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15 Hurtigruten Midnatsol Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the interesting ports of call and the possible excursion options (and prior experience with Hurtigruten). After our arrival in Lisbon, we did a private half day tour of the city prior to arriving at the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the interesting ports of call and the possible excursion options (and prior experience with Hurtigruten). After our arrival in Lisbon, we did a private half day tour of the city prior to arriving at the ship - a very nice city to explore Embarkation went very smoothly and we were in time for dinner. Watch the lights of Lisbon fade away as we departed 20:00. The ocean was very calm for our entire voyage and we had lovely weather. The ship is small and intimate and we had a very small number of fellow passengers - which made it quite a pleasant journey. The cabins are small and functional and fully satisfied our needs - but if you are used to large ship cruising, you might be disappointed. The breakfast and lunch buffets provided a lovely selection of foods both European and North American and the dinners were well planned with an overall theme each night and how each item on the menu fit into the theme. Because of the lovely weather and low numbers, the dining staff planned several BBQ buffets up on deck 9 (instead of formal dinners) which were enjoyable. Dining staff were fantastic. The crew talent evening was a lot of fun! Once again this ship does not have all of the elaborate entertainment options of the larger ships, but there is music and talent shows. We really enjoy their activities/lectures - the expedition team always provides great information about the surrounding area and important historical information. Port lectures actually provide real information about the history and interesting sites of each port - instead of the ridiculous port lectures on other lines which are only an advertisement for a series of stores/shops. Despite some issues, the shore excursions were great - going to some fascinating historical locations along with knowledgeable guides. Two of the ports, the ship had arranged shuttle services into town - which was very nice - particularly in Portimão where the shuttle did a loop between the town and the beach at Praia da Rocha. Disembarkation also ran smoothly despite having ship problems that grounded us at Portimão instead of back in Lisbon. The bus ride from Portimão to the Lisbon airport went very smoothly. Looking forward to my next trip with Hurtigruten - hoping to do either Antarctica or the Arctic! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Road Scholar. The ship and crew were always very accommodating. The food was probably my biggest concern. I’m not a picky eater but found the dinners not very enjoyable. I tried everything to be a good sport. Everything looked good ... Read More
Road Scholar. The ship and crew were always very accommodating. The food was probably my biggest concern. I’m not a picky eater but found the dinners not very enjoyable. I tried everything to be a good sport. Everything looked good but some entres were not very good. What I found odd was that we ran out of Chilean wine on the first day even though we departed from a Chilean port. There was always plenty of food. The excursion to learn about the geology of the Falklands was too short and we learned all there was to learn at the introduction class. The drivers of the 4 wheelers were fun and informative. The penguins, the cafe, and the museum store was wonderful. We ate lunch at a local crafted beer restaurant that was really good. Also we sat with some locals and that was informative too. We also enjoyed the kayaking excursion. The kids were delightful and made sure we were very safe and that we had a good time. On our day, the ship was our support boat, meaning they came to us to pick us up. The ship was a overly warm. We got to go to the bridge and that was fun and informative. A highlight was enjoying hurricane winds and seas returning to South America. Quite an experience. I always felt safe and was never afraid. Lastly, the clinic could use some improvement. I needed my eye checked. The problem was the equipment needs new batteries or new eye equipment. Not really worth the visit. Overall I had a terrific trip of a lifetime. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The Antartic region should be on everyone's bucket list. It is an awesome region to visit and the Midnapsol is certainly well equipped to handle the weather and the landings very effectively. The food on board was of excellent ... Read More
The Antartic region should be on everyone's bucket list. It is an awesome region to visit and the Midnapsol is certainly well equipped to handle the weather and the landings very effectively. The food on board was of excellent quality but with little daily variety, and the a la catre restaurant was worth the extra cost.The Philippino crew were very efficient and exceedlingly friendly, making it a very happy ship and happy cruise for all. The ship is in need of renovation again. Carpets in public areas near and on stairs were dirty and worn in some locations, and many of the bar chairs had also seen better days. The alcoholic drinks were very expensive and even by limiting my consumption and avoiding premium wines and spirits, my bar bill worked out at more than 30 pounds sterling each day. The Dazzler hotel in Montevideo where we stayed pre-cruise was very substandard and best avoided. The worst thing was the inexcusable mistake made by the Purser's Office in giving the Chilean immigration authorities the wrong passport number, so that the Immigration arrival form issued to me was invalid and which would have precluded my departure from Chile. I spend 16 unnecessarily stressful hours and a totally sleepless night worrying about whether this mistake could be corrected. Finally, the next morning I was issued on our arrival in Punta Arenas with a correct immigration arrival form by the Purser's Office with no apology! A great relief to me, but this sheer imcompetence on the Purser's part left a very sour note in my mouth in relation to the whole cruise experience. I still await Hurtiguten's apology and recompence for this dreadful error on their part.. Despite the above, I certainly do not regret taking the cruise and would recommend a visit to the Antartic region wholehearted to anyone with a spirit of adventure and exploration. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
we boarded in Kirkenes and ended up in Bergen [total of 33 stops] there was not time to get off at each & every one [normal] and @ some, the time in port was limited this is a working ship that moves passengers & cargo up ... Read More
we boarded in Kirkenes and ended up in Bergen [total of 33 stops] there was not time to get off at each & every one [normal] and @ some, the time in port was limited this is a working ship that moves passengers & cargo up & down the coast lovely interior that seems to have been redone recently smallish cabins [like river cruises] good food [buffet breakfasts & lunch] and mostly sit down [set menu] dinners interesting to go from north to south [ending in Bergen] there is no entertainment on board shore excursions seem a waste [personal] as with river cruises-great time to relax & enjoy the scenery, fjords, and people great way to see how people live in the small towns in the islands would recommend this to anyone who has not done it, or is looking for more about Norway we had a good time-try it Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I invited my whole family to this cruise. We where 16 persons all together including six grandchildren. We are very satisfied with the boat and the arrangement . However since 7 of us came from Gothenburg we had to arrange air ... Read More
I invited my whole family to this cruise. We where 16 persons all together including six grandchildren. We are very satisfied with the boat and the arrangement . However since 7 of us came from Gothenburg we had to arrange air transportation to Oslo. This could not be arranged by Bengt-Martin in Sweden. On our last day on board we found out that it should be difficult to have time to catch the last flight to Gothenburg. Therefore we needed to change the flight from Bergen to Oslo and get earlier flight. This turned out to be a very difficult thing since the person in the reception did not want to help. After long discussion at last in any case we could rebook our flight tickets. Since this was a bad exception we must say that all other persons where very helpful. We where all very impressed by the fantastic food served on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Antarctica and do some landings. All guests gathered in Santiago, Chile at a nice Sheraton so we could take two chartered flights to the departure city Punta Arenas the next morning ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Antarctica and do some landings. All guests gathered in Santiago, Chile at a nice Sheraton so we could take two chartered flights to the departure city Punta Arenas the next morning "early", we had 380 passengers. We did get a tour of Punta Arenas when we landed Museum, town square, etc, just killing time before registering. The embarkation was a little slow as some of the card printing machines had issues but all in all went well, it was done on the ship by workers on the ship. The ship is bigger than most you see on the tour, which is good when crossing the Drake Passage. It takes about 36 hours each way to cross. The ship was built in 2003 and appeared to be maintained very well. All of the common areas are quite nice, although this is not a typical cruise ship, more like a nice ferry boat (in the north summer it is used as a ferry boat). Dinning is usually in the main dinning hall, breakfast and lunch are always buffet. Dinner is about 50/50 buffet and served. The food is good not gourmet, but adequate. This is a Norwegian ship so there is a lot of fish served, when buffet there is always a meat option and when severed you can sub out to the alternate, need to notify at lunch. Near the end there are some very good served meals (Cod and Chateaubriand) all very good. The deserts and bread are all fresh made and very good. After 14 days the choices of fresh fruit are limited, but, that is to be expected. There is a separate Dinning option, a tapas like restaurant. We did it once and it was nice and not too much of an up charge. There is not much to do on the ship, be sure to bring some good books, plural. There are two Jacuzzi's and a library and that is about it. The guides do some presentations that are nice, not many, and not too long. If we are getting off The boat there is a presentation of were we are scheduled to go, some will change. Service was good at all points, the crew are all experienced cruise workers. The landings are what we all came for. On those 6 days it is very busy getting all 380 people ashore and back then usually small boat cursing the same day. This is organised very well and seems to work smoothly. The animals, the views are all outstanding! Final points. There is a lot of Penguin Guano on shore, they loan you boots and give you a nice coat. when you get back on ship there is a Guano-matic that cleans your boots (keep your pants rolled up or tucked). The water, coffee, and tea are free, all else has a cost not cheap but reasonable. I looked at it as part of the experience, not like you have a choice. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
A journey up the Norwegian coast in the winter is like a fairy tale. It's amazing! To see Norway in a more natural light, without tourists, and snow covered is a wonderful experience. I'm so glad I did this. The ship is ... Read More
A journey up the Norwegian coast in the winter is like a fairy tale. It's amazing! To see Norway in a more natural light, without tourists, and snow covered is a wonderful experience. I'm so glad I did this. The ship is lovely, and filled with like minded people, all attracted by the prospect of seeing the northern lights. My cruise had many Brits, plus Dutch, Belgium, Germans, Americans... And probably many others. Traveling solo, I found everyone to be extremely friendly. The crowd was older, as I expected. The ship was very attractive and well maintained. My cabin on deck seven, was larger than I expected, though still small compared to main stream cruised. But I had plenty of storage space. The bed was comfortable and very cozy with the warm comforter. I'm glad I opted for a window as it was nice to wake up and see the scenery. Unlike mainstream cruises, the cabin is cleaned just once a day, which was fine with me. The public rooms were very comfortable, and I didn't miss the casino or entertainment at all. I used the evening to catch up on my email and Facebook. The food was very nicely prepared. Though I'm not a fan of fish, I usually found an alternative at most meals. I did not request any substitutes, and only skipped one meal.. The Arctic char. But the soups were lovely as were all the desserts. My only criticism is the coffee. It was never served with dinner. You could go up to the bar and get a cup after dinner, but not available with your meal, other than at the buffets. Other than meal times, you had to pay for it. The excursions were all top notch. I especially enjoyed the husky sledding in Tromso, and the North Cape visit. Had it not been for the coffee policy, I probably would have rated it overall 5 * . I just felt for the price of the cruise, free coffee should have been included. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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
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
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
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 is one of 9 ferries with cruise style facilities doing a round trip from Bergen to Kirkenes at the Russian border and back. The ship stops at a multitude of ports which you can see during waking hours at east once during the ... Read More
Midnatsol is one of 9 ferries with cruise style facilities doing a round trip from Bergen to Kirkenes at the Russian border and back. The ship stops at a multitude of ports which you can see during waking hours at east once during the voyage. The ship loads and unloads cargo as well as passengers at most ports. The route is mainly between islands and the coast, but there are 3 notable bits of open water to traverse. Although the public areas are cruise style, the cabins are mostly as you would find on English cross-channel ferries. However, as so little time is spent in them, their basic nature does no matter much. Winter also has no single supplements for cabins and this is a real economy for myself and my friend who have winter holidays together. Because of the beauty of the scenery this was my 3rd winter voyage out of 4 trips with Hurtigruten. Hurtigruten offer many flights to Bergen from all over UK, and we must say that our KLM flights from Tyneside to Bergen via Amsterdam were most convenient. Included is a shuttle bus between airport and ship in Bergen. Embarkation is quick and easy - you just drop your suitcase and get pre-prepared cabin cards and table allocation in return. Almost all payments on the ship are by registering your cruise card and that took only 3 minutes to do at reception. As this is a scenic voyage, there are few activities. Amongst those there were was a singing duo each evening and information films and events occasionally. (Most of these do not happen in summer). One bit of fun that happens on all voyage is crossing the Arctic Circle with a King Neptune ceremony for those who want to join in, and a certificate for all. The public rooms have lots of space in the winter, but some of the seating becomes a bit uncomfortable after a few hours. Art and decoration is beautiful an imaginative. There is a small library and free internet access as well as a bar, snack bar and small souvenir shop. There are 2 jacuzzis on the top deck (outside) and a sauna (inside). Recreation is limited to walking around covered promenade deck 6 or open deck 9 (with helipad). There is a very small children's room which I have never seen occupied. Meals are taken in a well decorated dining room with a buffet breakfast and lunch with a set evening dinner. Breakfast is open seating, but for the first time, we had allocated tables for Lunch buffet as well as the usual allocated tables for dinner.These were shared with others of the same nationality who we got on with OK. Service is generally good and the waiters are really friendly if you get to know them. Since I first went on this winter cruise 4 years ago, I have noticed that the variety of food on offer has been substantially reduced with less choice of cooked meats, fish and cheese. Dinner is also less imaginative with fish being served as a main course on 5 evenings running. There is no problem however in changing any Dinner course by telling the restaurant manager at breakfast time (menus are posted the evening before). The chef is excellent with dietary requirements for dinner, but you have to look after your self at buffets. Cabins are serviced once a day with regular changes of bedding and fresh towel if you leave the old one on the sink or floor. There is an opportunity for an excursion almost every day including dog-sledging, snowmobiles, bus tours and a Viking Feast. Seeing the Northern Lights is a bonus and they did appear once on this voyage, but you cannot count on seeing them. I have not rated ports as stops are from 5 minutes to 4 hours, and it is very much up to you whether you explore take an excursion or stay on the ship. WE took this cruise for relaxation, scenery and a glimpse of Norwegian culture. It answered all of this admirably, and despite the obvious economies being made in the catering we enjoyed it very much once again. Read Less
Sail Date January 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

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