1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Hurtigruten
  4. Hurtigruten Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Overall a good cruise with a new ship where you need to accept that some proccesses dont work. The new ship is great. Our suite on deck 9 was really perfect. The main restaurant has a structure we dont like. Its like a quick ... Read More
Overall a good cruise with a new ship where you need to accept that some proccesses dont work. The new ship is great. Our suite on deck 9 was really perfect. The main restaurant has a structure we dont like. Its like a quick restaurant. The extra restaurant for suite guests is really good in service. The expectation is that the menu will change within a 2 weeks cruise. Visiting areas without a harbour means uising small boats to enable guests to go on land. To handle this for 500 guests with 12 guests on a boat means that you need a lot of time until you can go on land. The qualification of the expedition team (not a holiday - an expedition) was good. But they have to learn that the guests have paid for a holiday alo and not only for an expedition. The absolut negatives experience ever was the flight back from greenland to denmark in the middle of the night. Out conclussion: never flight back from greenland in the night. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
The Roald Amundsen is a brand new ship of a very high standard, but there are issues with how it is run. We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Greenland and this seemed to be a good itinerary. We were excited by the thought ... Read More
The Roald Amundsen is a brand new ship of a very high standard, but there are issues with how it is run. We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Greenland and this seemed to be a good itinerary. We were excited by the thought of a new ship, and thought there were a couple of cruises before ours, so that any teething issues would be sorted out. This proved not to be the case. The expedition crew seemed not to have worked out that dealing with 500 passengers was totally different from 200. The sound system didn't work properly so that briefings were difficult. There is no area on the boat to brief everyone, even when split into two groups. The food was very good, but tables were not allocated, so that people queued up for up ot 30 minutes before their seating time, obstructing the stairwell. When dinner was "set menu" it was great, but the buffet didn't work very well because the access into the restaurant was through the main food service area. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have just returned from what was advertised as a 12 day sailing on Hurtigruten‘s new ship Roald Amundsen and what turned out to be a 10 day trip, to Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland. We are a married couple in our late 50s and early ... Read More
We have just returned from what was advertised as a 12 day sailing on Hurtigruten‘s new ship Roald Amundsen and what turned out to be a 10 day trip, to Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland. We are a married couple in our late 50s and early 70s from the UK and have travelled on over 30 cruises including 2 Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages which we loved for their simplicity and variety and very reasonable pricing. We had originally booked on Fridjof Nansen the sister ship but this was cancelled as the ship is not yet ready. When my husband made the new booking for Roald Amundsen he was told there were no connecting flights available yet but would become available if we looked on the website. We were so pleased to see an announcement that flights and transfers were now available for U.K. passengers for £99 per person. When I rang to book these we were told that this price was for new passengers only and that our price would be £454 per person. We eventually felt we had no choice but to pay this. We had a very long flight to join the the ship in Longyearbyen - we left our home in Leicestershire at 10 am on the Friday morning and finally boarded the ship just after 5 am on the Saturday morning. I had previously asked Hurtigruten if we would be able to sleep on board that night and they said of course we would. This was not true. As a great and very welcome surprise to me my husband had upgraded us to a suite. We were supposed to have a priority champagne check in. This didn’t happen and we carried our own luggage on and queued in various places until we were able to check in, it was chaotic and not a good start after such a long journey. We finally got the card keys for our suite on deck 8 (841). This was one of the highs. A light spacious room with comfortable seating and a large set of French doors to a clear glass balcony, other suite and cabins towards the middle of deck have a metal fronted balcony because of the red stripe on the ship branding it ‘Hurtigruten’; this is not mentioned in the publicity literature or reflected in price differences. There was ample storage throughout and an excellent bathroom with heated floor and with a spacious glass doored shower. The huge advantage to having a suite is free laundry so when we arrived home we had little washing to do. We had been assigned breakfast and 5 out of 10 dinners in the speciality restaurant Lindstrøm. Lunch could be taken in the self-service Aune main restaurant or the free to us, but not other passengers, Fredheim restaurant. Breakfasts in Lindstrøm were always excellent - great service and choice. Dinner in Lindstrøm is from an a la carte menu with an amuse bouche, starter, main course and dessert - the main problem is that it did not change throughout the cruise - I don’t like fish and that left my choices even more limited - I ended up having the same beef main course three times and eventually left most of it. Service, however, is excellent and suite guests get free wine with lunch and dinner which is good quality and free flowing. We often had lunch in Fredheim which serves ‘street food’ - burgers, dumplings, sausages, tortillas, crepes etc - tasty, good quality and excellent service. However, the menu never changed and we got tired of eating the same food for lunch and for 4 dinners out of the 5 we had no table in Lindstrøm. We were assigned a table in Aune for the 6pm sitting for those 5 nights and went the first night. It was a chaotic buffet with no menus, huge queues with people pushing in. The order of food did not resemble standard eating. It started with ‘main’ courses served tapas style in tiny bowls, followed by soup, then two salad selections and then a very limited dessert selection. The main courses were cold but the food was good quality. On my first trip I gave up because of the queues and the strange selection. I went again later and got bread and a small salad. We didn’t go again for dinner but did go 3 times for lunch as Fredheim had got boring. The experience was similar. The ship itself is one of the highs - public areas are tastefully decorated in Scandi style, think upmarket IKEA not luxury cruise ship. The Explorer Lounge is the only inside bar and observation lounge. It is spacious with a wide range of seating and we were almost always able to sit where we wanted to. Bar staff are excellent and soon got to know names and preferences and always had a warm friendly welcome. Drinks prices are comparable with bar prices at home - a large gin and tonic being 7€. Downstairs on Deck 6 is the Science Centre where there were a wide range of lectures and talks on the next day’s itinerary. The lectures were generally well-presented and informative. The next day talks were fun and interesting but gave little concrete information about the next day and we had to wait for a late night or early morning delivery of a paper copy of the ship’s daily programme to find out concrete details which made planning difficult. The talks in English were generally held at 9.30 pm which seemed late and interrupted the evening. We had expected an action packed itinerary (we had to get a medical declaration of good health for the trip - this was problematic as our GP refused to complete and we had to go for private consultation which cost £200 for 10 minutes, nothing was cheap about this trip!). In the ten days we got off the ship 5 times on the RIBs. There were 3 x 90 minute walks on land - two hikes in beautiful countryside and guided by red flags not the explorer staff and one landing in the beautiful, isolated settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit. These were highlights but short and the rest of the day was spent sitting around. They were done in rotations of groups of about 100 - some got off early at 8.30 am, some had to wait all day till as late 4.30 - 5 pm. There was a spectacular trip in the RIB around the icebergs in the Bjørne Islands but this was only an hour and the member of the explorer staff accompanying us had to be asked questions rather than offering information; he wasn’t a specialist though he was friendly. The last day was a choice of excursions at our stop in Iceland. We chose the Highlights of Snaefellsnes. The tour was excellently organised, not by Hurtigruten, and very informative with a very knowledgeable guide. It was, however, very expensive at £144 for 5 1/2 hours. In all we felt we could have been offered more on such an expensive trip which led to long days. We fortunately had free WiFi to occupy our time and lots of reading matter. The WiFi is free for suite guests but 17€ a day otherwise. It was good in Longyearbyen and Iceland but intermittent elsewhere. We wouldn’t have paid extra for it. We booked the trip not only for the Arctic scenery but also for wildlife. We saw polar bears three times which was a great joy. We got good photographs and were pleased to see the bears looking healthy and well-nourished unlike the footage of lone bears on icebergs one sees in nature documentaries. We saw brief glimpses of various whales, a few seals and some birdlife though not nearly as much as we’d been expecting. When it came to our transfer to Reykjavík airport at the end of the cruise we were disappointed by the arrangements. We’d booked everything through Hurtigruten as we thought this would be efficient. Our flight was at 12.30 pm. We were told our transfer would be at 7 am for a 45 minute ride to the airport. We queried why it was so early. This was not well-received and we got the glib reply, “Well we have to clean the ship”. We knew the next group of passengers was boarding at 8 pm; it’s a new, spotless cruise ship. Larger ships we have been on manage to do the turnaround much quicker, often in less than two hours. We were told that we’d be called by deck at 7 am. In fact there was a general announcement for everyone on the 7 am transfer to leave the ship at 6.50 am. In conclusion was it a good trip? Yes, it was - the trip of a lifetime to see remote places and polar bears close up. Was it what were we’re promised in the itinerary? Not really. We were supposed to spend days 5 - 8 in the North East Greenland National Park. After our first day there at 10 pm a very serious captain told us that the Danish authorities wouldn’t allow it as we didn’t have a pilot, they are required for ships with over 250 passengers - Hurtigruten should have known this. Our alternative was days spent in the beautiful Scoresbysund. We didn’t feel we’d missed out but many passengers did. Would we do it again? Very unsure about this - a good cruise but it could have been so much more. Hurtigruten must do better with this beautiful ship and her attentive staff. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Roald Amundsen is a beautiful ship, and I greatly enjoyed my cruise from Tromso to Longbyearen. That said, there were a few glitches that Hurtigruten needs to focus on. When I checked in, they had no record of me in the cabin I ... Read More
The Roald Amundsen is a beautiful ship, and I greatly enjoyed my cruise from Tromso to Longbyearen. That said, there were a few glitches that Hurtigruten needs to focus on. When I checked in, they had no record of me in the cabin I purchased ten months earlier. I booked a specific cabin (a suite) because I liked the location on the ship. In the last three months before the cruise, I had at least three conversations with Hurtigruten staff, who all acknowledged I was in the cabin I had chosen. The staff gave me a bigger room with a larger balcony, but that misses the point. What if that larger suite had not been available? Where would they have put me? When a guy books a specific cabin ten months in advance there should be no changes to that cabin without agreement in advance from the passenger. The Lindstrom dining room served great meals, but there was a problem here as well. Suite guests were supposed to be able to eat at Lindstrom every night. After I got checked in, I was told that they just figured out that they could not accommodate all the suite guests in a single, staggered sitting. This is a simple math problem – if you can’t figure out they you cannot accommodate all the suite passengers, then Hurtigruten should not be advertising meals in the Lindstrom dining room every night. So, we were only allowed to have dinner there every other night (half the nights of the cruise). That is a big drawback given the quality of the other dining choices. I felt a bit ripped off by not being able to eat there every night. We did eat breakfast there every morning and those meals and the alternate-day dinners in Lindstrom were all excellent. My compliments to Rona the head waitress, master-of-all. Hurtigruten also advertised that room service was available on the Amundsen from 0700 – 2300. On my first night I called down to get something to eat about 9:30 pm, as my body adjusted to all the time changes. The receptionist indicated that “room service was not available at this moment.” Okay, I said, what “moment” will it be available. I was then told it dining room service was only available during the hours that the restaurants are open. Again, this is at odds with what Hurtigruten was advertising aboard the Amundsen and that should never be the case. A second restaurant on board, also complimentary to suite guests, was the Fredheim. We ate here most nights that we could not eat in Lindstrom. They had a small selection (burgers, fish burgers, dumplings, quesadillas) but all was very good. The third restaurant, where we had a few lunches, was Aune. They had some great halibut one day, and I got a very decent daily salad there, but otherwise the fare left much to be desired. And this is really the only option for non-suite guests to eat, who all paid quite a bit for this cruise. If Hurtigruten wants to be in the luxury cruise business they need to do much better on the food they provide. They did have quite a bit of Asian fare, and all the Chinese aboard seemed satisfied. I have not been on all that many cruises but never in the past have I chosen to eat dinners from a lackluster buffet. Hurtigruten views their cruises as expeditionary cruises, and that is undoubtedly part of the reason they don’t worry about giving everyone a sit-down dinner every night. On my Arctic cruise, they had zodiacs they went out and some guests opted to go out in kayaks. This was all nice but a few bugs in the scheduling. I have been to Antarctica and Greenland on cruises so I am used to having internet outages. But on this cruise, even when we pulled in to Longbyearen on last day, we had to leave our cabins six hours before the buses would take us to our charter flight back and they did not have their internet working all this time that we were sitting around. Strangely, they did not have a working ship-intranet, so even though they told us to look at daily schedules on our TVs, they did not have the technology to provide the daily planners when they were outside of internet range (most of the whole trip). I would also have liked for the Captain to take us closer to glaciers and sea ice. This is a brand new ship built for expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. We should have been able to pull closer. I have been on much larger ships in Antarctica and Greenland and those ships were able to navigate closer to glaciers. The cabin staff we had was excellent. The dining staff in Lindstrom and Fredheim was topnotch. And Ciselle, head of reception, came through when we needed her most. The Amundsen is a fantastic ship throughout. There is a great sauna with floor to ceiling window looking out at ocean. However, the gym was pretty sparse and should get a couple ellipticals to supplement the few treadmills. We took this cruise to see the rugged beauty of the Arctic and were not disappointed. Our upgraded room could not have been better. Dinners in Lindstrom were excellent, though they had the same menu each night. Hurtigruten needs to work out a few bugs, some major and some minor. I give the overall cruise a B+/A- ; had I not been in a great suite with at least limited access to the Lindstrom dining room this rating would be lower. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We made a booking in November 2016 to travel through the North West Passage with Hurtigruten because of our interest in the history associated with this remote area. We had travelled with Hurtigruten before; doing the classic Norwegian ... Read More
We made a booking in November 2016 to travel through the North West Passage with Hurtigruten because of our interest in the history associated with this remote area. We had travelled with Hurtigruten before; doing the classic Norwegian coastal voyage, and had enjoyed that (apart from eye watering bar prices). The journey booked was titled “The Northwest Passage: In the Wake of Great Explorers – Eastbound” and was planned to travel from Cambridge Bay at the western end of the passage through to Pond Inlet at the eastern end followed by two stops in Greenland that were clearly there as part of repositioning the vessel. The information provided about Fram indicated it was a very capable ship and well suited to travel in difficult polar waters. Hurtigruten’s information also made much of the wildlife to be seen – another key point for us. While in Canada before the cruise we received your e-mail forwarding a communication from Hurtigruten on 5th September advising that our ship, MS Fram would not be able to reach Cambridge Bay. As requested by Hurtigruten, we attended the briefing on the evening of 9th September at the Hotel in Montreal which was hosted by Mario, the Expedition Leader, who was just re-joining the ship after leave and did not appear to be well briefed. He advised that ice conditions were unlike previous years but reassured us that he had a plan B and, if necessary, a plan C. When someone asked if we could cancel our trip and get a refund we were told to join the ship & it would all be sorted out on board. The following day the passengers were taken (in three separate groups) from the hotel and our group was flown to Resolute Bay, where we changed to smaller aircraft and flown to Pond Inlet (the last stop in Canada at the end of the North West Passage according to the original itinerary) where we boarded the ship. Once on the ship there was a fuller briefing by Karin Strand, Field Operations & Expedition Team Manager, who normally appears to work in head office. She seemed to have joined the ship for the two “North West Passage” voyages & we wondered if she had been put on board to provide a “Hurtigruten Head Office message”, as she left the ship with us on 22nd September. At the meeting she advised that the North West Passage was blocked by ice and that we would not be seeing anything of the original itinerary in Canada other than Pond Inlet. We were told that there were other good options including visiting Ellesmere Island. The next day the passengers were taken out to spend some time on an ice berg floating at sea, which was an interesting experience but not what we booked. It also involved lots of waiting around for our turn to use the small rubber boats. There were a good design in that they had steps at the bow and boards at the side but their capacity was small and there were nothing like enough for all passengers to use them at once even though the ship was far from full. The following day we were taken to North Arm on Baffin Island to see some very old rocks which was mildly interesting but not what we booked. That evening Karin finally admitted that Hurtigruten had run out of options given the difficult ice conditions as even Ellesmere Island (where the westbound cruise spent time) was now ice bound. At this point it also emerged that Fram has a limited ice capability (ice class 1B) and the Canadian Ice pilot had refused permission to go further into the ice because of that limitation. I found later that other companies’ ships with a 1A ice class had been allowed to go much further. Karin suggested that the ship headed for Greenland and those present agreed as it was better than going around in small circles getting nowhere. It was quite clear that Hurtigruten needed to go back to Pond Inlet to drop off the local person who had joined the ship 2 days earlier and also the Canadian Ice Pilot. We were given the option of simply dropping off these two people and immediately setting sail for Greenland or stopping and taking a look at Pond Inlet before departing. It was accepted by all that seeing the settlement of Pond Inlet was the better choice. At this point passengers also complained about the lack of the promised lectures activities on board and these started thereafter. This did reveal another weakness of our ship as the lecture theatre had an open back allowing lots of ambient noise in and no staged seating (and a low ceiling) meaning it was impossible to see the screen properly unless sitting right at the front. After slowly crossing Baffin Bay & the Davis Strait for 2 days we visited alternative four sites in Greenland which were scenic & somewhat interesting but not what we booked. I became bored with clambering over rocky barren places. The mood of the passengers became more and more fed up and Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side of life” was adopted as an informal anthem – enough said! The last 2 planned visits to Ilulissat and Sissimiut went ahead as planned and were enjoyable. I have the following comments: - • No cruise ship has managed to transit the North West Passage this summer ( we believe that 4 ships had planned to go in the short season). • The Cambridge Bay Website stated that the Fram would not be visiting their settlement as far back as 24th August. The website content was subsequently changed and I was left with a clear impression that Hurtigruten had applied pressure to tell the story their way. • Subsequent research showed that the Canadian authorities were issuing ice warnings as early as 20th August and I find it highly improbably that Hurtigruten were not aware of this. • The briefing at the hotel did not make clear the full nature of the change to the itinerary. Ice maps were shown but the captions were not legible at a distance and the implications were not made clear. When someone asked if a refund was possible they were publicly told it was not. It appeared that Hurtigruten simply wanted to get us onto the ship so that further protest would not be possible. Mario could not confirm when asked what wildlife was spotted in Greenland during the westbound voyage which had just completed, which speaks of poor preparation but probably also they knew that little or no wildlife had been seen. • Hurtigruten knew before we travelled to the vessel that we would not be completing the full itinerary and should have offered a refund in line with their terms and conditions. I have included a cut and paste from their terms and conditions here:- “Occasionally we may have to make a significant change to your confirmed arrangements. Significant changes include the following: • Change of UK departure airport. A change from one London airport to another is not considered a major change. London airports are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City. • Change of your time of departure or return by more than 12 hours. • Change of your flight from a day flight to a night flight if this also includes a change to your departure time of 3 hours or more.† • Change of resort. • Change of holiday accommodation to accommodation of a lower official rating. † For the purposes of the contract night flights are those which depart from the UK between 2200 and 0600 hours or arrive in the UK between 2400 and 0600 hours. If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will notify you as soon as possible and if there is time to do so before departure we will offer you the choice of: (a) (for significant changes) accepting the change and the contract between us will then be varied to incorporate the change; or (b) accepting alternative arrangements altogether (subject to availability) of comparable or higher standard from us (at no extra cost); or (c) if available, accepting an offer of alternative arrangements of a lower standard, with a refund of the price difference between the original arrangements and the alternative arrangements; or (d) withdrawing from the booking completely in which case we will as soon as possible, refund all money paid to us. Passengers must give notice of their decision as soon as reasonably possible and not later than 7 days of being informed of the alteration. If we do not hear from you within 7 days, we will contact you again to request notification of your choice. If you fail to respond again, we will assume that you have chosen to accept the change or alternative booking arrangements.” Had a refund been available we would have taken it and made our own way home . • Hurtigruten’s strategy appeared to be divide and conquer – passengers repeatedly asked for an offer on board but this was refused. We were told each of us would be contacted separately when we returned home & that we would all be fairly dealt with, regardless of our nationality. • During the voyage passengers asked for a conference call to Hurtigruten senior management - this was refused. • Lectures did not start until passengers complained • Preparation for lectures was poor with audio visual not sorted until people were waiting • We paid a great deal of money and did not receive what was promised. We understand that the ship could not go through the ice & that safety is paramount (so much for Hurtigruten’s claims in the brochure which left many people believing that Fram has Ice Breaking capability). However, this is was not a minor change, as the fundamental element, the trip through the North West Passage in the footsteps of the explorers, was completely deleted. We came away with a clear impression that Hurtigruten simply wanted us to get on board ship, so they could try to manage their way through the problem and pay out as little as possible. Hurtigruten’s approach appears to be sly, sneaky, evasive and not in the slightest consumer focussed. • The safety briefing and lifeboat drill didn’t happen for 24 hours • Much was made of the wildlife to be seen when this cruise was advertised but we saw nothing in Canada (I think one person saw a seal) and the birdlife was limited and unremarkable. Initially it was suggested that Greenland was a good substitute but staff were evasive about what we might see in Greenland, despite questions on several occasions. Hurtigruten’s own MS Fram Voyage handbook page 7 highlights the wildlife we could see in Greenland. However, it was eventually admitted that we were too late in the season to see most things, as confirmed by the naturalist experts on the ship. We paused and looked at two “Bird Cliffs” that were completely devoid of birds. We saw no Polar Beas, Narwhal, Walruses, Seals, Musk Oxen, Reindeer, Artic Foxes or Arctic Hares. There were a few, very distant whale sightings. This was also very disappointing, as for many passengers, wildlife was a 2nd major consideration for booking (after seeing the NWP). Not all was bad:- • The staff were generally very good • The food was good (although not as good as it had been on the Norwegian coastal journey a few years ago) • Embarkation at the start of the cruise and disembarkation at the end were handled well • The specialist experts on board were generally good • Bar prices were reasonable We are in discussion with Hurtigruten about refund of monies paid but this proving to be hard work and so we are seeking legal support via our travel insurance. We have lost all confidence in Hurtigruten and have no wish to ever travel with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
To participate in Hurtigruten's "Ultimate Voyage - Through the Northwest Passage - in the Wake of the Great Explorers" aboard the MS Fram. AGAINST TRAVELLING WITH HURTIGRUTEN For over 100 years, Hurtigruten have ... Read More
To participate in Hurtigruten's "Ultimate Voyage - Through the Northwest Passage - in the Wake of the Great Explorers" aboard the MS Fram. AGAINST TRAVELLING WITH HURTIGRUTEN For over 100 years, Hurtigruten have provided an excellent coastal ferry service along the coast of Norway and from our own experience, we would agree. But over recent years, they have expanded to operating adventure cruises, particularly to both Arctic and Antarctic waters, under the slogan "World Leader in Exploration Travel". With this we would NOT agree, after our recent experience aboard Hurtigruten's MS Fram, when we should have sailed eastwards from Cambridge Bay in Arctic Canada through the Northwest (NW) Passage, in the "Wake of the Great Explorers" - but we didn't!! And the way that Hurtigruten has handled this extreme disappointment has destroyed our faith in Hurtigruten, and any belief we had that it was an honourable company who put the well-being of its clients above its 'bottom line'. In the summer of 2018, Hurtigruten ran two cruises in the NW Passage. The first, starting from West Greenland in late August, should have sailed westwards through the passage to Cambridge Bay in Canada, arriving there on September 10th. The second should have left Cambridge Bay on September 10th, sailing eastwards through the passage and on to West Greenland, arriving there on September 24th. The first cruise made only a slight incursion into the passage; the later cruise didn’t even enter the passage, and the most westerly it got was Pond Inlet, just north of Baffin Island. We had booked on the second (later) cruise when it was first advertised through Reader Offers Limited (ROL), a ‘supplier’ to Hurtigruten, in February 2017. It was not an inexpensive cruise (£20,000 for two passengers), but with a long standing interest in Canadian Arctic explorations (particularly the 1846 failed expedition of Sir John Franklin and subsequent expeditions to investigate its fate - especially as the wrecks of the expedition ships Erebus and Terror had been located recently in 2014 and 2016 respectively), we felt this cost was warranted. And the Hurtigrten/ROL prospectus hardly hinted at any likelihood of failure! On the evening before we left home on this adventure, we received an e-mail (dated September 5th) from Hurtigruten via ROL to inform us that the port of our embarkation on the MS Fram would be changed (to where not specified) because of ‘ice conditions in the Victoria and James Ross Straits are such that no ordinary ship can sail through the area’ - but no indication that the whole of our itinerary through the NW Passage would be abandoned. Even when we reached Montreal, at a meeting with the Expedition Team at the hotel on the evening of September 8th (when our port of embarkation was revealed to be Pond Inlet near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage) - but again with no indication that our NW Passage itinerary was to be completely aborted! Once on board the MS Fram on September 10th, we got some more quantitative information on the ice conditions in the Northwest Passage - but it took until September 13th before the Expedition Team finally confirmed there was no hope of us sailing into the NW Passage. So this essential and major element of our itinerary was finally abandoned, and we sailed to West Greenland for some extra days there. The above timescale aspects are important. If we were charitable, we might have considered Hurtigruten’s slowness in accepting their NW Passage itinerary would have to be abandoned was due to a naïve hope that a timely change in ice conditions would arise, showing a lack of knowledge and experience in cruising in the Canadian arctic waters - after all, their proposed cruises of the Fram in the Canadian Arctic were hailed as ‘maiden voyages’! But as we gained more knowledge of the circumstances, we began to realise that a more likely explanation was a carefully choreographed and cynical attempt to get us aboard the Fram in a duplicitous move to avoid cancellation before the start of the holiday - which under both Hurtigruten and ROL terms and conditions would have entitled us to a full refund of our holiday costs!! Further evidence of this interpretation is given by the situation of the preceding (westwards) cruise of the Fram, where passengers were informed on 3rd September that ice conditions in the NW Passage would not allow their transit to Cambridge Bay - an admission that would have allowed our trip to be cancelled well in advance of our leaving home! Moreover, the ice information came from the official Ice Charts of the Canadian Coastguard, which indicated from the end of July that the NW Passage could not be navigated due to sea ice, and from which it is abundantly clear that there was no remote possibility of fulfilling the Fram’s itinerary through the passage for either the westbound or eastbound cruises. Indeed, this impossibility was demonstrated to other (and earlier) transits by passenger ships: the Vavilov, Akademik Ioffe, Bremer, Boreal, Soleal, and Oceanic Adventurer, all of whom cancelled their arrival at Cambridge Bay before the cancellation by the Fram on 4th September. Indeed, no tourist ships traversed the NW Passage at all in the summer season of 2018. And that includes ships who would have been assisted by following a Canadian ice-breaker, an artifice not afforded to the class 1B only ice-strengthened MS Fram. On 29th October, we received our next communication of substance from Hurtigruten (the second of only two), again via ROL. This document was again profuse in apologies for the changes to our cruise itinerary, and offered us a cash reimbursement of approximately 50% of what we’d paid ROL, plus the offer of a further 50% off a holiday in 2019, to be selected from a small range of future Hurtigruten cruises. This latter aspect is of little interest to us, as it involves a further 50% payment from us, and at present we are also disinclined ever to travel with Hurtigruten again!! So for us what Hurtigruten’s offer boils down to was to reduce our holiday from “the Ultimate Voyage - Through the NW Passage - in the Wake of the Great Explorers” to essentially an eight day cruise along the West Coast of Greenland for just under £10,000 for the two of us if we‘d accepted Hurtigruten’s ‘reimbursement’ of 29th October. Whereas if Hurtigruten had had the honesty to cancel this ‘Ultimate Voyage’ before it started, and given us a full refund (as then due under their terms and conditions), we could have used our £20,000 to book a future 18 day holiday from Reykjavik to Western Greenland, and still have about £10,000 to spare!! And we might have admired Hurtigruten’s moral stance to look after their clients, and retained some respect for the self-styled “World Leader in Expedition Travel”. We don’t dispute Hurtigruten’s decision not to traverse the Northwest Passage. But we are angered by their tardy response to sea ice conditions, and we are now certainly convinced that the failure of Hurtigruten/ROL to face the facts in the public domain in August (that the Northwest Passage was a ‘no go’ area for passenger ships in 2018) and to persist with our Fram cruise when they could have cancelled before our start, was a shabby treatment to keep a large proportion of our money!! So after Hurtigruten’s moral failure, we are now pursuing redress under Hurtigruten’s legal responsibilities, in particular under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. We now note in the summer of 2019, Hurtigruten/ROL are again offering two cruises through the Northwest Passage from/to Cambridge Bay to/from West Greenland, on the MS Fram. In addition, they are also offering a full transit of the Passage, starting from Halifax (Nova Scotia) to Nome (Alaska), on their new ship, the Roald Amundsen. Again, their prospectuses for these voyages are couched in glowing and enthusiastic terms, with little hint that they could be aborted. They even advise “you will be sailing amazing straits … and hopefully enough ice to make it for excellent wildlife spotting” - they should be careful for what they wish!! We shall observe the progress of these journeys with interest, to see if Hurtigruten have learned anything from their aborted cruises on the Fram in 2018. Please be aware that we found the on board staff to be delightful, and we had no complaints regarding the ship's catering and house management (although the lecture room situation was unsuitable) - our sole complaint is with Hurtigruten Management and the way they aborted the cruise through the NW Passage with derisory compensation. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We joined MS Fram on the !0th of September for a cruise advertised as the Northwest Passage In the Wake of the Great Explorers. As a result of ice conditions only 4 days of the 14 day voyage bore any relationship to the advertised ... Read More
We joined MS Fram on the !0th of September for a cruise advertised as the Northwest Passage In the Wake of the Great Explorers. As a result of ice conditions only 4 days of the 14 day voyage bore any relationship to the advertised itinerary and 3 of those days were in Greenland that was not the main objective in any case. Although Hurtigruten was not responsible for the ice conditions they were responsible for the appalling way in which the disruption was handled. We first heard of a major change at the briefing in Montreal after all passengers had assembled ready to fly north early the following morning. No senior Hurtigruten staff were present and we were given no opportunity to cancel. We were told of plan B but once we were captive on the ship, at the new departure point Pond Inlet, that was not enacted with no explanation. Instead after 3 days sailing in a tight circle we headed off to Greenland. Subsequent investigation made it clear that Hurtigruten must or should have known at least 2 weeks before we left, from the ice condition reports and failure of other boats to get through, that traverse of the Northwest passage was highly unlikely this season. In fact a Cambridge Bay [original departure point] website stated on the 24th of August that the MS Fram would not be visiting in 2018. Needless to say this webpage quickly disappeared after it became widely known. Hurtigruten eventually reluctantly agreed to compensation but this was only to be communicated through individuals’ travel agents after returning home. At no time did the captain address the passengers about the drastic changes and in fact remained aloof throughout the voyage. Subsequently there have been a series of differing compensation offers despite assurances on the boat that we would all be offered the same. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
For the first time, in August/September 2018, Hurtigruten ran two cruises to the Canadian Arctic on Fram, advertised as “Northwest Passage - in the wake of the Great Explorers”. The two cruises were mirror images of each other: the ... Read More
For the first time, in August/September 2018, Hurtigruten ran two cruises to the Canadian Arctic on Fram, advertised as “Northwest Passage - in the wake of the Great Explorers”. The two cruises were mirror images of each other: the first was planned to start in Greenland, cross the Davis Straight to Lancaster Sound, cruise through part of the Northwest Passage to Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island, where the passengers would disembark; and the second cruise would embark passengers in Cambridge Bay and take them through the Northwest Passage and on to Greenland. These cruises were not cheap. With associated connecting flights, each UK passenger would pay a minimum of £10,000. Arguably, this was a reasonable cost for this fantastic experience, visiting notable historical sites on a ship “purpose built as an expedition vessel”, and apparently well suited for “the added navigational challenge of ice in the water .... no need to worry, though, … with a 1B ice class, ship-depth sounding database, extractable forward-sounding sonar and iceberg search lights - and the Captain and his crew are experienced in sailing treacherous waters …” Hurtigruten state in their Terms and Conditions that: “If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will notify you as soon as possible and … will offer you [the opportunity to] withdraw from the booking completely in which case we will as soon as possible, refund all money paid …” Despite global warming, the normal state of the Northwest Passage is that it is blocked by ice. In 2016 and 2017, the only cruise ships to successfully traverse the route were accompanied by icebreakers. This information is freely available. In the summer of 2018, the Northwest Passage was blocked by ice, as usual. No cruise ship was able to complete the journey. When the Fram arrived at Lancaster Sound with the first, westbound passengers on 3rd September 2018, she was unable to proceed any further. It is inconceivable that Hurtigruten were not aware of the impossibility of completing the planned itinerary for this group of passengers. Canadian ice forecasts are published and archived. Cruise ships from other companies had already cancelled their visits to Cambridge Bay (see the Cambridge Bay website). The second group of passengers, scheduled for the eastbound cruise, left the UK on 8th September. On 5th September, Hurtigruten dispatched an email stating that the Fram would be “unable to reach Cambridge Bay and the embarkation point for your voyage will be changed.” No mention or offer of cancellation was made. There seemed no reason to assume anything other than that this was a relatively minor change to the itinerary, perhaps changing the embarkation point to somewhere close to Cambridge Bay. As it was, a tortuous journey to northern Baffin Island was arranged for this second group of passengers in order for them to join the Fram. After two days in that area, the Fram sailed to Greenland, some five days earlier than planned, having never entered the Northwest Passage at all. Hurtigruten must have known that they would have to make a “significant change” to the planned itinerary for this second group of passengers before those passengers left the UK. Not only did Hurtigruten know that they had failed the first group of passengers, the Fram was now incorrectly located to achieve anything like the advertised itinerary for the second group. The purpose of the trip, the planned traverse of the Northwest Passage was deleted, and the passengers were taken to a different continent. Passengers were very dissatisfied. The situation was ironically summarised by the Norwegian Captain of the Fram who said, “I appreciate that you have paid for a Rolls Royce and received a Lada.” Complaints to Hurtigruten have resulted in obfuscation, delay, refusal to meet face-to-face and the offer of derisory compensation. Shockingly, having failed to deliver during 2018, Hurtigruten is currently advertising the same, two, mirror image cruises, on the Fram, for August/September 2019, and have “sold out” a new itinerary for a cruise on the MV Roald Amundsen between Alaska and Greenland during the summer of 2019. Passengers who have booked berths on these cruises should beware of the likely deceit, ensure that at least part of their payment is made by credit card, and ensure that they have legal cover as part of their travel insurance. They should be fully aware that no cruise ship has managed to traverse the Northwest Passage without being accompanied by an icebreaker. Neither the Fram nor the Roald Amundsen are icebreakers, whatever the glowing and misleading words used to describe them in Hurtigruten’s brochures. From this experience, in my opinion Hurtigruten should be avoided. I will never travel with them again, and would advise other potential passengers to look elsewhere. There are many other companies running “expedition cruises”. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to follow In the “Footsteps of famous explorers through the North West Passage” as the itinerary advertised. I live in the area where Sir John Franklin was born and have followed his story for many years so this would be a trip ... Read More
Wanted to follow In the “Footsteps of famous explorers through the North West Passage” as the itinerary advertised. I live in the area where Sir John Franklin was born and have followed his story for many years so this would be a trip of a lifetime to follow in his wake and also that of other famous mariners. Saw the full,page advert in weekend papers from ROL Cruises who declare themselves to be the leading agents for Hurtigruten. Had sailed with Hurtigruten before (twice) so relied upon them and felt confident they would be honest and truthful. The trip was the most expensive thing I’ve ever purchased (apart from my house). But that was not the case. ROL contacted us on 5/9/18 with a short email saying the departure point for the Fram had changed. No alarm bells rang because with expedition style cruising, slight amendments are sometimes necessary. However upon arrival in Montreal, began to be very suspicious that something major was wrong. At a briefing in the Montreal hotel we were assured “all was going to plan and not to worry”. We were shown a video clip showing a ship crew member having “a wonderful time” but she didn’t disclose that the Fram wasn’t going anywhere near the North West Passage. Another passenger had seen comments on Facebook by travellers who were actually on board who said the ship was just sailing up and down at 8 knots and not proceeding to the planned itinerary but again we were assured by Hurtigruten representatives that all was well. Just get on board they were saying. Once on board of course we were trapped. Then a major change to the itinerary occurred and although we have been raising complaints ever since, ROL and Hurtigruten are stonewalling all the passengers who have joined together in a protest lobby group. I am absolutely sickened by the behaviour from these providers who I trusted with my hard earned cash who I thought were professional and knew what they were doing. It turns out Fram isn’t the type of “ice proof” ship I’d been lead to believe. Reading the brochure is a million miles away from what is provided. I see the same trip is being offered in the next brochure without any warnings of the ice conditions. Negligent and untruthful. Shame. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; sailing east-bound through the Northwest Passage to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. Unfortunately, instead, it turned out to be a huge disappointment as ice conditions prevented the ... Read More
This was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; sailing east-bound through the Northwest Passage to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. Unfortunately, instead, it turned out to be a huge disappointment as ice conditions prevented the Fram from its planned itinerary. While we were understandably disappointed at the NW PASSAGE cancellation due to the prevailing ice conditions,  it was the TOTAL failure on the part of Hurtigruten US to keep us informed prior to the voyage that we found unacceptable. Especially since it was  known to Hurtigruten that the passage had been blocked to shipping for the entire 2018 transit season.  Not only that, but the alternate sailing areas considered for us,  such as Lancaster Sound, Bellot Strait and Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay were also known to be ice-bound.  The Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Charlottetown was unable to enter Lancaster Sound on Sept 6, 2018, due to heavy ice conditions.  (See Nunatsiaq News dated Sept 7, 2018) In our case we checked cruisecritic’s FRAM roll call where there was a link to a Facebook posting by Hurtigruten, reporting the NW passage would not be passable due to ice conditions. That was the first indication we had that there was a problem - approximately 10 days before our departure for Montreal. We are not regular users of Facebook and it was only by chance we found this. We immediately phoned the Hurtigruten US office in Seattle and were told that there was an eblast being prepared for all the east bound pax that would be sent out “within minutes.” This email never arrived. The day before we were scheduled to fly to Montreal , we once again phoned Hurtigruten and the rep provided little additional info. When I expressed our frustration and disappointment with Hurtigruten's lack of customer service, we were told that it was the “Norwegian way” ! The failure to inform passengers many weeks ahead of the sailing that no transits of the NW passage had been possible at all this year was a big PR failure and disservice to those on this itinerary. In sum: Not once did we receive any information either by phone or via email from Hurtigruten US that we would not be going through the NW Passage. All the info we gathered was as a result of our own efforts. By contrast, we have nothing but praise for the ship’s crew. The expedition team made heroic efforts to make the alternate itinerary less of a disappointment. They were dealing with a significant number of angry passengers and were unfailingly diplomatic in their responses despite the harsh comments and a tense atmosphere.  The ship’s entire crew is a great credit to the company with their good spirits, excellent service and great attitude despite the long hours and heavy schedules they contend with. Their additional burden in dealing with many unhappy customers deserves our admiration and gratitude. In order for Hurtigruten to expand its marketing of expedition style itineraries, they will need to overhaul their currently ineffective communications program to improve customer relations; to include a fair compensation to passengers for the cost of a failed itinerary and for the total failure of keeping passengers informed in a timely manner giving them options as to whether to proceed with the voyage or not.   Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
What was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime booked 2 years in advance for a special occasion turned into a total disappointment and a waste of money. The purpose of the trip was to travel in the footsteps of the great explorers ... Read More
What was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime booked 2 years in advance for a special occasion turned into a total disappointment and a waste of money. The purpose of the trip was to travel in the footsteps of the great explorers visiting along the way all the historical sites associated with these early explorers, our trip was supposed to start in Cambridge Bay exiting Canada at Pond Inlet before ending in Greenland reversing the itinerary of the earlier westbound trip. 3 days before departure we were told Ice Conditions prevented the ship reaching Cambridge Bay and a new itinerary would be revealed in a briefing in Montreal before we flew to meet the ship. Despite the fact that it became obvious Hurtigruten were aware of the conditions a number of weeks before departure which resulted in this significant deviation to the itinerary they denied passengers the right to cancel or discuss any form of compensation until after the voyage was over. To cut a very long story short despite being assured we were going to the North West Passage we were flown to Pond Inlet, spent 3 days bobbing around this area before abandoning any pretext of attempting any of the NWP and headed for an extended out of season visit to Greenland hence the massive disappointment especially with the way Hurtigruten has dealt with this matter on board and since. On the positive side service staff as always were friendly, helpful and tried their best, although service levels were not at as high a level as my previous trip on Fram. I believe this was because Hurtigruten seem to have cut down on the numbers so the already overworked staff had even more to do. Whilst some passengers might have been satisfied, most given the cost of this trip were not. Hurtigruten have eventually offered some form of compensation, but for a significant number a passengers from around the globe this is not enough. Passengers accept that the journey could not be undertaken because of the Ice conditions, No ship was able to undertake the journey in 2018 and very few have done so in previous years without the help of Icebreakers, so it didn't matter which cruise line you chose this year as the NWP was inaccessible. The issue is not that the voyage could not be undertaken as disappointing as that was, but that Hurtigruten knowing the Ice Conditions a number of weeks before did not offer Cancellation, Compensation or any other alternative but to go on the trip and fight for compensation afterwards. If I was booked on one of the many sold out 2019/20 trips I would be worried and asking plenty of questions of whichever cruise line I have booked with. Finally if you are contemplating a trip like this to the more remote and less travelled areas of the globe, book in the knowledge you could very well be wasting your hard earned money as the trip like ours could be nothing like the original itinerary and turn into a big big disappointment. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We've travelled several times before on Fran and have always loved the ship, but we're less enamoured this time. First, the good. The crew are amazing. They work so hard and are so professional. Many do more than one job and ... Read More
We've travelled several times before on Fran and have always loved the ship, but we're less enamoured this time. First, the good. The crew are amazing. They work so hard and are so professional. Many do more than one job and work really long hours, but they are unfailingly cheerful and friendly, welcoming you back like a long lost friend. There were major problems in their cruise (documented elsewhere and not the topic of this review), but the expedition team did their best to give everyone the best experience given the conditions and lack of time/resources to organise landings. Next, the bad. The food. In the past we have rated the food highly. No longer. there was often little choice. Some was frankly inedible, such as the vegetarian set meal one evening . I had the fish alternative- cold and barely cooked. There was too much obvious recycling of food: the 'steam-roasted' ( even I know the difference in cooking!) vegetables a classic example. Steamed one night, heated up by being roasted the next then cold for salad the next. Decent fresh ingredients were just spoilt by being badly cooked. Apart from the bread and pastries - delicious as ever. Now the ugly. The penny-pinching. Little things such as: no tissues in bsthrooms, turning off the coffee machine after lunch, running out of hot chocolate .....to mention a few.. Hurtigruten cruises are not cheap and, quite frankly, we don't expect this level of penny- pinching. It just leaves a bad impression. Please remember that this is an expedition ship NOT a cruise ship.. There is no need to dress up in the evenings and don't expect evening entertainment, swimming pools, organised activities beyond the expedition landings etc. If this is what you want, then this is not the ship for you. Much as we have enjoyed Hurtigruten 's explorer voyages in the past, we will probably look elsewhere in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
As an experienced cruiser (Europe, South Asia, Middle East, South America, Antarctica, Galapagos Islands etc), my wife and I were thrilled to see advertised early in 2017 a cruise by Hurtigruten through the North West Passage of Canada ... Read More
As an experienced cruiser (Europe, South Asia, Middle East, South America, Antarctica, Galapagos Islands etc), my wife and I were thrilled to see advertised early in 2017 a cruise by Hurtigruten through the North West Passage of Canada finishing in Greenland. Having assessed our financial situation, we made our reservation for the trip, and then saved for the next 18 months or so to ensure that we had sufficient funds to pay the balance. On the evening of the second day in Montreal we, and all the passengers going to Cambridge Bay (the advertised departure point), were brought together by the Cruise Team and told that our departure point for the cruise wouldn’t be Cambridge Bay, but would be Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, as the North West Passage was blocked by ice. Some passengers stated straight away that without the North West Passage on the agenda, there was no interest in the cruise, and wanted to cancel the cruise before it had even started. We were all ‘fobbed off’ by the team saying that Hurtigruten would call each of the cruisers individually on our return to explain and discuss the matter, as some passengers were asking ‘on the spot’ for their money back. So the cruise went ahead and turned out to be wandering around northern Canada and off to Greenland earlier than expected - interesting but NOT what was booked. When we were back at home, we found that Hurtigruten knew three weeks before we sailed that Cambridge Bay was inaccessible due to the failure of the ice to disperse during the summer. The Cambridge Bay website announced on 24th August that FRAM had cancelled the visit. We are still awaiting a full refund of our costs. So far, Hurtigruten has offered a 60% refund - this is insufficient. The ship, cabin, dining and service were all as expected, but without the main purpose of going, it was a pointless cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overview The arctic archipelago "Svalbard" has always fascinated us. For this reason we have booked the trip with Hurtigruten. The tour operator attaches great importance to sustainability and environmental protection. This is ... Read More
Overview The arctic archipelago "Svalbard" has always fascinated us. For this reason we have booked the trip with Hurtigruten. The tour operator attaches great importance to sustainability and environmental protection. This is also reflected a little in the price - an Arctic trip is not cheap. The landscapes (geology, glaciology) are very impressive. The fact that in this harsh climate some life develops during the short summer months is fascinating. Lush green meadows, barren moonscapes, beautiful waterfalls and of course lots of snow and ice - that is Svalbard/Spitsbergen. We can recommend this trip because it is very relaxing (no internet for 9 days), but especially because it offers a good mixture of activities, lectures and observing the landscapes and wildlife. Wildlife If you go to this cruise to see polar bears or other wildlife, you'll probably will be lucky... Hurtigruten attaches great importance to sustainability and does not want to disturb the delicate habitat of the animals. Accordingly, everything can only be observed from a very great distance. Of course there are some lucky exceptions, but we have only been able to observe polar bears from a distance of at least 750 meters, for example. Unfortunately, the advertising gives the wrong impression here. With the right equipment you can counteract this a little. Embarkation/Disembarkation The whole process was ok. What was a problem in our opinion the time of disembarkation. We've arrived short after 0.05 o clock. We've waited 1 hour 20 minute to get from board to take the flight at 3.25 o clock. it was very pain and stressful to travel at this late hour. I would have payed 500 euro more to have an afternoon or early evening flight instead of the whole travel thing in the middle of the night... :-( Ship MS Spitsbergen was in 2016 completely renewed. The Ship provides following rooms: Explorer Lounge with Bar, Reception and Bord Shop, Restaurant (2 sittings - 18.00/20.00), Fitness, Jacuzzi, Sauna and on the top floor a large terrace area to observe the beautiful landscapes and animal life. Cabin The cabin was for its size generous and had everything you would expect on a ship. Dining The dining on the MS Spitsbergen was excellent. The Swiss Chef with his crew cooked on a very high level. You wouldn't expect that on a ship. Entertainment and Activities The Expedition-Team organized on each day an interesting program. Nevertheless they could have done different programs for all the different ages. The passengers ages vary from 25 to 90. So not all program points fitted for the young and vice versa. Service The Philippines on board were excellent. They are very friendly and good hosts. The Norwegian crew (Captain and his crew) were very professional, but in comparison to the Philippines rather inaccessible. Ports and Shore excursion On this trip (Spitsbergen/Svalbard) was only Port (Ny Alesund) accessible. All other stations were shore excursion by tender-boat. Some places were not so special, but what do you expect, when you're in the arctic :-) Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I thought I would see fjords and magnificent landscapes on board a ship with interesting things to do. What I got was endless rocks and low cliffs and certainly no fjords or anything interesting on the ship except really expensive a la ... Read More
I thought I would see fjords and magnificent landscapes on board a ship with interesting things to do. What I got was endless rocks and low cliffs and certainly no fjords or anything interesting on the ship except really expensive a la carte items and beverages and outlandishly expensive excursions, none of which I took. With only rare exceptions all the other passengers were old people traveling as couples or in big French groups. It wasn't too long before I realized I didn't belong. My table mates at dinner even told me I didn't belong there ( I boarded at a port later in the cruise than they). The food was good and most of the staff was friendly. But you know how it is on cruises...one always has the feeling that nothing is genuine. I honestly couldn't tell. The interesting ports were timed particularly badly such that on arrival most tourist sites( churches, museums) were closed...and in smaller ports, you literally get no more than 30-45 minutes. A terrific waste of money! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We've just spent 9 days on Hurtigrutens ms Spitsbergen on an expedition cruise circumnavigating Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Apart from the fact that expedition cruising is exciting, we were pleasantly surprised by the ship and its crew. ... Read More
We've just spent 9 days on Hurtigrutens ms Spitsbergen on an expedition cruise circumnavigating Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Apart from the fact that expedition cruising is exciting, we were pleasantly surprised by the ship and its crew. The arctic superior cabin 621 is light and big enough but lacks drawer space and has no couch nor desk. The window blind adequately blocked out the 24 hr summer daylight. The large bed has a soft matress and plenty cushions. Sleep was never a problem but that also might be caused by the long active days. The restaurant is buffet for breakfast and lunch, diner is somewhat depending on the expedition schedule, sometimes free seating buffet, sometimes first and second seating table service with a fixed 5 course meal. Being norwegian there is a lot of fish every day but no worries there is meat. Give dietary preferences the first diner and they will automaticaly adjust the 5 course meals! Snacks and coffee/thee in the bar from 15:00 to 17:00 hrs. There is no roomservice. The ships crew/lobby are very nice and polite. The expedition staff consist of about 8 persons, mixed nationality -danish, norwegian, english, french- and spoke good english/german. Lectures were simultaneously translated for the german group using remote radio and earpeaces although that sometimes malfunctioned. There is at least one landing per day, sometimes two. Due to weather and ice, one scheduled stop had to be changed to a zodiac ice cruise. That was also the only real bad weather day. The rest consisted of clear skies to cloudy days with no precipitation. Jackets are provided and are yours to keep. Boots provided as well for the duration and are very good but heavy. We had a wonderfull cruise . Note. There was one passenger in a wheelchair who was accomodated by private zodiac cruises in between landings! Very nice. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We paid a deposit at the time of booking. When it came time to pay the remainder, I hadn't heard anything from Hurtigruten. I contacted them to ask for an invoice saying how much we owed. They sent it but failed to mention that their ... Read More
We paid a deposit at the time of booking. When it came time to pay the remainder, I hadn't heard anything from Hurtigruten. I contacted them to ask for an invoice saying how much we owed. They sent it but failed to mention that their banking information had changed. Fortunately I caught it last minute otherwise some stranger would have received a lot of money. Food is only available at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are no snacks available in the evening. As a result, I would have to remember in the morning at breakfast to take some snacks back to the room to store in the fridge. If I forgot we went hungry. The delivery of lectures is poor. It was regularly difficult to hear in the back of the room, and it was impossible to see the screen unless you sat in the first few rows. A room with a graded floor would help avoid that problem. The door design to the outer deck 5 is absurd. It opens right into part of the ship giving about 10 inches of clearance to get through the door when coming back inside from the front of the boat. Apparently excursions booked at the time of booking are non refundable. This was never told to me in writing or in person when I booked the cruise over the phone. It was never written on any of the invoices from Hurtigruten. This made it very challenging during the cruise to cancel excursions, although before we left the boat we were assured that the paperwork for the cancellations was complete and that we would be receiving a refund. Our cruise finished Jun 30, and today it is July 17. After many back and forth emails, I have received a partial refund (although they insist the full refund was issued) and my husband has received nothing. It takes at least a week if not longer to hear back from them. Hurtigruten is by far the most unprofessional company I have ever had to deal with. I have no intentions of traveling with them again in the future. The cruise industry is competitive and I have many other options. Read Less
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the northern lights. We saw the northern lights but so much more. The scenery was spectacular, the weather was kind to us. The crew could not have been more helpful. they were efficient, polite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the northern lights. We saw the northern lights but so much more. The scenery was spectacular, the weather was kind to us. The crew could not have been more helpful. they were efficient, polite and friendly. They seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. In general the service was excellent. There was a good choice of activities on board but plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views. Some of the excursions were not quite as interesting as we were expecting, partly because of the short daylight hours which meant we were out and about in the dark. We learned lots about the history of Norway, some politics and lots about fish! Embarkation went smoothly but on the return journey the airport was chaos which was a shame. It was a jolt to the reality of air travel at its worst. We would definitely travel with Hurtigruten again. 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
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise