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Havila Cruises

Havila Capella (Photo by Jeannine Williamson)

About Havila Cruises

Havila Voyages is the new cruise arm of Havila Holding, a Norwegian family-owned investment company founded in 1997. The Fosnavag-based operation is parent company to a chain of subsidiaries connected to the sea, such as ferries, fishing, and offshore shipping, as well as a chain of hotels.

The cruise line began operating in December 2021 with a brand new ship, the 640-passenger Havila Capella. With 179 cabins, it can accommodate a maximum of 468 people in staterooms and the rest as foot passengers. Three more identical sister ships, Havila Castor, Polaris and Pollux are under construction at the Tersan Shipyard in Turkey and scheduled to launch in 2022.

The interior decor of the ships is inspired by the sea, sky, mountains and glaciers with light and colour schemes and understated Nordic design details. Accommodation comes in five categories including interior, oceanview, balcony cabins and suites. The green ships feature the latest eco-friendly technology including large battery packs that enable them to sail for up to four hours emission-free.

The line is offering the classic Norwegian coastal voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes and back and is operating the ships as part of a ten-year government funded contract to sail the historic route. Year-round itineraries are available for the full 11-night round-trip stopping at 34 ports along the way or can be taken as a six-night northbound or five-night southbound sailing. Short two- and three-night taster voyages are also available.

  • Who goes on Havila cruise ships?

  • Do I have to dress up on a Havila cruise?

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Who goes on Havila cruise ships?

Being a cross between a working ship and a cruise line, Havila Voyages attracts local foot passengers who use the ship to get from one place to another. Cruise passengers tend to be a multi-national bunch from the U.K., mainland Europe and the U.S. Havila is popular with senior cruisers that opt for peace of mind packages and younger, independent types that book point-to-point travel and make their own flight and transfer arrangements.

Do I have to dress up on a Havila cruise?

No. There is no dress code and the onboard atmosphere is casual. You don't need to dress for dinner and wearing jeans is fine. Warm, practical clothing is recommended as passengers might want to head outside at short notice if, for example, the Northern Lights put in an appearance. Take comfortable footwear with non-slip soles for walking around outside and swimwear if you want to use the hot tub. There are no formal nights.

Is everything free on Havila cruises?

No. Fares depend on whether passengers have booked a cruise-only fare or one with flights and other inclusions. For U.K. passengers the cruises are typically on a full-board meal basis and include onboard activities such as lectures, use of the sauna, hot tub and free Wi-Fi. Drinks and excursions are not included. Gratuities are not expected.

What are Havila’s most popular activities?

Natural highlights are the chance to see the northern lights in winter, and in summer there is the phenomenon of the long, light days of the midnight sun. The 11-night voyage takes in four UNESCO World Heritage Sites -- the historic waterfront of Bryggen in Bergen, Geiranger Fjord, Naeroyfjord, and the Vega Islands. And although you can't actually see the Arctic Circle there's a fun ceremony when the ship crosses it. Popular shore excursions include a whale safari, king crab fishing in a frozen fjord, dogsledding in the Arctic wilderness and snowmobiling across the North Cape Plateau. Back onboard there's an open-air hot tub, plus an observation lounge with a glass roof and reclining chairs to view the Arctic sky.

Best for: The new line is a good fit for eco-conscious independent travellers, mature cruisers and foodies looking for an easy way to explore the Norwegian coastline and Arctic areas. Havila offers an authentic, laid-back and flexible cruise experience with menus reflecting the local cuisine in areas visited.

Not for: However, if you like dressing for dinner or clinking glasses at cocktail parties it's not going to be the line for you.

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