Our first cruise. We chose October to suit our budget, but probably not the best time of year. Its the stormy season - and did we know it at times. The frequent passages in the open sea were challenging - passengers could hardly stand up and were staggering around the dining area with plates of food, lurching from table to table and we were sliding around the bed/bunk at night.
An experience for the able-bodied but not so good for those less so. The weather (high winds) also prevented the ship from going up some of the most picturesque fjords (very disappointing)Food was very good & plentiful - largely fish-based with reindeer etc. (pretty healthy).
We booked the 'Rib Safari' to see the huge Saltstraumen whirlpool. I have seen bigger whirlpools in my bath-tub. The tidal conditions have to be right before it occurs (3 or 4 times a day). All we saw was a slight ripple on the surface and were told 'That it where it was a few hours ago'. This is not made clear in the write-up when they want your money, very disappointing. Suggest you don't book it until you know the tidal timetable. We did get distant glimpses of sea-eagles. The crew were very helpful & polite with English widely spoken. We booked separately Norwegian airline for the flights
at about a third of the Hurtigruten cost. You do have to make your own way to & from the airport to Bergen Hurtigruten terminal, but there is an excellent public bus service for 190 NOK return - leaving a 15 minute walk at the Bergen end (or a taxi). Overall a good holiday, but not a cheap one.Other tips:- If possible avoid deck 5 - the promenade deck with everyone walking past your window and blocking your view. Book on the starboard (right) side of the ship to avoid noise from the loading deck whilst in port at night. Go for the Â£32 coffee cup deal offered as you board, giving 24 hour unlimited tea & coffee. At Â£3-50 a cup of coffee, you are soon better off. If we go again, we will spend an extra day or so in Bergen, lots to see & do there, including a cable car ride up the nearest mountain for views over the city. If you go in winter, take ice cleats/crampons/spiked boots as all the pavements are like skating rinks. Don't forget continental plug adaptors.