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7 Hurtigruten Fitness Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to worry about the planning, logistics or stress of getting from place to place, figuring out meals or finding places to stay along the way. We chose Hurtigruten because neither of us are a fan of very "touristy" types of planned activities and destinations (including all-inclusive vacations and huge cruise ships), and with the smaller boats and the fact that they go to many of the smaller ports and towns that one would never see on their own without a boat and lots of time, and the whole operation seems to have a lighter touch on the communities they visit versus the huge negative impact that larger cruise ships seem to have on cities and cultural sites. Despite the cost, we were honestly not expecting much since we had read that Hurtigruten also serves as a commercial transport ship, car transport and ferry in addition to the destination touring function they provide. And they do provide these services, but they are integrated so nicely into the seamless operation of the voyage that they only added to the experience for us, rather than detracting in any way. But from the moment we stepped on board, to the time we departed, we were absolutely delighted with the whole experience. The whole ship was immaculate! Our room was larger and more comfortable and nicer than we thought from the photos we saw on Hurtigruten's website. We were also conveniently located to the two very nice and clean and cozy outdoor hot tubs and the 7th floor deck, sun porch, cafe and bar. The staff were kind, helpful and informative; the excursions were well-planned and every one that we participated in went smoothly and without a single hiccup. The guides on both the excursions and the boat were knowledgeable about many things and made each evening fun with planned lectures and activities for all the guests. And the food! It was all spectacular! Everything was fresh, deliciously prepared, plentiful, thoughtful, relevant to the regions and their food heritage, and beautifully spread. Of our nearly 3-weeks in the country, we only had a couple of other meals that topped the food we ate while on-board the ship, and this is saying a lot as we orient every vacation we take around trying to find the best cuisine that any place we visit has to offer. Other than the cost of some of the excursions (they were all so expensive we were not able to participate in as many as we would have liked), and many of the other guests that were extremely pushy and rude - especially during mealtimes and queuing up to leave the boat whenever we docked - there really are no bad things to say about the voyage, the staff, the length of the trip (we wished we could have stayed longer), the route, or anything else and hope to be able to return again someday with others from our family to take part in a longer voyage or wintertime voyage when the country has other experiences to offer! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We ... Read More
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We have never travelled on a ship for so long, and for us this was a great voyage of adventure and not a run of the mill "cruise". It certainly surpassed our expectations. Hurtigruten organise everything superbly and the expedition team on board are very knowledgeable, helpful and add to the overall experience during the voyage. There is a schedule each day that also has important information on it and points of interest are highlighted on the way, often with a gathering about the sight. The astronomy talks were brilliant and added to the overall experience and we were so lucky to see so mainly northern light displays during our voyage, and with the astronomer , John, who shared his knowledge about this wonderful natural phenomena. The food on board was excellent. Lots of it and lots of choice too. Evening meal except 2 nights was 3 course a la carte, which was very nice. Tea and coffee is also available at certain places on the ship throughout the day and after evening meal for those on a package. All staff are really helpful and polite and will do anything to help. Drinks are expensive as is the case in Scandinavia. We opted for a house wine drinks package. All in all a glass of wine is around £10, so we thought the wine package would be more economical. There were about 6 different choices of wine on this package, either red or white and most were nice quality. There are also beer packages as well. We went on 2 trips which we highly recommend. North Cape on day 6 and snowmobiling on day 7. Very well organised. The only point to make is that we booked our excursions prior to the holiday, as we were told it would get booked up. We were told that one trip was fully booked so we opted for another instead. However, on board all the trips had places advertised by the expedition team and you could book with them very easily on board and the trip we originally wanted had lots of space. if we did it again we would probably wait to book excursions until on board. A great variety of hikes were on offer as well. Even though we did not venture on these we heard from others how great they were. There is plenty of opportunity, depending on the weather, to get off the ship. More so on the Northern voyage. There are plenty of great areas on the ship to view the wonderful scenery from inside and deck 9 has a large outside deck area that was the main place to view the northern lights. The cabins are clean and have plenty of storage space. We were on deck 6 which has the viewing areas and the muster station. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. ... Read More
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. From the UK everything is very, very expensive. More than we'd anticipated. £10 for a lager, £40+ for a run of the mill Pinot Grigio, £80-£100 for a 2 hour sightseeing tour, etc. And many of the excursions are a rip off because either they are too time limited due to the ships schedule or take place in the dark. Eg, at Trondheim our guided bus tour of the town (including a viewpoint lookout) was in the dark. It could have been run an hour later. At Saltstraumen, the tide was hardly running, so no 'maelstrom', and worst of all the 'Sailing in the Polar Night' aka 'Silent Whale Watching' (they changed the title as there were no whales), supposedly under an electric engine and maybe sail, is a farce. The captain confirmed they never raised the sail on that trip, most of the time we were under noisy diesel power, no whales are the norm this year as the herring have gone further north, and, of course, after the first half hour it was in the dark so the wonderful scenery we were told of was invisible. When the excursion sheet says the trip is say 3.5 hours for the dog sledding, you have to allow for time getting to and from the venue by coach and kitting up, safety talk and making a fuss of the dogs so this only a half to three quarter hour actually out. I didn't do this trip as I have mobility problems and thought it would be too long. It wasn't. Mobility wise on the ship there is a lift between floors, the outside doors have automatic button opening and there are shallow stairs with a rail and then a ramp for embarkation. Do as much homework as you possibly can before you go. There are maps provided for each port where there is time ashore and if you are of average fitness I would recommend using these and on-line information and doing your own excursion. Many did and saw so much more than we did on the organised trips. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
What an amazing journey! So different from a 'big ship' experience - you get really up-close-and-personal to the Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten, visiting so many ports of call, and expertly navigating the myriad of islands and ... Read More
What an amazing journey! So different from a 'big ship' experience - you get really up-close-and-personal to the Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten, visiting so many ports of call, and expertly navigating the myriad of islands and fjords of the coast - amazingly close, almost reaching out to touch some of the cliffs or to shake the hands of locals. Could not fault the food, service and staff on board - so refreshing to see Norwegian staff, as the talk about their home country with such pride. Enjoyed learning about the Northern Lights - and Hurtigruten have their Northern Lights Promise of a free voyage if the Lights do not appear (some small print does apply) - but we were treated to an spine-tingling event on several nights. Asking the Expedition team how they rated the Lights we saw, they said "about a 6 or 7 out of 10" - so I can't wait to go back and see what a 10/10 experience would be!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We enjoyed an amazing experience with Hurtigruten on their MS Midnatsol ship sailing from Punta Arenas, travelling along the Chilean Fjords to Antarctica Peninsula and back. The view was breathtaking throughout. When we cruised on smaller ... Read More
We enjoyed an amazing experience with Hurtigruten on their MS Midnatsol ship sailing from Punta Arenas, travelling along the Chilean Fjords to Antarctica Peninsula and back. The view was breathtaking throughout. When we cruised on smaller boats to look at glaciers and icebergs was incredible and satisfying. Accommodation was very good and comfortable. Food was varied and very good too. Expeditions and on board lectures from experts were excellent. It was an educational and adventurous cruise. Hurtigruten did an excellent job getting us from London through Madrid to Santiago then Punta Arenas and back without a single hitch! It was impressive and I will use them again. The staff were excellent and friendly especially those in the reception, restaurant, bar, cleaning and the expedition team. The expedition team members were all graduates and experts in their field. We had excellent lectures which were very informative and we had the first explorer to trek the Arctic and Antarctica in the same year. Every passenger on board seemed to be delighted with the cruise. The expedition team made every effort to ensure we were able to cruise or land at every convenient location Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Let's start with the bottom line: A+ for the adventure/education experience and C- for amenities and even basic courtesy Flight arrangements. Getting basic information from Hurtigruten's flight team would challenge the CIA. ... Read More
Let's start with the bottom line: A+ for the adventure/education experience and C- for amenities and even basic courtesy Flight arrangements. Getting basic information from Hurtigruten's flight team would challenge the CIA. Something as simple as baggage limitations required faxes that went unanswered and a series of e-mails that produced absolutely contradictory information. Although I began my quest for answers almost two weeks before departure, it was not until we left the U.S. that I was able to determine that the ONE 8-kg "personal item" that LAN will permit is actually the "carry-on" limit, and that a "personal item" (purse, laptop, etc.) is indeed permitted in addition. I urge potential passengers to arrange their own travel to Ushuaia. LAN flies Fram passengers from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia in an Airbus 320, which was evidently designed by the same folks who learned their ergonomics from the manufacturers of sardine cans. I am only 5 feet 7 inches tall, and I sat with my knees against my chest for three and a half hours. I have flown in military cargo planes that were more comfortable. The cafeteria quality food: Most lunches and dinners were buffet style with quality equivalent to U.S. family restaurant chains, such as Cracker Barrel or Country Buffet (exception: Cracker Barrel does NOT include reindeer stew on its menus). On one of two nights when we had a sit-down meal instead of a buffet, the pork schnitzel was so dry and hard (not tough, brittle-hard) that the cutlets could not be cut with flatware—one of our table companions demonstrated that he could take it his two hands and break it like a thin piece of wood. Can’t seem even to get the good things right. Smoked salmon available at almost every meal . . . lox, but not a spoonful of cream cheese within 500 miles. Mayonnaise? Yes. Mustard? Yes. Butter? Yes. Cream cheese? Blank stares or, to be more accurate, hostile glares, which is what one gets when he asks anything the least out of the ordinary from the Filipino hotel staff. The breakfast buffet is better, or at least more varied, than the complimentary breakfasts one gets at Comfort Inn or Motel 6, and one can actually order a breakfast from the kitchen instead of eating from the buffet, but we timed it. More than 30 minutes to arrive—with the very likely result of missing one’s scheduled landing. Regimentation of services. One cannot take a glass of wine back to one’s cabin. Fear of liability should a passenger fall and break a glass. And, room service available only to passengers who book suites. The very(!) poor service by the serving staff (The "Ugly"): They spend more time chatting, laughing, and flirting among themselves then they do waiting on passengers. And they have the audacity to scold passengers who finally, in desperation, get up help themselves. One got in my wife's face and told her that getting coffee was HIS job. She told him that she wouldn’t have to do it herself if he’d get himself over to the table and actually DO his job. They don’t even smile until a day or two before debarkation when everyone is being reminded about tipping. The hotel staff double as deck crew (at which they are superbly good—getting passengers in and out of boats, sometimes in very challenging conditions), so don’t expect any real competence when it comes to their serving duties. Up in the bar I ordered my usual very dry, dirty, and straight-up vodka martini . . . and was brought a glass of vodka. The rapacious nickel-and-diming passengers to death: The 10th-century Vikings made their living by raid and plunder. Their 21st-century Norwegian descendants have figured out how do the same thing without bloodshed. They run cruise lines and have you at their mercy. Examples. Do not forget any of your over-the-counter meds—aspirin, antihistamines, etc. There is nothing of the sort for sale in the minimal shop. The "Good": The store stocks excellent expedition quality outdoor gear--even better than the ski shop where we work. The "Bad": If you want so much as an antacid, much less something for sea-sickness, you need an appointment with the ship’s doctor. Minimum $150 fee. Don’t go into the bar and ask for a glass of carbonated water. They don’t even have a carbonated water fixture at the bar. They open a can of sparkling water and charge you bar fee for . . . water. And, should you want carbonated water with meals, you either pay by the pitcher or buy a subscription for . . . water. Don’t buy internet time. They sell by the minute, not by the megabyte. Our travel agent arranged a 1,000 NKr credit. We used some of it to buy an hour of internet access and then expended 45 minutes of it trying to forward the credit documentation to the reception desk 20 feet away from where we were sitting in the computer alcove. Subsequently, we exhausted a half-hour (200 NKr) sitting watching a screen say (CONNECTING TO GOOGLE). Never did get online, but the clock ran out nonetheless. If these folks sold you a house, you’d find out afterwards that there was a surcharge for plumbing. Nonetheless, we are contemplating another Hurtigruten cruise. Why? Because they go to some incredible places and because their expedition staff--leaders, ornithologists, biologist, geologist, photographer--are far better than the hotel staff is poor. They’re even better than on the Celebrity Xpedition. Every lecture was worthy of a PBS hour, and the personal photos that the staff have taken in the conduct of their research are often of the quality one expects from a David Attenborough presentation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Hurtigruten's Classic Antarctica Voyage on the MS Fram (January 11-20, 2013) exceeded my expectations in all regards. I had read most of the reviews I could find online in the process of researching our planned Antarctica trip. ... Read More
Hurtigruten's Classic Antarctica Voyage on the MS Fram (January 11-20, 2013) exceeded my expectations in all regards. I had read most of the reviews I could find online in the process of researching our planned Antarctica trip. Because there were so many choices and I had never heard of Hurtigruten, I was unsure about whether or not the Fram was the right choice. I made the booking through a travel agency, after a number of phone conversations. Their agent was most helpful; however, we got off to a bit of a rocky start when a Hurtigruten USA agent promised an accommodation that it turned out after we had paid our deposit they could not promise. Instead of a guaranteed small suite for the price we were paying, we were offered an onboard credit, and so agreed to finalize our payment. In the end, the Cruise Norway staff and the Hurtigruten USA management did intervene on our behalf, and we were given the small suite we had initially been promised. Our private room and the overall space on the Fram were wonderful... clean, comfortable, spacious indoor and outdoor areas with fabulous views from most of the public areas on the boat. The atmosphere was generally very informal and relaxed. One of the things I personally liked about the overall experience was that out of two hundred guests onboard, approximately one hundred were Americans, about 50 were from Germany, and the other 50 represented a large number of other countries. Likewise, the ten expedition staff represented eight countries. The entire ship's staff were great: cheerful,professional, helpful, efficient, and the whole experience was well managed and executed from start to finish. The Fram is bright and shiny and relatively new, with lots of floor to ceiling windows, and it was kept spotless. For my taste, the food offerings were perfect.... almost all buffet-style, with only four dinners in nine days served with set menus and pre-assigned tables. There was always a great variety of fresh salads and vegetables, along with seafood offerings most days, in addition to a variety of meats, appetizers, great breads and desserts. I can't imagine that you could not find something to please nearly everyone's tastes at every meal. All food, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate and very good tap water were included in the trip price; all other drinks were charged to your credit card account for settlement at the end of the trip. Drinks were relatively expensive (about US$5.50 for a beer, US$7.00 for a glass of house wine, mixed drinks US$8-12). Of the nine days onboard, four were spent crossing the Drake Passage, and five were in the islands and Antarctic Peninsula area, where we made two landings nearly every day. We were blessed with near-perfect weather while in Antarctica... sunny and calm most days, with temperatures in the 40's (F). Penguins were in their rookeries with babies of various sizes at most of the landings, and there was almost always some kind of a hike to a viewpoint or other point of interest. There were lots of seals, and we had plenty of whale sightings. Expedition staff who managed the landing experiences were knowledgeable and helpful in all cases. On the way home, the Captain made a detour so that we had a chance to see Cape Horn, which was not a part of the scheduled itinerary. Most other people I talked with onboard were more than pleased with the overall experience. By choice, I have not been on other cruise ships, so I can't offer comparisons. This is not a big flashy entertainment boat... we had a staff show one night, and there were movies and lectures, but mostly it was a quiet, pleasant, relaxing experience. Antarctic expeditions are all expensive, but for my taste, Hurtigruten offered great value for money, and I cannot imagine having a better overall experience than we did on the Fram. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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