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28 Hurtigruten Romantic 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 went to enjoy a voyage on the grand old lady (MS Lofoten) of the Hurtigruten again. The combination of the ship, crew, food, fellow passengers, weather, scenery, excursions, and overall ambience would have been great even without five ... Read More
We went to enjoy a voyage on the grand old lady (MS Lofoten) of the Hurtigruten again. The combination of the ship, crew, food, fellow passengers, weather, scenery, excursions, and overall ambience would have been great even without five mind-wowing nights with Northern Lights displays. The breakfast and lunch buffets were both full of different varieties of fish - at least seven different varieties of fish at virtually every meal! There were also some very interesting vegetarian options, which I ate out of preference rather than conviction. Even without going on any excursions, one could have a fascinating time. The constantly changing scenery kept ones interest. And in the many ports of call, there was always something of interest in the deck cargo. I loved the Salky (racing chariot) which was carried for about a day, only to be replaced by a speedboat. And the fellow passengers were great! But the icing on the cake came with some of the excursions. Riding on the seashore, in the dark except for the northern lights playing above, with only the sound of the waves and the horses in the snow, was absolutely magical. Just one of many fantastic excursions. Read Less
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
Sail Date January 2019
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly ... Read More
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly impressed by the courteous staff, who gave us a free upgrade, & also took care of my wife when she felt sea sick during mild rolling. The spread of food during all the meals was impressive. Even the shop on board had a nice variety of souvenirs for us to bring back. Our shore excursion to Trondheim was a memorable one. We were also fortunate enough to sight the Aurora Borealis from the observation deck. Although I was denied a visit to the Engine Room by the Chief Engineer despite me being a marine engineer by profession, I would definitely go again, after a few years, if I get a good discounted deal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having already done a Hurtigruten Norway expedition hiking cruise (and loved it) I didn't hesitate to travel with Hurtigruten again when it came to going to Antarctica. I knew they would offer a more authentic experience, which is ... Read More
Having already done a Hurtigruten Norway expedition hiking cruise (and loved it) I didn't hesitate to travel with Hurtigruten again when it came to going to Antarctica. I knew they would offer a more authentic experience, which is what I wanted. From start to finish it was an awesome voyage. It began with a one-night stay in Buenos Aires in a very well and centrally located hotel. Then the next morning we flew to Ushuaia - known as the southernmost city in the world. The transfers from the hotel to the airport were smooth and in Ushuaia we were given an included free tour and then had free time before we boarded the ship, which I really enjoyed/appreciated. Midnatsol was much smarter than the ship I sailed on in Norway. Although Midnatsol is an expedition ship, it has an atrium with an elevator like the bigger liners - the Hurtigruten ship I sailed on in Norway wasn't comparable. My cabin was fine - it was a polar outside for two people. It was perfectly comfortable/functional - it is NOT posh - The first two days were spent at sea, crossing the infamous Drake Passage - the sea which separates south America from Antarctica. I'm not going to lie. There's a reason this sea is infamous. It can get choppy. Items were literally flying off the shelves onto me as I lay in bed! So if you suffer from sea sickness be sure to take with pills/bands etc - although there were pills available (and very effective too) to buy on board, and they were inexpensive too. But the expedition lectures were a great distraction and extremely enriching. I learned so much - about wildlife, geology, explorers, penguins, climate change, whales/whaling etc. Fascinating. And then as we got closer to Antarctica there were albatrosses and whales to spot from on deck - and even the occasional penguin - just awesome. During those two days everyone gets some boots to wear outside in Antarctica (compulsory as they clean them once you get back so that no germs are being taken onto the 7th continent) and picks up a red expedition jacket you get to keep - I really liked mine. You can see me wearing it in the video links below. It's waterproof and windproof and I wore my other jacket undernearth it. There are only 6 days where you actually get out on land and regulations dictate that only 100 people are allowed on land at a time, which means you have to take turns (the ship carries 500 passengers) and you're only on land for about 2 hours at a time. But then you can enjoy the scenery from on the ship - the two hot tubs on top deck are a great vantage point! And also you might be on land in the morning and then cruising in the zodiac boats (which are small inflatable crafts used to take you from Midnatsol to land) around icebergs for the afternoon. I must mention that itineraries are loose and weather dependent. The expedition team always has a plan A and if the weather (wind and ice are the biggest culprits) prevent that from happeneing they move onto plan B and so on.... This is where we stopped/ what we saw on our sailing: Day 1: Deception Island - a volcanic island - great hikes, a couple of penguins, remnants of old whaling station - scene for attempting the polar plunge challenge - Day 2: Cuverville Island - home to penguin colonies (Gentoo penguins) - just amazing. I the afternoon we went zodiac cruising around amazing icebergs. And ethere were lots of whales Day 3: Ice floe landing (this is a flat iceberg which we got out onto to walk on whilst it was drifting) Day 4. Damoy Point - excellent hikes - great penguins - some people went snow shoeing (an optional excursion)...views over Port Lockroy, home to the British post office which is open for 3 months a year. Day 5. Orne Harbour on the mainland - an awesome (and tricky) hike to the summit brought us to a Chinstrap penguin colony Day 6 - kayaking (this was an optional excursion) in Wilhelmina Bay - and it was amazing - paddling past icebergs, underneath glaciers and oars whacking into floating lumps of ice. Plus we passed a shipwreck of an old whaling ship. We also did some amazing cruising throught the Lemaire Channel and Neumayer channel - both stunning with huge cliffs. And we sailed the most far south the ship has ever sailed to a huge ice sheet which stopped us in our tracks. The light was amazing every day in Antarctica and even in November there really wasn't any proper night time. Food on Midnatsol was also excellent. It's mainly buffets due to the itinerary, but with a couple of waiter-served three-course dinners. Because they can't pick up supplies en route, the food does, naturally, become a little repetitive, but the chef was extremely inventive and I have no complaints whatsoever. Some people went camping for the night on the continent. This was also an expensive optional extra and whilst I didn't do it (it cost $500) I was jealous afterwards of those who did. They camped under canvass in a remote spot (the ship left them there) and with lots of penguins and no civilsation around them. They didn't sleep (it was too cold apparently!) but what an experience - something to say you've done. There was also some entertainement on board - a few shows - a crew talent show / a crew fashion show/a quiz and some screeenings of films about Shackleton and some David Attenbourough nature documentaries. the crew was amazing too. I don't have a bad word to say. After the voyage we flew from Ushuaia to Santiago, Chile for an overnight in another very nice, well-located hotel.... It's a long journey to get to Antarctica, but it was well broken up and helped build the anticipation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on ... Read More
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on other larger ships, if you are looking for pure luxury and entertainment then this is definitely not the cruise for you. Also you have to remember that this is a working boat so. Calls into several ports during the night so expected broken sleep on the first few nights. You soon become acclimatised to the noise so wasn’t too much of a nuisance to us. The food served at the buffets is varied and everyone should be able to ind something they like. The set meals are quite small portions which again suited us as we had the 8pm sitting and didn’t want to go to bed after heavy meal. It looked beautiful and we enjoyed all the different Norwegian recipes served but again heard some people complaining about the portion sizes and menu. The answer to this is to speak to the head waitress either earlier in the day to change whatever it is you don’t fancy or speak to the waitress when it is brought to the table and they will change it/ bring you more etc. They couldn’t have been more helpful. Also be warned that an average bottle of wine is £45 +! A glass of wine or beer is £10! The prices are roughly the same in the local alcohol stores so it’s not that Hurtigruten are over charging it is just the price of everything generally in Norway. We took alcohol on board with us to drink in our cabin and it did not cause a problem. If you want a different and reasonably priced experience with good food and beautiful scenery this is definitely the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I am Norwegian by birth but 50 year US citizen (Seattle), educated in Norway and Denmark as Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. For years I have cruised in my own boats the entire Northwest Passage (Seattle to Sitka). Only two additional ... Read More
I am Norwegian by birth but 50 year US citizen (Seattle), educated in Norway and Denmark as Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. For years I have cruised in my own boats the entire Northwest Passage (Seattle to Sitka). Only two additional such long and naturally protected passages from the ocean swell excist on earth: the Norwegian Coast and Patagonia (Chile). The nature, weather and the people living there are very different between them. Next I wanted to see the Norwegian Coast. Hurtigruten's Classic Voyage looked to be perfect. They serve this Voyage with 11 ships, one each day for the 11 day round trip from Bergen (Norway) to Kirkenes (near the border to Russia) back to Bergen. It is the continuation of the 130 year old Norwegian Royal Mail route, now docking at 34 towns and communities with mail, cargo and passengers each way. Being passenger onboard you become aware of being part of and intimately witnessing the daily life along this incredible coastline. My ship, M/S Lofoten, is the old lady of the fleet and a real ship in my mind (we are of the same vintage, if you will). She is small, ship-like and filled with old fashion marine qualities and charm. Her Captain Eivind Sande, his officers and crew were skilled in making me feel at ease, at home and become part of their ship as the spectacular nature presented itself very close-by on the outside. Visually it is an intense and changing experience at the same time as it is peaceful and calming. All 11 Hurtigruten ships offer the same large variety of optional excursions, but if the excursions are the main attraction for you, the larger vessels (about 500 beds versus Lofoten's 151) might be a better choice. For us, some excursions were cancelled for lack of participants, but most were completed and all of those were excellent. I had high hope and expectations for this cruise, and as it unfolded my "M/S Lofoten experience" surpassed it all. A fantastic ship and ship experience in a spectacular nature very near by. Read Less
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
Sail Date July 2018
Our experience on the Richard With exceeded our expectations. The food was amazing and fabulous. The cabin was comfortable and the public rooms very nice and attractive. The scenery must be the best in the world.! The crew could not have ... Read More
Our experience on the Richard With exceeded our expectations. The food was amazing and fabulous. The cabin was comfortable and the public rooms very nice and attractive. The scenery must be the best in the world.! The crew could not have been more pleasant. Of course alcohol bought onboard was expensive but it is everywhere in Norway. The breakfast & lunch buffets were out of this world, and the served meal in the evening very tasty. If you saw something on the menu in the morning you did not like, you could ask for something else for that evening. The ports were interesting, the embarkation easy, the talks interesting. Disembarkation in Kirkenes was a bit slow and crowded but not a problem. I think this was unusual. We did not take any excursions but liked to wander around ports on our own. We were lucky with perfect weather. Mu husband says that everything was "splendid, an extraordinary time, and we enjoyed it thoroughly." The 6 nights were expensive in our view at first but by the end we felt it was good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The journey with Hurtigruten on the MS Finnmarken was the most wonderful I ever made. The norwegian fjords are fantastic and this fresh arctic air makes you stay on the upper deck all day, you get addicted to it. Most comfortable ... Read More
The journey with Hurtigruten on the MS Finnmarken was the most wonderful I ever made. The norwegian fjords are fantastic and this fresh arctic air makes you stay on the upper deck all day, you get addicted to it. Most comfortable thing was the sauna and the two jaccuzis on the rear deck - it is too lovely to sit in the hot tub and see the ship leaving Kristiansund or Tromso or whatever!! LOVELY. The interior in an Art Déco-style is nice and they even had a piano in the salon. Best thing for those, who doesn't want to go outside, is the panorama-salon on deck 8, watching the scenery passing by slowly is the best way to travel. The only thing, that was really bad for me: I am an allergic person and the food i got was ridiculous! For breaktfast they just got me two slices of glutenfree toast, nothing else (for the rest I had to check the buffet - which didn't provide much for me). And dinner (when there was no buffet). was just terrible. Mostly it looked like the leftovers of the lunchbuffet, smashed into the pan with some old beetroot. And always styrofoam chickpeas. Or Potatoesoup with no taste. Considering, that the others got a five star menu and that the chefs are actually professionals the dishes for allergic people were a shame! That was the only complaint, but a major one. Still the journey was so beautiful, that I am gonna do it again next year summer. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date February 2018
We took the Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen round trip coatal voyage on MS Trollfjord. We did the same trip 5 years ago and it was amazing so we had very high expectations and we were not disappointed. The scenery is just stunning, the ship is ... Read More
We took the Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen round trip coatal voyage on MS Trollfjord. We did the same trip 5 years ago and it was amazing so we had very high expectations and we were not disappointed. The scenery is just stunning, the ship is beautifully decorated and the food is just lovely and a true taste of Norway. We particularly enjoy the lack of entertainment on baord which provides a peaceful environment to watch the ever changing views. We saw the Northern lights on several occasions, sailed though sea ice on approach to Kirkenes and enjoyed amazing night time scenery by moonlight. Just magical. We also love being out on deck during visits to all of the little ports and watching goods being unloaded and provisions being brought on board - often crates of local produce and fresh fish for the supper ahead. Our cabin was excellent and the crew on board were friendly and efficient. Norway is an expensive country and drinks on board are not cheap, but they are about the same price as in Norway so can't complain. The excursions are also expensive but well organised and enjoyable, we did the North Cape - not to be missed, a coastal walk around Bodo which was beautiful with lovely views and an excellent guide, and the Midnight concert in Tromo which is a special experience. We can't recomment Hurtigruten highly enough, this is not a typical cruise but that is exactly why we like it and will certainly do it again as soon as we can. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
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
Sail Date December 2017
We so enjoyed our round trip up the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. The ship was good, the food was amazing, the crew are friendly and helpful, our cabin was modern and very comfortable and Norway is incredibly beautiful. ... Read More
We so enjoyed our round trip up the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. The ship was good, the food was amazing, the crew are friendly and helpful, our cabin was modern and very comfortable and Norway is incredibly beautiful. We saw the Northern Lights 4 times! I would absolutely love to do the trip again at a different time of year. This is not a typical cruise with a zillion people and all singing and dancing, but one of the ferries which plies it's way up and down the coast of Norway. The Expedition Team give short talk every day about a different aspect of Norwegian life and customs which we found to very interesting. We didn't bother with any excursions, we just planned our own activities and walks when we in port long enough to disembark. If you want to try something slightly out of the ordinary, I recommend a Hurtigruten voyage unreservedly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This is the worst cruise in my cruising life. Paid for a suite and get as the prisoner meal, eat it or go to deck 7 paid for your favorite meal.that was not people who paid for expensive room and get the hopeless meal. Don't ... Read More
This is the worst cruise in my cruising life. Paid for a suite and get as the prisoner meal, eat it or go to deck 7 paid for your favorite meal.that was not people who paid for expensive room and get the hopeless meal. Don't expect live entertainment in other luxury cruise. You will get bore after 3 days. Tour desk officer are very rude, junior promise multi excursion get discount, she can overwrite it and said no discount. Ports and shore excursions, it is a delivery ship or just like ferry cruising.you will pay for expensive and not worth while excursion.norwegian monopoly these sector for northern light and yet, you won't get the best northern light photo.reason: cruise is moving and tilting, even you have tripod, your northern light pictures is not as sharp as land tour for northern lights. We have joined land tour in jan 2017 in tromso as what we have compare the image.if you want good northern light, fly to tromso and join the northern light chase from the side lane of radisson blu hotel. Stay away don't get regret like us. WE JOINED WE LOOSE You listen to my advice you win. Read Less
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
Sail Date December 2017
The Hurtigruten trip with MS Spitsbergen was definitely one of the best holidays we ever had! Besides the beautiful landscape of the Norwegian coast, the size of the ship was perfect (small), the interior was modern, the food was very ... Read More
The Hurtigruten trip with MS Spitsbergen was definitely one of the best holidays we ever had! Besides the beautiful landscape of the Norwegian coast, the size of the ship was perfect (small), the interior was modern, the food was very delicious, the daily information of the upcoming stops and tours were helpful, the littele events, presentations and gimmick were funny and exciting, and, most important, the crew was always friendly and open for a small chat! The variety of vegetarian food could have been a little bigger (it sometimes was only the usual side dishes). We did the following excursions: - Art Nouveau walk in Ålesund: was informative but a bit rushed - Husky farm in Tromsø: very nice and cute, with puppies, background information, cake and coffee - Nordkapp: impressive landscape, extra stop at Sami and Reindeer, good stories from guide - Russion Border at Kirkenes: with Shelter and view point; ok but not a must-see - Midnight concert in Tromsø: amazing - Evening hiking on Lofoten: was ok but a near road was noisy all the time; 1.5 h car drive for 2 h hike was ineffective; you should be fit to join. Weather was great, 20°C and sunny in the start, later around 5-10° and very windy. Many nights with northern lights. The ship was quite shakey during the open sea passages. We had two extra nights in Bergen before an one after the cruise. The embarkation and welcome on board was without problems. The disembarkation took a little longer dur to low battery of the fork lift. :-) Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to sea the Norwegian coastline from Kirkenes to Bergen. We got to Kirkenes from Oslo by SAS and did not spend any time in Kirkenes before embarking. The embarking went smooth easy The ship in not one of the biggest in ... Read More
We wanted to sea the Norwegian coastline from Kirkenes to Bergen. We got to Kirkenes from Oslo by SAS and did not spend any time in Kirkenes before embarking. The embarking went smooth easy The ship in not one of the biggest in Hurtigruten but that is why we love it so much. Just over 200 passengers is perfect. The Ship has a history that is kind of intriguing. The cabin we stayed in was amazing, and we love the local foods being served at dinner, and also the fact if you have allergies or you do not like what is on the menu you can get some other choice, but you have to ask for it. The service of the Staff is why we came back for our second trip on this vessel. To dine aboard MS Spitsbergen is unstressfull and the food is varied and tasty. The waiters are so sweet and cheerful, and they are always smiling and giving 100% service! There are so many Ports that we stop at and loads of different shore excursions so there is truly something for everyone. Best of all is the Norwegian coast, the dramatic nature, glaciers, the tall montains and all the places people do live along this amazing coast. Fresh, clean, wild, untouched nature at it's best. We did miss some better chairs up on deck 8, they are to low and should have had a higher/longer back so that you can lean back and enjoy the sun. Some blankets would also have been nice. This is not our last trip with Hurtigruten MS Spitsbergen, we will be back again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were told about the Hurtigruten service, by friends, a few years ago and put it on our bucket list. We found a travel agent offering an all in package, cruise and flights, at a good price and booked immediately. Hurtigruten offer ... Read More
We were told about the Hurtigruten service, by friends, a few years ago and put it on our bucket list. We found a travel agent offering an all in package, cruise and flights, at a good price and booked immediately. Hurtigruten offer excursions touring Bergen, our port of embarkation, but time constraints prevented us from taking the offer up. Good excuse to take another cruise in future. Our ship,'The Finnmarken' is one of the larger ships in the fleet but only takes 600 or so passengers calling in to numerous towns and villages up the coast - it doubles as a coastal ferry and cargo ship. Our cabin was more than adequate having a fixed single bed and a settee which converts to a bed of the same size. The shower/toilet was of a reasonable size and had piping hot water available round the clock. The food was very good and plentiful serving a buffet breakfast and lunch with a set menu at dinner. There was a wide range of excursions available but some were cancelled due to inclement weather, a late snow storm. Those that we went on were well organised with a local, well informed guide on each one. The ship stopped at many of the ports visited long enough to explore the towns and villages. The crew are very professional and went the extra mile for us all to enjoy ourselves. An announcement was made whenever the Northern Lights were spotted from the bridge giving everyone the chance to view the spectacle. One of the Great Sea Trips of the world, we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
WE cruised the Norwegian fjords a few years ago in late November in ice and snow with the Norwegian company - Hurtigruten and enjoyed it so much we planned another visit! This time we chose the Autumnal season. Not quite as stunning as ... Read More
WE cruised the Norwegian fjords a few years ago in late November in ice and snow with the Norwegian company - Hurtigruten and enjoyed it so much we planned another visit! This time we chose the Autumnal season. Not quite as stunning as the winter season but still deserving the title The Most Beautiful Cruise in the World. A photographers paradise. Marvellous light and skies. Nordnorge was very comfortable - albeit one of the lifts was out of order the entire trip. The Expedition and Information Team were simply brilliant - delightful people and always on the go and smiling, although their job must be tiring. Excellent tours and trips at various ports and destinations. Ah - yes - don't miss the Crossing the Arctic Circle Ceremony on deck. Comfortable beds in the small cabins. (This is not a large liner). Restaurant excellent. Only one niggle - the coffee and tea making machines are simply ghastly. Costa or Starbucks need to get in there. Great holiday! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I am certain there are many reviews of the Hurtigruten cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes - I will try to provide some more details than I have read online and to give some advice I could have used while traveling. First things first - ... Read More
I am certain there are many reviews of the Hurtigruten cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes - I will try to provide some more details than I have read online and to give some advice I could have used while traveling. First things first - this is an exceptional experience, due to the scenery, the graciousness of the Norwegian people an the staff on board as well as the ease of traveling into some distant regions in comfort. Second - and for some of you this may be important - this is different from other cruises you may have taken on more traditional cruise lines such as I and my wife had taken on Oceania and Regent. If you need the luxury and the larger suites - absolutely need - that these lines offer Hurtigruten will disappoint you. The food and the staff are first class; the suites tiny less than half in size what experienced on Oceania and Regent; there is a very small gym and no entertainment. The open areas are quite large and accommodative of groups, stretching out and otherwise spending little time in your cabin - after all, at it’s heart, the ship is a ferry and there are passengers getting on and off for shorter trips along the way. Third - while the crew and many of the passengers speak English, a significant majority of passengers are Norwegian and German with a majority German. This is not an issue - just a heads up. Some details. • Food - excellent, truly and are picky, my wife’s hobby is cooking and she does not eat red meat. The breakfast buffet is huge - no custom omelets, but everything else - lunch was most usually another large buffet and dinner was a fixed menu, with made for my wife and another traveling companion who did not eat red meat and if you love fish, tell them you do not eat meat. Beer and wine are extra, the wine selection is limited and I would avoid the wine package, you will do better buying wine and beer night by night. If you like beer, try the local lager that translates into Polar Bear. A good deal of the cuisine was modernized Norwegian - cod, what they call stockfish, Arctic char, salmon, reindeer and so on, lots of root vegetables prepared in a superior way to what we see back in the States, Desserts are limited excellent and the Norwegians take cream seriously! One caution - you need to reserve a time, you cannot do it online, and if you are traveling with other people you must make sure you reserve your table with them. It is not a perfect system - they should let you do this online - and we ended up eating at 8:30, later than we would have preferred but it was the only time available to be able to be seated with our friends and even then three other people sat with us. Not a big deal, just a heads up. • Billing - make sure you register your credit card in reception to make sure all your expenses can be paid for with your room key card, from tours to Diet Coke, this greatly simplifies things. When you settle up, if you of not need your kronor you can pay part of your bill in kronor and the rest by credit card - but you have to do this the evening before you leave the ship. • Expense - Norway is a shockingly expensive country if you have not bothered to read about the country before this review. And this cruise is not cheap - but you get what you pay for. After a day or two a small bag of potato chips costing thee bucks and a beet costing twelve is something you do not care about. If you are on a tight budget you can easily avoid extra expenses, especially if you do not drink alcohol. That said, despite your budget, you will miss too much if you do not take tours in certain places, and you will waste money if you take tours you should not, and I will discuss these in a minute. • Staff - the staff is excellent service staff with typical Scandinavian reserve. They are also professionals paid by Norwegian standards - other cruise lines have day to day staff from many countries dominated by poverty and, to our taste, are almost too deferential. The staff on the Hurtigruten could easily be your neighbor or son in law and we found this to be a very pleasant surprise. That said, they do follow their own rules - if you are in your room when the housekeeper comes by, the best you will do is fresh towels, he or she will not come back to do your room. When you are the last to be sitting in the dining room, they will not hesitate to ask you to move to one of the common rooms so the staff can prepare for the next day’s work - and so on. • Line up eating times with people you are traveling with • Rooms - the rooms are beyond small - a large person has to squeeze between the end of the bed and the wall. The bed is quite comfortable. The bathroom is also very, very small, the shower fast and furious - a great shower with no shortage of water as hot as you want it to be. There is a flat panel and satellite TV with a few English language channels, including one or two news channels depending on where you are. Do not plan on spending time in your room, other than for sleep and a nap. And if you save money by getting a cabin without a porthole - they are not large but did let in light - well, good luck to you. • WiFi - the ship has by far the best WiFi - actually the whole country does - and it is very cheap, roughly five or six bucks a day. If you have an international data plan, you will discover Norway’s telecom company has placed cell towers along the fjords and more than half the time we were cruising I could get a signal on my phone and with my own AT&T data plan. • Common areas - there are several common, open areas to relax, look outside hang with groups. A lounge with day food next to the dining room; a larger lounge on the seventh desk with more food and lots of seating; a bar in the front of the chip with dozens and dozens of chairs and tables, a fake fireplace and great views as it is in the front of the shop and glass all around. On one of the decks in the rear of the ship there are portable deck chairs and there is standing room in the front of the ship on deck five, a great place to take in the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen and I have been very lucky to be able to travel to many parts of the US and the world. • Excursions - there are yours available at most stops, and are typically brief as the ship works on a ferry’s schedule. What I write is based on our experiences and those of others we traveled with. Before specifics, be aware, the city tours are, for the most part, unnecessary if you have a tour book or there is a decent discussion online, such as sites in Tromse or Trondheim. And some of the tours or experiences you would normally avoid as they seem to “corny” or “touristy” are actually worth it. So please, read online reviews. The Viking feast - total kitsch, but worth it. Crab Safari - excellent, fun, great guide/fisherman, by far the best crab we have ever eaten, one hour out of the water, and my wife is the crab queen of Baltimore! The River Safari was a hoot and worthwhile. The Sami tour was also worth it but disappointing insofar as there was virtually o discussion of the current life of the Sami - and if you are not interested in indigenous peoples an cultures, you should take a pass. The best tour was the Nordpak tour - a great guide, incredible views, you will never get further north on Continental Europe, our favorite by far. The Russian border your had thumbs up because of the tour of the underground shelter used during the war, a thumbs down because the only thing at the border are order guards. As I wrote earlier, the city tours are hardly worth the expenses • Special experiences - If you sleep through Troll Fjord you missed the whole point of visiting this far side of the world, we did it at night and I will never forget being ten meters away from the side walls of a fjord in the dead of night, just spectacular. Crossing the Arctic Circle (you get a free certificate!). The Nordpak tour was worth the whole trip; eating the special apple pastry prepared on our last night outdoors in the late evening was another highlight (of course there was a charge for this); and overall the impact of the Gulfstream changes your view of the Arctic. Farming in mid-September 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and on the Nordpak tour you are in a place that never gets below ten degrees Fahrenheit, forty miles inland it can get forty below. • Not so special experiences - the aforementioned city tours and the cities themselves - Alendsun, Tromse and Trondheim are nice, with great coffee and pastries, and some nice shops, but if you have traveled there is nothing that will make you say “wow!”. And please check times - in Trondheim everything but the cathedral was closed until 11:00, the ship was there for but three hours and leaving at noon. Kirkenes is an industrial city destroyed during the war with absolutely nothing to do on your own in the city. We stayed, and did the crab safari, if you do not want to one of the tours, be prepared to move on right after you dock. • Activities - on board there are virtually no activities - there is a sauna, two hot tubs on our ship, both shut down waiting for inspection, and that is about it. • Good coffee - do not laugh, my wife and I get nervous before cruising, what if we do not like the coffee? On board the coffee is more than adequate. • Beauty - there is constant beauty you never tire of - every hour of every day. And a sense of wonder that the sun is shining, you are wearing a light sweater and your 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle - this is mid-September. • Bergen to Kirkenes is enough time for most of us - a six day or so journey - many passengers were doing the round trio, I am glad we did not as the ship stops in places we had already visited. • Northern lights - due to the time of year and cloud cover we never did see the Northern lights. You can download an app to help you predict when you might get a shot at seeing the if you stay up past your bed time! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
A dream came true. One of the best holiday experiences. Exillent service and food onboard. Ship is overall clean and in good condition. Panorama salon is nice to be in during bad weather and evenings. There is a very nice and friendly ... Read More
A dream came true. One of the best holiday experiences. Exillent service and food onboard. Ship is overall clean and in good condition. Panorama salon is nice to be in during bad weather and evenings. There is a very nice and friendly atmosphere on board. Breathtaking views as you sail by. We were on two excursions by rib boats, Saltströmen and crabfishing, both worth to go on. Trondheim and Tromsö is nice to go ashore. In Trondheim you should visit the cathedral with a guide provided. In Tromsö is a very nice Arctic museum and a modern church. Unfortunately we were not able to attend a concert but think there is a fantastic acoustic in the church. We saw whales and northern light although not so strong. A special praise to the restaurant. Nice table settings, excellent service and fantastic food, 2 kg:s + in one week!! Would have appreciated some evening entertainment, live music etc. Don't wait, go NOW. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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