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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise on MS Trollfjord after seeing an article in a women's magazine the previous year. It was a Northern Lights cruise with Wildlife. Michael Strachan was on the ship for a few days which was an added attraction. We ... Read More
We chose the cruise on MS Trollfjord after seeing an article in a women's magazine the previous year. It was a Northern Lights cruise with Wildlife. Michael Strachan was on the ship for a few days which was an added attraction. We had to book through Iglu Cruises/Planet Cruise and felt that it would have been better to have booked directly with Hurtigruten. Iglu told us that one of the excursions had been cancelled which we discovered was not the case when we chatted to other people on the same trip. The trip to the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes was apparently an accompanied trip with Michaela Strachan but she was kept apart from other guests on the coach by an Iglu rep and took a taxi away from the Snow Hotel site. The Lecture and Q&A answer session with Michaela was in fact a talk about her television career and was not very informative for anyone who has watched her programmes. We found the interior of the ship almost unbearably hot and turned the air conditioning down as low as possible in our cabin particularly at night. The first evening a buffet dinner was served and there was plenty of choice. From the next day dinner was at 6pm or 8pm depending on which time you were allocated and there were three courses with no choice. The staff were very helpful and offered an alternative if you requested it. The dinner was beautifully presented although some guests complained that the portions were very small. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and we would have preferred more choice on the cold dishes at lunch as the same items were served up every day. Many of the guests on board had colds and coughs and handled the food before putting it back which led to many more people picking up their colds. There was an epidemic of coughing on board. We saw the Northern Lights on one evening from Deck 9 and it was an amazing experience. We took various excursions arranged by Hurtigruten and can really recommend the North Cape and Snow Hotel in Kirkenes. We did our own thing in Alesund and Tromso as the ship docked very close to the town centre. We enjoyed our trip. The scenery was totally breathtaking, particularly the Lofoten Islands and we would recommend the trip on that basis. However we would strongly advise to book directly with Hurtigruten rather than through an agent who had little idea or interest in what they were selling. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
All the services on board, very good ship, cabin ok, dining ok, but impossible because the weather to go to the North Cape. we have known an other way of life with sea and the cold and fishing. People quiet and very clean. All the services ... Read More
All the services on board, very good ship, cabin ok, dining ok, but impossible because the weather to go to the North Cape. we have known an other way of life with sea and the cold and fishing. People quiet and very clean. All the services at the hour, all excursion very well organized. Very good travel, Hurtigruten is a wonderful company. We don't know if you come again in spring or summer but we hope to make it. we find sometime, the time in the harbour is very short to discover the city and take a drink in a "café" to meet people of the country. But we know the boat is also a cargo and a "bus" for the norvegian people. Last thing we think, we find that there is nor enough french announces, some time it is difficult to ear all the informations. But we have seen some "aurores boréales" it is a very great moment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I thought the classic round trip would give me the best opportunity to see the Northern lights. Overall the trip exceeded my expectations. The ship was very good and run in an efficient way. The staff were very hardworking, particularly ... Read More
I thought the classic round trip would give me the best opportunity to see the Northern lights. Overall the trip exceeded my expectations. The ship was very good and run in an efficient way. The staff were very hardworking, particularly the restaurant waiter service. Their language skills & friendly service were excellent. I cannot fault the choice and standard of food. Yes the excursions are expensive- book them before you go - they do cost more on board. Yes the port stops are relatively short but the towns are small. Yes you’ll spend more time on board. Lots of ladies did knItting or crafts. There’s a couple of big jigsaws on board to work on collectively. It’s easy to spend time chatting to your fellow travellers and taking a walk outside around the deck - be sociable ! The presentations were varied and very interesting. Ultimately, seeing good displays of the Northern Lights on 5 nights was the icing on the cake. I did have a disappointing start to the trip. My cabin smelt strongly of fish ! I did manage to get a can of air freshener from the reception but they weren’t that sympathetic and the smell was bad for the first 3 days. I’ve suggested to Hurtigruten that they supply plug-in fresheners in the cabins. Otherwise take your own, just in case. I’d definitely do the trip again at a different time of year when the scenery will be different and longer days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted to see Northern Lights - Hurtigruten recommended by friends, and YES we did see the lights for several nights. But, be aware, the lights do not look bright green. Often they are no more than white cloud. Only when you photograph ... Read More
Wanted to see Northern Lights - Hurtigruten recommended by friends, and YES we did see the lights for several nights. But, be aware, the lights do not look bright green. Often they are no more than white cloud. Only when you photograph the sky do you capture the green colour. It is very exciting when you get your first green images! Polarlys is an expedition boat so has an expedition team on board giving talks on photographing the northern lights, facts about Norway, myths and legends, the Vikings, oil and gas......Excellent lectures cabin 550, level 5. Arctic superior. Near an outside door so we could very quickly collect camera and tripod and get outside. (There are announcements when the lights are showing) Very comfortable double bed, plenty of cupboard space to completely unpack and store case under the bed. Good shower. Tea and coffee making facilities (nescafe) The package included free tea and coffee from the cafes on board all day. Fantastic food, buffets at breakfast and lunch. Set meal at dinner, served at your table. You can change the main meal if you do not like it. I am lactose intolerant and having told the head waitress, my meals were modified every night - different sauce/potatoes if they had milk in them. That service was very impressive Free tap water was available at every meal ( I think it is UV treated water so no need to buy the water package) Beer, wine all about £10 a glass Good public seating areas both up in the panoramic deck 7 lounge and on deck 4. However, people do 'reserve' their seats by leaving books etc on the chairs when they go off for a meal. Possibly not quite enough seating where you can get a good view. However we never had a problem - lectures to go to etc Excursions are expensive. We did Taste of Vestalen - very good; North Cape, also excellent; Russian border - ok ( old video shown in the bunker - sound quality not that good); midnight concert in Tromso - fantastic Overall, great trip, good value for money - our package inclusive of the flight Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The travel arrangements were very easy and straightforward. A very traditional ship kitted out with plenty of oak, brass and glass lighting. We chose a cabin on the promenade deck (deck 5) which was both compact but extremely comfortable. ... Read More
The travel arrangements were very easy and straightforward. A very traditional ship kitted out with plenty of oak, brass and glass lighting. We chose a cabin on the promenade deck (deck 5) which was both compact but extremely comfortable. Our cabin choice included a ‘tea package’ and wi-if which were both used daily. The dining was very informal, buffet breakfast and lunch offering a variety of foods for every taste and dinner was a set 3 course menu, well thought out using their local produce The Expedition Team was a definite bonus - very interesting talks and lectures and up to date information delivered via the ships tannoy. You must remember it is a vital ferry service to the coastal communities and has a schedule to keep but the crew and staff worked very hard to offer a great service to its ‘cruising’ passengers You visit 34 ports both day and night and some with just a 15 minute turnaround but the times you can go adhere there a a number of trips and excursions on offer and we thoroughly enjoyed the ones we did. The fishing villages trip at Kikenes, snowmobiling and the Vesteralen excursion were 3 of our favourites. Actually seeing the Northern Lights is the icing on the cake - it is not guaranteed BUT there is an extremely good chance they will show during this cruise at some time - you must be patient!! Overall, an excellent time aboard and ashore Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I always wanted to go to the top of the world in the middle of winter, it was a wonderful experience. This is a once in a lifetime trip to see the northern lights, and also experienced complete darkness for more than a week while above ... Read More
I always wanted to go to the top of the world in the middle of winter, it was a wonderful experience. This is a once in a lifetime trip to see the northern lights, and also experienced complete darkness for more than a week while above the Arctic Circle. The restaurant staff and the food were excellent, especially the ice cream, it was to die for. I felt that the excursions were well overpriced, as are most things in Norway, but Norway is an absolutely beautiful country which should be a must on anyone's bucket list. Hurtigruten certainly provide a comprehensive encounter of the country from the ocean side, they provide a wonderful service up and down the coast, not only for tourists, but also for the population by providing a very efficient transport service for the people and freight. I summing up, I would highly recommend this cruise to all those seeking adventure. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
As someone who wanted the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, and could only go in school holidays, it was by chance that we were away over Christmas. The ship was beautifully decorated, and the staff led a Christmas service before we ... Read More
As someone who wanted the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, and could only go in school holidays, it was by chance that we were away over Christmas. The ship was beautifully decorated, and the staff led a Christmas service before we left Bergen. We went with my 9 and 12 year old son (and 77 year old Grandma) We've done long distance train travel before so I wasn't worried about activities specifically aimed at the children. They loved the cabin bunks and the jacuzzi was a hit. The food was much more varied than I'd thought. Yes, lots fish-based, but presented in different ways and I like that fact that the boys ate the same as us. We booked an off-shore excusion everyday (apart from Dec 25th when nothing ran, but we walked and explored instead). It was good to explore the towns by foot and to get off the boat for a while. Our excursions were: Trondheim city, Viking evening, Sami adventure, North Cape and husky sledging (at the Snow Hotel where we also stayed one night). My only criticism is that there was quite a lot of driving in the middle 3 activities. This was good as we saw more of the Norwegian towns, but the Viking evening in particular felt a little rushed at the end. We were lucky enough to see the Lights several times and it was quite fun waking the boys up in the middle of the night after a call that the lights were there! Both my eldest and I have said that we would like to see the Fjords in summer. It was amazing to experience the Polar Night and see everything in icy majesty, but we did miss seeing what the fjords are really like. The Hurtigruten staff were like our Norwegian family, our youngest in particular was greeted by name by some members of staff. We didn't get a chance to explore Bergen before departure as we missed one transfer bus and the next broke down before it got to us. However this did mean that we got straight on board. At Kirkenes it was a little complicated which bus we needed to take, but I am really glad that we didn't fly straight home. At the Snowhotel the boys could sledge and play in the snow, something they hadn't previously been able to do. Norway in winter is a magical place. The only other boats we saw were fishermen or once a day the Hurtigruten coming south. I would thoroughly recommend this trip. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is the worst cruise in my cruising life. Paid for a suite and get as the prisoner meal, eat it or go to deck 7 paid for your favorite meal.that was not people who paid for expensive room and get the hopeless meal. Don't ... Read More
This is the worst cruise in my cruising life. Paid for a suite and get as the prisoner meal, eat it or go to deck 7 paid for your favorite meal.that was not people who paid for expensive room and get the hopeless meal. Don't expect live entertainment in other luxury cruise. You will get bore after 3 days. Tour desk officer are very rude, junior promise multi excursion get discount, she can overwrite it and said no discount. Ports and shore excursions, it is a delivery ship or just like ferry cruising.you will pay for expensive and not worth while excursion.norwegian monopoly these sector for northern light and yet, you won't get the best northern light photo.reason: cruise is moving and tilting, even you have tripod, your northern light pictures is not as sharp as land tour for northern lights. We have joined land tour in jan 2017 in tromso as what we have compare the image.if you want good northern light, fly to tromso and join the northern light chase from the side lane of radisson blu hotel. Stay away don't get regret like us. WE JOINED WE LOOSE You listen to my advice you win. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise to experience the Arctic, see the Northern Lights and re-visit some Norwegian Fjords in the winter. My expectations were exceeded in most respects especially that of the ship. The NL were special and spectacular albeit ... Read More
I chose this cruise to experience the Arctic, see the Northern Lights and re-visit some Norwegian Fjords in the winter. My expectations were exceeded in most respects especially that of the ship. The NL were special and spectacular albeit not as colourful as the marketing suggests. Wonderful to witness and experience first hand on many nights of the trip. My cabin (321) was blissfully quiet and comfortable. Spotlessly clean with an efficient en suite shower/toilet ensuring hot showers, delicious cold drinking water on tap and restful sleep. The gentle hitting of the waves on the bow below my cabin ensured that I felt being at sea. I had thought I'd need a balcony suite to ensure getting fresh air, however my cabin air-conditioning was perfectly adjustable and the air not so dry as to cause chest problems. The balcony suites forward on Deck 6 are spacious with a large picture window and a glass door to a large balcony. Very much worth the upgrade on board if they are available! A key contributor to my wonderful experience was the blissful absence of the usual cruise ship noise, entertainment and loud music in public areas. We were allowed to savour the spectacular scenery in genteel quietness. Lounge conversations were mostly hushed as fellow passengers respected the glorious environment we were privileged to observe from the several comfortable lounges and spacious decks. Announcements were kept to essentials and cleverly one could opt out of hearing them in one's cabin. While food is not my focus on such trips, the breakfast and lunch buffets catered for a wide range of tastes and preference and there were numerous tasty options including an impressive dessert buffet with unusual (local) options. Dinner was a three course meal with superb food beautifully presented and explained in a multilingual menu. If the day's dishes did not appeal the restaurant manager was happy to arrange options if given some advance notice. Dishes reflected the local specialities as we progressed from region to region and thus I was delighted to enjoy local food while sailing. Embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and stress free especially made easy at the Bergen Hurtigruten Terminal. The staff were pleasant and helpful but not intrusive. The dining room staff were very friendly. One of the waiters, Jan, was great fun and thus further enhanced dinner meals' enjoyment. As the wifi on board was always superb, streaming music and movies as well as doing internet searches for information, not to mention using Whatsapp, FaceTime, Facebook etc I was fully able to entertain myself when not viewing the spectacular scenery from the comfortable, quietly subdued lounges or from the spacious decks. The heated outdoor pool is delightful as are the two Jacuzzis and were used by hardier passengers than I who balked at emerging from them into sub zero temperatures. Experiencing this truly "working" ship with elements of a luxury ferry while enjoying all the above benefits was a very special treat for me. I thoroughly recommend it to those travellers who seek true sea board life without the cruise ship focus on being a floating resort. The journey to/from Bergen and Kirkenes is a memorable one made even more so by travelling on the Finnmarken. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were recommended by friends. We booked directly with Hurtigruten and found their headquarters team very helpful during several phone conversations. The Spitsbergen has been recently upgraded and offers a gym, hot tubs and sauna. There ... Read More
We were recommended by friends. We booked directly with Hurtigruten and found their headquarters team very helpful during several phone conversations. The Spitsbergen has been recently upgraded and offers a gym, hot tubs and sauna. There was a buffet style breakfast and lunch with hot and cold options and most evenings a designated table, waiter service meal. The food - without exception - was excellent. Fish was served most lunchtimes and evenings either as a starter or main course. If like me you aren't keen, you can ask in advance to have an alternative which was most often meat, but sometimes I was given a vegetarian starter which was lovely also. As this is a working passenger ferry there is no need to dress formally for dinner. Most people wore their daytime clothes for the evening meal. Bar prices are prohibitive! If you buy a couple of drinks - beer, wine or spirits - you will not get much change from 230 NOK (approx. £23.00). Actually the ships's bar prices were very competitive to the prices in the towns. This is Norwegian Govt. pricing. The service, in every respect was exceptional. All the staff spoke excellent English. They wewre friendly, courteous and helpful. The itinary looks very busy but in practice, many of the stops in port happened late in the evening orvery early in the morning and offered little time for sight seeing. A 15 min sop was not unusual. This is because it is a working passenger ferry and follows a strict timetable. Some people on our trip had expected a cruise experience and itinary and were a bit disappointed. We felt that the frequent stops added a new and interesting dimension eveni though often we were seeing towns from the top deck and after dark. The excursions we joined were very good (although I wouldn't recommend Bodo and saltstraumen in the winter months as their is little to see and the visit to the rapids was curtailed because it was getting dark). The highlights for us were Kirkenes and a Taste of Vesteralen. The scenery in winter is breathtaking and heart achingly beautiful. We did see the Northernn Liights. We feel we must go back again. It is not enough to restrict yourself to seeing such beauty just once in a lifetime. I would certainly use Hurtigruten again. Disembarkation was problem free. Do book the Hurtigrutuen coach transport to and from Bergen airport. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
SMOKING POLICY - everywhere on outside decks except in one small area. This is EXTREMELY disappointing. You step outside to get fresh air and to see the natural sights the ship is passing, only to be bombarded with smokers and the cigars ... Read More
SMOKING POLICY - everywhere on outside decks except in one small area. This is EXTREMELY disappointing. You step outside to get fresh air and to see the natural sights the ship is passing, only to be bombarded with smokers and the cigars and pipes were even worse. Hurtigruten is heads up for smokers and does not have a good policy. In such a well regulated and natural country this policy surprises me greatly. Half the ship smoking, half the ship nonsmoking would at least be fair, but to make all the decks smoking is really a bad policy. CABIN on Deck 3 are not renovated. My bathroom had a very moldly smell in the small bathroom. My bed was uncomfortable and hard. Staff put another mattress on top of the hard mattress for a softer sleep. Deck 5 and 6 have been renovated, so try to get a cabin up there and also on the starboard side away from the noise of the cargo doors which open and close at various ports all thru the nights. Restaurant - food is very good. Except - evening meal there is no choice. One set meal and that is it. Too bad if you don't like fish. Servings at dinner time are small and staff refuse to give seconds. Our wait staff rudely said there was not enough food on board for us to have a little extra desert. This was disappointing see the meal was fish and unfortunately my travel companion does not eat fish. STAFF - Tours are constantly pushed on the ship. When we asked for some info for independent travellers we were told to take a tour. The staff were not willing to give out info. Maps were available. Tours are very expensive. THE CRUISE - the scenery along the coast is beautiful. Stops in ports are very short therefore giving a very rushed feeling. Most ports only 15 or 30 mins. A few ports stop for 3 hours. Taxis are at the dock to wisk you off to some sight. NORTHERN LIGHTS - I was extremely lucky to see one night of fantastic Northern Lights. But then being out on deck watching the lights and having smokers stand next to me smoking. Many German travellers on board were smoking (did I mention cigar and pipe). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to travel up the coast of Norway to the Arctic Circle and experience the natural beauty of such a voyage. We knew that Hurtigruten wasn't a typical "luxury" cruise company, despite the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to travel up the coast of Norway to the Arctic Circle and experience the natural beauty of such a voyage. We knew that Hurtigruten wasn't a typical "luxury" cruise company, despite the high, price, but were willing to make that trade-off for the hiking and other "adventures" available along the way. The headline is: We are glad we did this and would do it again, but would probably choose the 7-day excursion, not the 12-day version. The natural beauty is beyond words. Prior to embarkation we spent two days in Bergen. Despite the summer crowds, we enjoyed this small city with its many fine restaurants, beautiful parks and its colorful Hanseatic wooden housing restoration, among other things. Embarkation was smooth and seamless. However, when we arrived at the port, we noticed that we were among the younger passengers. We are in our early 60s! Again, we chose this cruise specifically for the hiking and other adventures. When I first arrived, I found I was the only one onboard to have purchased the hiking pass! Obviously, this is not Hurtigruten's "fault," but I'm just suggesting that you need to be prepared to be surrounded by many older people. If you think of the population along a bell curve, the peak of the curve is probably around 70, with many in their late 70s and 80s, many in their late 50s and 60s, a few under 50 and a few over 90. The service on the boat was mostly very good to excellent. We enjoyed the food, and the service was excellent in the restaurant. We were initially slotted into a 6PM seating, which is way too early for us, but they had no problem finding a 7:30 slot. There is a gym onboard, but it is tiny and was often over-crowded. It was pitiful compared to the fitness centers on other cruise boats, but again, this is not a typical cruise line. It is a working boat that delivers people and goods p and down the coast of Norway. I had two disappointments on this cruise: 1. The brochure and all of the marketing materials online emphasize the "adventure" aspect of this cruise. I'm a reasonably fit 62-year-old, but I was frankly concerned that I might not be able to handle some of the more challenging hikes. Not to worry. The vast majority of people onboard have no interest in hiking. Most of the hikes had fewer than 10 people, and were easy. Moreover, in most cases, because this boat remains in each port for only a limited time, hikes were short --- under two hours. 2. I guess I expected a more interesting onboard experience. It would be easy for this company to find local academics or experts to hold seminars on things like this history of Norway, climate change in the Arctic, Norway's role in World War II (many of the towns along the way were completely destroyed during the war), the native peoples (Sami), etc. There was literally none of that. The "expedition team" (three people on our cruise) held meetings and talks, and they were terrific people, but Hurtigruten can certainly afford to supplement these folks with real subject matter experts. Overall, this was a great experience, but not entirely what I expected. Again, we would are not sorry for having done it, but would choose the 7-day cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
In 2006, I sailed on this very same vessel to Antarctica. When I heard the ship had been refurbished in 2016 and was now sailing in the Arctic, I was anxious to experience "having sailed to the ends of the Earth" on the same ... Read More
In 2006, I sailed on this very same vessel to Antarctica. When I heard the ship had been refurbished in 2016 and was now sailing in the Arctic, I was anxious to experience "having sailed to the ends of the Earth" on the same ship. My expectations were exceeded on this cruise! Although the weather was a little bit less than cooperative, the sights of the Norwegian Coast were stunning, and the crew made the trip all the more enjoyable. From the Officers to the housekeeping staff, the passengers were treated like valued guests. Especially impressive was the menu and presentation of the food - all sourced locally. At one point - in Trondheim, I missed the ship and the reception staff was very helpful in trying to help my friend and I catch up with the ship in a different port. Missing the ship was an adventure to say the least, but all turned out well. My trip actually began in Copenhagen, then we flew to Bergen, Norway to catch the ship. When we docked in Kirkenes at the end of the north-bound cruise, we stayed the night in Bergen and flew to Oslo the next day. If I had it to do over, the only thing I would change on my itinerary is to have flown to Oslo sooner because there is not much to do in Kirkenes. All in all, this was an excellent cruise and I would be very happy to sail on another Hurtigruten ship some day - probably in winter to see the Northern Lights. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
An inside look at one of the most forward thinking nations on the planet is afforded by taking the round trip Bergen - Kinkiness - Bergen trip. Breakfast and Lunch are buffet style and the Evening meal is served as well as kept a bit ... Read More
An inside look at one of the most forward thinking nations on the planet is afforded by taking the round trip Bergen - Kinkiness - Bergen trip. Breakfast and Lunch are buffet style and the Evening meal is served as well as kept a bit lighter than on real cruise lines which led me to sleep better. Quality of the food is outstanding, yet the true gems on this conveyance are the true dock-side smells and action when this working ferry stops at around 30 places on its trek up and then back on the Norwegian coast. No need for formal wear, but bring a full range from light to heavy clothing as the only thing constant about the weather is that it changes. Many opportunities for walking, bus, boat tours yet we decided to try our hand at Geo Cache-ing and were astounded as to just how clean and safe almost ever neighborhood we visited presented itself to us. The ship is about twice the size of the lifeboats on the QE2, has a sauna, but no pool. Entertainment on board is not the forte, yet quite enough for us. We especially enjoyed the morning 15 minute stretch exercises in the crisp, clean air outside on Deck 7. Scenery is outstanding and up CLOSE!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Iceland and the Faroe Islands. I'm quite interested in the characteristics of the polar regions of our planet, and this seemed to be a good way to do it. I was not disappointed. A few ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Iceland and the Faroe Islands. I'm quite interested in the characteristics of the polar regions of our planet, and this seemed to be a good way to do it. I was not disappointed. A few notes: The itinerary had to be changed because of storms in the North Sea. This worked out well for me, but may not have been so for others. Travelers should note that Lindblad specifically states in their contract that changes are possible. There was a wide variety of expertise among the staff, from ornithology to ethnomusicology to geology. We also had a native Icelander on board. This provided good breath of understanding of what we were seeing. This cruise had significantly more bus tours than other Lindblad cruises I have been on. This is not a negative comment as the tours were well done. It's just a note for expedition cruisers. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, but with only ~82 passengers there should have been no problems. The cuisine was excellent, but perhaps the presentation was overly fussy. Dining room and bar service was quick and efficient. My only real complaint is that the solo cabins (only 3 in the least expensive category) are poorly located. Mine was also had excessive engine noise. Because of this, I think the Orion is not the best Lindblad ship for solo travelers. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Comfortable number of passengers on board. No over-crowding. Food amazing. Destination route very interesting. A wonderful variety of shore excursions on offer. Very friendly and helpful staff members. Clean and wonderful cabins. ... Read More
Comfortable number of passengers on board. No over-crowding. Food amazing. Destination route very interesting. A wonderful variety of shore excursions on offer. Very friendly and helpful staff members. Clean and wonderful cabins. Expedition team fantastic interacting and planning things with passengers on board. A variety of options, talks, slide shows, quiz to attend on board. I was never bored. The food was great and well presented. A large variety of delicious fresh food daily. The fresh salmon was out of this world and in great supply for all on board. I would definitely recommend this cruise to people. The only negative factor is the price of the cruise and especially the shore excursions. They were too heavily priced. Very expensive. Not sure if it was the month I sailed in i.e. mid June but the cost was astronomical. All in all a great cruise with fantastic people and 34 interesting ports stopped at. Although some we had to miss as it was in the wee hours of the morning. My favourite fjord we entered was Trollfjord. It was absolutely amazing, breathtaking. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
As a group of friends who had always wanted to see the northern lights this cruise sounded perfect (free cruise if they don't appear and so on). None of us had ever cruised on any ship before. We heard feed back from fellow travellers ... Read More
As a group of friends who had always wanted to see the northern lights this cruise sounded perfect (free cruise if they don't appear and so on). None of us had ever cruised on any ship before. We heard feed back from fellow travellers and via reviews on this site about small cabins, lack of entertainment etc. But without a benchmark we didn't have any expectations. The cabins are snug it's true but beds wonderfully comfortable, showers good - we opted for artic superior. There was little in the way of evening entertainment but we spent time getting to know fellow travellers who were great fun. This is NOT a cruise ship more a working ferry with cabins! Drinks onboard were expensive , think £10 for a glass of wine(£40ish a bottle) but that reflects prices in Norway generally. Forewarned is forearmed we just settled for a single nightcap. With arctic superior cabins water at all meals is free. So on to the positives - and there were many. The food deserves a special mention , the evening meal of 3 courses was superb every single night Axel,PAtrick and the team were amazing and the waiters were fantastic. There is no choice and the set menu was not always what I would have chosen but there wasn't a single plate over the 11 days that wasn't outstanding. You do have the option, for an extra c£22 per night to go a la carte but we didn't at all. Breakfast and lunch was in the form of a buffet and the soups salads and seafood were divine. At both meals there were hot and cold options. The staff were outstanding, so friendly and helpful- special mention here to Amanda in the restaurant, she was wonderful. The best of the excursions we took were dog sledding at Tromso, the fishing villages and the ice hotel. Fellow travellers who did the snowmobile tour said it was great fun. The scenery as you sail up the coast was awesome and the towns and villages we stopped at picture perfect. In hindsight I think I would opt , as many did ,to sail Bergen- Kirkenes, stay at the ice hotel and fly back from there rather than make the return trip. Did we see the lights - you bet - 3 times Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We booked this voyage hoping to see The Northern Lights and we did. 4 nights out of 6 the Aurora was there in all her glory. 12 sightings in all. That's what I call success! We've cruised on 'cruise ships'; Celebrity ... Read More
We booked this voyage hoping to see The Northern Lights and we did. 4 nights out of 6 the Aurora was there in all her glory. 12 sightings in all. That's what I call success! We've cruised on 'cruise ships'; Celebrity & Holland America. We knew The Spitsbergen was not a 'cruise ship' and having read some reviews here we were a tad nervous. The ship exceeded our expectations. She is modern, warm, comfortable and spotlessly clean. The staff (mostly Norwegian) are professional, efficient, friendly & helpful. The food was local, delicious, varied, plentiful and beautifully presented. If you don't like fish you'd be best to ask for the Vegetarian/Vegan menu in advance. The daily bulletin's are comprehensive and Hurtigruten go to great lengths to make sure you don't miss out on any of the beautiful scenery & points of interest. You can set your cabin phone to receive 'Northern Lights announcements' throughout the night. Our first 'alert' came at 10.30pm on Day 3 and it said "Ladies & Gentlement, Hurtigruten proudly presents the Aurora Borealis"....brought a tear to my eye. To see 'everything' takes a bit of effort, be prepared to get out of bed, put on ALL of your clothes and go to Deck 8. Even during the day, make the effort to go 'on Deck' to see all the points of interest. We were surprised how many passengers did not do this. Don't expect 'Entertainment'. The scenery is your entertainment and there's no shortage of it. There are some 'activities' organised that you should not miss: The crossing The Arctic Circle Ceremony has to be done and remember to post your postcards with the ship's arctic crossing postmark. The various tastings of fresh seafood served on Deck 8 are delicious. Look out for the Arctic Circle marker around 7 am on the port side and there are many more points of interest that are all worth the effort. Don't miss the Trollfjord lit up by the ship's searchlights. The ports visited are small and in winter, very quiet. Don't expect too much. But there's enough in the main ports to warrant a wander around. Bergen, Trondheim & Tromso are the key 3. Also, get off in Svolvaer the Capital of The Lofoten Islands during the 1 hour stop here. It's interesting even during the 15 to 30 minute stops to watch the local passengers come & go. And watch the cargo too, we saw 'windows' being loaded, fridge/freezers, a snowmobile, fresh produce...and of course 'Post'. We did one organised excursion from Honningsvag to The North Cape. It was amazing to be standing at the most northerly land point in Europe and see the impressive sculpture. The drive, in convoy behind the snow plough is an exhilarating ride not for the faint hearted. Hurtigruten is a well oiled machine and everything from embarkation to disembarkation went smoothly & safely. Some tips: 1. Do not underestimate how cold it can be when you are on the open deck late at night and the ship is moving. You must take quality thermal underwear & several layers of it. Ski (padded, thermal) trousers would be ideal and a quality wind/waterproof jacket (long) with a hood. You'll also need a hat, 2 pairs of gloves, thermal socks, a scarf and snow boots plus ice grips. 2. Comfy, lounge around clothes for in your cabin make all the difference. Fleecy Pyjamas would be ideal for this. I took a mini hot water bottle and I needed it when I came back in from the open deck!! 3. The Northern Lights are notoriously difficult to photograph. We downloaded an app from the I-store called Northern Lights and used it to take photos on an I-phone 7. We're pleased with the quality. Our fancy cannon camera didn't register the lights at all. 4. Go to the welcome meeting & the disembarkation meeting; it's useful information. 5. Take a small amount of local currency. Enough to tip (if you want) your cabin/dining staff. Or to buy a coffee or postcard in ports. Credit cards are accepted everywhere 6. Take a good moisturiser and hand cream. The cold & sea air dries you up in seconds! 7. It's warm on board so take a layered approach to your packing. You do not need anything 'dressy'. Jeans & a light jumper are more than fine for the dining room. We would definitely travel with Hurtigruten again in the future for this type of adventure voyage. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I had always wanted to do the cruise and as my wife thought her eyesight was deteriorating and wanted to see the Northern Lights before they did, we booked this trip as part of our Silver Wedding Anniversary. As my first cruise I was ... Read More
I had always wanted to do the cruise and as my wife thought her eyesight was deteriorating and wanted to see the Northern Lights before they did, we booked this trip as part of our Silver Wedding Anniversary. As my first cruise I was extremely impressed with the size of the ship - friendly. the cabin was excellent with plenty of wardrobe space, a comfortable double bed, Television with both local and English, French, German speaking channels, On suite shower and toilet and more plugs than could possible need. Air conditioning and heat controls in room. Large window with no one walking past, Very quiet with no engine noise. The Dining experience was fantastic - the food was excellent and the best I have had anywhere, great choice Breakfast consisted of buffet style continental, Fish, Breads, hot dishes, nuts, cereal, cold meats, cheese and juices etc, Lunch was a buffet with numerous hot and cold choices, Evening meal was a fixed menu with waiter service - different each day. Each day there was some form of entertainment whether a slide show, talk or experience such as Arctic initiation, dried fish tasting. Although I did not participate on the majority of the extra shore excursions the one I did (Snow Hotel) was fantastic. Others reported theirs were great as well. The service offered by all staff who were very friendly was Great. There was information always available on the ports visited before hand. The company has produced an excellent guide with maps (to purchase) of the route and I would highly recommend the purchase of it. We were lucky to see the Northern Lights with fantastic shows - When they showed a radio message always went out informing us of them and where we could see. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Following from a similar cruise last year on Polarlys we booked again on a different ship with an upgrade to a mini suite taking advantage of the added extras of private airport transfers, extra space, Internet access, a wine package ... Read More
Following from a similar cruise last year on Polarlys we booked again on a different ship with an upgrade to a mini suite taking advantage of the added extras of private airport transfers, extra space, Internet access, a wine package including bottled water and (when we booked) an unlimited coffee package - which was later withdrawn with nothing else offered,. Neither of our private transfers turned up and we had to ring Hurtigruten in London several times to get each transfer sorted out, but only after an hours wait at either end where no one 'on the ground' seemed bothered. When on the ship the suite, despite our confirmation saying differently, was set with 2 single beds and not a double. We were told it had never been, nor could not be, a double and we're offered a downgrade to a smaller double bedded room. After much discussion the staff pushed the 2 singles together and put on a thin double sized topper which had to suffice despite the exit space either side of the bed being reduced to about 9 inches and we had to crawl onto and off of the bed from the foot end. We were awarded a ship wide internet access (included when we booked but again, no longer) and an a la Carte meal on one evening as compensation. Complaints aside we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing and incredibly scenic voyage, seeing a wide variety of sights through a range of weather from clear and sunny to -12C blizzards in the far north. The hoped for Northern Lights made 4 appearances in the Arctic Circle much to everyone's pleasure and several excursions proved to offer different, if rather expensive, experiences. Food in the restaurant is of good, locally sourced, quality. Breakfast and lunch are served as a buffet and the set seating, set menu, evening meal can be somewhat restrictive for those with 'less adventurous' tastes. Cabins are basic compared to traditional cruise cabins, yet functional for their purpose where dressing up is neither the normost, nor really expected. Storage space for 11 nighters may be a touch restricted and bathrooms are the go in forward, come out backwards size range!!, with far from luxurious (material or size) towels offered. There is little, if any, formal evening entertainment. On some evenings a singer/pianist may take the stage but don't expect West End shows. Other locally based events will take place on deck at various times but again these are short, crew based sojourns. If all goes to plan then, travelling as a cruise and expecting the basics rather than the luxurious, the Hurtigruten line provides a wonderfully different cruise experience to be enjoyed alongside a wide range of well travelled companions of many nationalities. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We thought this was a cruise. It turned out being a ferry pretending to be a cruise ship. Countless stops during the night very noisy dont book cabin 723 above cargo hold if you want some sleep.No on board lectures, ... Read More
We thought this was a cruise. It turned out being a ferry pretending to be a cruise ship. Countless stops during the night very noisy dont book cabin 723 above cargo hold if you want some sleep.No on board lectures, entertainment.Communications via tannoy system poor Breakfast & Lunch buffets OK, for dinner 3 course no choice if you didn't like what was served tough luck. The cabin 723 was fairly spacious, good picture window, very comfortable beds & wet bathroom but noisy.The cost of trips when they were run extremely expensive & poor value. As expected price of drinks very high a beer £9 wine £50 approx.On the 8th deck which was open to the elements no attempt was made to clear the ice & snow thus making the surface like an ice rink. I was surprised to see dining staff doubling up as cabin cleaners & vice versa, generally there seemed a shortage of staff & the ship wasn't full. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was my third hurtigruten voyage, others being finnmarken and midnatsol. I had a very noisy cabin which i complained about. I could see other empty cabins on the same deck on more than one occasion. Why wasn't i moved? I was free ... Read More
This was my third hurtigruten voyage, others being finnmarken and midnatsol. I had a very noisy cabin which i complained about. I could see other empty cabins on the same deck on more than one occasion. Why wasn't i moved? I was free wine by the restaurant manager on account of my lousy cabin which i declined. I made a request whilst on board. I repeated the request asking another member of the crew but still got no response. I then spoke to the hotel manager who agreed that what i was requesting was perfectly reasonable and not too difficult. I was not granted the request and no reason was given during the voyage. This was very poor customer service. I had asked for my mealtime to be changed and had to ask twice, i did not feel like asking a third time. This was eventually granted! I asked the tour leader covering reception if she could please do my online check in for my flight as there was no online access on board for passengers. Although it would have been outside of her remit she looked totally disinterested and i ended up later, asking another member of the reception team who was happy to oblige. The scenery as always is excellent, the shop on board was very good. After that it was all downhill! The food in the restaurant varied from okay to very average. Food on the ferries dfds and fjordline was fantastic compared to what was on offer here. Food on my previous voyages was excellent. Overall very poor customer service and a bad experience and have not been compensated for this. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
National Geographic to Norway and the Arctic..It was the nicest ship with the most amazing crew ever to sail the seas... The food was outstanding and varied every day..The bar, hot tub, bridge, bow and observation room/library were top ... Read More
National Geographic to Norway and the Arctic..It was the nicest ship with the most amazing crew ever to sail the seas... The food was outstanding and varied every day..The bar, hot tub, bridge, bow and observation room/library were top notch. There is not a bad thing to say about the Orion and her crew. The National Geographic Naturalists and Leaders on the ship rated from fair to outstanding..Some seemed bored to be with us...some were so fresh, excited and fun to be around..Some of the time, we felt like we came second to the time they spent promoting the NG product, taking pictures and video with several naturalists while we had to wait our turn for shore and zodiac excursions because the guides were tied up with the "promo" stuff.. For the price we paid, we feel that we should have had more time in kayaks, zodiacs and on shore, instead of waiting for the other group to return...there were 87 passengers...and 8 naturalists..so I think we could have had more time off the ship if they were available to us. The Journey through the fjords and up to Svalbard and beyond was a dream...I cannot wait to do it again on the Orion. The ship and it's crew were amazing and our cabin was like a 5 star hotel.. Read Less

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