updated 12/3/2007 12:06:45 PM ET 2007-12-03T17:06:45

The Real Deal: Three nights' accommodations aboard the cruise ship, all meals, and cultural and musical programs on land and sea from $1,399 per person — including taxes.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

When: Depart Jan. 27, 2008. An eight-night cruise is available on the same date, and a four-night cruise is available on Jan. 31.

The fine print: Taxes, all meals, on-board performances — including operas, operettas, and musicals — and three concerts on land are part of the package. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $200. Airfare is not included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Hurtigruten, 800/323-7436, hurtigruten.us.

Why it's a deal: The $1,399 price tag breaks down to about $466 per night, which covers accommodations, meals, and live performances aboard the ship by close to 100 members of the Norwegian National Opera, plus three concerts on land. While this package is more about getting access to a once-in-a-lifetime experience than scoring a bargain, consider that the value of the opera and concert performances is easily $60-$100 per person per event.

Trip details: The Opera Beneath the Polar Sky 2008 package includes three nights' accommodations aboard the 674-passenger Trollfjord in an inside cabin. Upgrades to outside cabins are available for an additional $300-$1,000 per person for a double and $600-$2,700 for a single room.

You'll be treated to live on-board performances of excerpts from popular operas, operettas, and musicals played by the Norwegian National Opera. For example, you'll be able to enjoy chamber music while relaxing in the lounge, listen to jazz at the ship's bar, and see a performance of “Carmen” at the pub.

Fittingly, the surrounding land and seascapes will be as dramatic as the music. The Trollfjord will sail along northern Norway's coast from Tromsø to Kirkenes, making stops in Hammerfest, Honningsvåg, Vadsø and Murmansk, Russia. Your shore excursions will include concerts at venues like the Arctic and Lofoten cathedrals. Musical highlights include Antonín Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, Vassily Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1, and works by Edvard Grieg and Richard Strauss, as well as a selection of masterpieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giacomo Puccini, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán and Stephen Sondheim.

You can also opt for a longer cruise, such as a four-night southbound voyage from $1,599, sailing from Kirkenes to Bodø, with stops in Murmansk, Honningsvåg, Harstad, and Svlolvær. Or consider an eight-night Tromsø-Bodø round-trip sail from $2,499 that combines the northbound and southbound journeys.

For more tips on what to do in the area, visit Norway's official tourism Web site. To learn more about the Norwegian National Opera, click here.

You can find the latest exchange rate and the local time at BudgetTravel.com.

As you might expect, Norway's winters are very cold, with average highs in January at a freezing 27 degrees Fahrenheit in the north of the country and 34 degrees in the south. Before you go, check the weather forecast.

Getting there: A recent search on Sidestep yielded the following lowest muliticity fares arriving in Tromsø and departing from Kirkenes in late January: $917 from New York (SAS), $918 from Chicago (multiple carriers), $1,122 from Miami (multiple carriers), and $1,124 from Los Angeles (multiple carriers).

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments