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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I came to enjoy the cruise with my wife. Upgraded to suite and met some lovely people while on board. We have had some weather challenges snd couldnt dock, but overall enjoyed the day by day experience. Met nice restaurant team, ... Read More
I came to enjoy the cruise with my wife. Upgraded to suite and met some lovely people while on board. We have had some weather challenges snd couldnt dock, but overall enjoyed the day by day experience. Met nice restaurant team, housekeeping guy, Captain and funny Hotel Manager. Great welcome speech by the way. When we spoke with him all the things got way better! Chef Gundi we loved and his food. When we received a sad info that cruise got cancelled due to technical issues we tried to save and solve this cruise, we encountered a terrible and unfriendly person on expedition desk, black hair expedition coordinator. She is the most unfriendly.snd unprofessional person we met in the past 20 year cruising. Very rude and she ignores our questions. I am not sure how can you hire this person. One man on reception bolded, he ignored our questions and directed wrong. Hire a person who is a guest oriented. All in all Reception and other team helped us out. Thank you so much, but coordinator and guest relation manager ruined our day and cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, ... Read More
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, with an expert lecturer on the Northern Lights and other night sky phenomena (Dr John Mason), and with other interesting talks, information points and excursions handled by the two-woman Expedition Team. The ship was obviously comfortable and well-appointed, but wasn't a great block of flats on a hull, like many modern cruise vessels, and it combined very good facilities for passengers with an element of working ship, delivering cargo at a lot of ports (34) along the way. Our cabin was small, but very comfortable and well-designed: it became a home from home! The organisation of the cruise from start to finish was absolutely faultless: e.g. embarking and disembarkation - including management of our luggage - were handled with the utmost efficiency and with no needless hanging around for passengers. Throughout the voyage, we were kept informed of what was happening through clear - and audible! - announcements. Two minor problems with cabin equipment were immediately remedied. Excursions were handled with the utmost efficiency by the Expedition Team and those ashore, making everything worry-free and enjoyable. The food was plentiful and tasty, without the ridiculous waste and excess which one gathers are the norm on some cruises. Breakfasts involved a good range of items, though the quality of a couple of them (eg scrambled eggs and porridge) could be a bit variable. The lunch buffets had an element of Norwegian comfort food about them, which we found agreeable. Evening meals involved a set 3-course menu, which some might find restrictive, but most of the dishes served were excellent with a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Prices for drinks were high, especially for those with weakening sterling bank accounts! The scenery was simply breathtaking, with constantly changing vistas of snowy peaks coming down to the sea and of islands, many with small and picturesque settlements on them: it will live in our memories for ever. The experience of the late winter Norwegian coast, including settlements in the Arctic Circle, was simply magical. And we saw the lovely Northern Lights - with one amazing moment when the night sky filled with a burst of extraordinary light. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a 12 day cruise that took us from Bergen up to the Russian border and back. Bad weather intervened on the return journey so we were stuck on board for most of the time and there's not much to do other than read, gaze out at ... Read More
We chose a 12 day cruise that took us from Bergen up to the Russian border and back. Bad weather intervened on the return journey so we were stuck on board for most of the time and there's not much to do other than read, gaze out at snowy mountains, doze and eat. We would choose a shorter trip next time and fly back from Kirkenes. Snowmobiling at Kirkenes was brilliant helped by glorious morning sunshine. Dog sledding was also worthwhile. Excursions are eye wateringly expensive but if you're only doing these things once..... The ship was fine and the crew were very good. It is a ferry however and it stops everywhere along the coast taking on board cargo and passengers who use the ship like a bus service. Don't expect the luxury of a cruise ship and grab a seat before the locals come on board otherwise you'll have to revert to your cabin. Food was excellent. Wine at a minimum of £53 a bottle is extortionate especially when compared to £15 a bottle on shore. Shame we were not offered a drinks package although unless the wine was heavily discounted I suspect we would have declined. Made for a tee-total holiday which was no bad thing. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Everything was perfect... The staff was really nice, the food is so good (eat king crab !), the trip (south to north) was perfect and so beautiful (even if there was lot of cloud and didn’t see northern light..), they keep some tradition ... Read More
Everything was perfect... The staff was really nice, the food is so good (eat king crab !), the trip (south to north) was perfect and so beautiful (even if there was lot of cloud and didn’t see northern light..), they keep some tradition and this is so important and so nice. The excursions was perfect with a good organisation. I did the nordkapp and sled dog at kirkenes. It was so funny and perfect ! The ship is a beautiful and authentic old boat. He is small so this is more friendly. Be careful if you have seasick ! My cabine was a little one but just perfect for one person. Every day we can choose if we want clean up or not. For this room, I share toilet and bathroom but it was always clean. Not a problem. One word for the staff, especially for bar and kitchen staff : thank you. You were so perfect and so nice. Takk for your smile !!! Thank you very much MS Lofoten ! Never forget this trip ! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more ... Read More
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more personal and friendly atmosphere aboard the ship. There is no traditional entertainment, however the lectures and gatherings are brilliant, entertaining and informative. The ship is also a working ship calling at 34 ports, sometimes at night which can lead to some noise as cargo, cars and passengers may be embarked/ disembarked. Our cabin was on deck 5 on the starboard (right hand) side, which was ideal as all loading/ unloading was on the port (left) side so any noise did not disturb us. The ship had a well fitted exercise room, which we used, male and female saunas, and outdoor hot tubs. The restaurant was superb, with excellent choice of breakfast and lunch buffet and set, mainly traditional meals for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are sit anywhere whilst dinner is set times and tables. There were 6 sittings for dinner ranging from 6pm to 8.30pm, I would advise that you request early or late dinning when making a booking. However we were allocated an 8pm sitting which was far too late for my digestion but when asked for a change we were reallocated a 6.30pm slot sharing a table of 6 with charming company. We did get to see the northern lights on 3 nights although this is obviously dependant on climatic conditions. The excursions off ship that we did were great and well worth what on the face of it looks to be a lot of money. The pick was getting off the ship in the dark early evening and snowmobiling over the mountains, stopping to possibly seeing the northern lights and then continuing to pick up the ship in the next port. Alcoholic drinks on board are very expensive, however at most ports where you could get off the ship for a few hours there were bars or supermarkets where alcoholic drinks could be obtained. Although supposedly not permitted we had no problems taking some on board. In Norway you are allowed 1 litre of spirits and 3 litres of wine duty free, and as you pass through the duty free shops at the airport on the way in you can pick up some supplies to get you started. Overall a brilliant trip which was more an adventure than a holiday, with lots of downtime to relax and chill out and admire the passing scenery from the observation lounge. We are going back in the summer to see how it all looks in the midnight sun Read Less
Sail Date: January 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
3 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoyed our cruise very much. It was very good for the liver as alcohol prices were so high we hardly touched a drop, and given the Norwegian economy, the same can be said for all the excursions. However, having said that, we had ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise very much. It was very good for the liver as alcohol prices were so high we hardly touched a drop, and given the Norwegian economy, the same can be said for all the excursions. However, having said that, we had wonderful R&R, saw the Northern Lights in all their glory, saw a bit of local life and enjoyed the fabulous scenery. Of the ship itself, the food was amazing, the crew wonderful and overall, it was very comfortable. In particular, we would like to commend the 'reception captain' who was particularly helpful in resolving issues about our cabin. On this issue, we feel that 'polar exterior' cabins with a view of a lifeboat, should be marketed at a separate price. There were also some very entertaining on board lectures etc We have a few (hopefully helpful) comments to make. 1 We did think that the quay side reception was poor.. 2 receptionists took a long time to process at least 3 coachloads of passengers who stood in a queue for up to (in some cases) an hour. Further, in the reception 'lounge' (after check in), there was no water available we heard. 2 The night visit to Trollffyord was very disappointing. A great deal was made of the fact that the ship would shine its lights down the fiord, but in the event, it was deemed that the moon was so good that this was unnecessary. HOWEVER, NO-ONE TOLD THE PASSENGERS!!! Those of us who were waiting on the beam of the ship (very limited space up front) saw absolutely nothing. It would have been nice if the ship had manoeuvred to allow everyone to see, but the most important thing was that there needed to be a commentary by the (otherwise) excellent on board entertainments' team. Bit of a waste of time from our point of view. 3 We found the food delicious but somewhat over salted. One can add but you can not take away! 4 Would like to see better lighting in top lounges Deck 7 (for reading at night). I'm all for dimmed (romantic?) lighting, but it does not suit everyone 5 The so called 'Captain's Dinner' on the penultimate evening (for which some, especially ladies, dressed up) was a bit of a farce. It consisted of 4 officers saying 'Lovely to see you - "cheers" and a quick 'march' round the dining room 'waving' (and no more) at all the tables. To make that occasion in any way worthwhile, we feel the officers should have stopped at individual tables for a few moments' chat. If you bill this sort of event in this way, it needs to be more of an occasion - or not do it. However, the latter would be a great pity. The crew were fun and it would have been nice to have SOME social time with them. 6 It would be good to be able to buy the tea and coffee package on board. 7 I would have liked to have used the Jacuzzi but could not access it as the approach was too icy and there was nowhere to change. 8 It would be nice if the top deck 'cafe' could sell one flavour of sugar free ice cream. We repeat, we enjoyed the trip and felt it was good value for money. We hope the above is helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, ... Read More
It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, especially when the side thrusters vibrate going into each dock. This ship had just been refurbished, so the decor was great with a lot of new technology, but had not been finished on time, so we had workman on board through to Christmas Eve, The outside cabins are small, so although expensive, we were so pleased we upgraded to a suite, which are fantastic, with large windows, TV, settee, chairs, fridge & blinds. No safe in the rooms, but you can borrow a hair drier from the reception. The first suite we were given had problems with the lights and after the 4th blackout, we insisted we were moved. I must emphasis that the staff on board this ship could not have been more obliging & helpful, despite suffering huge problems on a daily basis. Although a wine drinker, I must admit I went 12 days without a drop, because I refused to pay £50 for a bottle of wine. Excursions are also expensive, but well organised and easy to book on board. Some of the excursions have to be planned around sailing times, so you may start at one port but taken back on the ship a another port further down. The food on board was excellent and plenty of choice when served as a buffet. Some of the evening meals were served as a fixed menu, where you sat at a specific table with no choice of alternatives. I was a vegetarian, but knew that with such an abundance of fish . meat, my choices would be limited. I made sure I filled up during the breakfast & lunch periods. One evening, my meal was a bit of salad with a tomato. followed by a bowl of soup as my main course and a small bowl of ice cream for desert. If I had to highlight what was best, I would say the "Expedition Team of 3". They worked so hard, in such a friendly way to make sure we were informed, knew what was available & shared with us so much knowledge about Norway, Food, Culture & much much more. They spoke fluently in English, German & Norwegion. They were fun and it was like a big happy family event. I could moan about some issues, but all the staff did their best to make you happy. The country is beautiful, even with the limited light hours. I was amazed that if you came up to a road, the local drivers would always stop & let you cross. Shops were not crowded, you never saw any drunks (even at Christmas), no traffic jams, no homeless and Oh - no Northern Lights. Despite information about this ship, they did have two hot tubs at the back of the ship (deck 4). There is no evening entertainment, but they did bring on a pianist on board and although she could play the piano, her singing switched octaves on a regular basis and although she asked us to sing along with her, the words shoe sand was different to everyone else. They have a fitness room on board, but walking is limited ashore, especially on the southern journey back. You can walk around the ship (deck 5), but when you are on the open sea, it is very difficult to walk around the bow end, for fear of being blown along the deck. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The ... Read More
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The Hutingruten is a working ferry so this allowed us to get a real flavour of Norwegian coastal activities. Several major stops were over 3 hours and since Norwegian towns are not too large it was possible to see all major points on interest by just wandering around. Thanks to some forethought, maps were provided at major stopping points. Extensive organised trips were available and those who went on them gave glowing reports. No problem with the language as all the crew speak English. This ship carried special crew members called an Expedition Team who lead some of the more adventurous trips. Extremely attractive , very knowledgable, and competent in at least 4 languages between them. Lectures, information films and expedition briefings were held throughout the trip - even the Captain explaining the aids to navigation through the many islands (23,000) along the coast. The dress code is very casual, no dressing up at all although you might change for dinner if you would like. No pressure! No caberet (thank goodness) - bring your cards, play games, read books, or talk with other people on the trip. Ladies or gents - bring your knitting or crochet or contribute to the ship's blanket, by making granny squares. Or just sit and admire the ever changing view. Try this trip if food is your thing as much of it is loaded on board freshly every day and reflects the local cuisine in the main evening meal. Buffet breakfast and lunch cater for a wide range of tastes and as much as you can eat. Every meal has been superb. The service cannot be faulted. Most people go teetotal for the trip as alcohol in Norway costs twice as much as in the UK. Mobile phones work without any extra charge; internet access is available on various reasonably priced packages. We saw the Northern Lights! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are only now on our 4th day on cruise and everyday a wonderful experience!! Excursions very good! Boat wonderful, clean, modern and with every facility needed. The staff excellent especially the expedition team! Food is ... Read More
We are only now on our 4th day on cruise and everyday a wonderful experience!! Excursions very good! Boat wonderful, clean, modern and with every facility needed. The staff excellent especially the expedition team! Food is outstanding! You definitely don’t need to upgrade to a-la-cartevoption! Every dinner different and food from area served with wonderful descriptions of dinner options on menu. Most beautiful views outside everyday!!! You sail by the most beautiful little towns, villages, mountains and through fjords. You are warned well on advance when you will be in open sea passages and with stabilisers on the boat the rough seas are handled very well. The crossing of the arctic circle this morning was a joyious occassion and the ceremony thereafter very good. The only complaint is passsengers who is selfish when it comes to seating in explorer lounge.... the staff requested not to reserve seats. Suggestion would be that passengers should be told not to sit and sleep on chairs... only to use it if they are watching and filming the views. The boat is beautiful and the explorer lounge lovely! I will highly recommend the cruise! Well done Hurtigruten!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Done this voyage before, couldn't wait to do it again, not disappointed. If you want beautiful scenery, calm and relaxing voyage, no glitzy entertainment, TV or radio, mostly mature and intelligent fellow passengers, ie they're ... Read More
Done this voyage before, couldn't wait to do it again, not disappointed. If you want beautiful scenery, calm and relaxing voyage, no glitzy entertainment, TV or radio, mostly mature and intelligent fellow passengers, ie they're there for the same reason as you, then this is the trip for you. No need to 'dress' for dinner, just dress for comfort and the weather. Take a good camera, binoculars, plenty of layers for the different weather from north to south, plenty of Krone for adhoc purchases. Choose your excursions wisely and don't try to cram in too much, but the North Cape and Taste of Vesteralen are a 'must'. Don't forget the seasick tablets in case of choppy weather. Hop on and off at all the little stops, even it just for 5 minutes, you'll be amazed at what you see. Amazing gallery and museum where the ship stops for the North Cape excursion, visit if you have the time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I bought trip by phone, from Australia to UK, as no local office, so had to pay in £, thus more conversion fees. I had seen an ad online about reduced fare for solo travel from Kirkenes to Bergen. Each ship is different, and I realised I ... Read More
I bought trip by phone, from Australia to UK, as no local office, so had to pay in £, thus more conversion fees. I had seen an ad online about reduced fare for solo travel from Kirkenes to Bergen. Each ship is different, and I realised I was on an old one. A newer one has far more facilities. I got the cheapest cabin, without porthole, which was fine. It can be very noisy at night due to ship vibration. Bad weather occasionally required seasick pills. It was very cold and wet and windy in September. No entertainment, only books, so make sure to take your own.WIFI costs 200K for 5 day trip. Tea and coffee are free with meals, otherwise very expensive. I took a thermos cup and asked for free hot water in the cafe, making my own brought tea and coffee in my cabin. Alcohol is prohibitive, so I bought a 1litre cardboard box at a wine store, 120K, and drank it in my cabin. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
How nice to have the whole trip so relaxing, including not having to take a dinner jacket. Loved the whole ambiance. Our ship had been recently refurbished so was quite modern and clean. The cabin was just fine, except didn't like ... Read More
How nice to have the whole trip so relaxing, including not having to take a dinner jacket. Loved the whole ambiance. Our ship had been recently refurbished so was quite modern and clean. The cabin was just fine, except didn't like being on level 5 with the walk way going past us - people can't resist looking in!! The food was excellent & staff were great and very friendly. The excersion staff were brilliant. We went on 7 excursions and aeven though expensive, all worthwhile and unmissable. Highlights: Crabbing safari, breakfast at North Cape, The atlantic bridges trip and Trollfjord. Enjoyed the fact that people wereon and off at different ports including delivering goods to local people. Meant we met alot of different people all the time. Only down side: maybe 80% German travellers, who weren't too friendly Glad we had the coffee package as any extras were very expensive, but that's Noway, so to be expected. Overall a lovely break and of course the scenery was stunning. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Came on board to accompany a friend and to see the beautiful landscape of Norway. Get ready for many non smiling passengers. The staff can be found doing multiple job assignments. Your room can be attended to by the wait staff. I ... Read More
Came on board to accompany a friend and to see the beautiful landscape of Norway. Get ready for many non smiling passengers. The staff can be found doing multiple job assignments. Your room can be attended to by the wait staff. I was happy that our server was attentive to special dietary restrictions. Most speak English fairly well and one guide spoke 6 languages. He seemed like the most kindhearted individual. Turned off by a hostess who felt like she needed to admonish an infraction in dining policy. Needs training in customer service. What was a fairly pleasant boring but beautiful cruise was tainted by her caustic approach in addressing us. Best thing on the ship was the salmon. If your looking to be entertained, this is not for you. The weather was cold and rained a lot. Darken the windows when sleeping since it was light for 23 hours. Bring warm clothes and a good water repellent jacket. Dress is very casual. Water is a premium. Need to bring water from restaurant if you want it in your cabin. Coffee is only served in morning at breakfast, but available on deck 8 with purchase or package. Ice is a commodity. Had to get my own ice daily for my water from the bar. Norway is not cheap. Everything is expensive. Cashed in US dollars for Krones at reception and was shorted each time. Asked if there was a fee and replied no, but get ready to pay a hidden rate(not the true exchange rate at time). There is a laundry facility available, but clothes take a long time to dry. Can’t beat the remarkable views traveling by water. Salmon the best, staff mostly helpful. Passengers- depressing. Sorry Norway, land of my ancestors. You need to lighten up. 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: May 2018
About 5 years ago I went on the same cruise in January up the coast of Norway all the way to the Russian border, everything gleamring in the snow. It was so beautiful that I wanted to see it in the summer, and wasn’t disappointed. ... Read More
About 5 years ago I went on the same cruise in January up the coast of Norway all the way to the Russian border, everything gleamring in the snow. It was so beautiful that I wanted to see it in the summer, and wasn’t disappointed. Totally different but stunning all the same. The Hurtigruten Line is very well organised. Joining the cruise in Bergen and disembarkation at the end is done with military precision. The facilities on board are a delight and the food is a dream. Both breakfast and lunch are buffet style but I defy anyone to be unable to find suitable food wherever in the world you come from. Dinner was a set menu with allocated tables. The service staff are quick and efficient and friendly. I can only report on my own cabin experience but I was more than happy. I was fortunate to have an upgrade from inside to outside cabin with a window. I suspect it was because it was my second voyage with Hurtigruten Cruise line. The cabin was well equipped but I did take a little travel kettle, tea and coffee and dried milk. I like a cup of tea as soon as I rise in the morning. The excursions are numerous and, again, well organised. As for entertainment it’s not like the big cruise ships by any means, there are regular lectures about everything Norwegian, from wildlife, oil production, myths and legends, fishing etc. These lectures are entertaining and well presented. There’s the Crossing the Artic Circle ceremony attended by King Neptune, which, if you dare to participate, ends with you having a jug full of cold water and ice cubes tipped down the back of your neck, so beware. The one thing I will say is that Norway is a very expensive country to visit. You have to be prepared for high prices for anything on board over and above the full board costs already paid for. Having said that it is a wonderful experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I was going to start my review with the comment, "I read somewhere that $20 Billion of Internet business was lost due to bad, slow, incomprehensible websites, and I was sure that Hurtigruten was included" They had the ... Read More
I was going to start my review with the comment, "I read somewhere that $20 Billion of Internet business was lost due to bad, slow, incomprehensible websites, and I was sure that Hurtigruten was included" They had the worst website in the world Wonder of wonders, the website has changed completely, Its now one of the best Even with the old website, if you followed through you ended up with the holiday of a lifetime. It was on my wife’s bucket list and this year we made it. Much more expensive than when we started off, but once you have invested in the airfare and the boat, go for every excursion you can afford, and some you can’t. It’s a one off. Norway suffers because it exports oil and salmon and as a result it currency is way over valued. Typical is the cost of wine and beer. The wine package is a bottle of own label at £45 per day per person and beer is £10 a bottle. It’s all taxes I’m afraid. We decided to go teetoal and spend the money on more excursions and have to admit we felt better for it. The food is fantastic. Everything is locally sourced and the chef buys 250 to 300 kg of fresh salmon each trip. Breakfast and lunch are buffets, unfortunately the basics are the same every day so after 11 days you feel like a change. Diner changes and the menu tells you where the ingredients came from (again all local). The food overall is excellent. On one occasion, taking a clean shirt from the suitcase and putting it on, I was unable to do the buttons up. I think I put on about 4 kg. The boat is very informal, with a mixture of nationalities. Quite a few Americans who had come to see where their grandparents had emigrated from. The boat had an expedition team who were excellent and had perfect diction in all languages. My wife’s german has definitely improved. They not only run the excursions but also gives short talks on deck pointing out points of interest. The book says that excursions cannot be changed, but our team was very understanding and happily swapped trips for us. The scenery is fantastic, We did not have midnight sun, but you could read a book at midnight. The light colour is more like winters in the south of France, and coming south I was amazed at how dark it was at 3 in the morning. I just wasn’t used to it. Just check out www.hurtigruten.co.uk/destinations/norway/?tab=ships%20&%20ports "£$3£$ Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I always wanted to go on this cruise and finally booked it as there was no surcharge for a single cabin. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed as the weather was rather cloudy and rainy with limited visibility. Fortunately, the ... Read More
I always wanted to go on this cruise and finally booked it as there was no surcharge for a single cabin. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed as the weather was rather cloudy and rainy with limited visibility. Fortunately, the weather changed on day 3 and the trip became one of the best I ever did. Great landscape, nice excursions (Northern Cape, Husky sleigh tour and midnight concert in Trondheim), a variety of people to spend time with, very interesting presentations on various aspects of Norway and first-class delicious food! I appreciated the easy-going atmosphere (no fashion shows at diner). Food was delicious and deserves 5 stars. The cabin was as expected, not too big, but with everything you need. My cabin was with restricted view, means there was a rescue boat in front of the window. I made an excursion to the Northern cape, a Husky adventure in Kirkenes where we also visited the Snow Hotel and the Midnight concert in Trondheim. Organisation was good and I enjoyed them all. There is lots more on offer, however they are all quite expensive for Non-Norwegians. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I particularly liked the expedition team as they were giving regular presentations on various subjects on Norway - very informative and interesting. Overall, it was an impressive experience with Hurtigruten and I will most probably go again to experience a different time of the year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
To see the fjords north of Norway and all the small ports of call onboard a "coast cruiseliner" during wintertime. It is the company's 150 years aniversery Embarcation and disembarcation vent smoothly Ports and ... Read More
To see the fjords north of Norway and all the small ports of call onboard a "coast cruiseliner" during wintertime. It is the company's 150 years aniversery Embarcation and disembarcation vent smoothly Ports and Shore excursions were well organised but far too expensive. A cruise of adventures which you need to do once in your lifetime In the lounges it was calm and relaxing and from time to time breath taking scenery ,mountains covered with snow and ice,and near sea level small assembling of houses. The weather shifted between snowfalls, snowstorm and sun,and during the nights we expected to see "aurora-the nothernlights" but it did not show up ( overcasted). The food was excellent for breakfast as well as luch, so was dinner too. The excursion team had in the afternoon a lession for the days events and an information for the following day. Also lessions of the "Hurtigrutens " beginning with its history up to day was given. You cannot miss this unique opportunity to be so close to the nature and at the same time so safe onboard this lovely ship Read Less
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