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Five of the best ways to enjoy Christmas in Norway

How to have a very Koselig Christmas with Hurtigruten, from crackling to koselig.

Christmas in Norway is a magical time. Deep in the heart of winter, the country is blanketed in white, with short days and crisp, clear nights. It’s a very koselig time – that hard to define, but special Norwegian feeling of cosy contentment.


With 126 years operating in Norway, Hurtigruten is the local expert – no-one knows its people, culture and landscapes like we do. So we’re pleased to share some of our favourite Christmas experiences in Norway, whether you’re onboard one of our ships or exploring some of the country’s lovely cities and villages.


MS Nordnorge - Norway (Image Hurtigruten)


1- The ultimate comfort food

Humble, warming and delicious, eating Julegrøt at Christmas is a Scandinavian speciality. Try this creamy rice pudding with melted butter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt or drizzle with preserved berries or jam. Find the lucky almond in your serve for good fortune all year.

Try Julegrøt on our Coastal Voyages throughout the Christmas season.


2- The sound of Christmas 

The Midnight Concert at Tromsø’s striking triangle-shaped Arctic Cathedral surrounded by dramatic mountains is a must-do at any time of year, but at Christmas it is even more special. As the candle lights flicker, as the choir swaps hymns for festive carols. Hear the beautiful melody of Glade Jul – the Norwegian version of Silent Night – one of many Christmas classics performed. 

Book the midnight concert excursion on your southbound Coastal itinerary. Learn to sing Glade Jul with the crew or ask about attending a local Christmas service (only in ports where time permits).

3- A world of gingerbread

Every year in the lead up to Christmas, Bergen creates the world’s largest gingerbread village, completely built by volunteers. The Pepperkakebyen is a miniature world of people, animals, angels, and detailed rural and city scenes. The gingerbread village concept has caught on, with mini versions in other cities including Bodo and Hammerfest.

Explore the gingerbread village pre- or post-voyage or as part of Norway In A Nutshell or the Follow The Lights small group escorted tour. Onboard, join a gingerbread house decorating workshop with our crew.


Norwegian Costal Kitchen - Dessert (Image Madis Särglepp / Hurtigruten)


4- Tops for trees

Since 1947, the city of Oslo has donated a magnificent 20-metre high Norway Spruce to London to thank the people of Britain for their support during World War Two, a symbol of the significance of Christmas trees in Norwegian culture. Every home has a tree decorated with garlands, decorations and a Christmas star and handmade Christmas ornaments are treasured heirlooms.

Stock up on handmade Christmas decorations at the Christmas markets at one of our 34 coastal ports. Onboard, join the crew to make decorations for the ship’s own tree.


5- The crunch of crackling

Norwegian Christmas dinners are filled with porky goodness matched with even more meat such as meatballs and sausages all served with lashings of sauerkraut and potatoes. Wash it all down with a glass of dark Christmas beer or a shot of potato aquavit. It’s exactly the kind of Christmas cheer you need when its -10 degrees outside.

Traditional Norwegian Christmas delicacies are a feature onboard our ships throughout December - think mulled wine and Norwegian cakes and biscuits. Celebrate with our traditional Norwegian Christmas buffet on Christmas Day – complete with a side dish of festive Christmas carols.


For more information about our Original Coastal Voyage, winter excursions, Norway In A Nutshell or the Follow The Lights small group escorted tour, visit



Join one of Hurtigruten’s Antarctic expeditions over the Christmas period and enjoy all the traditional Christmas festivities surrounded by the icebergs, ice sheets, mountains and snow of the magnificent Great White Continent. Don’t miss out. Book your 2020 Antarctica Christmas voyage here.



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Published: 1 December 2019

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