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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: February 2019
We chose to do a Hurtigruten trip as a once in a lifetime experience to see the Northern lights and to experience the beauty of the coastline from the comfort of the ship. B Unfortunately the first cabin we were allocated was the ... Read More
We chose to do a Hurtigruten trip as a once in a lifetime experience to see the Northern lights and to experience the beauty of the coastline from the comfort of the ship. B Unfortunately the first cabin we were allocated was the worst accommodation I have ever experienced, too small for two people ( to be frank only just acceptable for one) barely room to move past each other, storage space for clothes limited to a small hanging space and two drawers which were similar to vegetable storage in a kitchen, bunk fold down bed with no sitting space whatsoever except the bottom bunk. My disappointment for a cabin which was costing us over £1300 for six nights knew no bounds. After complaining I was told that it was difficult to move us but they would see what they could do........the next day, after 20% of the trip was behind us, we were moved. The boat is small and one of the older of the fleet, public rooms are old and tired...... which could be explained by the fact that it is a working boat but hertigruten seem to change premium prices irrespective of the quality of the boats. The food on board is excellent although the length of the queues for lunchtime buffet meals ensure that one tries to get there about 15 minutes before service starts. Similarly try to be be well I time for breakfast to ensure that you can enjoy the excellent choice of food without having to fight through to the coffee machine. The ship calls in at a large number of ports, many of them for just 15 minutes but other stops varyin length from 30 minutes to over 3 hours. On the shorted stops, There is an advantage in stretching one’s legs but be aware that the ship calls at ports rather than picturesque harbours and so a walk to a local town or village wil,l of necessity, involve negotiating the dockside ares.....not a problem as long as you are not expecting to find coffee shops and local colour! Many of the longer stops have organised trips ashore, however, at approximately £80 per person for a guided walk I would suggest asking for a map at reception and making your own way. Two excursions we did do were of the ‘bucket list’ variety, the dog sledding which was enjoyable although at £250pp more expensive booked through the ship and the snowmobile experience. The latter was very disappointing happening as it did when the daylight had gone and so we snowmobiled for 17kmin the dark aware only of the rear of the machine in front and the narrow path illuminated by the headlight on the snowmobile. At £294 pp this was a very, very expensive and disappointing experience, when booking the trip before leaving the UK none of the information I was sent indicated the time of the trip unlike the i formation in the brochure on board. If I had known it was a night excursion I would certainly lay not have booked it. Overall a very expensive and very disappointing trip,the only saving grace was the quality of the staff who were, without exception friendly, efficient and good humoured. Upon arrival back in the UK I Replied to Hurtigruten’s feedbackform and ticked the box which said they would keep my contact information for a month to allow them time to respond to my feedback. The same email also gave me this site to leave feedback but I decided to wait to see what Hurtigruten’s response would be. My answer was silence. A month has now passed and I have have decided to submit this review to ensure others do not save hard to afford the experience of a lifetime simply to feel very disappointed in the quality of the trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
An enjoyable experience overall. Staff polite and friendly. Food good but after a few days became much of the same. But healthy and lots of choice Excursions expensive. Take care with Bodo and Saltistrumen one unless you know the ... Read More
An enjoyable experience overall. Staff polite and friendly. Food good but after a few days became much of the same. But healthy and lots of choice Excursions expensive. Take care with Bodo and Saltistrumen one unless you know the tides will allow you to see the advertised and talked about Maelstrom. We got there and water calm as provervial millpond A rush to get excursions in as stops are mainly very short . Shore time can be shortened as if ship docks later than advertised you still.leave on time. Beds are cabin size and width and not especially comfortable Lots of rough seas . Alcohol prices are extortionate as are souvenirs. So didn't buy much and came back sober. Didn't see lights. So disappointed but will explore the supposed guarantee of a free cruise . The guarantee only offers inside cabin. On dates they offer. Half board and no flights so will check.out price of flights before going ahead. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Be absolutely clear that Hurtigruten is a ferry service and not a cruise line. We paid for a relaxing cruise but what we received was a passage on a working ship with very little customer care. Whilst we understand that the boat is a ... Read More
Be absolutely clear that Hurtigruten is a ferry service and not a cruise line. We paid for a relaxing cruise but what we received was a passage on a working ship with very little customer care. Whilst we understand that the boat is a working boat, there is an expectation of a level of service commensurate with the cruise price and cabin level - however this is absolutely not the case. Hurtigruten carry the Norwegian postal flag on the back of the ship and the impression on board is that it regards passengers as a necessary inconvenience to be used as an income source at every opportunity. Unfortunately, we booked a voyage advertised as a ‘cruise’ and were expecting cruise levels of service and attention – we were sorely disappointed. The boat is run for the convenience of Hurtigruten’s commercial business and delivers minimal customer care and service. The following points detail just some of our experience on our 12-day Northern Lights/Astronomy cruise. 1. Embarkation a. Chaotic - We found ourselves waiting in an extremely long queue to board with a minimal amount of Hurtigruten personnel to assist – not a good initial experience. 2. Restaurant and catering a. The restaurant was not big enough to cope with the number of guests on-board. It was not well run and a complete bun fight at meal times. Trying to anticipate when it might be quiet and we could get a table easily became quite a stress point – not the idea of a relaxing cruise. One person had their coffee knocked out of their hand and our water glasses were pushed out of the way at the water dispenser, whilst we were filling them, by another aggressive and inpatient guest. We resigned ourselves to either eating very early or very late in the sitting to avoid the melee and any unpleasantness. The restaurant management made a number of calls over the PA system asking for people to leave the restaurant if they have finished or requesting that guests did not to go for their meal yet as there were no spaces available. The restaurant is not big enough or fit for purpose. b. On one particular occasion we arrived for breakfast at opening time along with about twenty other people already queuing. We started to help ourselves to food but were suddenly all ordered out of restaurant by a member of staff who shouted to us that she had not ‘set the machine’. We had to put down our plates of food and leave the restaurant and re-enter again with our card swipes. This was the failing of the restaurant staff not to open the restaurant on time but the customers were blamed and admonished. c. Tables were cleared at breakfast time half an hour before the end of the sitting and passengers coming down for breakfast were told the tables were not available as they had been set for lunch, even though there were prime tables situated by the window providing an excellent vista for the paying customers. Again, the needs and priorities of Hurtigruten outweighed any needs of customers and their enjoyment. d. We paid for full board which included the tea and coffee package, all served from machines around the boat. However, after selecting a cappuccino and hot chocolate from a machine we were told that the package excluded hot chocolate and any other beverage other than straight tea or coffee. As all the beverages were delivered from a self-serve automated machine how tight-fisted do you have to be to apply this? A cappuccino is made from milk and coffee – the same ingredients as white coffee – how very petty of Hurtigruten and it exemplifies the Hurtigruten policy of treating the paying customer as an endless cash cow. e. We were very surprised to find the majority of dinners were set menus with no choices available – again not to offer the customer a choice is very poor. In some cases we were not able to eat some of the courses as we did not like the menu and would not have chosen it. By contrast the buffet offered a huge choices and the food was of an excellent standard. 3. Suite facilities a. Although Hurtigruten promise Northern Light announcements to cabins the only phone in our suite was in the main room farthest away from the bedroom. It was impossible to hear when in the bedroom. We requested an extension cable for the phone but were told this was not possible and offered a direct call instead. This is not a solution at all if we cannot hear the phone in the first place. b. On arrival we could not find the promised robes and slippers. Reception informed us that Hurtigruten has stopped providing certain “benefits” to the suite customers yet they are still advertised on the website so gave us an on-board credit by way of apology. However we had not packed robes on this basis so this was a further inconvenience and again smacked of cost cutting to deliver minimum benefits to high value customers. c. Although Hurtigruten’s material does make mention of that fact that all ships are working boats and there will be some noise and vibration, nothing could have prepared us for the cacophony of noise and extreme vibration that we experienced on a nightly basis. This ensured that every night’s sleep was interrupted with accruing fatigue as the cruise continued. 4. Check out The night before the end of the cruise our final account was provided on the basis that our card would be debited automatically so no need to contact reception on the boat. However we received a note requesting us to go to reception to settle our account as our payment could not be processed. In complying with this request we joined a queue at the reception with only one Hurtigruten employee attending to guests. As we were approaching a port, the one and only Hurtigruten employee on duty had to stop helping waiting customers to go and open the doors once we were in port, leaving a disappointed and angry queue at reception waiting for attention. Where were the rest of the Hurtigruten crew on the final morning? When we finally got to a desk, after much tapping and groaning by the reception agent, we were told it was OK as our card had been processed and the message was left on our cabin door in error. In fact, on the top right of the message there was indeed another cabin number (which we had missed). Again another instance of lack of attention to detail and incompetence by Hurtigruten. In short Hurtigruten’s plan is to extract as much money as possible from its paying guests for as little inconvenience to the company as possible. To be fair to the majority of Hurtigruten staff on board were polite and helpful, but they cannot change the product or the culture of the company and its approach to customers. There is no level of service commensurate with the cabin offered and money paid and no level of cruise service on the ship at any level. If you must travel Hurtigruten book the cheapest accommodation you can, expect chaos and a bunfight at meal times and choose any excursions very carefully. Avoid this cruise line unless you want a bottom of the range experience. The moral of the story is Hurtigruten is a ferry service and NOT a cruise line and ‘not-fit-for-purpose’ if you are expecting a cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Just returned from a 11 day Northern Lights voyage along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes and back to Bergen - and it was mind blowing. I've returned relaxed, pampered and looking to book another cruise - with Hurtigurten. Never ... Read More
Just returned from a 11 day Northern Lights voyage along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes and back to Bergen - and it was mind blowing. I've returned relaxed, pampered and looking to book another cruise - with Hurtigurten. Never will I grace Royal Caribbean, or Princess again No casinos, no spas, no entertainment crews - it was education, relaxing and no hard sell. Cabins were basic, clean and well thought out, Bathrooms small and efficient. Staff were incredibly professional and charming Its a working ship, and the dress code was refreshingly casual..no dressing up for dinner. We loved every minute of it and the food was amazing. Fresh, locally sourced, not a french fry, burger, hot dog, pizza or hot dog in site. Excursions were expensive, but worth every penny - and no more expensive than the private ones which you can arrange independently Yes, alcohol is expensive, but this is Norway, and the prices on the ship were cheaper than the mid range hotels in Bergen. Embarkment and disembarkation were incredibly fast - we were in our hotel in less than an hour of leaving our deck - straight into a taxi. Tips - bring a kettle if you don't buy the premium package - learn how to use your camera for photographing the northern lights ( we had 6 nights of this spectacular) - bring a pair of slippers, good books, knitting/craft/watercolours - something to do when you are sailing along do at least 3 expeditions ( we did dog sledging, the ice hotel and the marble mines. All were incredible) Ignore the moaning minnie reviews. There are hundreds of thousand of people who have done this voyage. final words, don't hesitate book it! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this due to fantastic marketing by Hurtigruten but the reality does not live up to the marketing. The Norwegian coast is not how it's portrayed in promotional material and the towns are not quaint fishing village types but ... Read More
Chose this due to fantastic marketing by Hurtigruten but the reality does not live up to the marketing. The Norwegian coast is not how it's portrayed in promotional material and the towns are not quaint fishing village types but industrial towns. Not very attractive. The food was OK and varied choices buffet style for breakfast and lunch. Set dinner served most nights, portion size small. Buffet became boring during the trip as it was always basically the same. The excursions are expensive and disappointing in content. We took the Northernmost Tram Ride, which was good but that part was approximately one third of the excursion time. The rest was taken up by driving around on a coach and the guide pointing out housing areas built, say, in the 90s. We then went to the Ski Jump Arena where nothing was happening, then the cathedral for a toilet stop. There was actually a Tram Museum which would have been more appropriate to include. We saw the Northern Lights north of Tromsø but be aware you need to be this far north to have a chance of seeing them. I would advise you to book a Northern Lights viewing trip in the Tromsø area and go straight there. Then you don't have to suffer the Hurtigruten journey! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Saw the most amazing aurora, it was visible on 6 of the 7 possible nights. Great food on board with a nice selection and a very nice sized cabin. All the staff were extremely friendly and very helpful. Although some of the stops were ... Read More
Saw the most amazing aurora, it was visible on 6 of the 7 possible nights. Great food on board with a nice selection and a very nice sized cabin. All the staff were extremely friendly and very helpful. Although some of the stops were very short it provided a great opportunity to see Norway and sailing so close to land all the time the journey was very smooth most of the time. Would definitely go again, I didn't go any of the excursions so can't comment on them. When an aurora was visible an announcement was made, and at times the ship slowed down and the lights were turned off where it was visible so we had a great opportunity to see it. Being out at sea you are treated to very dark skies so its a perfect viewing location for the aurora and night sky. I went to see the aurora and I was not disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Vantage Adventures booked it for me as a part on an Antarctica adventure. I have always wanted to see Antarctica and I didn't know anything about the Midnatsol before booking with Vantage. I looked the ship up on the internet and ... Read More
Vantage Adventures booked it for me as a part on an Antarctica adventure. I have always wanted to see Antarctica and I didn't know anything about the Midnatsol before booking with Vantage. I looked the ship up on the internet and downloaded the ship's passenger manual, which was very helpful in packing and planning my trip. The crew on the Midnatsol was attentive and did everything they could to make our adventure a wonderful experience. They familiarize themselves with the adventurers and attempted to meet all of our individual preferences in our cabins, the dining rooms, and the bars. The guides learned the adventurer's strengths and weaknesses and catered to our individual needs. We had 348 Adventurers on board and only 100 could be onshore at one time. They did a spectacular job of traffic control. Everyone got the shore time that they wanted, including the campers and swimmers. Excellent job Midnatsol! Our Vantage Adventures guide, Valerie Martin, from Buenos Aires, provided additional services to the 37 Vantage Advrnturers which enhanced our experience even more and personalized our experience because of her 16 previous trips to Antarctica! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Seen a lot and had great food. Never a bored moment. Nice meetings with the expedition team with interesting information and stories about Norway. Deck 6 Is a nice place for your cabin. On deck 5 you can walk around the hole ship and ... Read More
Seen a lot and had great food. Never a bored moment. Nice meetings with the expedition team with interesting information and stories about Norway. Deck 6 Is a nice place for your cabin. On deck 5 you can walk around the hole ship and people can look into your cabin. No luxury cruise things like swimming pools, big shows and entertainment but just the way I like it. Nice and easy relaxed atmosphere. The short stops in harbor’s are long enough to get a taste of that town. For some excursions you leave the ship in one town and board it in another town again. I loved the excursion to the marble mine. Very interesting to see how they work over there and deal with the changing demand of marble. You don’t have to do all the excursions. Some walks you can do on your own. The Hurtigrutten Museum is interesting manly because of the first ship that you can see there. Easy to get in contact with other travelers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that there is also a 99p app from I-phone which will enable you to take pictures of the Northern Lights when they are weak, as was the case with our cruise. We only found out about this app by chance, on talking to a fellow passenger who had got some spectacular photos with her phone the previous day. So, I would advise anyone who wants to get photos of the Northern Lights to do both, take the equipment advised by Hurtigruten but also get the app! You will also need a good hat, coat, gloves and winterlined trousers if you plan to be on deck at night to get the photos as the windchill factor is high! The My Aurora forecast is also useful, although they do give a Northern Light forecast at the Gatherings. On the plus side, the boat was clean and well equipped, the food was very good - they were happy to provide me with vegetarian and gluten-free food without complaint - a very refreshing change! My favourite was the rice porridge at breakfast and the dessert of rice pudding and berry sauce in the evening. The restaurant staff were helpful, particularly Margarethe and Anna. The cabin we had on the 3rd deck was small but adequate and well equipped - the heated shower floor is a godsend as you go further north. There is a small library with English books accessed through the a-la-carte restaurant, which also provides seating if other areas are busy. We spent most of our time in the panoramic lounge on deck 7, which gives spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. I can also recommend going ashore at Urke on the north-bound voyage - you don't have to pay for this but do need a ticket (something we were not aware of) - if you don't get a ticket, wait until the other tenders have left and they provided another tender for those passengers left who wanted to go. It's a very pretty area in spectacular scenery and worth seeing. The excursion to the North Cape was very good, made better by our guide "Bob" who provided a very funny commentary to our trip there and back. The excursion to Hammerfest was also interesting, if not as funny! Sailing through the Trollfjord area was also a highlight with snow-covered mountains. The main thing we enjoyed was sailing along with a book, looking at all the different landscapes. It's also good to stretch your legs when the boat is in port for an hour or so. We enjoyed the Gatherings held by the Expedition Team in the evenings - very informative and also got to see the photos taken by various passengers during the day. It was worthwhile having the package including free coffee, although the bar and coffee machine on deck 7 was only open from 4 pm - the café on deck 4 was open 24 hours. Tap water is OK to drink from the cabins and also free in the restaurants. There is a list of the days activities available from the Expedition Team area every evening, also next day's menu at the front of the restaurant. We asked for a table for 2 from the restaurant manager for the evening meal and this was provided without any trouble - otherwise you sit on a table with other passengers and keep that table for the whole cruise. On the minus side, the trips are very expensive, as are the beer and wine packages. It was difficult to get a seat when there were no trips and everyone was on the boat. It was also very busy in the restaurant at such times for breakfast and lunch. The big complaint I have is that we waited over an hour to check-in to our Titan Airway flight in Bergen on the way home. This is really unacceptable and should be addressed. Otherwise, check-in and check-out on the boat was very well organised. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise in order to explore the Norwegian coast, its islands, its scenery, its ports and its people. As a boating enthusiast I was also interested in the navigation of this `inside passage`, and the essential functions of this ... Read More
I chose this cruise in order to explore the Norwegian coast, its islands, its scenery, its ports and its people. As a boating enthusiast I was also interested in the navigation of this `inside passage`, and the essential functions of this ship in linking many remote communities, transporting people and freight between them. I was not disappointed on any of these counts. The journey was constantly fascinating, with great views of the mountainous coast, the islands and the ports. There were many opportunities to go ashore at these ports and meet local people, as well as a great variety of special tours to visit specific destinations (eg Lofoten Islands) or undertake particular activities (eg RIB tours). Although this is a working boat the accommodation and dining facilities were very good, and the crew most helpful. A tour manager kept an eye on everything and produced a daily schedule of the boat`s itinerary and onboard events. This is an excellent and well organised cruise, which I have no hesitation in commending. The icing on the cake is that we had excellent weather (blue skies and no rain) and saw the famous Northern Lights ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I went on this cruise to see the Norwegian fjords. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The old small ship was beautiful and the tour route, staff, food and comfort were all first class. I made friends from all over the world ... Read More
I went on this cruise to see the Norwegian fjords. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The old small ship was beautiful and the tour route, staff, food and comfort were all first class. I made friends from all over the world but there was also plenty of time to be on your own if that was wanted. It was exceptionally well organised and I didn’t have a single grumble. The food was out of this world and beautifully served. In the evening it was a set menu but buffet for breakfast and lunch. In particular I enjoyed the fresh fish and the delicious desserts. Although my cabin was small it had everything I needed and was cosy. The boat was so clean even though it was very old and great care and attention was made of this. The route taken was perfect and every day was a completely new experience. Can’t wait to do it again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overview The arctic archipelago "Svalbard" has always fascinated us. For this reason we have booked the trip with Hurtigruten. The tour operator attaches great importance to sustainability and environmental protection. This is ... Read More
Overview The arctic archipelago "Svalbard" has always fascinated us. For this reason we have booked the trip with Hurtigruten. The tour operator attaches great importance to sustainability and environmental protection. This is also reflected a little in the price - an Arctic trip is not cheap. The landscapes (geology, glaciology) are very impressive. The fact that in this harsh climate some life develops during the short summer months is fascinating. Lush green meadows, barren moonscapes, beautiful waterfalls and of course lots of snow and ice - that is Svalbard/Spitsbergen. We can recommend this trip because it is very relaxing (no internet for 9 days), but especially because it offers a good mixture of activities, lectures and observing the landscapes and wildlife. Wildlife If you go to this cruise to see polar bears or other wildlife, you'll probably will be lucky... Hurtigruten attaches great importance to sustainability and does not want to disturb the delicate habitat of the animals. Accordingly, everything can only be observed from a very great distance. Of course there are some lucky exceptions, but we have only been able to observe polar bears from a distance of at least 750 meters, for example. Unfortunately, the advertising gives the wrong impression here. With the right equipment you can counteract this a little. Embarkation/Disembarkation The whole process was ok. What was a problem in our opinion the time of disembarkation. We've arrived short after 0.05 o clock. We've waited 1 hour 20 minute to get from board to take the flight at 3.25 o clock. it was very pain and stressful to travel at this late hour. I would have payed 500 euro more to have an afternoon or early evening flight instead of the whole travel thing in the middle of the night... :-( Ship MS Spitsbergen was in 2016 completely renewed. The Ship provides following rooms: Explorer Lounge with Bar, Reception and Bord Shop, Restaurant (2 sittings - 18.00/20.00), Fitness, Jacuzzi, Sauna and on the top floor a large terrace area to observe the beautiful landscapes and animal life. Cabin The cabin was for its size generous and had everything you would expect on a ship. Dining The dining on the MS Spitsbergen was excellent. The Swiss Chef with his crew cooked on a very high level. You wouldn't expect that on a ship. Entertainment and Activities The Expedition-Team organized on each day an interesting program. Nevertheless they could have done different programs for all the different ages. The passengers ages vary from 25 to 90. So not all program points fitted for the young and vice versa. Service The Philippines on board were excellent. They are very friendly and good hosts. The Norwegian crew (Captain and his crew) were very professional, but in comparison to the Philippines rather inaccessible. Ports and Shore excursion On this trip (Spitsbergen/Svalbard) was only Port (Ny Alesund) accessible. All other stations were shore excursion by tender-boat. Some places were not so special, but what do you expect, when you're in the arctic :-) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Smooth embarkation in Bergen and an offer to upgrade to a suite set the standard for this travel! Luggage was properly retransferred to the new cabin while we left Bergen comfortably seated in deck-chairs bathed in the afternoon sun ... Read More
Smooth embarkation in Bergen and an offer to upgrade to a suite set the standard for this travel! Luggage was properly retransferred to the new cabin while we left Bergen comfortably seated in deck-chairs bathed in the afternoon sun (uncommon for Bergen as this is a really rainy city!). The first of many very good dinners was then enjoyed in the restaurant. The dinner menues were prepared to use mainly local food from the actual region we sailed along each day. One dinner was even completely vegetarian; a bold but successful grip. The breakfast and lunch buffets were abundant. There are several activities that one may attend: the Explorer team may accompany you on foot, by bus or even small expedition boats. We did not use any of these as we preferred walking on our own when we had the time during city stops; We mananged to walk to the cathedral Nidarosdomen (Trondheim), the National Air Craft museum (Bodø) and nearly up the hill to Aksla (Ålesund), the latter actually involved quite brisk walking as the ship was mostly 15 minutes delayed to every port so the port-time was consequently shortened. We really enjoyed sitting on the deck, the view of the fjord- and mountain- landscape meditatively passing by was relly relaxing, (Fortunately the internet Connection was good enough to do some computer work in between when we had some cloudy hours..) This ship was suitable for perons using wheel-chairs, althoug a young man balancing the coffee cup in his lap while manoevring his slim wheeler looked very risky on a somehow rolling ship. He even managed rolling by himself down the steep gangway to Svolvær (backwards, gripping the rail). Disembarking in Harstad following a last early breakfast ended our journy. We will be back; preferably pursuing the Norwegian coast line up to Kirkenes the next time! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
A trip primarily to see the Northern Lights but thwarted by weather. Had some rock and rolling due to strong seas,[take seasick pills if you do go] No entertainment on board. Three sittings for dinner and if the last (as we were) ... Read More
A trip primarily to see the Northern Lights but thwarted by weather. Had some rock and rolling due to strong seas,[take seasick pills if you do go] No entertainment on board. Three sittings for dinner and if the last (as we were) experienced 2 delayed sitting out of 4. Best evening meal was the buffet dinner on arrival. In winter, Norway is very monochrome - the island etc are rock covered with snow. Long periods of boredom while sailing. Ports were virtually identical. We did not do any excursions as so very expensive and we were dubious whether they would be value for money. For example, the North Cape is a good place to see either the midnight sun or the Northern Lights, but the excursion was a daytime one. We took a travel kettle and snacks and beverages and that saved us a small fortune. When we did have coffee, our bill for 4 cups was £14. Our research lead us to believe we would be having an exciting time, but the info is generic and not specific to our sailing and docking times or even the time of the year. Hurtigruten's website is not easy to navigate and does not go into specifics about the voyage. We only got a timetable once on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage theme. I am very satisfied with the lectures and viewings organized by Dr John Mason and Inger Carter and I would highly recommend their program. However, Hurtigruten ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage theme. I am very satisfied with the lectures and viewings organized by Dr John Mason and Inger Carter and I would highly recommend their program. However, Hurtigruten really fell through on there responsibility to provide services during the voyage. The cruise ship was obviously under-staffed as confirmed by personnel that I questioned - word was that the ship was fully booked with passengers, but only 1/3 of necessary staff were hired - shame on Hurtigruten. The dining room was a mess. Many times there were no empty tables and I had to sit at tables with other people's dirty dishes. Many times I was not even acknowledged by waiters or offered water/drinks. Breakfast was boring and redundant by the 3rd day - the eggs were terrible and minimal bacon. The lines at the one coffee machine and the one cook-your-own pancakes/waffles grill were outrageous. My cabin was never vacuumed or cleaned. Dirty dishes were not removed. Water glasses were not replaced. Staff merely folded my blankets and emptied the trash each day - that was it. I would not recommend Hurtigruten to friends without warning them of these deficiencies. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Road Scholar. The ship and crew were always very accommodating. The food was probably my biggest concern. I’m not a picky eater but found the dinners not very enjoyable. I tried everything to be a good sport. Everything looked good ... Read More
Road Scholar. The ship and crew were always very accommodating. The food was probably my biggest concern. I’m not a picky eater but found the dinners not very enjoyable. I tried everything to be a good sport. Everything looked good but some entres were not very good. What I found odd was that we ran out of Chilean wine on the first day even though we departed from a Chilean port. There was always plenty of food. The excursion to learn about the geology of the Falklands was too short and we learned all there was to learn at the introduction class. The drivers of the 4 wheelers were fun and informative. The penguins, the cafe, and the museum store was wonderful. We ate lunch at a local crafted beer restaurant that was really good. Also we sat with some locals and that was informative too. We also enjoyed the kayaking excursion. The kids were delightful and made sure we were very safe and that we had a good time. On our day, the ship was our support boat, meaning they came to us to pick us up. The ship was a overly warm. We got to go to the bridge and that was fun and informative. A highlight was enjoying hurricane winds and seas returning to South America. Quite an experience. I always felt safe and was never afraid. Lastly, the clinic could use some improvement. I needed my eye checked. The problem was the equipment needs new batteries or new eye equipment. Not really worth the visit. Overall I had a terrific trip of a lifetime. Thank you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We took the Hurtigruten Nordnorge southbound from Kirkenes to Bergen for six nights from 02/19/2018 to 02/24/2018. Our goal? To see the Northern Lights. First off, the people at Hurtigruten in the U.S. were beyond helpful. We conversed ... Read More
We took the Hurtigruten Nordnorge southbound from Kirkenes to Bergen for six nights from 02/19/2018 to 02/24/2018. Our goal? To see the Northern Lights. First off, the people at Hurtigruten in the U.S. were beyond helpful. We conversed for months planning our trip and excursions. By the time we booked, we felt comfortable we had made the right decisions and knew in great detail what we were doing. Their level of detail helped us immensely. This was a GREAT trip. The size of the ship and number of passengers made it just right. It wasn't a cruise with thousands of people and that made it calm, quiet and personal. You didn't feel like you had to be in a hurry. The food was great. Lots to choose from with a morning and lunch buffet and menu-driven evening meals. With an emphasis on Norwegian style ingredients, the selection was better than a lot of other cruises we've been on. The selection of excursions was comprehensive and covered a wide range of price levels. We even did some excursions not connected to Hurtigruten and they even helped us to connect with the right people and transition between the ship on third parties. But here's the thing that made this cruise and this company BEYOND great...the people. Many of the crew were from Norway so they knew the territory. Not only had they worked for Hurtigruten for many years, but they knew what to do, where to go, and what you'd experience. There wasn't a question they couldn't answer. Peter & David - two great managers on our ship - were funny, personal, and experienced. They cared, and that came through. It made all the difference. We left feeling like they were real friends. A word about rooms...we deliberately didn't get some big cabin up high. We had a Polar Outside: Outside Cabin...No great view, but it didn't matter. Why? With easy, fast access to the outside deck just one level above, you can be upstairs in like 60 seconds (literally). The Explorer Lounge on deck 7 is really where you'll spend a lot of time with its panoramic view. Trust me...save your money on a room and spend it on excursions! Hurtigruten's attention to detail made this cruise a real experience and I've been on a lot of cruise lines. We will seriously look at Hurtigruten again for other cruises in North America, Alaska, and Central America. Worth every penny to see a beautiful part of the world. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise to fulfill a Bucket List item: to see the Northern Lights! Starting from night 2 of the cruise we were able to view the aurora. An astronomer was on deck 9 at 8PM each evening to point out stars and explain the aurora. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to fulfill a Bucket List item: to see the Northern Lights! Starting from night 2 of the cruise we were able to view the aurora. An astronomer was on deck 9 at 8PM each evening to point out stars and explain the aurora. There were astronomy lectures each afternoon. The cruise provided a relaxing winter fjord cruise during the day and spectacular aurora sights most nights. You can set you cabin phone to hear Northern Lights announcements through the night. We took several ship sponsored tours and had lots of fun. While these tours are pricey, we very much enjoyed them especially dog sledding in Kirkenes. We had the full board package, meaning we had breakfast, lunch and dinner I. The dining room. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Dinner is a 3 course meal with no choices. While fish dishes are popular, you can request a non fish alternative. Wine and beer are expensive but we were offered some nice choices. The crew are friendly and professional and speak perfect English. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the northern lights. We saw the northern lights but so much more. The scenery was spectacular, the weather was kind to us. The crew could not have been more helpful. they were efficient, polite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the northern lights. We saw the northern lights but so much more. The scenery was spectacular, the weather was kind to us. The crew could not have been more helpful. they were efficient, polite and friendly. They seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. In general the service was excellent. There was a good choice of activities on board but plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views. Some of the excursions were not quite as interesting as we were expecting, partly because of the short daylight hours which meant we were out and about in the dark. We learned lots about the history of Norway, some politics and lots about fish! Embarkation went smoothly but on the return journey the airport was chaos which was a shame. It was a jolt to the reality of air travel at its worst. We would definitely travel with Hurtigruten again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Once we made the south bounded tour from Kirkenes to Bergen, in summer. Now we wanted to make the north tour in winter especially because of the polar light, but also to see the coast in winter, e.g North pole. Of course we made a ... Read More
Once we made the south bounded tour from Kirkenes to Bergen, in summer. Now we wanted to make the north tour in winter especially because of the polar light, but also to see the coast in winter, e.g North pole. Of course we made a sight seeing trip throuh Bergen, although it was raining. The embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, and without hectic. In both situations the luggage was satisfactory brought into and out of the ship, so we didn't have to handle it myself. We used as long two ships, MS Nordnorge and MS Nordlys. Both were very well equiped, enough space to relaxe and to see the surrounding. The cabin was only used for sleeping and dressing, therefor it was o.k. The dining was excellent, especially in accordance to the local region. The activities were excellent, the expedition team was the best team we ever have seen. The service was also out of discussion, excellent. Because of the expedition teams te excursions were very good prepared. The evening before you became information, all questions were answered, pictures were shown, he work shop about making photos of polar light was excellent. We had no children with us, but perhaps when our grandchilds are elder. Of course we will repeat travelling with Hurtigruten. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The ship is a typical Hurtigruten ship. All the staff are very nice, the ship is not too big, the cabins are small, but dining is excellent. The weather was very good, the sevice also good. The trips to IceHotel is nice, the guide ... Read More
The ship is a typical Hurtigruten ship. All the staff are very nice, the ship is not too big, the cabins are small, but dining is excellent. The weather was very good, the sevice also good. The trips to IceHotel is nice, the guide also, Vesteralen trip very good, also to northcup. Good and helpful explanations. Wir haben die ganze 12 tägige Reise sehr genossen, das Schiff war die MSPolarlys, es hat alles bestens geklappt, vom einchecken bis zur Kabinenvergabe, Hilfe war immer da. Die Excursionen waren vielfältig, man konnte gar nicht alle buchen. Der Kapitän war sehr umsichtig und hat uns gut durch den Orkan Friederike gebracht, die Mannschaft war auch sehr nett zu uns. Dadurch, dass der Wind vom Süden kam, waren die Wellen nicht so hoch, die Windstärke war 46/m/sek. Beaufort hört mit 12 auf (32 m/sek.). Am besten war das tägliche Essen, frischester Fisch und Garnelen und Krustentiere standen am Programm, auch Rentier, Lamm, Steak, Schwein usw. Toll gekocht. Wir fahren wieder mit Hurtigruten. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, visiting so many different cities and seeing the Northern Lights on the last day. The crew was excellent, very professional and friendly. The food was outstanding, even very thoughtful for the evening meals. This was our first cruise and for that we have enjoyed it very much. Our cruise was one way from Bergen to Kirkenes. This included New Year's Eve on the boat, which again was thought well through to provide entertainment and the right atmosphere on boat. There are plenty of excursions to choose from, which we recommend that you do some of these, they are well planned and give a good insight. The Point of Interest Activities on the outside Deck are definitely worthwhile. The only word of warning is to choose your cabin wisely. We just booked a basic Polar Outside and were on Deck 3. Although it says the MS Nordkapp has been refurbished in 2016, so it's overall in excellent and modern conditions, the same doesn't apply for Deck 3. Our cabin was still old school. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
I choose the cruise after watched Hurtigruten advertisement about the trip. Yes we have quite high expectation about the trip. The best about this trip that we are able to see a very beautiful aurora somewhere after Tromsø and ... Read More
I choose the cruise after watched Hurtigruten advertisement about the trip. Yes we have quite high expectation about the trip. The best about this trip that we are able to see a very beautiful aurora somewhere after Tromsø and still able to get some beautiful view of Norway. Before voyage I received all the information I needed and the booking of the trip worked well too. I'm not satisfied with the service on board because : 01 Excursion The Silent Whale Exploring (Tromso) Excursion Code H-TOS5K 16 November 2017 and paid each of us NOK 2198.99 (total NOK 4397.98 . One day before Expedition Manager personally informed to us that we may not be able to see the Humpback whale because the Herring fish not yet around but he assured us that we will be able to see some Orca (smaller whale). Surprisingly on the day of the excursion, once after we arrived on the boat, the guide told us that we won't see anything because it's not yet the season for Humpback whale nor Orca because the herring not yet arrived (Poor Herring everybody blamed "the Herrring"). I think this is very unprofessional and I felt being cheated. If it's not yet the Herring's season you can actually cancel the excursion. I'm very dissapointed. 02. Food Breakfast, lunch and dinner all almost similar for 7 days. More food variation needed as you have international passengers from different nations. 03. Unhappy staff Except one gentleman in the dining room (reception/waiters) who always greet us warmly, the rest always looked unhappy. I will definitely come back to Norway but my next trip won't be in the cruise anymore. Read Less
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