1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We were booked on this ship by our Fjord Tours’ “Norway in the Nutshell “ package. So we didn’t really have a choice on the ship or more importantly, the cabin types and size. We were a family of 4 and we got 2 non-adjacent ... Read More
We were booked on this ship by our Fjord Tours’ “Norway in the Nutshell “ package. So we didn’t really have a choice on the ship or more importantly, the cabin types and size. We were a family of 4 and we got 2 non-adjacent cabins. So our children’s cabin are away from ours. How the hell does that happen? To make it worse, the cabins were disgusting. They were so small, I think I have seen prison cells on TV that are bigger and nicer. The A/C was non-functional, so it was so hot inside. The beds were tiny and separate. And the window was rather small, so you can forget about enjoying the fjords or whatever. Also, get ready to be transported to 1990s, where you have to pay for WiFi. After all the marketing from Hurtigruten that this is the best cruise trip in the world, they make you pay for WiFi. This is year 2019 - who the hell pays for WiFi. Even the lady at the reception agreed that this was such a ridiculous fee to charge. Breakfast service are also unfortunately borderline inedible. They didn’t have omelette station or made to order service, so we tried the scrambled eggs and they were weird tasting and had a very dark yellow color to it. Everything else was just average. Lastly, we thought the service from a few staff members were very questionable. They were a bit rude and condescending to us. Especially the 2 older white ladies who seemed to treat other white people much differently than us non-whites. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
To see auroras. We saw auroras in 5 nights with changing colours n it was intense. Dog sledding was fun. Polar excursion was not fun for me. But rest was excellent. Restaurant staff was awesome. They were funny , witty, ... Read More
To see auroras. We saw auroras in 5 nights with changing colours n it was intense. Dog sledding was fun. Polar excursion was not fun for me. But rest was excellent. Restaurant staff was awesome. They were funny , witty, friendly, approachable. We made some good friends n met new people, they were good. We went to see the northern lights and yes we did see them. It was uthe hirusin, dazzling, dancing. It is something to watch n watch again. You gotta be lucky to see it more than once and we were lucky. Announcement is there so you cant miss it. One thing for those who want to book cabins that sometimes it's not a bad idea not go for rich cabins because you will be out a lot but it's personal preference. If i was not working and I had lot of money I would go with their ship various destinations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband chose this cruise for my birthday as I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights. Unfortunately we didn't see them but the cruise was really good. The places we visited were unique and the people were so friendly. The ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise for my birthday as I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights. Unfortunately we didn't see them but the cruise was really good. The places we visited were unique and the people were so friendly. The snow was amazing and the views from the ship really spectacular, even at 3 in the morning! We would like to do a cruise again maybe in the springtime to see the difference a warmer climate can bring. We also enjoyed the lectures and learned a lot about Norway and the people. The food on board was excellent and a complete change from what you usually get on a cruise. Perhaps a cooking demonstration could be organised in the summer or springtime when the seas are calmer! A quizzes are also a way to get people together too, especially those travelling on their own. We both enjoyed the cruise immensely and as it was our first ever cruise to a colder climate we were a little apprehensive. We need not have worried, everything was taken care of with efficiency and humour. Thankyou all for a wonderful birthday cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
German / Deutsch: Meine zweite Reise mit der MS Trollfjord begann in Deutschland zunächst mit einigen Umständen, da genau am Anreisetag unser Flug nach Amsterdam Streikbedingt gecancelt wurde. Also erfolgte die Anreise mit der Bahn ... Read More
German / Deutsch: Meine zweite Reise mit der MS Trollfjord begann in Deutschland zunächst mit einigen Umständen, da genau am Anreisetag unser Flug nach Amsterdam Streikbedingt gecancelt wurde. Also erfolgte die Anreise mit der Bahn nach Amsterdam und von dort mit dem Flugzeug nach Bergen. Vom Airport in Bergen erfolgte der Transfer direkt zum Hurtigrutenterminal. Das Einschecken verlief reibungslos und man konnte direkt in die Kabine. Nahezu zeitgleich traf auch das Gepäck ein. Exelenter Service ! Die Reise an sich in den Wintermonaten war sehr beeindruckend, da sich das Landschaftsbild oft verändert. Die ausgewählten Ausflüge u.a. Wikingerfest, Tromso Seilbahn, das Nordkap und ein Besuch im Schneehotel in Kirkenes entsprachen vollständig meinen Erwartungen. Leider war manchmal die Liegezeit in den Häfen etwas zu kurz um entspannt eine Erkundungstour zu machen. Viel Mühe hat sich das Expeditions-Team an Bord gemacht, welches durch Vorträge oder eben die Polarkreis-Zeremonien für gute Unterhaltung sorgte. English-Version: My second trip with the MS Trollfjord started in Germany at first with some circumstances, because exactly on the day of arrival our flight to Amsterdam was canceled due to strikes. So the journey was by train to Amsterdam and from there by plane to Bergen. From the airport in Bergen the transfer took place directly to the Hurtigrutenterminal. The check in went smoothly and you could go straight to the cabin. Almost at the same time arrived the luggage. Exelenter service! The trip itself in the winter months was very impressive, as the landscape often changes. The selected excursions u.a. Viking Festival, Tromso Cable Car, the North Cape and a visit to the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes fully met my expectations. Unfortunately, sometimes the laytime in the ports was a bit too short to make an exploratory trip relaxed. Much effort has made the expedition team on board, which provided by lectures or just the polar circle ceremonies for good entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly ... Read More
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly impressed by the courteous staff, who gave us a free upgrade, & also took care of my wife when she felt sea sick during mild rolling. The spread of food during all the meals was impressive. Even the shop on board had a nice variety of souvenirs for us to bring back. Our shore excursion to Trondheim was a memorable one. We were also fortunate enough to sight the Aurora Borealis from the observation deck. Although I was denied a visit to the Engine Room by the Chief Engineer despite me being a marine engineer by profession, I would definitely go again, after a few years, if I get a good discounted deal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
+ Very nice, big, modern ship + Good common rooms + Great expedition suite cabin + Kingsize bed, big sofa + Great balcony, very large, with a perfect view + Sofa, safe, minibar, TV + Great breakfast buffet + Perfect ... Read More
+ Very nice, big, modern ship + Good common rooms + Great expedition suite cabin + Kingsize bed, big sofa + Great balcony, very large, with a perfect view + Sofa, safe, minibar, TV + Great breakfast buffet + Perfect lunch buffet + A lot of fish and seafood, very positive and delicate + Fitness room + Sauna + Jacuzzis + Ability to go to the very front deck of the ship + Nice places where the ship stopped (Tromso, Trondheim) - Dining: very small portions, not enough for teenagers and adult males - Main door of the ship under the cabin (very noisy) - Expedition team not very good informed - Very expensive activities that can easily be done at your own - Food at the bar too expensive - Sometimes due to excursions the lunch was moved to 10:30 in the morning! Very bad solution. Would be better to have lunch packages or the possibility to get food at the bar after the trips. - Service very poor - Entertainment: The team was not very motivating. No energy and no enthusiasm. Presentations old and not modern. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We departed Bergen on August 23, 2018 and returned Sept. 3, 2018. My sister and I went together on this trip, and it was wonderful! The service and food were first class and the ship itself is lovely - the artwork is terrific, the lounges ... Read More
We departed Bergen on August 23, 2018 and returned Sept. 3, 2018. My sister and I went together on this trip, and it was wonderful! The service and food were first class and the ship itself is lovely - the artwork is terrific, the lounges are beautifully decorated, and the staff bent over backwards to accommodate our wishes. We had an Arctic Superior cabin on the 7th deck, which worked out fine for going up to the 8th deck for information and lectures, or down to 5 for the dining room. Other people have complained of lines for the dining room, but we had no trouble in that regard. We got off the ship often, and took several excursions. I was born in Norway, and enjoyed the chance to speak Norwegian with the staff and other travelers. We had pretty good weather and never even had to use our cold weather gear. Overall, it was a wonderful experience! I would take it again - my only complaint was that we did not see any whales or dolphins! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and this cruise offered it all. The best thing about the cruise was the staff. It was the most competent, caring, friendly and attentive staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and this cruise offered it all. The best thing about the cruise was the staff. It was the most competent, caring, friendly and attentive staff we have ever experienced. Next, the ship is beautiful. The design, the furniture, the stateroom layout and all the appointments are very well done. We were very happy to have been upgraded to a penthouse veranda which is quite a bit larger than the deluxe veranda. The food was plentiful and very good. We loved the sushi. We actually preferred the Restaurant and the buffet to the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was perfect, and it was nice to see the performers around the ship. They were always out there right after the shows. It was just right and not over the top. We also enjoyed all the shore excursions, always wishing there were more time in each port. Judy did an amazing job with her organization of the shore excursions. We were less impressed with the pre and post excursions. We did not realize that Viking farmed these out to other companies. The pre excursion in Oslo offered nothing except a hotel room and train ride. No effort was made to contact the participants and by the time we saw the Viking desk there was no reason to even check in. All they did was give info regarding tours that were available at an extra cost. The post excursion in Edinburgh at least offered some interesting excursions which were included. A meeting was held when we arrived and information was dispersed. Pick up and drop off at the airport was totally inadequated. Our pickup person was 15 minutes late and no one knew what to do. Our drop off was not near the entrance to the airport and we had to drag our luggage quite a ways. All in all, we would no consider any pre or post excursions in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was an area of the world that we have always thought of visiting. To say the least, we had an outstanding cruise! Having a day in the originating and departing port was a bonus and exactly what we wanted. Checking into the ship was a ... Read More
This was an area of the world that we have always thought of visiting. To say the least, we had an outstanding cruise! Having a day in the originating and departing port was a bonus and exactly what we wanted. Checking into the ship was a breeze, no line and greeted warmly. There were more excursions than we could ever take on one journey so maybe we’ll have to do this again? Since we didn’t think we would ever do this again, it was hard to decide on just one a day! Our excursions were outstanding, the coaches were new, air conditioned, comfortable and never crowded. Our drivers were amazing and our tour guides were very knowledgeable and personable. There were excursions for every ability level and the transportation accommodated our needs for part of the family needing additional assistance. One of our excursions was scheduled for the building opening time so we were the very first group in the church and there were at least 2000 people outside waiting. Viking books their excursions well. The dining was always just right, from the specialty restaurants, to the main dining room to the buffet. We utilized room service each morning so we could sleep in just a bit longer before heading out on our excursions. This was wonderfully convenient and the food was hot and tasty. The common areas were impeccably clean and inviting. The staff in these areas were there to take care of you but not a nuisance. Every staff member on this ship is there to make you happy and they did. We chose Viking because pretty much everything is included and that included one excursion per port per day. There was no nickel and dimeing you on this cruise line and everything was top notch service oriented. I will only sail with Viking for any of my future adventures. Thank you to the Captain and Crew of the Viking Sea for a wonderful Family Adventure 2018! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
we wanted see how different the vinking ocean liner is from the viking river cruise. go to the 8 countrys became have nerve been to before. the size with just 930 passengers is just right . the city i name were very different in they own. ... Read More
we wanted see how different the vinking ocean liner is from the viking river cruise. go to the 8 countrys became have nerve been to before. the size with just 930 passengers is just right . the city i name were very different in they own. hemitag museum is very excellent museum to see. the meals on broad were excellent. the port and shore excursions were excellent chcies. the scenery of each city were beautiful. the entertainment was great exspecial the gust singer and gust vilion. the activities on broad were very good. the historic lectures was excellent. the service was excellent too. bergen,norway is a easy city to get around. the little mermaid in cooerphagen is very beautiful. we would recornd mend the cruise we want on this year. after a couple of days on the ship we got to know how get aound on the ship. the information in the viking daily every day was very useful. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
After 15 cruises on various mid to high end liners we went a level higher on this Viking ship. Viking is for adults. Ok, it is a bit more expensive than others, but it is well worth it. The ship is elegant but not flashy. Very ... Read More
After 15 cruises on various mid to high end liners we went a level higher on this Viking ship. Viking is for adults. Ok, it is a bit more expensive than others, but it is well worth it. The ship is elegant but not flashy. Very tastefully done in every corner. The size is perfect, no big crowds, long lines. Out room was very comfortable, the king size bad was better than the one at home. A great desk setup had all the USB charging plugs, lights for convenient "working" environment, coupled with fairly good WiFi along the trip. Dining was another wonderful experience. Besides the "normal" food, all the high end restaurants were fantastic. It was tough to decide where to go dining every night. Wine selection was very good, although they ran out of some of the most popular labels a bit early. The crew performed flawlessly. Cabin crew was always there when needed. The restaurant personal could serve in any 5 star restaurants. They were well trained, attentive and friendly. The entertainment was sized to the size of the ship. No big Hollywood productions, but perfectly entertaining and tasteful. The Hungarian Classical Trio played wonderful pieces from Grieg, Mozart, Bach, Dvorzak. Other observations No photographers in your face, ridiculous internet charges, free or very reasonably priced drinks, free shore trips (with optional paid for trips). No casino and loud action, no children running around. We are definitely going back. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Firat time on Viking, and we loved it. Booked 2 more cruises while on board. Love the decor, American cities and personal service on this smaller ship. Sure, more expensive, but worth it. The absence of young children, casino, ... Read More
Firat time on Viking, and we loved it. Booked 2 more cruises while on board. Love the decor, American cities and personal service on this smaller ship. Sure, more expensive, but worth it. The absence of young children, casino, photographers and art auctions were major advantages for us. Tons of beautifully appointed lounge areas for us to hang out and talk or read. Explorers Loung at front of ship was terrific. Spent almost every evening up there, enjoying the panaromic vistas while sipping on adult beverages. Service throughout the cruise was outstanding. Seemed like everyone knew are name after a day or two, and knew are preferences without prompting. Lots of hugs on the last evening. In summary, this is not about partying, shopping, or gambling. This is for mature folks that want to learn about our wonderful world and see it all first hand in ridiculous comfort. Thank you, Viking! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I am Norwegian by birth but 50 year US citizen (Seattle), educated in Norway and Denmark as Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. For years I have cruised in my own boats the entire Northwest Passage (Seattle to Sitka). Only two additional ... Read More
I am Norwegian by birth but 50 year US citizen (Seattle), educated in Norway and Denmark as Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. For years I have cruised in my own boats the entire Northwest Passage (Seattle to Sitka). Only two additional such long and naturally protected passages from the ocean swell excist on earth: the Norwegian Coast and Patagonia (Chile). The nature, weather and the people living there are very different between them. Next I wanted to see the Norwegian Coast. Hurtigruten's Classic Voyage looked to be perfect. They serve this Voyage with 11 ships, one each day for the 11 day round trip from Bergen (Norway) to Kirkenes (near the border to Russia) back to Bergen. It is the continuation of the 130 year old Norwegian Royal Mail route, now docking at 34 towns and communities with mail, cargo and passengers each way. Being passenger onboard you become aware of being part of and intimately witnessing the daily life along this incredible coastline. My ship, M/S Lofoten, is the old lady of the fleet and a real ship in my mind (we are of the same vintage, if you will). She is small, ship-like and filled with old fashion marine qualities and charm. Her Captain Eivind Sande, his officers and crew were skilled in making me feel at ease, at home and become part of their ship as the spectacular nature presented itself very close-by on the outside. Visually it is an intense and changing experience at the same time as it is peaceful and calming. All 11 Hurtigruten ships offer the same large variety of optional excursions, but if the excursions are the main attraction for you, the larger vessels (about 500 beds versus Lofoten's 151) might be a better choice. For us, some excursions were cancelled for lack of participants, but most were completed and all of those were excellent. I had high hope and expectations for this cruise, and as it unfolded my "M/S Lofoten experience" surpassed it all. A fantastic ship and ship experience in a spectacular nature very near by. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted an experience that was less commercial than other large cruise lines and one which would allow us to truly experience all tha the Norwegian coast has to offer. We got exactly what we wanted and wouldn’t have changed a thing. ... Read More
We wanted an experience that was less commercial than other large cruise lines and one which would allow us to truly experience all tha the Norwegian coast has to offer. We got exactly what we wanted and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Beautiful spacious accomodations (we stayed in a quad), ample lounge areas and high quality, delicious food. The service was impeccable and we became very friendly with all service staff. Our kids were invited to the Young Explorers program which enriched their understanding of the Norwegian culture and environment. The food was fresh and delicious, and there was a story that accompanied each dish we were served. While this cruise is not for everyone in the fact that there was no formal entertainment, it was exactly what we were looking for. It was an experience we will cherish forever and truly feel like any other vacation would be unmatched! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose Hurtigruten's Norwegian Fjord Cruise North for our 25th wedding anniversary. We traveled as a family of 4 and researched fjord offerings fairly extensively among various cruise lines. We chose Hurtigruten because we generally ... Read More
We chose Hurtigruten's Norwegian Fjord Cruise North for our 25th wedding anniversary. We traveled as a family of 4 and researched fjord offerings fairly extensively among various cruise lines. We chose Hurtigruten because we generally are not a cruise family and do not prefer the glam and shows of most cruise lines as your are herded from one end of the vessel to the other. Hurtigruten's Expedition team voyages sounded just our speed, small ships, excellent educational sessions and nonstop fantastic views. Most of what I read online was exactly true and most reviewers provide a realistic expectation of the voyage. The "view is the thing", and I agree...it was EVERYTHING. My favorite breathtaking moment was when we entered the Trollfjord for a 180 degree turn. Something about the silence of all the fellow passengers as we absorbed the magnificence of the moment brought me to tears. This was my absolute favorite moment on the ship. That same evening we were served Trollfjordknert (a hot tea with rum) served in souvenir cups. It was the highlight of the trip. Also, don't miss the moment you cross the Polar Circle. At about 7:30 am my husband threw open the blinds and said, "hey...why is there a statue in the middle of the ocean?" I squealed and jumped out of bed knowing what it was. Cool moment. They had a bidding pool to see who could guess what time we would cross it. I was bummed we missed that announcement. THE SHIP: The ship is well planned with ample spaces to relax and enjoy the view. Fellow travelers were generally polite, well-educated outdoor enthusiasts from England, Germany and Norway. We met a few other Americans. Almost everyone we spoke with on the excursions spoke English which was a real treat for us, and the people we chatted with appeared to enjoy the attributes of the voyage as much we as we did. Moving around the ship was easy, with quick elevator waits. My husband walks with a cane and he did well getting around the vessel. One or two wheelchair passengers might have been on board. It is generally a 50 and over, but still outdoor hiking in your late 70's sort of crowd. There were perhaps 6 other teenagers on board with our kids. The only little children I saw were just on for a ferry ride. The attire on board was generally hiking clothes such as Haley Hanson, Arcteryx, Norrona, North Face, Prana etc...with well worn hiking boots. If people changed their attire before dinner it was not noticeably different...simple casual attire. I did my best to research the cruise extensively before departure but found details hard to come by other than the descriptions of the excursions which were accurate and thorough. It was not until our 3rd day on the ship that we discovered there was a program you had to pick up daily at the excursion office and I wondered how many things we had already missed. On the 4th day, I found out there was a button you could press on your phone to hear all the announcements in your room, and again I wondered how many things we had missed once I realized how much they were talking about key sites as we passed them. We chose the Owner's Suite so we could hang out on our own balcony for the view, which was incredible, but we missed quite a few things until we figured all of this out. CABIN: For our "trip of a lifetime" to celebrate our 25th anniversary we chose Hurtigruten for the expansive Owner's Suite on the rear of the vessel. The width is half of the stern of the ship with a full balcony. It had two bathrooms and two flat screen TV's, a dining area a living area, a bar and a sound system you could jack into via auxiliary cord. The space was perfect for a quiet and introverted family voyage and for the most part was exactly what we had imagined, not luxurious, but very large. The bed and linens were fresh and comfortable and the open windows provided a beautiful breeze and ocean and bird sounds. It was heavenly. The kids had an interior room on deck 6 and spent almost all of their time with us all relaxing comfortably on the balcony or in the living room. The images I found online for the Owner's Suite alerted me to the possibility it would be mildly outdated. I was pleasantly surprised by the flat screen televisions which we used mostly to display the bow cam or the ship's voyage location map. The couch was very comfortable and there were two comfortable balcony chairs with nice cushions to enjoy the view. Keep in mind the Trollfjord is due for an update. We chose to overlook the stains on the carpet and furniture. The couch was dirty so we used the bedcover (also dirty) to cover it during our stay. The sink had dark black ink stains in the basin and the bathroom and trashcan in the living room smelled like old ashtrays. Perhaps previous guests had smoked on the balcony but put their ashes and butts in the trashcans. These were tolerable but avoidable issues and I was disappointed that they did not manage such things better. Overall, I think if such things mattered to you, I would choose one of the updated vessels. I hope Hurtigruten reviews their housekeeping policy to check the rooms for stains and odors and provide some mitigation between journeys. Also unavoidable is that people smoke at the nonsmoking end of the ship on Deck 9 and occasionally throw a cigarette butt or ashes onto you as you sit on the balcony, so heads up. Again...this is the other guests doing this...not sure how to help people who make poor choices. It was not a huge problem, the balcony was awesome. The Owner's Suite was a small price above the cost of the Expedition Suites, so it was an easy choice, but given the minimal benefits on board the ship and the lack of balconies in the Expedition Suites, I would either choose a suite on deck 7 with a balcony, or purchase something else and wait until you board the ship to check for an upgrade. FITNESS FACILITIES: The gym had a corner pully system, a dumbbell rack, a treadmill, an elliptical, a broken Concept rower, a fitness bike, some yoga mats and a very basic spin bike with clips. The hours are strange 7am-3pm and 5pm to 7pm. It was difficult to get this to work with the excursions. It was very small but workable. About 6 people can work out at the same time with some shuffling. EXCURSIONS: When booking the cruise we chose the 2B Trollstigen, 4G Highlights of Lofoten and 6A Nordkapp. Once onboard, we added 4D RIB Safari to Saltstraumen at a discount because we had already purchased several. The discount on board is around 10-15% depending on availability and number of excursions you purchase. For us, all of the excursions were worth it. We were limited to no-hiking excursion due to the walking cane, and all were fine for our limitations. The tour buses were new and clean and very comfortable and the views and tour of the countryside were a nice balance to the ocean views of the fjords. Where the excursion included meals or snacks, they are provided in a large dining hall with very basic service and guests are generally seated in large groups by bus number. It is not quaint or cozy, but the food is good and the service was better than on the ship. We enjoyed chatting with the other travelers and hearing their stories. Because we were on the English speaking bus we saw them again and again. It was nice. The tour guide on Trollstigen had a nervous titter the whole journey and giggled after every few words in both English and Norwegian. She was sweet, but by the end of the journey, I was ready for silence. A more experienced speaker would have been preferable. I would put 2B and 4G in the UNMISSABLE category. 4D was my next favorite and 6A was nifty but very crowded. THE EXPEDITION TEAM ON THE SHIP WAS OUTSTANDING. I really enjoyed all of my interactions with them and I was grateful for all of their tips and congeniality. CAFE AND BAR SERVICE: The cafe service and the bar service on Decks 8 and 9 were fantastic. Always a smile and an easy process. I was incredibly grateful for their efficiency. DINING: This was the toughest part of the voyage, so I saved it for last. I am not sure anyone can objectively say this was "awesome". The breakfast and lunch buffets were generally chaotic and difficult. We tried our best to use the buffets during the slow times (which they tell you about), but often this does not work with the excursion time tables. The food was good, but did not vary much day-to-day. It looked essentially the same. Ample food though and the desserts are deadly (in a good way). We usually only had enough patience to have either breakfast or lunch. We had high hopes for the elegance of the evening meal as a cure for the chaos. The evening meals were the perfect size, modest and lovely. I have no complaints on the quality, but they are simple. There was no cure for the chaos however. Our first evening we arrived at our assigned table to be greeted by blistering sunlight and 80 degrees on the open ocean side of the ship with no view. We sat for exactly 30 minutes in the beating sun before the waiter acknowledged us and brought water. I think my entire family was a bit shell shocked. I was trying to wrap my mind around how you purchase the absolutely most expensive lodging on the ship a year in advance (not as a last minute upgrade at a discount on board) and somehow that gets you the worst table in the dining room. I felt like a chump. When I asked, they said the Suites get the window tables, (but somehow the owner's suite gets the worst window table?). It is the worst because each evening they began serving all of the tables further in the dining room and worked their way towards the front, so no matter what, we always waited 30 minutes for water. I was able to get them to switch us to the fjord side of the ship (which are the even numbered tables), but we still were the last to be served every night. Finally we just started coming late for dinner. At least then we were served water within ten minutes. The service is disorganized, inefficient and impersonal (although the staff does not appear to be unfriendly). I won't go into more detail, but suffice it to say keep your expectations low. Other guests we talked to said they were fed up by the first night and just paid to upgrade to the ala carte restaurant for the entire rest of the cruise. Perhaps that is the angle? Perhaps the people with the better tables were their frequent passengers who ought to be treated well? Who knows. This experience was tough. I wish I had explored the ala carte option, but with there being 4 of us paying for every single excursion it just seemed too extravagant. It costs very little to train staff to be efficient and have better management. I did not see anyone who seemed like a manager in the dining room. We enjoyed the cruise overall because this is the best way to visit the fjords of Norway and the view is spectacular the entire journey. The cost was in line with the general cost of traveling in Norway, so really the only disappointment was the level of food and service in the dining room. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we were interested in exploring the breath-taking Norwegian fjords, and crossing the Arctic Circle to see the midnight sun. The ports of call in Norway and northern Great Britain were full of history, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were interested in exploring the breath-taking Norwegian fjords, and crossing the Arctic Circle to see the midnight sun. The ports of call in Norway and northern Great Britain were full of history, adventure, ancient ruins, museums and wonderful walking trails. The focus on the influence of the Viking explorers of a thousand years ago on all the places visited was enlightening. Viking always pays attention to detail, and plans an itinerary that provides lots of culture and education about the places visited. The ship itself is full of quiet little get-away spaces, while at the same time offering great musical selections, many dining venues, and spacious staterooms. It was a trip that I would recommend to anyone who likes exploring new places and actively participating in informative shore excursions, at the same time as being pampered by excellent service and beautiful surroundings. I would suggest starting the itinerary in Bergen, as we did, so that the weather warms up after your return from the Arctic Circle, and improves as you continue south. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The excellent service began with our booking by phone from Australia many months ago... plenty of help and advice. Embarkation was easy. Our cabins were small but clean and comfortable, with everything we needed - so happy that we chose ... Read More
The excellent service began with our booking by phone from Australia many months ago... plenty of help and advice. Embarkation was easy. Our cabins were small but clean and comfortable, with everything we needed - so happy that we chose Deck 8, a few steps from the main lounge. All the hard working crew were friendly and helpful, and it was one of the nicest weeks I've ever had. Endless vistas of snow capped peaks and tiny snow covered villages, sometimes almost close enough to touch. An available excursion or a walk around a new town very day. What more could one ask. But the absolute standout was the food - my daughter and my 15 year old granddaughter are coeliac with other allergies, and they were in heaven. They were given beautiful food, nothing was a problem, they felt safe, and for the first time in their lives they were able to "eat out" three times a day without being made to feel different or a nuisance, or the odd ones out. It was a wonderful experience for them. I am not a cruise person - have never been on one, and have no desire to go - but Hurtigruten is small and personal and something very different. They are to be congratulated on doing what they do so very well. 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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Our family of four from Australia (2 adults in our 40s, 2 teens 13 & 14) embarked on this cruise at the end of a seven week holiday around the UK and Europe. In short it was the highlight of our trip with the Finnmarken being an ... Read More
Our family of four from Australia (2 adults in our 40s, 2 teens 13 & 14) embarked on this cruise at the end of a seven week holiday around the UK and Europe. In short it was the highlight of our trip with the Finnmarken being an excellent ship that enabled us to see amazing views of the northern lights whilst enjoying great food, friendly and efficient service and some quite amazing (but very expensive!) excursions. I will break this review up into the following areas - booking, cabins, embarkation, life on board, excursions / sights. Originally I tried booking this trip online however I had difficulty selecting available cabins and getting it to recognise the child rates for our two boys. I gave up and phoned the UK office and had it all sorted in less then ten minutes! We originally booked two adjoining Arctic Superior cabins for our trip but on further investigation these cabins apeared very small with pull down beds and a not very large window. I phoned back some time after the original booking to enquire about a suite with balcony and sure enought they were available but very expensive. However the agent suggested downgrading one of the Arctic Superior cabins to an interior whilst upgrading the other one to the balcony. Also by putting one child in each cabin we got a discount rate for the second person in each cabin (even the suite!). After doing all this the overall price was only about $A60 a day more expensive then two Arctic Superiors so we locked it in! Our suite on deck 6 port side was brilliant. Very large with a double bed and lounge area (4 seats), sliding glass door leading to great sized balcony plus a large picture window and a standard cruise ship bathroom. The kids had an interior across the hall which was very narrow with pull down beds but they spent most of their time hanging out in our room. The room was very quiet with no vibration or noise from the engines or the gangways that were lowered at every port. We also had complimentary bath robes and slippers and a fruit and cheese platter on arrival along with a 12pm check out from this room when returning to Bergen instead of 10am for non-suites. Also on returning to Bergen all the cabins on the ship were opened up after cleaning so we took the opportunity to check them all out and compare! From what we could see there was no real size difference between the interior and cabins that had windows on any deck. All were narrow and seemed to have pull down or sofa converting beds. The size of the windows varied with some having portholes for instance and the ones on deck 5 looked out onto the deck where everyone walked around so you would mostly have your curtains drawn anyway! There were some larger cabins on deck 5 and 6 that looked out onto life boats - think these are marketed as mini-suites. Their are also 2 grand suites at the front of the ship on deck 6 with a sperate living room, bedroom, larger bathroom with a bath tub, forward facing windows and a balcony on the side of the ship (but note this balcony was smaller then ours in a 'standard' suite). In short I am glad we ditched the so called Arctic Superior cabin as it was just an interior sized cabin but with a window on a higher deck. Note for those used to larger cruise ships rooms are only serviced once a day in the morning (not in the evening). Embarkation in Bergen was very smooth but I suggest not showing up early if you can help it. You will likely just end up in a queue to check in and drop off luggage and then you are waiting around until boarding which was not until 5pm for our trip (this caused some concerns as they ran out of free coffee and that made a few people cranky!). Alternatively if you have no hand luggage to lug around or if you make use of the lockers in the terminal you could check in early then explore the sights of Bergen before boarding (bags could be dropped off from 1pm from memory). Cabins were not available until 6pm and sail away was 1030pm. Once on board life is very relaxed! The ship has a gym, sauna, pool and spa (if you are brave) but for some reason the gym and sauna were closed after the first few days and never reopened which was disappointing. No real explanation was offered when we asked but we did hear a rumour about people being ill so maybe they closed them to reduce the risk of things spreading? They were certainly very strict with use of sanitiser at meal times and when coming back on board (even insisting you take off your gloves that on occasions I never took off whilst on shore due to the extreme cold!). There is not much in the way of activities on board but most days at least one short 'event' would occur e.g. crossing the arctic circle ceremony, fish fillet demo, northern lights documentary etc. The food was excellent and we were especially appreciative of the restaurant staff who made special 'kids' dinner meals for one of our teens (eg pizzas, burgers or replacing some of the more exotic food on the dinner menu with chips!). Breakfast and lunch are buffets normally timed for around 7-10am and 12 to 2pm with some slight variations based on the itinerary for the day. Dinner was a set sitting - ours was 8pm though one night they did a special late 9:15pm sitting for those of us on the Marble Mine excursion. This was greatly appreciated. We also at at the cafe a few times (extra charge) when we wanted a later lunch and found the food and service to be excellent. There is also a 'fancy' restaurant if you want to upgrade for dinner. We upgraded one person in our family to the King Crab one night but had this in the normal restaurant to accompany our usual dinner meal. It was about 640 Kroner from memory but you got a lot of crab that could be shared along with a glass of champagne and a nice creme brûlée dessert. There is a small library in the deck 8 lounge that has donated books and this was actually stocked with a few good reads and we left behind some books we had been lugging around. You certainly have a lot of time to read on this cruise! Life on board in winter also means Northern Lights! We were fortunate to have an amazing display on night 3, a smaller one the next night and some glimpses on the southbound leg as well. The excursion staff advised us all that night three was looking promising and they were not wrong! Announcements came over the phone system and everyone was up on deck pretty quick. Our best sighting came later in the night after we had been on deck for a while when we saw some incredible dancing effects with green and red colours all from our balcony! Indeed having the balcony was superb as when announcements came we could quickly check what was happening then decide whether to 'layer up' and head to the open decks (for some reason all the initial announcements on the Northbound leg were 'portside' where we were). Also on the southbound leg we saw the lights from our balcony to the rear of the ship ages before any announcement came - I guess the bridge crew would tend to focus their attention forward! With all the lights off in the cabin it was also possible to stay warm and enjoy the view through the large window and glass balcony doors. We prebooked a number of excursions and all were very good however they were expensive! Best not to think about the cost and just enjoy the trips - though I was appreciative of the fact Hurtigruten charged a reduced child rate for our teens. Most places count 12 and up as adults so this policy certainly saved us some money. Here is a quick overview of the excursions we undertook - EXPERIENCE BODØ AND SALTSTRAUMEN - A bus tour of Bodo followed by a visit to the tidal flow. It was quite a sight but my goodness was it cold here! Check the tides to see if the flow will be strong when you visit otherwise it may not be worth your time/money. KIRKENES ICE HOTEL - We were originally going to do the husky sledge adventure but at -32 degrees it was too cold for the dogs to venture out so this was cancelled and we transferred to the Ice Hotel tour. It was a beautiful clear day with no wind and we even saw the sun peek over the horizon. The temp was so cold I could feel ice forming in my nose and we had to go into the ice hotel to warm up (it was only -5 in there!). A great place to visit - the ice and snow carvings are amazing and we got to see the reindeers and pat the huskies. MIDNIGHT CONCERT IN THE ARCTIC CATHEDRAL - My wife and I did this leaving the kids on the ship to sleep. Very talented performers and a great experience. A TASTE OF VESTERÅLEN - A bus tour of the countryside with amazing views and very fickle weather. We went from a raging snow storm to beautiful clear skies in the space of 15 minutes! The ferry ride with waffles and chees was very nice and the rendezvous with our ship was very cool and a big hit with the kids! A great tour that gave us the opportunity to see some more of this beautiful country then we would have from the ship. BERGTATT - MAGNIFICENT MARBLE MINE - I don't think we have ever seen such crystal clear water as we did in this mine. A good tour that would be even better in summer when you would be walking along the Atlantic Sea road in the daylight instead of the dark as we were. For the other places we visited where we had a stop of more then 15 minutes we would just google what was in town and wander in and check it out. I can recommend the Hurtigruten Museum in Stokmarknes (though I do wish we had a longer stay here than 1 hour), the Fjellheisen aerial tramway in Tromsø for some great views and also check out the many small museums you will come across within in a number of ports just a stones throw from where the ship docks. The other aspect of this cruise I would like to comment on is the crew. They were all very friendly and helpful and treated our boys (the only kids on the ship for the round trip!) exceptionally well. As an example we needed some urgent medical advice for one of our kids and upon explaining the situation to reception they contacted the hospital at our port of call giving them all the details and arranged a taxi to take us straight there from the dock. In summary this was our first 'small ship' cruise and it will not be our last. As long as you board this ship knowing what to expect and acknowledge that the weather will influence your northern lights viewing, some excursions etc you are bound to have a great time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, visiting so many different cities and seeing the Northern Lights on the last day. The crew was excellent, very professional and friendly. The food was outstanding, even very thoughtful for the evening meals. This was our first cruise and for that we have enjoyed it very much. Our cruise was one way from Bergen to Kirkenes. This included New Year's Eve on the boat, which again was thought well through to provide entertainment and the right atmosphere on boat. There are plenty of excursions to choose from, which we recommend that you do some of these, they are well planned and give a good insight. The Point of Interest Activities on the outside Deck are definitely worthwhile. The only word of warning is to choose your cabin wisely. We just booked a basic Polar Outside and were on Deck 3. Although it says the MS Nordkapp has been refurbished in 2016, so it's overall in excellent and modern conditions, the same doesn't apply for Deck 3. Our cabin was still old school. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I have often thought about a Norwegian cruise, how pretty it would be. Friends went in September and I was completely smitten by their photographs and their experience. I perused Hurtigruten's web site and booked a date covering ... Read More
I have often thought about a Norwegian cruise, how pretty it would be. Friends went in September and I was completely smitten by their photographs and their experience. I perused Hurtigruten's web site and booked a date covering both Christmas and New Year, and a class of cabin in my price range. I was not disappointed in my choice. The service on board was excellent from all members of staff. The MS Nordlys has the bonus of an on-board Expedition Team so as well as the Hurtigruten excursions, there were also walks or hikes with the Expedition Team, generally where the tours didn't go. On board there was a daily talk by the Expedition Team on topics such as The Sami People, Polar Expeditions, Folklore and Fairytales, along with general information about the next port of call and things to see and do. I didn't think the excursions were particularly good value for money but that could be because nothing in Norway is cheap. They were, however, very good. Those I went on were, with the exception of a nature and history walk with the on-board Expedition Team, Hurtigruten excursions. Sadly there is only time to do one excursion or expedition at stops en route so if doing both the northbound and southbound voyages its good to read the timings thoroughly before booking anything in case you miss out. For example, if you go dog-sledding in Tromso on the northbound voyage then you miss the city tour because on the southbound journey the stop at Tromso only has a midnight concert. So take the city tour northbound and do the dog sledding at Kirkenes! I didn't find it necessary to pre-book any excursions, they were all bookable on board but perhaps they get more booked out during different seasons. On the dates I travelled (25 December-5th January) the age range of Coastal Voyage passengers was mixed - one or two children, under 30's, over 30's and on to middle aged and older. Some travellers had a physical disability but they were all looked after whenever they needed help. Some locations were difficult for disembarking but their needs were well catered for, including using the car loading bay when the passenger ramp was too steep for them. Don't be deterred if you're disabled! Mealtimes are open seating with the exception of most dinners where you are allocated a dining time and a table at the outset of your Voyage. Most single travellers were put together, generally in groups of same language speakers - English, German etc spread out among the different sittings. Further down this review you will see that I have said I've done 2-5 cruises: my first was moving to Australia in 1971, the second and third were from Australia to New Zealand and from New Zealand to the UK. These were on large impersonal cruise liners. The Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage is not only an experience for travellers but is a working ferry for local people wanting to get from place to place easily and there is no comparison between the first 3 'cruises' and that which I have just taken with Hurtigruten. Without doubt the Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage is the most memorable and the most enjoyable for me - its casual and fun without too many frills, smart casual for dinner rather than stuffy "dress for dinner" or "dine with the captain". If you want posh, then you may find another company suits you better. I will definitely book more trips with Hurtigruten in the future and will definitely revisit the coastal voyage during another season. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Word of mouth from friends and positive reviews led to us taking this cruise. Knew it was not going to be a 'luxury' cruise and a working ship. The Hurtigruten booking staff were excellent to deal with online and will do other ... Read More
Word of mouth from friends and positive reviews led to us taking this cruise. Knew it was not going to be a 'luxury' cruise and a working ship. The Hurtigruten booking staff were excellent to deal with online and will do other bookings e.g. rail and transfers etc. Embarkation and disembarkation done well. The scenery is stunning and seeing Northern Lights on 4 separate occasions makes it a fine 'bucket list' experience. However, from our perspective, the on board meals were very bland and the dining experience, especially on a full ship is not great and it can get crowded in the dining area at breakfast and buffet times. Norway is so expensive hence the ship prices are very dear to our standards which detracts from the experience but this was not a surprise. The mini-suite we had was fine and again what we expected. We did the return journey but,to be honest, the return leg was a bit boring as the same ports are revisited but it was relaxing if that's what you want. My average score would have been higher if the meals had been better and the prices on board not so prohibitive but my advice is to do it - as it is a good experience but not one for those who enjoy fine dining or a luxury cruise. 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
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose Viking because we had been to China on Viking River cruise and loved everything about it. This was our first experience with Viking sea cruises. We loved the new ship, the whole ship was beautiful. Public spaces were well thought ... Read More
We chose Viking because we had been to China on Viking River cruise and loved everything about it. This was our first experience with Viking sea cruises. We loved the new ship, the whole ship was beautiful. Public spaces were well thought out and had the right touches. Our cabin was beautiful, spacious, king bed, excellent cabin service and service throughout. The entertainment excellent, tour director very talented, including the show troupe, guitarist, and classical trio. The band was great, especially band leader. Loved the lectures that were themed to the trip. That made a big impact to our trip. Our main reason for doing this trip was the itinerary. We did the pre-cruise tour of Iceland, our favorite stop, plus the Faro Islands. The food was excellent, great variety and overwhelming choices! The tour excursions were great. I would have liked some extra choices in our pre-cruise tour selection and some other tweaking on the tour excursions. All round, this was the best sea cruise that we have ever taken. Read Less

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