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Sail Date: September 2019
This was our first cruise. We wanted to see Norway without frenetic travelling. It suited a couple who like the quieter things in life. It didn’t fail to please. Lectures and points of interest calls made for an interesting trip ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We wanted to see Norway without frenetic travelling. It suited a couple who like the quieter things in life. It didn’t fail to please. Lectures and points of interest calls made for an interesting trip aboard a ship with helpful, friendly staff. Accommodation was in clean, adequate cabins and there was plenty of really delicious food. The itinerary was amazing. The Norwegian coast is truly beautiful. The northbound trip allowed daytime trips to Trondheim, Tromsø and the North Cape, while an extra day spent in Bergen allowed us to take in the sights there too. All longer stops can be enjoyed as excursions or as we did, using local sources or just a map! Hurtigruten operate a well-oiled machine. Clear information was forwarded prior to the trip. Transfers were included, including the optional extra day in Bergen. It allowed us to take a truly relaxing break. The polar outside cabin pretty well always faced shore, northbound, though in fjords, cabin side did not matter. The ship offered a fairly smooth trip. The highlights - late night sail into the Trollfjord, the breathtaking North Cape and a glimpse of the northern lights. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We booked this cruise to travel with friends who had never been to Norway. The first thing to be very aware of is that once you book, there are no cancellations allowed without losing your large deposit. No exceptions, even if it’s ... Read More
We booked this cruise to travel with friends who had never been to Norway. The first thing to be very aware of is that once you book, there are no cancellations allowed without losing your large deposit. No exceptions, even if it’s more than a year in advance. Also, before you book - be aware that the ship only stops once a day in a port long enough to actually get off the ship. And then it will be for only 2 or at the very most 3 hours. This only allows you to book Hurtigruten’s very expensive excursions; otherwise all you have time to do is walk around. This is NOT like a conventional cruise where you are in a port all day. There are too many passengers and not enough chairs in public spaces. Good luck on finding a place to sit, other than on the bed in your cabin. I would never travel on Hurtigruten again, based on my experience. It is not a good value, and I had a much more enjoyable cruise on a conventional cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this trip as an opportunity to see some Norwegian fjords and to go to North Cape. Starting in Bergen gave the opportunity to arrive by the Oslo Bergen train and leave with a rental car. Embarkation was easy. We had a cabin with ... Read More
We chose this trip as an opportunity to see some Norwegian fjords and to go to North Cape. Starting in Bergen gave the opportunity to arrive by the Oslo Bergen train and leave with a rental car. Embarkation was easy. We had a cabin with en-suite on deck 6, one of only three on our small section of the companionway so no outside noise. The cabins are compact but lots of room under the double bed for suitcases. We had a tea/coffee package which gave us a kettle, important as we always carry our own good quality coffee. Deck 5 has the larger windows but cabins on this level look on to the outside promenade deck with compromised privacy. Deck 4 is all services/restaurants Deck 3 lower priced cabins, Deck 2 all crew. Deck 7 is the inside viewing and outside sun deck. There is a bar on this level. There are 2 small gender specific saunas on deck 2, though in all the times we used them we were the only people in them, and a small fitness room on deck 7, similarly underused. We took a full meal package, on this length of trip I don’t think you can have anything else, but not the wine package which is overpriced for very average wines. Breakfast and lunch are free seating buffets. Dinner is allocated seating at either 6.00/6.30pm or 8.00/8.30pm with a set menu. You need to advise them if a vegetarian option is required. The breakfast and lunch buffets were diverse. Lots of fish, naturally, and excellent sweets at lunch time, the breakfasts more European in style (meats/cheeses) though wide cooked variety as well. Fish was often the main course at dinner, but different each night. Allocated seating means the same dinner companions each night, however as a significant number of people don’t sail the full round trip you get a change when yours are replaced by new arrivals. This trip makes 34 stops, some, in the small ports are very short, under an hour, and in the larger ports up to three. The boat picks up and drops off passengers at every port, and, depending on how far they are going may or may not take a cabin. This can be a problem in that as there only a finite number of seats on the viewing deck seats fill up quickly. The boats has a capacity of 591 passengers, many more than the seats available, some people try to reserve these with clothing but you can be firm with this. Hurtigruten advertise widely in Germany, our trip was at least 75% German, 20% English speakers and a very small number of other nationals. This means that on any trips off the ship there will be a German coach and an English coach, there is no need for a Norwegian coach as all Norwegians seem to speak excellent English. Trips vary from very short, a couple of hours or so, to all day trips were you disembark at one port and rejoin the ship at another; the costs rising accordingly. The trips we took, bird watching at Honningsvåg, breakfast at Nordkapp (you get to see an excellent Stave Church before reboarding at Hammerfest), the midnight concert in the Artic cathedral at Tromsø were all worthwhile but we felt than others would be far too short to appreciate what you were seeing, and involving too much coach travel. Of course at most stops there is an opportunity to walk around by yourself, but be aware that all ports are working ports and not photogenic fishing villages. This means there are containers and warehouses, fish processing plants not trendy bars where old salts can tell you tales of the sea. Because the ship is stopping so often, it meanders between islands, there is little open sea except around Nordkapp where the possibility of big swells from the Barents Sea can make life uncomfortable for some. Overall we thought this trip was well worth the cost as it gives an opportunity to reach out of the way places, though not as active as we would have liked. This was our first cruise on this size ship, our only other experience was to Antarctica on an icebreaker with an emphasis on kayaking. Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Service in restaurant: Could be poor. Twice I sat down by a window. The table was empty. I cleared the crumbs as there was no one around. Great views of the scenery and that is why I came on the cruise. I got told off b two ... Read More
Service in restaurant: Could be poor. Twice I sat down by a window. The table was empty. I cleared the crumbs as there was no one around. Great views of the scenery and that is why I came on the cruise. I got told off b two waiters that the table was not accessible because had not been cleared. This was not service to me. Cooked food did not look appetizing to me, not hot. I enjoyed the buffet. We went on the Birdsafari - brilliant, please promote. Provides work for outlying villages. However we were expected to have lunch at 10.30am!! Could we not have made (even if it was self service) a picnic for the boat? Unable to get coffee at self service until 10.am Jacuzzi - only one was available and working. I really enjoyed the experience. Water could be too hot, had to sit on the side to cool!! At times there were over five people in, therefore all rather cramped. Please mend the other Jacuzzi. Shower by jacuzzi also not working The expedition team very good and also the reception area. At Finnsnes I was able to attend a concert, piano played by Anna, aged 15. We only had 30 minutes, could not at this stop have 45 minutes. I like to encourage children playing instruments and also enjoyed talking to her. FINALLY: a sorry ending. Our flight to Gatwick was cancelled booked by you, no space on flights to Gatwick for three days. That night no hotel rooms available so had to sleep on the airport floor!! Outcome: Standby the next day - failed. We flew Thursday pm to Stockholm and yesterday (Friday) flew Stockholm-Gatwick. 36 hours late! However - I have enjoyed the holiday Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were travelling from Alesund to Bergen. It cost 337 Gbp for my girlfriend and I, so very expensive and our hopes were high. There was very little information before the trip, then no one to meet us at the terminal, everyone just had to ... Read More
We were travelling from Alesund to Bergen. It cost 337 Gbp for my girlfriend and I, so very expensive and our hopes were high. There was very little information before the trip, then no one to meet us at the terminal, everyone just had to work it our for themselves. The cabin was tiny, barely room for us and our bags once the beds were folded out. We couldn't move past each other. It was extremely loud during the night, and very difficult to sleep. It was also cold, with no obvious way to change the temperature or any information to help us with that. We wish we had just got the bus. That said, the breakfast was good with good selection of food and the staff were friendly on board. The staff were also quick to clear plates and tables during breakfast, while all food was regularly topped up if it ran out. The staff on check in were also friendly, and gave the easiest route to the room (although the information was slightly wrong so took us longer to find our room than expected. The scenery was nice, helped by the sunny weather near bergen. Disembarking was a free for all, and then we're held in long queues with no information. That was fine for us as 27 year olds, but there were a number of elderly passengers who were forced to stand and wait for a while with no help or information. As we were only on the ship for one night, we are unable to comment on lunch, dinner, entertainment, activities and excursions, as we didn't experience any of these things. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was all about seeing and experiencing Norway rather than the "cruising" experience of lots of onboard entertainment and restaurants etc.There was constant beautiful scenery as a ship of this size is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was all about seeing and experiencing Norway rather than the "cruising" experience of lots of onboard entertainment and restaurants etc.There was constant beautiful scenery as a ship of this size is able to sail quite close to shore and enter smaller fjords. The passengers were a mix of Scandinavians,British,Germans and few North Americans which added to the interest. The buffet food at breakfast and lunch was excellent quality and very wide range.Dinner was smaller and table service with very friendly and helpful staff. For us we liked the sauna,jacuzzis and small fitness room which were always always empty and available. Although there were 500 passengers there was no feeling of being crowded and always a quiet place to sit and look out. Deck 6 is open all the way round so you can do lots of walking here. All went smoothly and would love to do again. This ship gives a feel of being very modern and spacious. Very popular with over 70s and disabled guests.We were somewhat younger but very enjoyable for us too. You can find your own level:sit and relax reading or go to fitness room and walk round the decks-whatever suits! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I have just returned from the round trip on Finnmarken. Hurtigruten provides an excellent voyage and some stunning scenery. Much has been said about the trips so I will not add to the many reviews. BUT, Hurtigruten and probably other ... Read More
I have just returned from the round trip on Finnmarken. Hurtigruten provides an excellent voyage and some stunning scenery. Much has been said about the trips so I will not add to the many reviews. BUT, Hurtigruten and probably other cruise lines MUST deal with the problem of mobile phone usage. WE witnessed people taking calls on speakerphone and coupled with their loud voices this was a massive distraction. It is time to have quiet areas so that those who are thoughtless and rude do not spoil the trip for others. We witnessed arguments almost every day with people saying don’t talk on your phone. Trips -very varied and interesting. Well organised. Food -buffet -pretty good and a very wide range Restaurant on flloor 7 -VERY good. For this on board the upgrade cost is only NOK290 Hurtigruten - you do a great job but please address the matter of the phone nuisance Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I wanted to cruise the Norwegian coast and Hurtigruten provides a very safe experience. We were told if the weather is really bad, they ships wait it out until it's safe to proceed which is nice to hear after the Viking disaster. ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the Norwegian coast and Hurtigruten provides a very safe experience. We were told if the weather is really bad, they ships wait it out until it's safe to proceed which is nice to hear after the Viking disaster. The cabins are small but adequate. I travelled with a friend but we chose to have separate cabins. 12 days together in one small cabin would have been difficult. The pace of the cruise was perfect and there were plenty of opportunities to get off the ship to explore even when the stops were short. I wouldn't recommend this cruise with children and I wouldn't recommend it to younger people. There is no entertainment on board although the scenery is compelling. We found a game of Rummy on board and we played it a lot. I became an expert. The food is great and there is plenty of it. Great choices and the food is very fresh and healthy. I didn't bother to purchase internet. About half the places had wi fi available, but it became more limited the further north you go. Sit outside any hotel and you can usually pick up their wi fi. Read the reviews before you purchase excursions. They are expensive but some are worth it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
As a ferry Hurtigruten does an excellent job making on scheduled stops to ports up and down the Norway coast. However, as a cruise ship it disappoints. I booked an 11-day CRUISE on Hurtigruten Nordlys in April. However, it is not a ... Read More
As a ferry Hurtigruten does an excellent job making on scheduled stops to ports up and down the Norway coast. However, as a cruise ship it disappoints. I booked an 11-day CRUISE on Hurtigruten Nordlys in April. However, it is not a cruise ship, it is a FERRY that transports cargo, people (Norwegians) and their cars up and down the coast of Norway. Due to poor infrastructure road travel is not a choice, but airplane travel is lately becoming the preferred choice, both for people and cargo, necessitating Hurtigruten to fill its ships with cruise travelers. However, it is a ferry and operates as a ferry, stopping in many ports per day for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes each (commercial) port. There were four days where we never stopped long enough to get out, and only five ports total with stops of longer than three and a half hours. So, most of the time was spent on the ship gazing at the lovely island and seascape that after a while became the monotonous seascape. My fellow cruisers were mostly from Sweden, Denmark and Germany and while we were all upbeat, I could see the disappointment on their faces. A cruise ship would take a more scenic route and stop at charming ports for several hours. While on board, it would offer many activities and entertainment, as well as be an actual charming cruise ship and not a passenger/cargo vessel. While the price of a ferry ride and a cruise may be comparable (some less), the drink and offshore tours are exorbitant. A single shot of scotch served on the rocks is 99K ($11.32), glass of prosecco 109K ($12.47). A 2-1/2 hour bus tour to see the Norway/Russian border at Kirkenes 1170K ($133.81). Ferry boat prices!!! These prices are far less on a cruise ship. Food was good, freshest and tastiest fish you could ever eat, buffet for breakfast and lunch and dinner was a set meal, although we were given local food with history and information to go with it, a pleasant experience. The crew was friendly and professional, the ship was clean, but that did not stop a norovirus outbreak on day six. I am glad had the ferry experience, however, 11 days was overkill. Four days would have sufficed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The MS Lofoten is definitely not your normal cruise ship and very much all the better for it in my view. It is probably the only ship on the seas running year round for those who would not want to be on or seen on a cruise ship and is ... Read More
The MS Lofoten is definitely not your normal cruise ship and very much all the better for it in my view. It is probably the only ship on the seas running year round for those who would not want to be on or seen on a cruise ship and is probably unsuitable for those who want all the conveniences on a modern cruise liner. It cannot carry passengers with mobility issues as there no lifts and a rudimentary metal loading ramp at each port to get on/off the ship. There are no fitness centres, jacuzzis, pools etc The cabins reflect a bygone era so are basic and small but they are perfectly suitable for this voyage where you really are there to spend as much time as possible on deck viewing the scenery. Showers and toilets are generally shared facilities so you must be happy to accept that and wander the corridors in towels or nightgowns. in the lounges at night you will find the day travellers, mainly locals, travelling between centres, sleeping on the couches. This is a true working ship serving a function for the locals as well as tourists on a trip. The ship does not have stabilisers due to its age and it is small, around 2,650 tonnes, so on the open sea crossings it moves a lot in both roll and pitch so if you are prone to seasickness it is likely these parts of the voyage will see you in your cabin unwell. For those without such problems it is all part of the experience of being on such a wonderful old ship. The chairs in the lounges and dining area are chained down to ensure they do not send you flying. The brass and wood panelling echo the classic nature of this ship. The low number of cabin passengers means everyone gets to know one another within a day or so and with the intimate lounges and bar there is a wonderful atmosphere. The crew is also small and get to know everyone and their likes and dislikes. They absolutely love the ship and that is very apparent in their attitude. This ship does not carry cars unlike the other Hurtigruten ships and cargo is loaded by a ship to shore crane from a hold at the front. I doubt there is another regular passenger ship in Europe that still operates this way. Finally, you will find numerous passengers are repeat customers who will only sail on this ship in the fleet and who have been on it tens of time. You are likely to get hooked in it as well. BEWARE. Due to its lack of disability facilities it will not run on this route after 2020. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
In wanting to see the Northern Light, we opted to take Hurtigruten's guarantee of their experience, vs going to Iceland. When we booked this cruise we were unaware that the ship serves as a cargo & ferry ship. It stops at ... Read More
In wanting to see the Northern Light, we opted to take Hurtigruten's guarantee of their experience, vs going to Iceland. When we booked this cruise we were unaware that the ship serves as a cargo & ferry ship. It stops at countless ports. This isn't your topical cruise. There is no casino (we don't gamble, so okay for us) or entertainment, nor is there food available without purchasing it (VERY EXPENSIVE), other than the included breakfast, lunch & dinner. Yet with that said, we have no regrets having taken this trip. Things we disliked: 1. Too short of time in ports to enjoy excursions (too rushed). 2. Last minute notices on activities or lectures. 3. They discourage you from tipping individually. (Though tipping is not really customary) Things we liked: 1. Small ship, so not that many people on board. 2. Because there wasn't entertainment, it was relaxing (not noisy of music or people). 3. The dining service was outstanding. Every server was pleasant, efficient and friendly. 4. The entire cruise was scenic as we travelled through the fjords. Norway has the most beautiful coastline (yes, prettier than Alaska). 5. We saw the Northern Lights as promised ---the MOST SPECTACULAR experience!!! (Personally, I don't believe anything can top that experience in our future vacations). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was amazing. We signed up for the "Astronomy Cruise," which featured British astronomer Professor John Mason. He was an incredible teacher and loved by all! It was a subgroup of about 80 of us. We gathered daily for ... Read More
This cruise was amazing. We signed up for the "Astronomy Cruise," which featured British astronomer Professor John Mason. He was an incredible teacher and loved by all! It was a subgroup of about 80 of us. We gathered daily for lectures on the Northern Lights in particular and astronomy in general. He is a captivating lecturer! The group developed a lovely connection and we spent many hours on the top deck Aurora hunting. After a disappointing 7 nights of clouds and snow we were rewarded with 2 nights of magnificent displays which fully satisfied any bucket-list cravings! Beyond incredible! We also did many of the excursions and they were better than we expected: Favorites were the Husky dog sledding in Kirkenes, the Sea Eagle safari, the 2 fishing villages with an incredible art gallery at the end of the world, the Midnight concert and the Viking dinner. We also did the Vesteralen excursion, and a few hikes which were nice. We thought 12 days might feel like too much but the time flew by, and since we had a suite, just sitting in our huge bay window watching Norway go by was an eternal delight. We stayed in suite (room 823) which was HEAVEN!! If you can splurge on a suite it's worth it! The rooms are tiny! All the suites look great. I was disappointed we did not get one with a balcony but it would've been too chilly to use it much anyway. The food was great -- tons of options. If you have food requirements you need to be persistent and remind them repeatedly, but they are eager to please. We universally loved all the staff we encountered. (Reports of rudeness in other reviews are a mystery to me.) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, ... Read More
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, with an expert lecturer on the Northern Lights and other night sky phenomena (Dr John Mason), and with other interesting talks, information points and excursions handled by the two-woman Expedition Team. The ship was obviously comfortable and well-appointed, but wasn't a great block of flats on a hull, like many modern cruise vessels, and it combined very good facilities for passengers with an element of working ship, delivering cargo at a lot of ports (34) along the way. Our cabin was small, but very comfortable and well-designed: it became a home from home! The organisation of the cruise from start to finish was absolutely faultless: e.g. embarking and disembarkation - including management of our luggage - were handled with the utmost efficiency and with no needless hanging around for passengers. Throughout the voyage, we were kept informed of what was happening through clear - and audible! - announcements. Two minor problems with cabin equipment were immediately remedied. Excursions were handled with the utmost efficiency by the Expedition Team and those ashore, making everything worry-free and enjoyable. The food was plentiful and tasty, without the ridiculous waste and excess which one gathers are the norm on some cruises. Breakfasts involved a good range of items, though the quality of a couple of them (eg scrambled eggs and porridge) could be a bit variable. The lunch buffets had an element of Norwegian comfort food about them, which we found agreeable. Evening meals involved a set 3-course menu, which some might find restrictive, but most of the dishes served were excellent with a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Prices for drinks were high, especially for those with weakening sterling bank accounts! The scenery was simply breathtaking, with constantly changing vistas of snowy peaks coming down to the sea and of islands, many with small and picturesque settlements on them: it will live in our memories for ever. The experience of the late winter Norwegian coast, including settlements in the Arctic Circle, was simply magical. And we saw the lovely Northern Lights - with one amazing moment when the night sky filled with a burst of extraordinary light. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had always wanted to travel on the Hurtigruten, and so we booked with the Richard With because it had recently undergone a re-fit. Getting to the ship was so simple. We left from Cardiff airport to Bergen where the coaches we ... Read More
We had always wanted to travel on the Hurtigruten, and so we booked with the Richard With because it had recently undergone a re-fit. Getting to the ship was so simple. We left from Cardiff airport to Bergen where the coaches we waiting to take us to the ship. Unfortunately there were only two people on reception when we arrived at check-in and so we had a long time standing in queue before we could board. The cabins on the Richard With are compact to say the least and can be very noisy during the night as the ship calls at lots of ports during the nights. When it comes to dining, both breakfast and lunch are buffet style with plenty of choice, and dinner is served to you on most nights. Be prepared, if you don't like fish you may find you have little choice. If you usually travel on a larger cruise ship you may be disappointed because there is no entertainment, with just the expedition team giving a daily talk on the weather and what to expect tomorrow. There are many varied excursions on offer which, although quite expensive, take you to many places that you wouldn't visit on a 'normal' cruise. We had pre-booked our excursions which meant everything was paid for before the trip. However, one of our excursions was cancelled due to bad weather and so the ship gave us a letter to take to our travel agent to receive a refund for this trip. There were three of us on the trip, each paying £149 for this particular excursion. It is now over three weeks since we returned from holiday and, despite chasing our agent for the refund, they keep telling us that they are waiting for the ship to refund them before they can refund us. Has anyone else had this problem? What do we do to get our money back? Overall we enjoyed our holiday on the Hurtigruten, but trying to get our money back has left a bad taste in the mouth. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Hurtigruten Classic Round Voyage with the Northern Lights Promise, 24 March to 4 April 2019 on the ship Polarlys. Did we see the northern lights? That is a good question! Although we had some good daytime weather, the sky was ... Read More
The Hurtigruten Classic Round Voyage with the Northern Lights Promise, 24 March to 4 April 2019 on the ship Polarlys. Did we see the northern lights? That is a good question! Although we had some good daytime weather, the sky was cloudy for the first nine nights. Since Hurtigruten promise that we will see the lights, I predicted to my wife that on the tenth night (2 April), when the forecast was for partly clear skies but we were already well south, we would see something inconclusive and Hurtigruten would claim that we’d seen them. This is exactly what happened. At about 11 pm the public address system announced weak lights. We went up on deck and at first saw nothing. Eventually we decided that a very dim static grey glow above a big bank of cloud must be what they were talking about. Hurtigruten’s “promise” actually says “100%. That’s how sure we are that the spectacular Northern Lights will make an appearance on your 12-day Hurtigruten voyage. If not, we'll give you another voyage for free”; this under a beautiful photograph of green lights. Accordingly, the next morning, since what we saw had been pathetic rather than “spectacular”, we enquired how to go about claiming our free voyage. They said: “No deal, the Captain says you’ve seen the lights”. The Captain refused to see us and no evidence such as a photograph was offered. But we spoke to others of the crew. They were all evasive and one was very rude. Up to this point we’d been quite happy with Hurtigruten over two trips (the other being a very good summer trip in 2014), but this behaviour, betraying a deep dishonesty pervading the company, really upset us. Initially we intended to complain higher up the company. But eventually we decided that we just couldn’t face the hassle. Life is too short and Hurtigruten have clearly briefed their staff thoroughly in their dishonest response. In any case we might well not have taken up the “free” voyage. The small print is very restrictive: only half the round trip (i.e. just 5 or 6 days), make and fund your own travel arrangements to and from the ports one of which will be Kirkenes in the far north, inside cabin, half board, book it within a month of returning, etc. It was not all a disaster and we enjoyed parts of the trip. We saw some fantastic scenery after new snow and enjoyed the food. Being near the equinox, there were around 13 hours of good daylight. But there were other hiccups beyond Hurtigruten’s control. At the start, the ship couldn’t get down to Bergen because of bad weather; so, having flown into Bergen, we had to fly on to Trondheim the same day, not arriving at the boat till well after midnight. The one excursion that we had booked, to the Northcape, was cancelled because of wind and snow. And I felt seasick a couple of times, not seriously but queasy enough to miss several meals! Friends who did the trip a couple of weeks before us also only saw vague white lights. On the other hand, the internet has many accounts of people who had a great time. So, in conclusion, it’s much more of a risk than Hurtigruten claim that you won’t see anything convincing, and don’t believe their dishonest promise that you’ll get a free trip. But you could well get lucky. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have done a lot of cruises. We were aware that the Nordkapp is a working vessel and that it was going to be a lot less comfortable than a lot of other ships that is why we booked a attic superior cabin. When we arrived at the check in ... Read More
We have done a lot of cruises. We were aware that the Nordkapp is a working vessel and that it was going to be a lot less comfortable than a lot of other ships that is why we booked a attic superior cabin. When we arrived at the check in we had been downgraded to a polar outside. Because I am claustrophobic I jumped up and down to at least get a window. The cabin was the size of a railway compartment and the beds had to be folded into the walls so that we could get around the cabin during the day. Not good on a 12 days journey. The food was very ordinary. No choice for dinner. Only one option or vegetarian. Caters very much for European taste. Dried fish pickled vegetables etc. was sick twice in 12 days. The stops on the itinerary looked interesting but a lot o stops were only for 15 to 20 mins so could not get off. You have to pay for Tea and coffee other than meal times also for water and it is about $7 Aussie for each. The tours for a couple of hours range from $250 to $400 each and over for longer duration. We felt very ripped off and would suggest you look long and hard into this shipping line before choosing them. We did see the Northern Lights briefly and that is a plus. Also the scenery is magnificent and we did encounter VERY rough seas good luck fellow adventurer. Bev from Australia Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday, to put behind us a challenging year, and to learn about a country and locality that we wouldn't normally see. The first thing to say is that if you like cruising with all the associated ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday, to put behind us a challenging year, and to learn about a country and locality that we wouldn't normally see. The first thing to say is that if you like cruising with all the associated comforts and amenities of cruising, don't choose the Hurtigruten Atlantic Fiords trip. The business of Hurtigruten is to supply all of the large and small coastal communities between Bergen in the south of Norway and Kirkenes in the north with life's essentials and to enable Norwegians to move up and down the coast. The Kong Harald is a 'ferry with benefits' and up to 400 passengers that have subsidised the service for many years; there were from the UK, Germany, France, Australia and North America. That said the crew, food, and organisation of shore side activities were very good. What's more Mother Nature may let you see Aurora Borealis but be prepared for disappointment - take a good camera! We travelled on the round trip between 7 and 18 March. Our cabin was on the 6th deck and had a double bed, 'bijou' shower, toilet, wash room, coffee facilities and TV. We saw some of the other cabins on lower decks and were please we paid for up grade. It had the additional advantage that we weren't disturbed by the overnight docking and freight handling which can occur up to four times: some passengers on the lower decks said it could be noisy. Food was good especially the fish and self service for breakfast and lunch. If you have deep pockets there was a good selection of wine at £40-50/bottle and £10 for a half pint (Norway is notoriously expensive). We were very lucky with the weather. It was brilliant with clear skies, calm seas and snow capped landscape - but it was COLD and there was always a breeze so the outside temperature was much lower than the air temperature. We raided Trespass and Mountain Warehouse who were very helpful with what is meant by layering up - and we were glad of their advice. There was no 'entertainment' such as may be expected on a cruise but there were daily briefings about next day excursions. We had pre-booked six that would give an insight into the communities and ways of life of the residents but if you are into snow trekking and off-piste activities there were options but remember, the whole of the ships life is governed by its departure time from port. Would we repeat the journey in either winter or summer (more expensive)? The answer is no. For us there were too many passengers and it was difficult to get away without spending more time in our cabin. The scenery is spectacular in Winter and Summer if that is your thing. Norway is an interesting country with a total population half that of London. It has large oil & gas reserves that it sells and invests the income. The primary business of the coastal communities is fishing and processing, shipping and tourism. Look out for the spectacular bridges and some of the longest road tunnels in the world. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We went to try and see the northern lights which luckily for us did make an appearance on at least 2 nights of our trip. Embarkation and disembarking work really well especially embarkation. The expedition team on board were fantastic. ... Read More
We went to try and see the northern lights which luckily for us did make an appearance on at least 2 nights of our trip. Embarkation and disembarking work really well especially embarkation. The expedition team on board were fantastic. Bjørn, Robin and Caterina worked well together and Caterina is very knowledgeable, the Norwegian way times were informative interesting and amusing with Bjørn and Robin having laugh with the passengers. The food in the dining room is outstanding. Very impressed with the level and quality of the food served. The service in the restaurant with drinks could be improved. We found it hard to even get water on a few occasions as at lunch and dinner drinks are brought to you and not available for self serving. Most of the excursions we did were nice. The Vesteralaen tour was the outstanding tour for us. Fantastic scenery, although the scenery throughout the cruise is great. If you miss one scenic view in just a minute or two another fantastic scenery sight comes into view. You could take photos all day long if you wanted to and I’m sure some probably did. I would not hesitate to go again given the chance in a different season although I would thoroughly recommend going at the time of year we went. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This Cruise has been on our "Bucket List" for the past ten years. Earlier this month we eventually boarded the Hurtigruten, Finnmarken and was pleasantly surprised. Being under the impression that this is a ... Read More
This Cruise has been on our "Bucket List" for the past ten years. Earlier this month we eventually boarded the Hurtigruten, Finnmarken and was pleasantly surprised. Being under the impression that this is a "working" ship, we found the amenities being similar and equal to that of other "Commercial/Passenger Liners. Calling at most of the small towns on the Coast Line, makes this a wonderful experience, however the "time spent" at some of there ports do not allow Passengers to get off. The food and selection thereof was great as well as the "Norwegian 3 Course Dinners". The Dog Sledding and Snow Mobile Excursions is a must, as this was a thrilling experience. If your budget allows it, book a Cabin with a balcony, as we could view the "Northern Lights" from our balcony as appose to going to the outside decks. The only letdown is the fact that you have to pay for coffee and tea, which other Passenger Lines offers this free. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
To see the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. We were not disappointed! On our third night, we received notification that the lights were visible. We threw on the warm clothing and rushed outside, only to be greeted by Nature's ... Read More
To see the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. We were not disappointed! On our third night, we received notification that the lights were visible. We threw on the warm clothing and rushed outside, only to be greeted by Nature's miracle. As we sailed up the coast of Norway, we were treated to this phenomenon every night! We were also treated to many marvelous fjords along Norway's coast. This cruise is definitely not for those who are looking for the amenities offered by the large cruise lines; entertainment, pool, cuisine, etc. But don't get me wrong, the smaller ship and friendly staff of the Finnmarken were in fact superior than some of the other many cruises we have been on. This was a once in a lifetime experience for us. We would definitely recommend the Hurtigruten round trip Bergen to Bergen trip to anyone! Thank you Hurtigruten, for the fabulous memory! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Everything was perfect... The staff was really nice, the food is so good (eat king crab !), the trip (south to north) was perfect and so beautiful (even if there was lot of cloud and didn’t see northern light..), they keep some tradition ... Read More
Everything was perfect... The staff was really nice, the food is so good (eat king crab !), the trip (south to north) was perfect and so beautiful (even if there was lot of cloud and didn’t see northern light..), they keep some tradition and this is so important and so nice. The excursions was perfect with a good organisation. I did the nordkapp and sled dog at kirkenes. It was so funny and perfect ! The ship is a beautiful and authentic old boat. He is small so this is more friendly. Be careful if you have seasick ! My cabine was a little one but just perfect for one person. Every day we can choose if we want clean up or not. For this room, I share toilet and bathroom but it was always clean. Not a problem. One word for the staff, especially for bar and kitchen staff : thank you. You were so perfect and so nice. Takk for your smile !!! Thank you very much MS Lofoten ! Never forget this trip ! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My husband and I went to Iceland years ago but didn't see the lights so decided to take this cruise. Having seen some negative comments we were somewhat concerned but our travel agent convinced us that the company was good. The whole ... Read More
My husband and I went to Iceland years ago but didn't see the lights so decided to take this cruise. Having seen some negative comments we were somewhat concerned but our travel agent convinced us that the company was good. The whole trip was outstanding. Yes we saw the lights which I had been wanting to see since I was 10 and said I would die happy if I did see them BUT everything went like clockwork! We did lots of excursions including dog sledding, snow mobiling and horse riding which gave me my confidence back after a few falls. The scenery was breath taking, cabin was clean, warm and beds comfortable. My husband who normally sleepwalks slept like a baby with all the sea air. Excellent and fresh food was always on offer and so much choice and very polite and friendly staff which we couldn't fault at all. The expedition team worked so hard all the time to make sure everyone was happy and all the transfers and trips left on time. It was the absolute trip of a lifetime and blessed with four evenings of northern lights entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I am the third passenger of cabin 618. At first I wanted to watch the Northern Lights but I wasn't that keen on travelling by boat(!) . Nevertheless I have to admit that I will never regret my choice. Everybody on board was nice ... Read More
I am the third passenger of cabin 618. At first I wanted to watch the Northern Lights but I wasn't that keen on travelling by boat(!) . Nevertheless I have to admit that I will never regret my choice. Everybody on board was nice and welcoming and helpful. The boat was clean and comfortable. The food was delicious and abundant and the waitresses and waitors always ready to help us. There were a lot of different excursions to please anybody, the entertainment and the activities on board were diverse and good as well. There was no fly in the ointment since the weather was sunny all over the journey except on the first day and the last day! I personnally had a problem when I set foot on board and the captain and the clercs at the reception did all their best to help me and I thank them for their compassion and their effective help to find me a solution which would suit me( and my dream!) I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights and I'm glad I had been able to make my dream come true. For sure I will recommend this cruise ( I've already started doing it!) To finish I'd like to add a few words about our French guide Anne Guillaud . She happened to be very competent and effective and humane. She answered all our questions and she gave us very instructive lectures every day and she also helped me personnally beautifully when I needed it. She IS an experienced guide who knows Norway, its cullture and its history . Thank you for reading me .M.B Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more ... Read More
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more personal and friendly atmosphere aboard the ship. There is no traditional entertainment, however the lectures and gatherings are brilliant, entertaining and informative. The ship is also a working ship calling at 34 ports, sometimes at night which can lead to some noise as cargo, cars and passengers may be embarked/ disembarked. Our cabin was on deck 5 on the starboard (right hand) side, which was ideal as all loading/ unloading was on the port (left) side so any noise did not disturb us. The ship had a well fitted exercise room, which we used, male and female saunas, and outdoor hot tubs. The restaurant was superb, with excellent choice of breakfast and lunch buffet and set, mainly traditional meals for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are sit anywhere whilst dinner is set times and tables. There were 6 sittings for dinner ranging from 6pm to 8.30pm, I would advise that you request early or late dinning when making a booking. However we were allocated an 8pm sitting which was far too late for my digestion but when asked for a change we were reallocated a 6.30pm slot sharing a table of 6 with charming company. We did get to see the northern lights on 3 nights although this is obviously dependant on climatic conditions. The excursions off ship that we did were great and well worth what on the face of it looks to be a lot of money. The pick was getting off the ship in the dark early evening and snowmobiling over the mountains, stopping to possibly seeing the northern lights and then continuing to pick up the ship in the next port. Alcoholic drinks on board are very expensive, however at most ports where you could get off the ship for a few hours there were bars or supermarkets where alcoholic drinks could be obtained. Although supposedly not permitted we had no problems taking some on board. In Norway you are allowed 1 litre of spirits and 3 litres of wine duty free, and as you pass through the duty free shops at the airport on the way in you can pick up some supplies to get you started. Overall a brilliant trip which was more an adventure than a holiday, with lots of downtime to relax and chill out and admire the passing scenery from the observation lounge. We are going back in the summer to see how it all looks in the midnight sun Read Less
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