My wife and I took the 12 night round trip cruise from Bergen to Bergen via Kirkenes on MS Nordnorge, departing Bergen on 17 March 2013. Our accommodation in Suite 636 was spacious and comfortable, considering this is a small working ship and not a large, four star cruise liner. As experienced cruisers on RCCL our overall impression of the cruise was very good. Perhaps the only disappointment was wanting to stay longer at the various ports, due to the sheer magnificence of Norway. However, the cruise itinerary and Hurtigruten marketing information clearly state that this is a different type of cruise experience on a working ship. I find some of the very few negative reviews in this regard to be astounding and unfair to Hurtigruten as one knows what ones in for when booking. That includes the very high prices of food and beverage, which is not a Hurtigruten issue but the reality of Norway.
This is not a luxury cruise liner experience. So, if you expect a variety of on-board activities, night life, lengthy port calls, catering to all ages and a continuous gastronomic overindulgence, this is not for you.
So, why did we choose this cruise? We wanted something different, adventurous and a chance to meet Norwegians. We are over 50 nature lovers from South Africa, having cruised to many parts of the world, including twice to Alaska and wanted to embark on an adventure to see the Aurora Borealis and the magnificent Norwegian coastline. This was an expensive cruise but well worth it to us. Our entire experience, from arriving at the Hurtigruten terminal in Bergen, way before opening time and being let into the building by a Hurtigruten employee to escape the cold, the staff excellence, the cuisine, the spotless MS Nordnorge, the Norwegian people, the scenery and of course, witnessing a brilliant display of the Aurora Borealis whilst docked at Svolvaer and then for the next couple of hours, make this an unforgettable experience.
Yes, expensive, but well worth it to us and highly recommended to the mature, experienced traveller.