1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Hurtigruten
  4. Midnatsol Review
  5. Midnatsol Cruise Reviews

82 Hurtigruten Midnatsol Cruise Reviews

We chose the Northern Lights voyage on the Midnatsol becuase we had taken the same trip two years earlier on a much smaller ship, the Vesteralen. We had had such a good time earlier that we decided to do it again. It just happened that ... Read More
We chose the Northern Lights voyage on the Midnatsol becuase we had taken the same trip two years earlier on a much smaller ship, the Vesteralen. We had had such a good time earlier that we decided to do it again. It just happened that the Midnatsol was the ship that was leaving Bergen on the day that we were able to start our trip. First, don't pay attention to all the reviewers who complain because of the lack of entertainment or activities on board. Their travel agents must have given them the wrong impression about what the Norwegian coastal voyages are all about. In fact, the very reason we took Hurtigruten is that it wasn't going to be like a lot of other cruises we had been on with casinos, lounge acts, photographers every time you turn around, and way way way too much noise and way way way too many people. We weren't disappointed at all - in fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I'm going again in March 2018 and we've already booked the same trip for January 2019. Second, our experience with the service from Hurtigruten has been phenomenal - whether with booking trips or flights or check-in or on the ship itself. Hurtigruten employees know how to provide superb service, and I've never experienced poor service - not once. In fact, on our most recent trip, our flight from the US was delayed, and we weren't able to board the ship in Bergen. When I knew that our flight was to be delayed, I called Hurtigruten and they got to work re-arranging flights so that we could meet up with the ship in Trondheim on the third day of the voyage, put us up in a wonderful hotel in Trondheim, and covered all the extra costs. (We had arranged flights through Hurtigruten, so they took good care of us. ) When our bags from Chicago didn't arrive in Trondheim, Hurtirgruten worked with United Airlines and SAS to deliver our bags to us on the ship on the 5th day of the trip. And they refunded the first two days of the trip! Who does that? If that' s not great service, I don't know what is. Third, all of our excursions have been outstanding. I read one review from someone who complained that their whale-watching excursion had been cancelled because of weather. Who would complain about that!?! One of our excursions to the North Cape was cancelled because of high winds and snow (the cost was refunded, of course). When we took the excursion two years earlier, our bus was in a caravan of two busses and three or four cars, headed up by a snow plow to clear the road ahead of us. It was exciting, cold, windy, and exhilarating. I report that because I want to emphasize that Hurtigruten wouldn't cancel an excursion unless there was good reason - like safety of travelers. And the food was outstanding. Many reviewers complained about having a lot of fish. Well, if you're going to the Norgwegian coast, what in the world do you expect? We had a variety of fish - all sourced from vendors along the coast (which I particularly appreciated). And we also had food that I'd never had before, including reindeer and ox. All cooked to perfection and served by friendly servers who went out of their way to make us happy. If you're looking for your usual cruise ship menu, go on one of the "big box" cruise lines. If you're looking for a novel travel experience and you're willing to be a little bit open-minded, take a Hurtigruten voyage. (I hesitate to call it a cruise, because it's not even comparable.) If you're looking for a Caribbean cruise with discos, midnight buffets, nightly shows, casinos, drunk passengers, formal dining, rowdy kids, and way too much stimulation and way too many calories - a Hurtigruten voyage isn't for you. If you want to see incredible scenery, meet people from all over the world, experience the highest standards of friendly, non-snooty service, and feel relaxed when the trip is over, Hurtigruten just might be the trip for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
There were four of us visiting Norway Winter chasing the Northern lights on this working ship Interesting experience 3 of us very experienced travelers The ship was well presented similar to other cruise ships decorated for ... Read More
There were four of us visiting Norway Winter chasing the Northern lights on this working ship Interesting experience 3 of us very experienced travelers The ship was well presented similar to other cruise ships decorated for Christmas. The food was average but we did appreciate this was in winter the buffet dinners were not that good so much fish but it was Norway.The service staff in the dining area seemed like they had enough and the service was average other than the head female waitress who was training new staff. I was so sick of fish I requested no more for meals when there was a fixed menu this improved the food. We purchased a wine package OK but not a good selection of wines middle of the road at the best staff no real understanding of wines. The off the ship tours were disappointing expensive but not very interesting but it was in winter. We purchased a mini suite which was allocated at the back very noisy and the room vibrated not happy with the cost and poor allocation we requested a room change. We were aware the ship was very quite with many empty rooms we were shown a very poor Room half the size of our room with the staff saying this is the only room on the ship ! Very unhappy with being treated as a fool. Our friend paid for a suite and that was very nice. The most disappointing part of the experience was the poor customer service from most staff especially front desk and head tour director no such thing as customer service in fact they were rude and dismissive. The cleaning staff were good. We did see the Norhern Lights just amazing made the poor customer service and average food worth it as this was a very expensive cruise. If we booked again we would do this under our own planning use the ship to go from town to town in single trips then book Nothern lights sight seeing in Kirkines as private tour. We had been traveling in Europe of many yeas this trip first in Norway not a good introduction to customer service very disappointed all 4 of us . The scenery even in the dark was amazing but we enjoyed the Norway in a nut shell train experience so much better than this cruise as the customer service during this experience was so much better. We were charged 700 k over our costs this was managed very badly as they had no idea why we were told lucky you found it was we do not do refunds The cruise felt like we were a captured audience who were on a working ship and we just had to put up with the poor service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 25th cruise with various companies & this was a totally different experience as it is 'a working ship' it is a cruise ship, a car ferry, a daily passenger ship with people using it as we would a train or a bus ... Read More
This was our 25th cruise with various companies & this was a totally different experience as it is 'a working ship' it is a cruise ship, a car ferry, a daily passenger ship with people using it as we would a train or a bus getting on at one stop & off at the next stop and also a cargo/mail - ship during the full cruise from Bergen & back again (12 days) it calls at 32 ports It was a totally different experience, we embarked at Tromso after flying direct from Newcastle - ship sailed right up to the Russian border & returned the same way to Tromso (4 days) where we disembarked & stayed for 2 nights in Raddisson Blu Hotel for 2 nights before flying home to Newcastle - only 52 people on this trip from Newcastle On arrival at the port in Tromso (after a city tour) we were told the ship would be late in arriving due to storms the previous 2 days - the sea level was too high to dock safely - so after numerous attempts to dock it finally happened 2 hours late. We had to wait while literally hundreds of passengers disembarked, some on trips, some to walk around & some with their cases to stay. it was chaotic as the stairs were very steep as we manhandled our luggage aboard Finally we reached our cabin which was small (as we knew ) with 1 single bed & 1 sofa which pulled down to convert to another single bed - wardrobe space was minimal only space for 6 hangars, a few shelves & other small storage areas - not a lot of space especially when bringing thick clothes the bathroom floor was heated which was great if you needed warming up, we took own kettle, tea, coffee etc & packet soups for a quick lunch as we knew prices on board were astronomical - beer wine £8 each, we also took own alcohol on board - there are no checks as it was so chaotic & also took thermal mugs which we used to take to lounge areas with wine etc mugs were available at breakfast time so just carry one out of restaurant & use in cabin etc Restaurant - breakfast - lots of cold meats etc & a small selection of hot food which varied tea & coffee & fruit juices Dinner - ship wasn't very full so there were 2 sittings (staggered) 7 pm & 7 30 pm - I think just so that all passengers didn't expect to be served at the same time - when ship is full there will be 2 normal sittings - the main meal is a set meal unless you are vegetarian etc & organise with ship before you go (there are menus on their website) the exception was 1 night when it was a buffet including lots of seafood, as we were on the second sitting the queues were horrendous & I was determined to try King Crab - however we waited for at least 20 minutes before more appeared - what a disappointment there was very little meat in the pieces I selected & didn't have much taste (normally I love crab) There is no free water with dinner you have to buy bottles but there are drinks packages 1 - water 2- water & wine which was included in our package @ a cost of £160 this included for 2 people - 2 small bottles & a bottle of wine to compliment the meal being served sometimes red sometimes white - this could be changed at your allocated table - cheapest wines £40 bottle, if changing check the price in the wine list as waiters will suggest a dearer wine - however whenever you change you have to pay 1 NOK - our total bill to pay on departure was 2 NOK as we changed 2 bottles of red for white as I don't drink red wine Lounge areas - lots of seats as ship wasn't full, best place to sit is on deck 9 Take coats after dinner & wait for announcement to see the Aurora & go straight out - just be prepared as sometimes they don't last for very long - we were lucky saw on all 3 nights but last one was the best but only green colours unfortunately sometimes day / night there were demonstrations & snacks on deck 9 outside It was an experience but we will not cruise again with Hurtigruten again mainly due to the cost of food & drink on board & the lack of help with our luggage even though we knew we had to carry our luggage on board this is why we only had 1 case it was still difficult & my husband is still ok to handle luggage normally but not this time due to all the stairs to be climbed there were 2 old people both with walking difficulties & had 2 large cases & lot of hand luggage & they struggled getting on the ship even with help so if going on this cruise line think about the weight & number of cases etc to carry on board TRAVEL AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first Hurtigruten cruise (from Svoelvar to Bergen) after having taken seven other cruises globally on other cruise lines. This was a very disappointing cruise. We appreciated the newer ship and some beautiful remote ... Read More
This was our first Hurtigruten cruise (from Svoelvar to Bergen) after having taken seven other cruises globally on other cruise lines. This was a very disappointing cruise. We appreciated the newer ship and some beautiful remote locations but this cruise compares very poorly to other cruises. Only breakfast was included (no lunch or dinner), very few lecture/activities on the ship, little narration of what we were seeing on the Norwegian coastline, terrain was fairly nondescript and service was just average. We would only recommend this cruise for people who are very anxious to see northern Norway's coastline with the little/no expectation for great cuisine, activities or lectures/education. Very different from a traditional cruise line in a negative way. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 6th cruise. The ship was very nice but the food was bland, unimaginative and nearly the same every meal. The ship had NO activities for guests, other than reading or watching the scenery. There was a theater, but it was ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise. The ship was very nice but the food was bland, unimaginative and nearly the same every meal. The ship had NO activities for guests, other than reading or watching the scenery. There was a theater, but it was used only twice to give information about the excursions and departure. I don't understand why they couldn't show movie or documentaries in the theater while at sea and/or in the evenings. Nearly every excursion we signed up for was cancelled. They were also very expensive for what we received. We have travelled with Seabourn, Holland America, etc and this was the least fun experience. They also charge extra for every little thing...even water, coffe and tea. These charges are exorbitant Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Truly the MOST money grubbing and mercenary organisation I have ever encountered. Combine this with an appalling military attitude to PAYING clients-customers and you have Hurtigruten. At dinner last night we were served by slamming down ... Read More
Truly the MOST money grubbing and mercenary organisation I have ever encountered. Combine this with an appalling military attitude to PAYING clients-customers and you have Hurtigruten. At dinner last night we were served by slamming down our food in front of us . Service I do not think this organisation comprehend the term. Ask for water and be sold very expensive bottled water as the normal and perfectly acceptable fresh water is not allowed in the dining room. The price of wine and beer will blow your mind. 11 pounds for a glass of beer !! I actually found my main course hiding behind a piece of carrot. All 3 courses were MINISCULE and VERY ordinary. I THINK OUR WAITER MUST BE ON COMMISSION. She became quite unpleasant when she realised we did not require the company wine deal. After travelling along several beautiful fjords including the Geiranger the aspect has become GREY and boring, not to mention very cold considering this is the height of summer. My cabin is of the size of a matchbox, with lovely concrete based beds. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My mother and I traveled to Bergen end of May 2015 and took the MS Midnatsol up to Kirkenes for a seven day voyage. It was on my mothers bucket list (she is 80, I am 46). I did plenty of research ahead of time and had a pretty good idea ... Read More
My mother and I traveled to Bergen end of May 2015 and took the MS Midnatsol up to Kirkenes for a seven day voyage. It was on my mothers bucket list (she is 80, I am 46). I did plenty of research ahead of time and had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Starting with embarking that was a long process.. We got there early and waited over two hours. A little disappointing but oh well. From previous reviews seems they can't get that right.. The trip from Bergen to Kirkenes makes like 40 stops. Some longer then four hours, most less then one hour. This is a ferry, although a pretty nice one and they have a route and supplies to deliver along the way so they keep a pretty strict schedule. Some of the main scenery was late at night, like Trollfjord was at 1am, STAY UP FOR THAT. It's the prettiest part of the cruise. My mom didn't want to stay up that late and wishes she did. When they say there is cool landmarks and scenery to see, make sure you see it. As a lot of what you will see all looks the same. There was NO entertainment on this ship. They advertise it though your entertainment is out the window. It rained the first few days and although the scenery was pretty the ports started to look the same toward the end. The Fjords though were breathtaking and I will have forever memories about that. They let you bring your own alcohol on board (they say two bottles each but they don't patrol it). You can drink in your room but I brought a flask on some days and was frugal that way sneaking vodka into my soda (which was still expensive). The drinks on board though rival on shore (at least bars towards the ship) I stopped in a pub in Tromso and paid more for a beer then I would have on the ship. The water on the ship they say is ok to drink, I drank it and didn't get sick. BUT we did buy the water package (it was like $40 american for a bottle at lunch and dinner) and refilled the water. On the last day I opened a water bottle that I refilled and it smelled like rotten eggs so FYI. The water tasted fine but was pretty gross a couple day off water smelled horrible. They had free WiFi on the ship, and a nice computer area in which you could use their computers. The WiFi was better on the main decks of course but I have T-Mobile and their unlimited data international, Norway has great country wide coverage so i was able to stay connected to friends and social networking via Norway's Wireless Network ( Thanks T-Mobile for great rates ) and the ships WiFi when on the main deck. The food was good although I don't eat seafood; I was able to tell the staff and they brought me a special meal for dinner and the sit down lunches we had. I usually had Chicken for most meals. I actually lost weight on this cruise with all the walking on the ship and the healthier food I ate. All the food was really delicious included the bread and fruit. The last night we had a fire on board and we were woken up at 4am. We had to divert to a port where they checked it out and we made it to Kirkenes on time to make our flight. We were tired and some of the people we were with couldn't go back to their room for hours (5 hours) and the ship didn't even offer any type of credit for the inconvenience (they returned back to Bergen on the ship). They were pretty upset with that. But a fire is a fire. We did do a few excursions (I got really seasick on the Puffin Cruise stay away from that one if you get seasick). We also did the Viking Dinner and I ordered the Chicken instead of the Lamb and it was delicious as well as the mead. I would say that was the best excursion as the drive, the people and scenery was really nice. Otherwise when we had hours in a port we just walked around and shopped.. It was a great experience going on this cruise. Wish there was more entertainment but I made my own. We had a mini suite and it was well worth it for the extra room we had . Norway is a very nice country, can't wait to go back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Most of the staff is extremely rude, especially if you are under a special diet or God forbid incase something happens. On our trip the staff was young and not knowledgeable and resisted for you to speak to management. We found that the ... Read More
Most of the staff is extremely rude, especially if you are under a special diet or God forbid incase something happens. On our trip the staff was young and not knowledgeable and resisted for you to speak to management. We found that the encharged did not do their home work as they did not pay attention to notes on our profiles i.e.: allergies etc.. To dream to get any results you have to go to management who are hard to reach and cuts into our time of enjoyment. The beverage rules and packages are a nuisance and we felt we were robbed. Eventhough we were full board, to keep ourselves hydrated we were forced to buy beverages. We did not feel it safe to drink water from the taps as wed heard couple of passengers telling us colored water was coming from their faucets. They are sticklers to rules which are often hard to figure out as they are not made clear while on board. The rules differ from what we were told by the Hurtigruten agents before booking the cruise. The staff expects you to know their version of rules and make you feel stupid (intimidates you) incase you were confused or just didn't know one thing or another. Being vegetarian, other than a few days, we felt we were starved. Before booking the cruise we were presented with a vegetarian menu and were told we would not have any problems as they would purchase ingredients to accommodate our needs. We were full board and feel we did not get our money's worth. HOPELESS!! Suggest finding other ways to see Norway and/or cut time on cruise ship short. We were a party of two and felt we were robbed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
About 10 days before cruise I needed a minor operation on my knee which left me on crutches. Before setting out, I informed Hurtigruten and the airline they use of my restricted mobility. Yes we saw the Lights and the food - especially ... Read More
About 10 days before cruise I needed a minor operation on my knee which left me on crutches. Before setting out, I informed Hurtigruten and the airline they use of my restricted mobility. Yes we saw the Lights and the food - especially dinner - was excellent. But as someone with restricted mobility, I saw the trip from a different perspective, and with a little more consideration and organisation, as well as attitude from Hurtigruten staff, this trip could have been much easier and enjoyable. There clearly was no point in letting Hurtigruten know of my restricted mobility - and a couple of other passengers with perhaps more severe disability also suffered the same difficulties. For instance, it is difficult on crutches to move along a line, up a steep ramp, dragging a suitcase, some of the time with snow and ice on the ramp and a blizzard falling, for about 40 minutes constantly being barked at by one of the ships crew to close the gap, as we were checking-in on arrival; or, to negotiate a buffet breakfast or dinner, with crutches, holding a tray, just as the ship starts to roll and staff stand watching your difficulty, only interested in trying to sell you very expensive wine! Many elements of movement to and from the ship as part of the package left much to be desired in help and attitude of staff - it perhaps even seemed a Norwegian attitude, not just Hurtigruten staff! Many elements of the trip were enjoyable, but the experience encountered as a person with restricted mobility certainly distracted from voyage. Hurtigruten cannot justify the claim to be a 'fully inclusive passengers' company, and my advice to fellow travellers with restricted mobility -temporary or permanent - to very carefully consider a trip such as this using Hurtigruten. I am sure more conventional cruise companies will show a very different attitude to passengers with difficulties. I have contacted Hurtigruten about these and other issues - it would seem to be not only staff on the ships with a questionable attitude, but one that eminates from Head Office. See the Lights, but think very carefully about who you use to travel with!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I was part of the Astronomy Voyage on this 12 day on the Hurtigruten Cruise so will break into 2 parts. Cruise- The embarkation process from the Hurtigruten building was painful. We were advised to be there from 2-4pm and staff would be ... Read More
I was part of the Astronomy Voyage on this 12 day on the Hurtigruten Cruise so will break into 2 parts. Cruise- The embarkation process from the Hurtigruten building was painful. We were advised to be there from 2-4pm and staff would be available to assist. I arrived at 3pm and there was no one there till 5pm and we didn't get through the check in process till 6pm. There were minimal seats and no refreshments available so there was lots of standing around waiting. Safety briefing was comprehensive. Cabin was very clean and comfortable. Mattress was not, but a new topper was put on the bed once I asked reception.The beds were very narrow for someone use to sleeping in a queen size bed. Standard or room cleaning very high. Towels in bathroom were small and very worn. Only wall soap provided which was a bit harsh. Hair dryer provided. No tissues provided which would have been nice and no tea/coffee making facilities in cabin which would have been nice. You can purchase a mug which entitles you to free tea/coffee from the lounges at any time, but it would have been nice to have one in cabin when you get up. I don't drink coffee, but was told it was satisfactory and the tea provided was Twinings brand, and a good variety of choices. Food was exceptional. Breakfast was a buffet style with lots of choices of both hot, cold, fruit, cereals and yoghurt. Hot chocolate was exceptional. My only complaint was there was no toaster to toast the beautiful choices of bread there were. Lunch was a buffet as well with both hot and cold choices. Dinner was a set menu and table service. There was only once choice but if you didn't eat something and let them know prior in the day, they will make you something different. Only having one choice bothered some, but was fine with me. Lots of fish on offer!! They had a traditional Christmas buffet one night which was beautiful with lots of seafood and traditional Norwegen foods. Staff were very helpful and always friendly. Everyone from the captain to the housekeeping staff said good morning when they passed. Excursions were a mixed bag. Lots were not available and they need to update their list. Some were very expensive for the length of time they were and seemed very rushed. All were costly. The 2 outstanding ones were the trip to the Northern cape (which has a great gift shop) and the dog sledding. We had lots of fresh snow that afternoon and falling as we did it which was beautiful. Entertainment- well there isn't much to speak of. There was a singer in the upstairs bar and TV's in the lounge area, but was nothing other than this. The ship has a large auditorium where they could have put on an evening movie for those wanting to do something other than drink or talk. Astronomy Voyage- Dr John Marsden was the astronomer on board. This man is passionate about his profession and was a dynamic and interesting speaker. Some things tended to go over my head at times, but for the most part it was informative and interesting. The trip was coordinated by Inger Carter who is a native of Norway and provided us with lots of useful information on Norway and the life of its people that we would otherwise not have got. She also took those in the group on a short walking tour of the area when stopped in port. Often things had to be shuffled around to fit in with other groups who were on board and she did this brilliantly by keeping all of us informed of any changes. A job very done by all and we were lucky enough to see the northern lights 4 nights in a row. In a nutshell, this was a trip of a life time. It was not cheap, but I think as an experience, it was worth it. It would have been nice to see some extra touches like shampoo and tissues in the bathroom as the suite's had and tea and coffee making facilities in cabins. They definitely need to improve the check in process.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This is a warning to any prospective passengers of Hurtigruten. The Midnatsol is 20,000 DWT and carries a maximum number of passengers of 1,000. This actually makes it a very crowded ship in comparison to other cruise ships. Its staffing ... Read More
This is a warning to any prospective passengers of Hurtigruten. The Midnatsol is 20,000 DWT and carries a maximum number of passengers of 1,000. This actually makes it a very crowded ship in comparison to other cruise ships. Its staffing levels are nowhere as high as what you find on a conventional cruise ship The staffing in the restaurant is totally inadequate about 12 or 13 bodies serving meals at dinner to upwards of 500 passengers. This resulted in a very leisurely dinner starting at 8:30pm and often ending well after 10pm. The buffet breakfasts and lunches are absolute chaos due to the bad design of the buffet counters. The food for breakfast and lunch was nothing special, the evening dinner were very small portions. Four times we lost our cabin toilet with problems of blockages, when I suggested to the reception pursers that they should include information about what can be disposed of down the toilet, I was told there was a notice in the cabin. The notice in the cabin turned out to be on the inside of the toilet lid and showed paper cups and bottles. Talking to one of the maintenance staff .the problems by and large were being caused by cosmetic removal clothes, similar to non-disposable kitchen cloths. I suggested that they should make a public announcement to the effect that these should not be discarded down the toilet; to no avail. My major concerns is about the attitude to general safety on board. Leaving port on several occasions with passenger and freight doors not being watertight. This is particularly alarming remembering the Herald of Free Enterprise sank in Zeebrugge with loss of life 26 years ago. I was appalled to find this still going on. The other very dangerous practice they were doing was disembarking passengers from the ship to smaller vessels whilst moving to facilitate excursions. This was being done without the provision and wearing of any life saving vests by the passengers. Although the ship appeared to be stopped dead in the water we were actually doing 6 or 7 knots against the current. had anyone fallen overboard I doubt they would have survived. So unless you wish to do the parts of Norway which are only surved by this company, my advice is do not travel with them or if you do be it at your own peril. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Our vacation began in Amsterdam, where we spent two days, then flew to Bergen aboard a KLM airliner. We had researched and prepared for our cruise for a long time, watching Norway through available webcams before we left, checking weather ... Read More
Our vacation began in Amsterdam, where we spent two days, then flew to Bergen aboard a KLM airliner. We had researched and prepared for our cruise for a long time, watching Norway through available webcams before we left, checking weather forecasts. Nothing could have prepared us for the 9C-13C weather we had for the duration of our trip, July 13 to July 24. In retrospect, our last minute decision to throw a warm winter coat in our luggage was a wise one. Thank God we did. After arriving in Bergen, we were picked up by the Hurtigruten bus (I bought a transfer) but the driver never bothered to check our vouchers. Check-in at the cruise terminal was very quick and efficient, as is the Northern custom. We received our documentation, cafeteria information, our bags were taken and delivered directly to our cabins. Orientation and safety program upstairs. We were hoping to go out and see the city, especially the Floyen mountain funicular, but we didn't end up having any time for that. Our first lunch aboard was excellent: abundant varieties of seafood, smoked fish, salads, etc. Dessert was memorable throughout. The first thing my husband did was buy Hurtigruten mugs for coffee and tea. We hadn't planned on it, but weather told us what to do, and it turned out to be another wise choice: we used them thoroughly every day of the cruise. The many Germans, few Australians, Norwegians traveling locally--all seemed to use them too. I had prebooked four excursions: Geiranger fjord, Scenery and Huskies, Bird Safari, and North Cape Southbound. We enjoyed them all, though there turned out to be no visibility in North Cape it was still very much worth it. The husky farm showed an informative film about the dogs, then let us pet them and take pictures. They are surprisingly friendly. The bird safari took us by boat to a cliff where we saw puffins, sea eagles, cormorants. Geiranger fjord was spectacular, even with the wind and rain. The real highlight, of course, is the fjords. Even in bad weather they are spectacular. Took over a thousand photos on camera and iPhone. The weather created some choppy moments, especially when the ship goes out into open sea. I had read about it but to experience it is another matter. On the return trip, southbound, we got lucky. The sun came out and deck 9 became a popular spot to bask in the Northern sun. The scenery turned more green-blue and yellow all around. We crossed the Arctic Circle twice, saw the sun at midnight, and on the way back to Bergen, with nicer, warmer weather at our backs, were able to go ashore more and see some smaller towns, when MS Midnatsol was making stops for an hour, half-an-hour at a time. The towns in these ports are wonderfully picturesque. The crew works very hard on the ship. A few days into the cruise we realized that the waitresses from the restaurant also clean the cabins during the day, and work 22 days in a row. They came from parts of Europe, nearby Sweden to distant Slovakia. Hilde and Bjorn were in charge of excursions and daily flyers (collect all 35 ports of call). They were very helpful, suggesting what to wear and what to expect on certain excursions. Hilde knew every landmark, making the trip much more informative than a mere pleasure cruise. At the end, we stayed on for three more days in Bergen. The weather warmed up (24C) without a drop of rain. I booked a one-day Norway In A Nutshell excursion. If you have the chance, go on this one. It takes you to the one-of-a-kind Sonjo fjord , via three trains, bus, and boat. You will not see anything this spectacular. We explored Bergen for two days, visiting Grieg's house in Troldhaugen, a beautiful place to learn more about Norway's Dvorak. Another wonderful experience was buying a one-way ticket up Mount Floyen, walking down on foot, with its unforgettable views and natural scenery, weather permitting. The art museums in Bergen are a great place to see first-rate works without the crowds in Amsterdam, for example. The only negative of the whole trip would have to be the NOK, the Norwegian crona. Everything in Norway is going to be very expensive if you're using dollars. We just wanted to salute Hurtigruten and MS Midnatsol for the unforgettable cruise and a give a big thank you to everybody who made it a special one for us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I had been keen to do the Classic Voyage for its visual attractions, for many years, but was somewhat reluctant about the whole cruising experience. As part of a package to southern Norway in May 2011 I was able to sample 2 days (one ... Read More
I had been keen to do the Classic Voyage for its visual attractions, for many years, but was somewhat reluctant about the whole cruising experience. As part of a package to southern Norway in May 2011 I was able to sample 2 days (one night) aboard Hurtigruten's MS Richard With. That impressive experience, coupled with good prior research, taking advantage of special travel offers and a seasoned traveller's perspective, convinced me to undertake the full 12-day "Classic Voyage", Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen, this time on MS Midnatsol, the line's flagship. I departed Bergen on May 19. This is by far a very favourable review but as in so much of life, very little is perfect. So I am bound to note to readers of this thread that there was one glitch, relating to the on-board non-recognition of a ship-board credit previously guaranteed (see later very positive outcome). Also, as a technical professional looking at the nature of such a working operation, I believe there are some daily passenger-flow issues which might bear some review - particularly with regard to improving meal-time flows - even though that experience was by no means anything other than highly enjoyable. I think readers who are familiar with ship travel and more particularly Hurtigruten's operations and raison d'etre need no deep detailing here of such. I should simply like to reflect on how well I feel the whole experience was made for me. Firstly, and importantly, I feel the fact that these vessels are Scandinavian-crewed (whilst undoubtedly adding to the certainly expensive cost-base) is a very important factor: unfailingly polite and pleasant staff were always keen to answer, with useful insight, questions on the local environments, lifestyles and general shipboard operations. Secondly, and shiptype-specific, I don't think any review substitutes for actual visual impact: these boats are often jokingly referred to as coastal ferries. In fact they appear to be as plush and well-maintained as top cruise liners - merely much smaller. Very well-structured cabin layouts and outside cabins are generally view-favourable, though as in all ships there will be a few restrictions. And some prior research on the company's very informative website helps in that regard, anyway. Thirdly, and vessel-specific, I wish to congratulate the crew of MS Midnatsol on their operational thoroughness. Trying to be both local servant and cruise operation in one is a very tricky operation to balance and allowing for the former coming first, I think, on my assuredly very studious observations, they do - and did - a wonderful job on my cruise in May. And the range of shore excursions (yes, not cheap, but then very little in Norway is, obviously) was both wide-scoped and in my experiences, thoroughly and wonderfully executed. Finally, and most impressively, when a glitch happens for a passenger (see earlier comment) it is comforting to see willing efforts from ship through to administration on shore to help resolve the matter. Mine seemed to me somewhat minor but wonderfully, it ended up being resolved by the UK-based International Sales Manager who was prompt, enthusiastic and informative in his dealings with to my mind at least, a rather minor passenger in the importance chain. So, I would urge anyone who does want something a little different in the way of a cruise in northern coastal Europe, with more localised in-depth experiences, to give Hurtigruten careful consideration. You would be very unlucky to have anything other than a most rewarding voyage and experience - visually and operationally. And special credit to Mr Magne Gjervig (Midnatsol Hotel Manager), Ms Hild Hagen (Midnatsol Tours Manager), Mr Geir Eriksen (Midnatsol Captain) and Mr Karnail Gill (Hurtigruten UK). Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Background information We were four Americans and two Norwegians traveling together. Two of us (Americans), did the round trip, the other four only did the north bound voyage and got off the ship in Kirkenes. The Norwegians had never been ... Read More
Background information We were four Americans and two Norwegians traveling together. Two of us (Americans), did the round trip, the other four only did the north bound voyage and got off the ship in Kirkenes. The Norwegians had never been on any kind of cruise before, although, they had been to many of the ports and either drove or flew to them. The four Americans had been on many previous cruises (Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America, Panama Canal, Alaska), but never on Hurtigruten. Travel to Port of Embarkation Before our voyage, we spent a few days in Oslo, and decided to take the train to Bergen the day before the Midnatsol left Bergen. The train ride was wonderful -- beautiful scenery the entire time. Bergen is a fairly compact town. The taxi line at the train station was fairly long, so we decided to walk to our hotel (Scandic Strand on Strandkaien) which is in the historic wharf area -- it took about 10 minutes. That night we walked over to the Hurtigruten Terminal (took about 10 minutes) to get information on what to do the next day. We learned that we could drop off our bags between 1:00 and about 2:00 or 2:30. Once the ship arrives in port, though, they don't accept luggage until it's time to check in at around 4:00. By the time we checked in, our luggage was waiting for us outside our cabin doors. There was a buffet dinner available the first night. The ship didn't leave Bergen until 10:30 PM. Ship Information The Midnatsol is one of Hurtigruten's newer ships. It has several, beautifully appointed public areas, and a two story viewing lounge in the front of the ship on decks 8 and 9. The gift shop was well stocked with many enticing items to purchase! Prices were the same as any Norwegian land based shop. The ship has a small gym, sauna, and two fantastic Jacuzzis that were kept at a nice and warm temperature. We were in the Jacuzzi every day and loved it. There are two outside deck areas. On deck 6, you can walk completely around the ship. The only problem is deck 6 also has smoking areas, so it's a problem if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke. Deck 9 has three outside sections available to cruisers: the middle section is where various activities take place like fish filleting demonstrations and a visit from King Neptune after crossing the Arctic Circle. The next section has the two Jacuzzis, two outdoor showers, and a "cabana" to hang your jacket and things while in the Jacuzzi. The back section of deck 9 is a large, open space which is great for watching the scenery, and for us, the Northern Lights. There's also heat generated from the smoke stack, so you can warm up a bit if it gets too cold. Stateroom We stayed in an inside cabin, on Deck 7 near the atrium elevators. The cabin was adequate: two twin beds - one bed folded up against the wall if you wanted more floor space, and the other bed could be converted into a sofa. There was a desk, small table, shelves and adequate closet space. The best part about our cabins (708 and 714) was access to the public space in the atrium. There was a bench and several chairs, so that space became our "living room". The wireless internet also reached that area, so we could call home on Skype or surf the internet while watching the scenery through the large floor to ceiling windows. While on the ship we also toured other cabins. The full suites were large and nicely appointed. Dining Breakfast was open seating and a typical Norwegian buffet with eggs, oatmeal, fish, cheese, fruit, breads, jellies, and things of that sort. The main entre selection varied (eggs, pancakes, and some other items), but the rest was the same every day. Lunch was also a buffet, but it varied if it was at a fixed time in your assigned table, or open seating. We found the dining staff to be accommodating -- there were six of us traveling together, and at first we were assigned to different dining times and tables. It was no problem getting us all at one table. Our voyage was pretty full, so they may not always have fixed lunch times. Out of the 12 nights, we had a buffet three times (one of the buffets was a seafood extravaganza with lobster, crab, shrimp, crawfish, mussels, and all kinds of wonderful food), and the other dinners consisted of a three course Norwegian meal of deer, reindeer, pork, beef, chicken, or various kinds of local fish. Coffee and tea were served during breakfast and lunch, but not during dinner. We did buy the Hurtigruten coffee mug, so we were able to have coffee or tea from various places on the ship any time we wanted. I like hot chocolate, so I brought my favorite hot chocolate mix and filled my mug with hot water before going to the Jacuzzi. Activities I had read there are limited activities on Hurtigruten ships other than the fantastic scenery. We were on what was marketed as a New Years Cruise, so several times there were concerts in the lounge on deck 8. They had a pianist, flutist, and several opera singers. Our round trip voyage also overlapped with an opera tour to Oslo, and starting with the southbound stop in Tromso, there were one hour opera concerts just about every day. The library had some board games, jig saw puzzles, reading books, and a TV. There was also a small kids play area on deck 5. At times there were some organized activities such as a fish fillet demonstration, visit from King Neptune with the traditional ladle of ice, and cod liver oil after returning across the Arctic Circle (we got to keep the cute mermaid shaped, Hurtigruten engraved spoon). Entertainment Yes, the main entertainment is the scenery, and it kept us busy most of the time. There was a dance floor in the main bar, and every evening there was a piano player who played a variety of tunes. Port and Shore Excursions We were docked in most ports for too short of a time for excursions. We'd get off the boat and walk a short distance, and then get back on before the boat left. Some of the stops were for longer, and we took several excursions: Viking Feast in Stamsund, Midnight Concert in Tromso, and Dog Sledding in Kirkenes. Our Tromso dog sledding ride was cancelled because of poor weather conditions. The Viking Feast was nice, although a lot of time was spent on the bus. We got off in Stamsund, were driven to the replica of a Viking Hall, where a Viking king, wife, and a couple of slaves fed us a traditional Viking feast, complete with ample quantities of meade. It was a fun evening and as a special bonus, we saw some faint northern lights there. The bus then drove us to Svoaler where we met the boat. The midnight concert was enjoyable, and consisted of an organist/pianist, cellist, and singer. Since we also had free concerts on the ship, it probably wasn't worth the extra money on this voyage to go to the concert. The highlight was the dog sledding in Kirkenes. The excursion is at the same place as the Ice Hotel where they also have some reindeer. We had ample time to tour the Ice Hotel and see the reindeer and puppies. You go for a sled ride around a fairly large lake. We were in Tromso for New Years Eve, and they had the most spectacular fireworks display I have ever seen. The fireworks were everywhere and the best place to see them was on deck 9 of the Midnatsol. They were shot from the ship, and from numerous houses, businesses, and parks throughout the area. It was incredible and a great way to ring in the New Year. I'd definitely go on a New Years voyage with Hurtigruten again! Disembarkation We took the full round trip voyage, so our disembarkation was in Bergen and the process was very easy. We had to have our suitcases placed near the elevators by 10:00 AM and out of our cabins by 10:30 AM. There are plenty of lounge areas, so there was no problem finding a comfortable place to be. Plus, there was always the passing scenery to view from either inside the ship or on deck. Once we got to Bergen at about 2:30 PM, we were called by deck level to disembark. Our suitcases were waiting for us on the conveyor belt. Disembarkation was organized and simple. We collected our suitcases and then walked to the train station where we stored our bags in a locker. There was also the choice to take a charted bus to a hotel, train station, or airport, and taxis were also available. Summary We had pretty high expectations for this trip, and they were definitely exceeded. We'd been to Norway in the summer, so we knew a bit about the geography, but the beauty in the snow was spectacular. The Midnatsol is a beautiful ship, and we thoroughly enjoyed our twelve days on her. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We have for many years wanted to undertake the Norwegian Coastal Voyage from Bergen all the way to the Russian Border and back. We also wanted to arrive in Bergen by ship from the UK but alas cheap air fares have caused the demise of the ... Read More
We have for many years wanted to undertake the Norwegian Coastal Voyage from Bergen all the way to the Russian Border and back. We also wanted to arrive in Bergen by ship from the UK but alas cheap air fares have caused the demise of the ferry from Newcastle-on-Tyne-so we flew British Midland from London Heathrow to Bergen (Business Class)-very civilized. As this was to be a very special trip including the celebration of our 40th Wedding Anniversary we opted for the Owners Suite on one of the most recent Hurtigruten ships. There are in fact two owners suite's-we chose the one which has a slightly larger floor plan due to less space devoted to stairways. Firstly we spent a night in Bergen at the Admiral Hotel with lovely views across the harbour to Bryggen before boarding our ship. However when we arrived at the Hurtigruten Terminal to board, we were met by the news that our sailing had ben delayed due to "technical issues"-in fact we ere delayed by 24 hours due to two out of the three bow thrusters having failed, and requiring replacement before sailing. Hurtigruten generously offered to refund 2/12 of our fare in recognition and this cheque for in excess of £3,000 was waiting for us at home on our return. Once on board we were quickly shown to our beautiful suite which consisted of a large double bedroom, a very large lounge with dining table and chairs, 3 seater sofa and two large easy chairs, desk, fully stocked mini-bar and TV, plus a bathroom with full size bath, walk-in shower, WC, underfloor heating, and an entrance lobby with a second WC for "visitors". The best feature of all was a marvellous "terrace" running half the width of the ship with proper ships deck chairs and table. We opted for breakfast being served in our suite daily, with enough left over for lunch-so that we only visited the restaurant once a day-where we were allocated Table 1-by the window with a commanding view of the whole restaurant. Food at dinner was good-with a different fixed no choice menu each evening, charmingly served by mainly Norwegian staff. The only time this arrangement differed was the first evening which was a "free-for-all" buffet which was most unpleasant due to some very aggressive fellow guests helping themselves to as much food as they could possibly eat!! The ship was very well appointed with umpteen different lounges and quiet areas. We only went on a few excursions as we wished to enjoy the luxury of the boat, albeit getting off the boat to visit the numerous ports of call was no problem at all. The midnight concert in Tromso Cathedral was a highlight, with the Midnight Sum shining brightly at 1.30 in the morning.Other excursions included bird watching at the North Cape, the Sea Eagle Safari and the only disappointment being the Lofoten Islands excursion which consisted of being driven by coach around the islands to a rather poor gallery, and to various parking areas full of camper vans from all over Europe. We found all the staff very friendly, especially the lady who ran the gift shop, selling hand made Scandinavian souvenirs and craft items. With the suite came two of the coffee cans which allowed you to unlimited tea and coffee throughout the ship. We had lovely warm sunny weather for the first three days, but further north at Kirkenes it turned very cold (4 degrees centigrade at mid-day in late June) and the sea became very rough for 24 hours. I certainly would not like to venture along this coast in Winter! After arriving back in Bergen we had 3 further nights at the Admiral Hotel which proved to be a comfortable and well located place to stay, before flying back to London Heathrow. Overall a very enjoyable trip, albeit a very expensive one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Traveling to the arctic circle and seeing the Norwegian Fjords has always been one of our travel wishes and we were attracted to the Hurtigruten air inclusive offer from Newark to Bergen including all transfers and a night in a very nice ... Read More
Traveling to the arctic circle and seeing the Norwegian Fjords has always been one of our travel wishes and we were attracted to the Hurtigruten air inclusive offer from Newark to Bergen including all transfers and a night in a very nice centrally located Bergen Hotel. Even adding the RT air from Atlanta to Newark, the cost was a bargain. The SAS flights to Bergen on SAS was enjoyable. We booked a 12 day trip to northern Norway, through the arctic circle all the way to Kirkenes to see the snow hotel. There were some interesting stops along the way to take in breathtaking views from above Geirangerfjord, do some sightseeing in Trondheim, Hammerfest and some other picturesque coastal towns and even a moving midnight concert in a beautiful large modern church. Hurtigruten goes to some length to point out that this adventure is not a cruise in the strictest sense but a coastal voyage. Passengers, although well attended to by a professional and accommodating crew and staff are only one aspect of this enterprise. The ship is also a ferry taking on day trippers and cargo. It is possible to use it as a car ferry too. Some passengers booked only half the voyage and then fly back to Bergen. The cabins are tiny by American standards but adequate and who wants to be in a room anyway when there is an ever-changing magnificent landscape to be seen at all hours of the day. April is a great time to sail the Norwegian coast; no summer crowds and the lighting is beautiful. The ship has very attractive lounges, bars, and other spaces including an area with floor to two story ceiling panoramic windows at the bow for watching the magnificent mountain scenery. The ship passes through narrow waterways and for most of the way the coasts on either side are always visible. Some of the ports are visited briefly and it is not possible to get off the ship but it is still fun to watch all the activity in this newly prosperous country (thanks to oil drilling off the Norway coast). The trip included full board. Buffet breakfasts and lunches would satisfy any traveller as long as you like seafood. There was always wonderfully prepared and tasty fresh fish and all kinds of cold appetizers such as herring, smoked white fish and salmon. The desserts were to die for. There are a few hokey shipboard activities that were fun like the Norwegian fishermen spring ritual involving cutting out the tongues of cod fish and the christening of passengers as the ship passed into the arctic circle (including being doused with ice water by Neptune and taking a swig of cod liver oil) and a demo on shrimp expert peeling. All of which were much more fun than a Las Vegas type cruise show any time. I must mention that the Hurtigruten line is very diligent and helpful. We had a very early flight out of Bergen arranged by them and the regular airport service was not available on Sunday morning. We were prepared to pay our own way by taxi to the airport (not a cheap ride). When we arrived at the airport, the cab driver gave us a voucher to sign since unknown to us, Hurtigruten made the arrangements. That says it all Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Since this was our first cruise ever, our experience may be different from some seasoned cruise travelers who may have different expectations of what a cruise is. As travelers we are fairly independent, like making arrangements for ... Read More
Since this was our first cruise ever, our experience may be different from some seasoned cruise travelers who may have different expectations of what a cruise is. As travelers we are fairly independent, like making arrangements for ourselves, and tend not to do bus-tours or group travel. We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and this cruise provided the benefit of seeing gorgeous scenery in case the Lights didn't happen. We weren't in it for the ship, so a gussied-up ferry suited us well. For those of you who are deciding if a Hurtigruten cruise is for you, let me start by saying what it is NOT: uber-luxurious. There is no casino. The main entertainment was one guy playing an electric piano singing songs of the 50s - 90s in a mix of English and Norwegian each evening in the bar. There are two hot tubs on deck, a sauna and a very small workout room. There's reliable wifi near the internet cafe and they had 4 slow-ish computers for free usage. The Midnatsol holds 'only' 1000 people. I'd say 90% of the people on board (as cruisers, those not just using the boat as local transportation) were retired. It was mainly a mix of people from Germany, Norway, and the UK with a few North Americans. It's not cheap on board or on land in Norway - if you haven't been before, prepare for sticker shock. It's much more expensive than you think possible. A sandwich lunch for two with soft drink or bottled water is easily $50. All that being said, our cruise on the Midnatsol was absolutely wonderful. The staff were friendly and aimed to please. Even when disgruntled used-to-luxe cruisers complained ("the dinner portions are too small" was a gripe we heard from a couple of men) the staff smiled, apologized and brought a second plate of 1,000 calories for them. Breakfast and lunch are buffet and open seating, dinner is plated and served at your assigned table at either 6:30 or 8:30. The head waitress very pleasantly switched our seating time for the other one when we asked. Food at breakfast included eggs, potatoes, sliced meats, cheeses, smoked fish of at least 3 or more types, fruit, 3 juices, coffee, tea, homemade hot chocolate, rolls and several types of homemade breads, cinnamon rolls, and more I'm forgetting. Lunch included homemade soup, fresh green salads, pasta and bean salads, breads, sliced meats and cheeses, smoked fish, two or three hot entrees (some recycled from the night before but it worked), a hot vegetable or two, potatoes, fruit and at least 4 different types of homemade desserts. Our last evening was a seafood buffet banquet with shrimp, prawns, lobster, crayfish, mussels, crab, fish and more cooked several ways. Almost overwhelming and all delicious. Again, breakfast and lunch were buffet style so you could have as much or as little as you wanted. You won't go hungry and you won't be starved for choice. There was a reliance on cream sauces and dairy desserts at dinner, so the lactose-challenged should be aware, but vegetarians were well catered to and I overheard people asking for special requests at the reception desk that sounded like they wouldn't be a problem. Fish was served about every other evening. They had a decent wine menu (if you don't mind taking out a second mortgage on your house to pay for it). You could also buy a wine package for the trip. Our cabin was a mini-suite, and we were glad we spent the extra for it. Big marble bathroom, plenty of closet/storage space, mini-fridge, coffee & tea making facilities + two free all-you-can drink mugs, fruit+wine basket, television in the room, and a tour of the bridge. We were on deck 6, which was the promenade deck, meaning that people could see in the room, so be aware of that. We could control the temp in our cabin and the bathroom had underfloor heating. Bar soap, shampoo, lotion, shower cap, washcloth were all included, not sure they are included for smaller rooms. The shore excursions (we did 4) were all worth the money and very well organized. If you go in winter, don't miss the dog-sledding. It was a real highlight. The ship also provided fun diversions like the Arctic Circle contest and ceremony with King Neptune; fish chowder for the hardy souls up on deck at 11PM one night watching the Northern Lights dancing; a free lecture by an on-board astronomer for all passengers; and a local saxophonist playing up on deck. If you get seasick, bring something for it. The ship does have stabilizers but there are are times when you're out in the open sea and you will definitely feel it. We were lucky enough to see the Lights 5 nights of our 6 night trip. As amazing as they are, the scenery going by was just as spectacular. I wish we'd gone for the full round trip instead of just the north-bound journey, because you get to see all the sights during the day on the south-bound trip that you missed at night going northbound. Guess we'll have to go back! We'd definitely travel with Hurtigruten again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Overall a good experience for my first cruise however there were some areas which concerned me. The staff were extremely supportive with a special diet. The deck near the hot tub became extremely dangerous due to water spilling from ... Read More
Overall a good experience for my first cruise however there were some areas which concerned me. The staff were extremely supportive with a special diet. The deck near the hot tub became extremely dangerous due to water spilling from the hot tub and freezing. When I informed the staff about this, it was exactly the same later. I had fallen but there was little recognition of the danger. The singer in the bar was very loud making it impossible to talk to friends without shouting. Some low background music would be good in some areas. I am not sure whether it was the rudeness of some of the passengers, but some people were made to feel unwelcome in the viewing areas. It appeared to be used as a library rather than a viewing area where friends could meet and discuss the views. I was extremely disappointed about the lack of opportunity to get off at the Lofoten Islands due to the lateness of our evening meal. I would have thought that the evening meal could have been brought slightly forward in order that the one hour visit was available to all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Food: no choice . Acceptable but not very inspiring. Very poor service from an argumentative waiter who told us we should eat what we were given. Couldn't cope with a request for "no fish" Wine at about £45 a bottle in ... Read More
Food: no choice . Acceptable but not very inspiring. Very poor service from an argumentative waiter who told us we should eat what we were given. Couldn't cope with a request for "no fish" Wine at about £45 a bottle in the "wine package" was rather pricey. The little cafe was lovely - but expensive. Safety : On at least 12 occasions we had to walk on treacherous surfaces - often carrying and wheeling luggage. Walking up to the midnight concert at Tromso was on snow and ice up a steep path. Some of the party were on sticks. Security: Very little - a suitcase was taken from a passemger and rifled. It would have been very easy to get on and off our ship. Lifeboat drill :A good talk- how sensible to have lifejackets at muster stations rather than in cabins. Radisson Blu Hotel Tromso : excellent - put the Midnatsol in the shade! Flights: We spent an extra three and a half hours getting to Tromso because of snow on the runway....... On the return we waited for over an hour to start checking in due to malfunctioning computers and lack of staff - appalling. Trips We got stuck in a coach behind one that had gone off the road and never made it to the North Cape. The cable car ride to the mountain restaurant for a meal cost £75 pp and didn't include a glass of wine with the uninspiring food and watery coffee. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
The ship and the staff are first class. Spotlessly clean, very friendly staff and very helpful and polite always. Breakfast was amazing lots to choose from with fruit, dried fruits, cereals, yoghurt, bread, eggs, cheeses, coldmeats, ... Read More
The ship and the staff are first class. Spotlessly clean, very friendly staff and very helpful and polite always. Breakfast was amazing lots to choose from with fruit, dried fruits, cereals, yoghurt, bread, eggs, cheeses, coldmeats, fish, hot dishes and plenty of tea and coffee and juices. The evening meal on the other hand was dissappointing on all occasions. Firstly the second sitting because we were half board was at 8.30pm far too late. Then when we were served the food was luck warm and the portion sizes very small. On the evening when they did what looked like a spectacular buffet of seafood, the seafood was tasteless apart from the mussels. The excusions were like herding cattle and on occasions rushed and we seemed to hang around alot waiting. We saw some wonderful scenery, the North Cape was spectacular, we saw the northern lights which was fantastic, the husky ride was the absolute highlight but do the one at Tromso it is a much bigger operation and you get a long ride. The trip up the mountain in the cable car above Tromso was great but again we had to hang around waiting to go home, should have been back at the hotel for 10pm and didnt get back until after 11pm, and we had all had enough. But the meal at the top of the mountain was very substantial and tasty. Lots of great restaurants in Tromso and I would recommend eating there if you can afford it, it cost us about £250 for 4 people with alcohol. Overall we loved the experiences, but not the cruise or on board food. Which considering you are paying £400 per night per couple the food should have been exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We received an email offer from Hurtigruten, 12 day round trip on full board inc flights in an outsi de cabin on deck 8 (top deck) for £2500. We had never cruised before so decided that this offer was worth trying out. First ... Read More
We received an email offer from Hurtigruten, 12 day round trip on full board inc flights in an outsi de cabin on deck 8 (top deck) for £2500. We had never cruised before so decided that this offer was worth trying out. First impression of the ship was good. Nice public areas and friendly staff. Our room was 802 (would reccomend this room to everyone). We found this room to be spacious enough for the two of us and the location on the ship was great, 20 seconds from being outside on deck 9 and the closest room to the outside hot tub, which we did use. This room passing passengers as it was the end of the corridor. We were close to the bar and entertainment all on Deck 8 but we never heard anything from our room. Food, as the majority of other have said, was fish based but good quality. If you do not like fish make sure you let the staff know as they will ensure an alternative is available. The staff work hard to please. While we were on board there was a military exercise, resulting in 40 + military personnel on board, they got into the restaurant before paying guests and were obviously very hungry, we didn't realise you could get so much food on a plate....lol. This meant that some of the choices were not available to folk coming into the restaurant after them. Having spoke to others it seems this is not uncommon so be warned get in early if they let you know an exercise is going on. If you are going to see any of the ports visited on route, be warned that if they are running late you may not get time to get off or if you do it may be very rushed as they will still leave on time. Even if you do pull in on time we felt very rushed and were constantly clock watching as the ship will leave on time if you are not back.For Hurtigruten the priority is the cargo, as a passenger you are an aside. This does not mean they do not look after you but this is not a typical cruise ship, The reason we went on this trip at this time of year was because we wanted to see the Northern Lights. We were fortunate, as we left Tromso, to see the lights for approx 1.5hrs. There were only a few of us on deck and we assumed others would know from the announcements that were suppose to be made if the lights appeared but no announcement was made and very few of us had the opportunity to see the lights. There were a lot of disappointed guests in the morning when we mentioned that we had seen them. Would we do this cruise again?.......No, but we enjoyed the experience. However,we would go to northern Norway again and fly to Kirkenes and stay there to see the lights and have some time to enjoy the town and other activities on offer in that area. Another reason we have decided we are land lovers is the 4 days & nights of Hurricane and gale force winds and 50ft seas. If you are looking for an excellent sea sickness tablet we would highly recommend joy riders - they were amazing!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our first cruise and were impressed with the facilities. The Midnatsol looks to be one of the newer ships in the fleet and it had some nice touches like a top deck jacuzzi, sauna (with a view) and small gym (with a view). A ... Read More
This was our first cruise and were impressed with the facilities. The Midnatsol looks to be one of the newer ships in the fleet and it had some nice touches like a top deck jacuzzi, sauna (with a view) and small gym (with a view). A lot has been said already by others that I need not repeat but for us the positives were: 1) the room, though small (we had a basic inside cabin) was well equiped and had enough storage to put everything away. 2) the staff were friendly and polite (and hard working) 3) the atmosphere on board was good. The majority of passengers were German so as English speakers there were fewer other people to talk to 4) Excellent dinners in the restaurant. Fish biased as you would expect but great. And we found the portions just fine. We didn't spend time in Bergen as that was where we were flying from but that looked like a nice place to spend a day. Also would love to have spent an evening, or evening a few hours in the evening, at Trondheim as that looked like the most interesting town. What was not quite so good (and in some cases being picky here...) 1) Internet was free but sooooooo slow that it was almost unusable. 2) We docked at some places very quickly and there was no time to get off 3) We were running behind schedule for much of the time but would still depart a dock on time. This meant that if we had a 45/60 min stop, in theory, somewhere we often had only 20 mins to get off run around and get back on for the scheduled departure time. 4) breakfast was inconsitent and not very interesting at all. The choice of breads and pastries was poor and the hot selection was, on most days, a bit weird. so normally stuck to fruit and cereal (i.e. did not leave the dining room hungry!). A let down as dinner was so good. Overall the "most beautiful voyage" was not quite up to expectations which was in part due to the time of year and weather. We had a couple of days on board with nothing much to see ".... we are just passing the Seven Sisters which are seven peaks, x metres high etc.... but you cannot see it due to the weather!!" So a chance to kick back and relax! So now that I am home I am not raving about the trip based on what I saw and tell people to maybe check other months. Having said that we had a ball, really enjoyed ourselves - hanging out on the ship / exploring towns when we could and relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This is one one of the most comfortable ships we have ever been on. The common areas are beautiful. We did not anticipate an experience this good. The cruise is not like anything else we have experienced. Because it makes so many ... Read More
This is one one of the most comfortable ships we have ever been on. The common areas are beautiful. We did not anticipate an experience this good. The cruise is not like anything else we have experienced. Because it makes so many stops both crew and passengers constantly change. While they offer many excursions there is not the 'group' feeling that you get on other lines. Most of the passengers are European so there is an interesting diversity. The scenery is better than anything you can imagine. We joined the ship in Kirkenes and sailed south to Bergen. While Hurtigruten offers package deals we booked everything independently and actually did save. There are a few cabins on deck 7 that are slightly larger than the others .. it is evident on the ships diagram .. it is worth it to arrange your trip to get one of them. There are HUGE porthole windows in those cabins that offer a terrific view of the passing scenery. We chose a cabin on the port side and while much of the cruise has magnificent scenery on both sides of the ship the port side on the south bound cruise offered a view of each village the ship stopped in. I would assume the same is true on starboard side on northbound voyages. The food is excellent and abundant however do not expect the usual 'feed them every hour' that you might experience on other lines. Dinner is a single entree choice and on our cruise fish was served all but two nights. They will accommodate you if you are averse to fish - I am but chose to skip the main course rather than ask for an alternative. Breakfast and lunch are openin seating and there are two seatings in the veneing but I never saw the dinig room full. Forget the coffee deal unless you want to have a cup in your hand throughout the voyage. We took the North Cape excursion and enjoyed it .. the best was the Sea Eagle excursion as it says in the description it is 2 hours you will remember for a long time. The cabin is small but not cramped. we were told to bring a wash cloth but it is not needed HOWEVER the soap is liquid and there is no shampoo so think about packing those items. There is a 24 hour cafe BUT prices will take you breath away. Best to get off when ship stops and get snack etc at nearby convenience stores. Norway is a brutally beautiful country and while the US has many areas that might resemble it there is nothing like it. In Bergen the ships docks quite a distance from town so arrange to have the bus drop you at the hotel you have chosen or the airport. Nothing in Scandinavia is 'reasonable' but compared to taxis the buses are a bargain. There is a bus service from Kirkenes airport to the ship and vice versa .. use it. I have never been as relaxed nor enjoyed a cruise more than I did this one. The Hurtigruten people on the ship are excellent BUT I found that many of the selling agents are not as knowledgeable many of the things curious travelers want to know. So check other reviews to see if there are legitimate answers to your questions. There is an information center with all the details you could ask for about excursions and where the ship is going and they do make occasional announcements about things to see. Just remember this is kind of like being a passenger on a FedEx flight. The multiple stops delivering and accepting small cargo is what the line is about the passengers are a nice way to get additional money for it. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed in the beauty of the landscape the impressiveness of the ship and the comfort of the entire voyage. Whatever you do do NOT miss the Norway in a Nutshell through Flam. It was unquestionably the highlight of the trip. One other tip .. if I had to do it again I would skip the southern portion of the trip either joining the ship in Trondheim or leaving it. You can get train, plane, bus and rental car transportation from Trondheim and while the southern coast has much to see the real majesty is in the north. One final note: if anyone from Hurtigruten management reads this .. the marketing of this ship and the description and sales experience is sadly lacking. Many of the sales agents have never even been on one of the ships! While it may seem as perfunctory as selling an airline or train ticket it is not. This trip was so much more than we expected based on what we read in the brochures and saw on line. There are so many ways today to flatter the experience that simply are not being done. Give the ship and the cabins and the experience as much video exposure as possible. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
a newish boat - tiny cabin with just enough storage space for one - we lived out of our suitcases stowed under the bed. The outside cabins with portholes appeared a bit larger but not really value for money. Mainly continental ... Read More
a newish boat - tiny cabin with just enough storage space for one - we lived out of our suitcases stowed under the bed. The outside cabins with portholes appeared a bit larger but not really value for money. Mainly continental breakfasts, with eggs, chipolata sausages - not really up to English standards, but reasonable. other meals mainly fish and pork, one shellfish buffet and reindeer meat once. Great soups, bread, salads and desserts. We had reserved settings for quite a few meals which meant we were forced to sit with people even if we didn't care for their company - also some people forced to sit at a table for 2 even if they wanted to sit by other people.No choice of menu at most dinner times- mainly fish which was sometimes like cardboard - probably defrosted - shame as there should have been plenty of fresh fish in Norway. Missed chicken and had lamb only twice. The staterooms were great, plenty of space and seats, lovely sundeck and 2 outdoor hot tubs - not for the faint hearted, but well used, sauna and gym were great. The bar was expensive +++ - entertainment by a couple of singers so-so, but welcome as a diversion at the end of the day. 21£ for a mug with unlimited tea and coffee from the cafeteria/bar - but as it cost 2£ for a single cup it seemed worth it to buy the mug. £5.70 for a 1/2 pint of beer which was half filled with foam! We went on a lot of the tours to break up the day - the city tours were a waste of money, as well as the one to the Russian Border. The best were to the Svartisen Glacier, though you had to walk a mile to get to it from the bus, The Geiranger Panorama was good too. Not to be missed is the Midnight concert in Tromso Cathedral, The North Cape, and the Sea Eagle Safari. People who did a walking tour of Trondheim were disappointed, as well as the trip into Hammerfest. We went to the Lofoten Islands - it got dark early and was raining, so was awful esp as the guide couldn't speak English. Couldn't go on the Vega trip (out of season - shame)- others said the trip to Svolvaer and the Atlantic road trip were good - though the guide had limited English on the latter which wasn't so much fun. Met some great people, read a lot of books - they had a small library to which I added a couple of books. A very expensive trip, but worth it in the end. The ship was clean, cabins cleaned every day. The waiters were a bit rude sometimes - someone asked for jam -and he said - its there, cant you read, and on another occasion one of them was ride to another guest in front of us - affluence breeds ennui and arrogance! Check your bills carefully - we ended up being overcharged by over 1200K - 120£ - and so did almost everyone else. The barman charged us for the more expensive drinks instead of what we had actually bought, and one doesn't usually expect this in a crowded bar, so you tend to sign the cruise card chit without checking - big mistake, only put right at the end after a load of hassle and queuing. 6 nights would have been perfect - but we'd have missed the concert and the sea eagle safari so comme si comme sa In all a good experience and I would recommend it to people who don't want too much in the way of entertainment etc - one has to be mindful of the fact that it is but a glorified ferry and not expect too much. We felt that we could have done with spending 2 nights in Bergen or Kristiansund which looked like vibrant fun places Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My wife & I had been judging in Trondheim & decided to use The Coastal Express as a means of transport rather than travel by car or train. We only did one night south to get to Bergen.The ship was brilliant, clean & full of ... Read More
My wife & I had been judging in Trondheim & decided to use The Coastal Express as a means of transport rather than travel by car or train. We only did one night south to get to Bergen.The ship was brilliant, clean & full of helpful crew. Scenery spectacular fantastic experience, except the measly dinner. Portion control was in the extreme. I know things are expensive in Norway but to charge £100 to your captive audience for portions that my chihuahua would complain at is a bit steep. The bread basket could be measured by the number of crumbs in the bottom hidden by two plastic containers of butter, it was wicked to kill a reindeer & cure him & reduce him to slices so thin you could see through,cover this with a few leaves,sprinkle with rowan-berry jelly & it was difficult to find. The main course consisted of a very small home grown wedge of salmon, mounted by an even smaller piece of halibut, with a hint of gravlax as the crowning glory, TWO regulation size baked new potatoes dusted in garlic powder all on a base of julienne vegetables with basil sauce. The piece de resistance was "pudding" a small ramekin of berry juice with a tiny crown of herb cream. No coffee, no cheese even on offer at extra cost, but the jug of water was free. The flavours were good, the quality was good but the portions were positively mean. The chef I spoke with suddenly could not understand English. At the booking reception desk where we had been asked to pay in advance, it was the same. We think that the restaurant is run on the basis of the more we save the bigger our bonus. Interesting to note that in the menu the salmon should have been on the halibut but of course it is much more expensive so lets switch it around & hope no one notices. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Midnatsol Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 2.9
Public Rooms 3.0 4.4
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 2.0 3.1
Shore Excursions 2.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 2.0 N/A
Service 3.0 4.2

Find a Midnatsol Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click