorful warehouses they built in Bryggen (that’s Norwegian for “wharf”) have been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. Today, the buildings house museums, shops, and restaurants. Bergen is compact and easily explored on foot, though Hurtigruten’s pre-departure programs—Norway in a Nutshell, Hardangerfjord in a Nutshell, and Sognefjord in Nutshell—make it easy to visit some of the dramatic landscapes nearby.
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