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11 Hurtigruten Europe Cruise Reviews

We mainly went to see the Northern Lights. We saw them on a number of occasions, which was great, but they were slightly underwhelming. They were mainly white light / only showing green on very slow exposure photographs. The ship was ... Read More
We mainly went to see the Northern Lights. We saw them on a number of occasions, which was great, but they were slightly underwhelming. They were mainly white light / only showing green on very slow exposure photographs. The ship was comfortable, the crew and food were excellent. Drinks were expensive. £15 for a glass of wine, £10 for less than a pint of beer. The excursion in Tromsø was amazing, packed a lot in and was great value for money, but on a lovely lakeside walk in Hammerfest we were charged 379 kronor / £33 each for a tiny cardboard cup of tea and a small piece of dried reindeer meat. The food was excellent but we would have appreciated a choice on the evenings when it was not a buffet dinner. The dining staff were very friendly and helpful, as were the expedition staff. I thoroughly enjoyed all the ‘Get to know Norway’ talks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I traveled with Hurtigruten on the Midnotsol to Antarctica. It was such a wonderful experience, I couldn't wait to travel with them again. This time to the Arctic. I booked this trip 18 months in advance. It took 3 days of travel to ... Read More
I traveled with Hurtigruten on the Midnotsol to Antarctica. It was such a wonderful experience, I couldn't wait to travel with them again. This time to the Arctic. I booked this trip 18 months in advance. It took 3 days of travel to reach the ship and the trip cost more than my first house but it didn't matter. I wanted to go to the Arctic and have a chance to see the Eastern Greenland National Park--the least visited national park in the world. Imagine my disappointment when, after only one stop in the park, the Captain informed us that because Hurtigruten did not arrange for a pilot to be on board, we would not be able to make any additional landings in the park and would instead spend 2 full days at sea to arrive at the nearest point a pilot could be acquired. We were able to see polar bears--that was a plus--but saw no walruses, very few seals, no puffins, and some whales but when a pod of narwhals appeared off the bow one morning, no announcement was made so I missed them. The dining room was another disappointment. The food selection was VERY limited and nothing was ever hot. During our first lunch on board, no wait staff ever checked on our table. We were totally on our own while three staff hovered around one person at another table. My companion was so upset by this that she asked to speak to the manager. When she expressed our displeasure, the manager apologized and offered a beverage although we were already through with our meal. After that, we had obviously been identified as trouble-makers and were assigned to a very charming waiter who helped to make the service for the rest of our trip delightful. I have traveled with a lot of companies to nearly 100 countries, but to say I feel totally cheated by this trip is putting it VERY mildly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This second trip we've made with the Hurtigruten was perfect. The combined destination Iceland and Greenland was great. The ship and his complete crew, from Bridge to cleaning and "Tender crew" where great and very ... Read More
This second trip we've made with the Hurtigruten was perfect. The combined destination Iceland and Greenland was great. The ship and his complete crew, from Bridge to cleaning and "Tender crew" where great and very professional! The fellow passengers from all over the world; German, Northern Europeans and South Europeans, Chinese and Japanese, matched perfectly. No irritations or wash so ever noticed. The choice of landings on this expedition voyage where well chosen and the tender boats also. The Expedition Team of the Fram was great with high professional attitude and knowledge. The given lectures where for everybody a change to learn more in dept about the North Atlantic/Artic environment. The weather, normally unsure at these destinations was superb. This trip was a life time experience and the following trip will be done with this company. No gala diners or Black Tie, this is a perfect match for cruising without all the gizmos and "bling bling" some people are expecting or want! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Formidable crew and itinary, so beautiful things seen in a week. We appreciated especially the diversity of different harbours visited. The fact of using tender boats in certain harbours was an appreciated experience. The first stop was ... Read More
Formidable crew and itinary, so beautiful things seen in a week. We appreciated especially the diversity of different harbours visited. The fact of using tender boats in certain harbours was an appreciated experience. The first stop was in Heligoland and it enabled us to see from less than a meter some sea birds such like Gannets (Fous de Bassan) it was it was incredible. We also appreciated the values of Hurtigruten as a company : it puts security and Nature at the center of everything and we felt quite involved. The fact of giving some red vests and reusable bottles at the beginning of the cruise was also a very good surprise and we will keep them as a useful souvenir. Only point on our side is the price of proposed excursion, but visiting cities by ourselves was allready quite fine. It was the first cruise for us but for sure not the last with Hurtigruten Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
They focus on nature and making a difference. I don't like cities on water. I don't like nightclubs and casinos. I like focus on nature, stillness, away from the city. Of the beaten track. Hurtigruten offers this. I like to leave ... Read More
They focus on nature and making a difference. I don't like cities on water. I don't like nightclubs and casinos. I like focus on nature, stillness, away from the city. Of the beaten track. Hurtigruten offers this. I like to leave a small carbon footprint when travelling. I enjoy travelling with older people or retired people. They make for better conversation. The group on this trip was smaller and it made the ship less crowded. The shore activities were great but quite costly. Dining was good with a good buffet and menu in the evenings. The ship does not include wifi and I did not know this beforehand. It cost NOK 1600 for wifi throughout the cruise. It was an unforeseen cost. There should be more clarity on that . I also prefer an all inclusive full board which should include tips etc. No surprises. I loved the entertainment. It was heartfelt and interesting Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I invited my whole family to this cruise. We where 16 persons all together including six grandchildren. We are very satisfied with the boat and the arrangement . However since 7 of us came from Gothenburg we had to arrange air ... Read More
I invited my whole family to this cruise. We where 16 persons all together including six grandchildren. We are very satisfied with the boat and the arrangement . However since 7 of us came from Gothenburg we had to arrange air transportation to Oslo. This could not be arranged by Bengt-Martin in Sweden. On our last day on board we found out that it should be difficult to have time to catch the last flight to Gothenburg. Therefore we needed to change the flight from Bergen to Oslo and get earlier flight. This turned out to be a very difficult thing since the person in the reception did not want to help. After long discussion at last in any case we could rebook our flight tickets. Since this was a bad exception we must say that all other persons where very helpful. We where all very impressed by the fantastic food served on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Last September, my wife and I boarded the MS Nordnorge for a “Voyage of Discovery” (Bergen-Kirkenes-Trondheim). This was our second Coastal Voyage, and the third time we have traveled with Hurtigruten. In those previous opportunities, ... Read More
Last September, my wife and I boarded the MS Nordnorge for a “Voyage of Discovery” (Bergen-Kirkenes-Trondheim). This was our second Coastal Voyage, and the third time we have traveled with Hurtigruten. In those previous opportunities, we have been onboard the MS Trollfjord (2008) and on the MS Fram (2010). We enjoyed the whole journey very much. The coastal views of Norway are fantastically and hauntingly beautiful. We liked it so much we intend to do it again. However, we noticed some details that were somewhat bothersome. My intention on writing this review is to provide advance information and some advice to any future Hurtigruten travelers. Although not strictly related to the trip itself, I would like to start saying that the sales and customer attention services in the US are “uneven”. Some of the representatives are knowledgeable, others are much less so. I remember an instance when I asked some details about the itinerary and it turned out that I was better informed than the person at the other end of the line. Some of my observations are in comparison to other ships and journeys with Hurtigruten. Nevertheless I have tried to be objective in all my comments. The Nordnorge is a nice ship, built in 1997, and by now it is perhaps showing some of its age. During the journey we noticed that some repairs were being done, and I also noticed several rust spots on the hull. None of these seem to be detrimental in any case. However, in our cabin it was obvious that the handles on doors and faucet in the bathroom clearly needed repair or replacement. We noticed very little of this kind of problems in the newer ships we have been on. The itinerary of or journey on the Nordnorge was very much the same as we remember on the Trollfjord back in 2008. However, the safety briefing (by video) on the Nordnorge, was better and more comprehensive. Also, on the first night, we now had an introductory lecture by a crew member that explained a lot of details regarding the rules onboard, excursions, possible events, hygiene precautions, etc. All very useful and important information. At this point is perhaps convenient to mention something about the diversity of nationalities to expect on these coastal Voyages. In all three of our journeys we have seen a predominance of European travelers, mostly from Germany, England, France, and on this last journey, from Finland. There were relatively few people from the US and essentially none or very few from southern Europe and Asia. The ships’ PA announcements were always in Norwegian, English, German and French. In comparison to our first voyage, this time there was a significant number of travelers disembarking and embarking in Kirkenes. Also, we noticed that many, like us, ended the journey in Trondheim on the southbound leg of the trip. The Nordnorge has an all European crew, mostly from Northern Europe. This is different from the Fram which has a Philippine one. Inevitably, the “ambience” in the Fram is different, and that also translates to the cuisine served onboard. I remembered feeling somewhat odd while eating Philippine food and touring the Norwegian fjords in a Norwegian vessel. About the food and related services I must say that the Nordnorge did not completely satisfy us. We remember it was better on the Trollfjord. As in all Hurtigruten journeys, breakfast and lunch are buffet-style with open seating, dinner on the other hand is by assigned seating and at two serving periods, usually 6:30 pm and 8:30pm. On the Nordnorge the food served at dinner was often late and already cold, the serving portions were also rather small at times. We heard several travelers making comments about that, something like, “Is this all”?. At lunch and breakfast, the food was of good quality, but there was little variation from day to day. On the coastal voyages, you are required to pay for drinking water at meal times. This peculiar rule of Hurtigruten bothers some people, but in our case we did not mind it, we took the so called “Water Plan” and we enjoyed the option of having sparkling water during our meals. We know there are also Coffee plans and Wine plans as well, but they are rather expensive. Nevertheless we saw many fellow passengers enjoying coffee at all hours, and wine at lunch or dinner. A wine bottle could easily cost 40-50 dollars or more. I must add that coffee at breakfast time is available at no extra charge. Coffee and tea was not served after dinner at the tables, but you were invited to have it on another deck from the bar, and possibly enjoy it at the observation lounge. We did that several times and it was very pleasant to do so. Most of the crew members were very nice and efficient in all the services we received. There was however one waiter that had a rather bothersome habit, he used to open our sparkling water rather abruptly and it did happen most times that water was spilled on the table. One of our table companions once made the comment that he seemed to shake the bottle just prior to opening it. There were two crew members in charge of land excursions and announcements. They were efficient at all times, but one of them had a slightly less than pleasant personality. We interacted with him several times and we did not always feel good about it. We noticed that the ship did not always arrive to port on time, delays of 15 minutes were frequent, and in one case the delay was 1 hour. However, the departures were timely. That meant that in some cases the rather limited time to enjoy land excursions or simply walking around the dock, was cut short. I did not ask any fellow travelers about how this affected their land excursions, but most likely they did not like it. In our case, we took just four excursions and all ran very much according to schedule. One observation I made is that there seems to be a lack of coordination between the ship’s schedule and the land excursions times. This created some very odd situations, like the time lunch started to be served at 11 am, or dinner at 5pm. All of this, apparently, in order to run excursions on time. Fortunately for us, we were always able to eat in a timely manner, and arrange a change of dinner times to make them more convenient for us. Since we had done the coastal voyage before, we decided to take only the excursions that were new in the program or we missed in our first time around. Initially I felt somehow hesitant to take the journey on mid-September, when the ships do not go into the Geiranger Fjord. At some point in early September the ships get into the Hjorundfjord instead. We took the corresponding excursion. I must say that this was the highlight of our trip. The Hjorundfjord is breath takingly beautiful. We enjoyed it immensely. There was another excursions which also turned out to be a pleasant surprise. This was the one called “Sami Autumn” (from Kjollefjord). We could not be happier with it, and I even expressed my opinion to the tour directors. This was a real cultural experience. It consisted of a lecture and demonstrations event at the residence of a local Sami man, who explained many aspects of his heritage, such as, traditions, language, habitat, etc. It was too bad that this really beautiful experience was poorly attended. It was in English and German. The young woman translating English to German did an excellent job as well. Two other land excursions we took, the Saltraumen visit from Bodo, and “The Northern Most Town” from Hammerfest were also enjoyable but not really as pleasant or instructive as the others. We hope that in our future third Coastal Voyage we will enjoy other excursions, such as the one to the Svartissen Glacier, and the Sea Eagle Safari. I would like to add that some excursions do not seem to offer much in terms of a cultural or adventure event. That is the case of the Visit to the Russian Border from Kirkenes. We have not taken it, but we have heard comments from fellow travelers which were mostly sort of disappointing. Alesund, Trondheim, Bodo, Tromso, Honnigsvag, and Bergen are the ports touched in the Voyage which offer the most to all travelers. Many other ports are small towns where the time is rather limited (15-30 min), or there are no sights or major attractions. But let’s remember that the real beauty of this trip is all around and at all times in the coastal beauty of Norway. On this journey, there was a ‘dedicated” group of observers, and photographers, including myself, whom spent a great deal of time (even at night or early morning) at the bow of the ship, enjoying the views and taking thousands of pictures. Believe me, it is difficult to take a bad picture in that part of the world. We did not attend or participate in several of the events onboard, such as cooking demonstrations, or fashion shows. We did attend a video show related to all the places Hurtigruten covers around the world. It is worth to watch it even if it is just to see the wonderful views of seas, glaciers, and wildlife. Another highlight of our trip was a double visit to the Trollfjord. Yes, there is a fjord called so, it is also the name of one of the large Hurtigruten ships. That was a notable difference from our first journey. One visit was late at night, when even some “Trolls” appeared on the observation deck, carrying oil lamps. This was a unique and amusing touch. The second time was in the afternoon during a day with fantastically good weather. We enjoyed this occasion a lot. Equally enjoyable was seeing, again, the “Seven Sisters” mountain range, and the views of the Torghatten, an odd geological phenomenon of a mountain with a hole. As spectators, we attended the “Crossing of the Arctic Circle” celebration. It is something of a Hurtigruten tradition to hold a contest in which travelers guess the actual time when the ship crosses the circle. The one with the closest time wins a prize. I remember, the Trollfjord in 2008, offered a free Coastal voyage as the prize. On this voyage, the prize was a Hurtigruten flag signed by the Captain. This celebration includes something of a baptism by God Neptune, who pours some water and ice down your back. Something tacky perhaps, but nevertheless, a good number of passengers submitted to that. All passengers, “baptized” or not, received a “Certificate” stating their crossings. With the exception of Bergen, no other city or port touched in the coastal voyage is awash with visitors. Bergen has changed in character since my first visit back in 2006. On the day of our arrival there were two other “gigantic’ cruise ships in port, and the city was being overrun by day visitors. A Nordnorge crew officer commented that compared to those giants, they look like a life boat. My advice to anyone interested in this most beautiful journey is to go ahead and do it, the sooner the better. Even though different and with some not so pleasant details, it will for sure be a delightful and memorable trip. Now I would like to list some specific points of practical advice. • It is better to time your arrival at Bergen (starting port of the journey) the day before departure. It is possible to arrive the same day, but any problems with luggage or airlines could create serious difficulties • Plan and book your land excursion carefully, all of them are rather expensive. • Very few travelers carry binoculars. Unless you are very much into wildlife watching, they may not be of much use. You will see not much wildlife any way. • At breakfast and lunch times, when there is open seating, I frequently saw some passengers taking a table, going away to get some food, and coming back to find out the table has been taken by someone else. In order to avoid this, we made a habit of one of us staying at the table initially. Other passengers commonly left a jacket or other personal items at the table. • I cannot tell for sure about all cabins, but in ours, there was only one electrical outlet. This required some good organization recharging our batteries and other devices. Also, make sure you have the correct adapter for northern European outlets. • Hurtigruten allows you bring onboard two wine bottles per passenger, which are to be consumed in your cabins. We used well this rule and we bought wine at different ports for private consumption. • Both of our coastal voyages have been in September. In both occasions the weather has been very good. A light fall weather coat was enough to keep us comfortable. • The only toiletry offered onboard at the cabins is body and hair gel. Anything else you need to bring your own. I understand there toiletries for sale onboard, but they are likely to be expensive. • The hairdryers installed in the cabins have plastic handles that can get very hot while in use. Be careful. • We have been in Bergen six times and we know it rains very frequently. An umbrella or raincoats are almost essential. • Also, Bergen offers quite a number of special attractions, consider visiting the Art Museums, and enjoy the views from Mount Floyen. For people that ends their voyage in Trondheim, like us, it is a good idea to spend an additional day there and enjoy all the sites without the time limitations of land excursions. • There are many souvenir shops at almost all ports of call. Most of them offer low quality items. We found the best ones onboard the ship and at museum stores. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise and I was aware that some stops would be short, however if time is lost through bad weather or technical problems then stops are curtailed and sometimes you are not allowed to get off the boat at all. Apparently ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I was aware that some stops would be short, however if time is lost through bad weather or technical problems then stops are curtailed and sometimes you are not allowed to get off the boat at all. Apparently the schedule is the same in winter so the chances of stops being curtailed at that time must be much higher. Excursions are expensive. We booked ours in advance. BEWARE THAT IF YOU BOOK IN ADVANCE FROM THE UK, YOU ARE LIKELY TO PAY 20-25% MORE THAN IF YOU BOOK ON BOARD. There is a slight risk that a trip may be fully booked, but when we travelled all excursions were still available the day before. My advice would be to plan which excursions you want to do and book them as soon as you can once there. Excursions we did: Geiranger Panorama. This was good and included a coach trip through the mountains as well. Rib safari at Bodo. Quite good fun though expensive and the tides were wrong to see the whirlpool. Kirkenes. Trip to Russian border. Quite interesting, but mainly because of the guide we had. Honningsvag. Breakfast at the North cape. We enjoyed the North cape but the coach journey after was long and not especially interesting, though the guide was good. I suspect we would have got as much out of it if we had done the Northbound North Cape excursion. Tromso. Midnight concert. This was very good. We booked the sea eagle safari, but this was cancelled due to bad weather. The ship. Food was good and most of the staff were friendly and helpful and the cabins were comfortable. Alcohol is expensive and water is charged for at dinner and lunch (also expensive though available free with the wine package). Included tea and coffee is only available with meals. We took a travel kettle to use at other times. Water in the cabins is safe to drink. I liked the boat size and the fact that the number of passengers was not too great. We went from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. Although there are different excursions available on the way back, we might have been better going one way, probably Bergen to Kirkenes. I have raised the overcharging issues with Hurtigruten customer services whilst on board and since being home. The answer I have received is basically 'too bad' and they are not going to refund any money. If I were planning this trip again I would look for a small ship with longer stopping times. I have rated this at 2 because of the issues above and the penny pinching attitude of Hurtigruten towards its customers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Just returned from a trip on MS Finnmarken, Bergen to Kirkenes to Trondheim. Our second Hurtigruten Voyage. The ship was delayed for 2 days due to a technical fault but Hurtigruten put us up in a hotel in Bergen, and arranged meals and a ... Read More
Just returned from a trip on MS Finnmarken, Bergen to Kirkenes to Trondheim. Our second Hurtigruten Voyage. The ship was delayed for 2 days due to a technical fault but Hurtigruten put us up in a hotel in Bergen, and arranged meals and a coach tour while we were waiting for the ship repair. We set off at 9.30am on day 3 and pushed ahead without stopping until we caught up with the schedule early on day 5. During our voyage the captain made several (safe) diversions from the regular route to show us extra sights, maybe as a compensation for missing our first few days. What a happy ship - all so friendly, with excellent restaurant service where the food was great. There is a lot of fish on the menu, but always alternatives available. You could help yourself to as much as you wanted for breakfast and at the buffet lunch, and the desserts were amazing. I would recommend buying the ships mug to get free tea and coffee. And do take part in the Crossing the Arctic Circle ceremony performed by King Neptune! There was no formal entertainment on board as this is a working ship, connecting isolated coastal towns, but the ship is elegant and comfortable. Excursions are available on most days. The concert at Tromso gave us the opportunity to experience the midnight sun - opposite to our last trip in midwinter where we enjoyed the Northern Lights. We took the train from Trondheim to Oslo on the Dovre Railway, an extra recently added by Hurtigruten. Lovely train, comfortable, roomy and clean. Beautiful inland scenery. Would recommend this. Great trip. Looking at booking another. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
What a wonderful voyage, to Kirkenes and back. Excellent ship, scenery was fantastic and the ship was great, loads of brass, polished wood and staff were very attentive. Good trips ashore but very expensive - Norway has a higher cost of ... Read More
What a wonderful voyage, to Kirkenes and back. Excellent ship, scenery was fantastic and the ship was great, loads of brass, polished wood and staff were very attentive. Good trips ashore but very expensive - Norway has a higher cost of living than Britain. Food was great, especially the desserts. No entertainment but made lots of friends because of this. - will return as soon as possible during the dark nights when we may get to see the Northern Lights. Thank you Hurtigruten for a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We left Bergen at 10.30pm just as the sun was setting - beautiful. Our cabin was small and compact with 2 single beds but there was plenty of cupboard space to fit all our clothes and cases. We found that we had enough room for the 2 of us ... Read More
We left Bergen at 10.30pm just as the sun was setting - beautiful. Our cabin was small and compact with 2 single beds but there was plenty of cupboard space to fit all our clothes and cases. We found that we had enough room for the 2 of us to be comfortable and the beds were comfortable. We were able to adjust the room temp so we were able to get a good night's sleep. The shower was the best pressure of our trip. We enjoyed all the meals on board with buffet breakfasts and lunches all with good variety and a set menu for dinner. The bread rolls which were baked fresh every day on the ship were a particular favourite of my husband's. We had lovely weather during our voyage - it was overcast with sunny breaks on the first couple of days but once we had crossed the Arctic Circle we not only had 24hrs daylight but also 24hrs sunshine! The voyage itself was smooth sailing and we sailed close to the coast all the way. It didn't matter which side of the ship you were on as the Norwegian coast was on one side and a continuous line of islands on the other side. We either spent our time looking at the scenery passing by on Deck 4 where there were plenty of window seats or the Panorama lounge on Deck 7. Our cabin was on deck 5 the Promenade Deck so if we saw something we wanted to photograph we could quickly go to our cabin grab our cameras and go outside. The coast was beautiful with snow capped mountains most of the way and lovely little villages. Whenever the ship stopped for 30mins or more we would disembark and go exploring. We went on 3 of the organized excursions including Svartisen Glacier excursion which was excellent - the reflections on the fjord were spectacular. We also went on the North Cape excursion and the Russian Border excursion from Kirkenes where we disembarked. It was good to go on the Russian Border Excursion because we were able to put our cases in the bus storage and at the end of the excursion the bus dropped us off at our hotel in time for us to be able to check in to the hotel. We found the Polarlys to be spotlessly clean and the crew were always ready to check that all the passengers entering the restaurant participated in the hand hygiene. We enjoyed our voyage so much that my husband wanted to stay on the Polarlys and sail down the coast instead of disembarking at Kirkenes! The majority of the passengers were German with some Norwegian, British, American and other Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
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