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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was all about seeing and experiencing Norway rather than the "cruising" experience of lots of onboard entertainment and restaurants etc.There was constant beautiful scenery as a ship of this size is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was all about seeing and experiencing Norway rather than the "cruising" experience of lots of onboard entertainment and restaurants etc.There was constant beautiful scenery as a ship of this size is able to sail quite close to shore and enter smaller fjords. The passengers were a mix of Scandinavians,British,Germans and few North Americans which added to the interest. The buffet food at breakfast and lunch was excellent quality and very wide range.Dinner was smaller and table service with very friendly and helpful staff. For us we liked the sauna,jacuzzis and small fitness room which were always always empty and available. Although there were 500 passengers there was no feeling of being crowded and always a quiet place to sit and look out. Deck 6 is open all the way round so you can do lots of walking here. All went smoothly and would love to do again. This ship gives a feel of being very modern and spacious. Very popular with over 70s and disabled guests.We were somewhat younger but very enjoyable for us too. You can find your own level:sit and relax reading or go to fitness room and walk round the decks-whatever suits! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
In wanting to see the Northern Light, we opted to take Hurtigruten's guarantee of their experience, vs going to Iceland. When we booked this cruise we were unaware that the ship serves as a cargo & ferry ship. It stops at ... Read More
In wanting to see the Northern Light, we opted to take Hurtigruten's guarantee of their experience, vs going to Iceland. When we booked this cruise we were unaware that the ship serves as a cargo & ferry ship. It stops at countless ports. This isn't your topical cruise. There is no casino (we don't gamble, so okay for us) or entertainment, nor is there food available without purchasing it (VERY EXPENSIVE), other than the included breakfast, lunch & dinner. Yet with that said, we have no regrets having taken this trip. Things we disliked: 1. Too short of time in ports to enjoy excursions (too rushed). 2. Last minute notices on activities or lectures. 3. They discourage you from tipping individually. (Though tipping is not really customary) Things we liked: 1. Small ship, so not that many people on board. 2. Because there wasn't entertainment, it was relaxing (not noisy of music or people). 3. The dining service was outstanding. Every server was pleasant, efficient and friendly. 4. The entire cruise was scenic as we travelled through the fjords. Norway has the most beautiful coastline (yes, prettier than Alaska). 5. We saw the Northern Lights as promised ---the MOST SPECTACULAR experience!!! (Personally, I don't believe anything can top that experience in our future vacations). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, ... Read More
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, with an expert lecturer on the Northern Lights and other night sky phenomena (Dr John Mason), and with other interesting talks, information points and excursions handled by the two-woman Expedition Team. The ship was obviously comfortable and well-appointed, but wasn't a great block of flats on a hull, like many modern cruise vessels, and it combined very good facilities for passengers with an element of working ship, delivering cargo at a lot of ports (34) along the way. Our cabin was small, but very comfortable and well-designed: it became a home from home! The organisation of the cruise from start to finish was absolutely faultless: e.g. embarking and disembarkation - including management of our luggage - were handled with the utmost efficiency and with no needless hanging around for passengers. Throughout the voyage, we were kept informed of what was happening through clear - and audible! - announcements. Two minor problems with cabin equipment were immediately remedied. Excursions were handled with the utmost efficiency by the Expedition Team and those ashore, making everything worry-free and enjoyable. The food was plentiful and tasty, without the ridiculous waste and excess which one gathers are the norm on some cruises. Breakfasts involved a good range of items, though the quality of a couple of them (eg scrambled eggs and porridge) could be a bit variable. The lunch buffets had an element of Norwegian comfort food about them, which we found agreeable. Evening meals involved a set 3-course menu, which some might find restrictive, but most of the dishes served were excellent with a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Prices for drinks were high, especially for those with weakening sterling bank accounts! The scenery was simply breathtaking, with constantly changing vistas of snowy peaks coming down to the sea and of islands, many with small and picturesque settlements on them: it will live in our memories for ever. The experience of the late winter Norwegian coast, including settlements in the Arctic Circle, was simply magical. And we saw the lovely Northern Lights - with one amazing moment when the night sky filled with a burst of extraordinary light. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was amazing. We signed up for the "Astronomy Cruise," which featured British astronomer Professor John Mason. He was an incredible teacher and loved by all! It was a subgroup of about 80 of us. We gathered daily for ... Read More
This cruise was amazing. We signed up for the "Astronomy Cruise," which featured British astronomer Professor John Mason. He was an incredible teacher and loved by all! It was a subgroup of about 80 of us. We gathered daily for lectures on the Northern Lights in particular and astronomy in general. He is a captivating lecturer! The group developed a lovely connection and we spent many hours on the top deck Aurora hunting. After a disappointing 7 nights of clouds and snow we were rewarded with 2 nights of magnificent displays which fully satisfied any bucket-list cravings! Beyond incredible! We also did many of the excursions and they were better than we expected: Favorites were the Husky dog sledding in Kirkenes, the Sea Eagle safari, the 2 fishing villages with an incredible art gallery at the end of the world, the Midnight concert and the Viking dinner. We also did the Vesteralen excursion, and a few hikes which were nice. We thought 12 days might feel like too much but the time flew by, and since we had a suite, just sitting in our huge bay window watching Norway go by was an eternal delight. We stayed in suite (room 823) which was HEAVEN!! If you can splurge on a suite it's worth it! The rooms are tiny! All the suites look great. I was disappointed we did not get one with a balcony but it would've been too chilly to use it much anyway. The food was great -- tons of options. If you have food requirements you need to be persistent and remind them repeatedly, but they are eager to please. We universally loved all the staff we encountered. (Reports of rudeness in other reviews are a mystery to me.) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I am the third passenger of cabin 618. At first I wanted to watch the Northern Lights but I wasn't that keen on travelling by boat(!) . Nevertheless I have to admit that I will never regret my choice. Everybody on board was nice ... Read More
I am the third passenger of cabin 618. At first I wanted to watch the Northern Lights but I wasn't that keen on travelling by boat(!) . Nevertheless I have to admit that I will never regret my choice. Everybody on board was nice and welcoming and helpful. The boat was clean and comfortable. The food was delicious and abundant and the waitresses and waitors always ready to help us. There were a lot of different excursions to please anybody, the entertainment and the activities on board were diverse and good as well. There was no fly in the ointment since the weather was sunny all over the journey except on the first day and the last day! I personnally had a problem when I set foot on board and the captain and the clercs at the reception did all their best to help me and I thank them for their compassion and their effective help to find me a solution which would suit me( and my dream!) I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights and I'm glad I had been able to make my dream come true. For sure I will recommend this cruise ( I've already started doing it!) To finish I'd like to add a few words about our French guide Anne Guillaud . She happened to be very competent and effective and humane. She answered all our questions and she gave us very instructive lectures every day and she also helped me personnally beautifully when I needed it. She IS an experienced guide who knows Norway, its cullture and its history . Thank you for reading me .M.B Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and Hurtigruten had John Mason a professional Astronomer leading our cruise. We wanted a small ship that would give us personal attention and skip the usual big ship hassles. This was perfect, the ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and Hurtigruten had John Mason a professional Astronomer leading our cruise. We wanted a small ship that would give us personal attention and skip the usual big ship hassles. This was perfect, the staff was excellent, the food was great and the accommodations could not have been better. So fun to be on a working ferry and seeing the whole Norwegian coast. We saw the Northern Lights 9 times during our 12 day adventure. There were many off shore activities if you wanted and the on board lounges were perfect. The staff was excellent, Hurtiguten delivers in all areas. This is not a cheap trip but you get what you pay for. We will be back again. If you want to really see Norway then this working ferry is an incredible way to view places you could never reach any other way. A wonderful mix of people from all around the world. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We ... Read More
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We have never travelled on a ship for so long, and for us this was a great voyage of adventure and not a run of the mill "cruise". It certainly surpassed our expectations. Hurtigruten organise everything superbly and the expedition team on board are very knowledgeable, helpful and add to the overall experience during the voyage. There is a schedule each day that also has important information on it and points of interest are highlighted on the way, often with a gathering about the sight. The astronomy talks were brilliant and added to the overall experience and we were so lucky to see so mainly northern light displays during our voyage, and with the astronomer , John, who shared his knowledge about this wonderful natural phenomena. The food on board was excellent. Lots of it and lots of choice too. Evening meal except 2 nights was 3 course a la carte, which was very nice. Tea and coffee is also available at certain places on the ship throughout the day and after evening meal for those on a package. All staff are really helpful and polite and will do anything to help. Drinks are expensive as is the case in Scandinavia. We opted for a house wine drinks package. All in all a glass of wine is around £10, so we thought the wine package would be more economical. There were about 6 different choices of wine on this package, either red or white and most were nice quality. There are also beer packages as well. We went on 2 trips which we highly recommend. North Cape on day 6 and snowmobiling on day 7. Very well organised. The only point to make is that we booked our excursions prior to the holiday, as we were told it would get booked up. We were told that one trip was fully booked so we opted for another instead. However, on board all the trips had places advertised by the expedition team and you could book with them very easily on board and the trip we originally wanted had lots of space. if we did it again we would probably wait to book excursions until on board. A great variety of hikes were on offer as well. Even though we did not venture on these we heard from others how great they were. There is plenty of opportunity, depending on the weather, to get off the ship. More so on the Northern voyage. There are plenty of great areas on the ship to view the wonderful scenery from inside and deck 9 has a large outside deck area that was the main place to view the northern lights. The cabins are clean and have plenty of storage space. We were on deck 6 which has the viewing areas and the muster station. We would definitely go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) were on our bucket list, and the Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Cruise with the Astronomy Cruise package seems to be just the right trip for us - staying close to the coastline, and stopping at many ... Read More
Seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) were on our bucket list, and the Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Cruise with the Astronomy Cruise package seems to be just the right trip for us - staying close to the coastline, and stopping at many Norwegian towns and villages. Hurtigruten made our trip comfortable and memorable. The embarkation and disembarkation process was well organized and very smooth and easy. Our cabin (809) was clean and very comfortable, and had more storage than we needed (quite the surprise). The food was absolutely wonderful and delicious - the breakfast and lunch buffets had so many choices, we never went hungry. Each dinner highlighted local foods and cuisines from the different areas in Norway as we cruised past - serving sizes were just right, and the food was delicious. The Expedition Team provided "Points of Interest" talks up on deck as we went by key areas, and they organized the many excursions from the ship. We took 3 different excursions - Nidaros Cathedral, North Cape, and Taste of Vesteralen - all three were excellent. The guides on the excursions were knowledgeable and provided interesting facts and stories along the way. On top of all that - we saw the Northern Lights 6 nights out of the 11 nights of the cruise. As part of the Astronomy Cruise, Dr. John Mason provided daily lectures and information, and was on deck at night to answer questions. We saw the Northern Lights 6 different nights - they were simply amazing !!!!! We took over 1500 pictures! We were very pleased with Hurtigruten's MS Trollfjord, and will definitely take another cruise with them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Be absolutely clear that Hurtigruten is a ferry service and not a cruise line. We paid for a relaxing cruise but what we received was a passage on a working ship with very little customer care. Whilst we understand that the boat is a ... Read More
Be absolutely clear that Hurtigruten is a ferry service and not a cruise line. We paid for a relaxing cruise but what we received was a passage on a working ship with very little customer care. Whilst we understand that the boat is a working boat, there is an expectation of a level of service commensurate with the cruise price and cabin level - however this is absolutely not the case. Hurtigruten carry the Norwegian postal flag on the back of the ship and the impression on board is that it regards passengers as a necessary inconvenience to be used as an income source at every opportunity. Unfortunately, we booked a voyage advertised as a ‘cruise’ and were expecting cruise levels of service and attention – we were sorely disappointed. The boat is run for the convenience of Hurtigruten’s commercial business and delivers minimal customer care and service. The following points detail just some of our experience on our 12-day Northern Lights/Astronomy cruise. 1. Embarkation a. Chaotic - We found ourselves waiting in an extremely long queue to board with a minimal amount of Hurtigruten personnel to assist – not a good initial experience. 2. Restaurant and catering a. The restaurant was not big enough to cope with the number of guests on-board. It was not well run and a complete bun fight at meal times. Trying to anticipate when it might be quiet and we could get a table easily became quite a stress point – not the idea of a relaxing cruise. One person had their coffee knocked out of their hand and our water glasses were pushed out of the way at the water dispenser, whilst we were filling them, by another aggressive and inpatient guest. We resigned ourselves to either eating very early or very late in the sitting to avoid the melee and any unpleasantness. The restaurant management made a number of calls over the PA system asking for people to leave the restaurant if they have finished or requesting that guests did not to go for their meal yet as there were no spaces available. The restaurant is not big enough or fit for purpose. b. On one particular occasion we arrived for breakfast at opening time along with about twenty other people already queuing. We started to help ourselves to food but were suddenly all ordered out of restaurant by a member of staff who shouted to us that she had not ‘set the machine’. We had to put down our plates of food and leave the restaurant and re-enter again with our card swipes. This was the failing of the restaurant staff not to open the restaurant on time but the customers were blamed and admonished. c. Tables were cleared at breakfast time half an hour before the end of the sitting and passengers coming down for breakfast were told the tables were not available as they had been set for lunch, even though there were prime tables situated by the window providing an excellent vista for the paying customers. Again, the needs and priorities of Hurtigruten outweighed any needs of customers and their enjoyment. d. We paid for full board which included the tea and coffee package, all served from machines around the boat. However, after selecting a cappuccino and hot chocolate from a machine we were told that the package excluded hot chocolate and any other beverage other than straight tea or coffee. As all the beverages were delivered from a self-serve automated machine how tight-fisted do you have to be to apply this? A cappuccino is made from milk and coffee – the same ingredients as white coffee – how very petty of Hurtigruten and it exemplifies the Hurtigruten policy of treating the paying customer as an endless cash cow. e. We were very surprised to find the majority of dinners were set menus with no choices available – again not to offer the customer a choice is very poor. In some cases we were not able to eat some of the courses as we did not like the menu and would not have chosen it. By contrast the buffet offered a huge choices and the food was of an excellent standard. 3. Suite facilities a. Although Hurtigruten promise Northern Light announcements to cabins the only phone in our suite was in the main room farthest away from the bedroom. It was impossible to hear when in the bedroom. We requested an extension cable for the phone but were told this was not possible and offered a direct call instead. This is not a solution at all if we cannot hear the phone in the first place. b. On arrival we could not find the promised robes and slippers. Reception informed us that Hurtigruten has stopped providing certain “benefits” to the suite customers yet they are still advertised on the website so gave us an on-board credit by way of apology. However we had not packed robes on this basis so this was a further inconvenience and again smacked of cost cutting to deliver minimum benefits to high value customers. c. Although Hurtigruten’s material does make mention of that fact that all ships are working boats and there will be some noise and vibration, nothing could have prepared us for the cacophony of noise and extreme vibration that we experienced on a nightly basis. This ensured that every night’s sleep was interrupted with accruing fatigue as the cruise continued. 4. Check out The night before the end of the cruise our final account was provided on the basis that our card would be debited automatically so no need to contact reception on the boat. However we received a note requesting us to go to reception to settle our account as our payment could not be processed. In complying with this request we joined a queue at the reception with only one Hurtigruten employee attending to guests. As we were approaching a port, the one and only Hurtigruten employee on duty had to stop helping waiting customers to go and open the doors once we were in port, leaving a disappointed and angry queue at reception waiting for attention. Where were the rest of the Hurtigruten crew on the final morning? When we finally got to a desk, after much tapping and groaning by the reception agent, we were told it was OK as our card had been processed and the message was left on our cabin door in error. In fact, on the top right of the message there was indeed another cabin number (which we had missed). Again another instance of lack of attention to detail and incompetence by Hurtigruten. In short Hurtigruten’s plan is to extract as much money as possible from its paying guests for as little inconvenience to the company as possible. To be fair to the majority of Hurtigruten staff on board were polite and helpful, but they cannot change the product or the culture of the company and its approach to customers. There is no level of service commensurate with the cabin offered and money paid and no level of cruise service on the ship at any level. If you must travel Hurtigruten book the cheapest accommodation you can, expect chaos and a bunfight at meal times and choose any excursions very carefully. Avoid this cruise line unless you want a bottom of the range experience. The moral of the story is Hurtigruten is a ferry service and NOT a cruise line and ‘not-fit-for-purpose’ if you are expecting a cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Review of my 7 days Northern Lights Voyage with Hurtigruten's MS Trollfjord, January 2019. Northbound from Bergen to Kirkenes - Arctic Circle crossing, Polar night, Northern Lights, North Cape, Dog Sledding, and Kirkenes Snowhotel. ... Read More
Review of my 7 days Northern Lights Voyage with Hurtigruten's MS Trollfjord, January 2019. Northbound from Bergen to Kirkenes - Arctic Circle crossing, Polar night, Northern Lights, North Cape, Dog Sledding, and Kirkenes Snowhotel. Hurtigruten is operating 11 vessels along the Norwegian West Coast - daily departures from Bergen to Kirkenes and return (total of 11 nights). It was not a Hurtigruten astronomy voyage but rather a Northbound 'Scouting after the Aurora' and sailing into the Polar Night. We did stay one day pre-cruise in Bergen and two more days post-cruise in Kirkenes. Direct flight from Copenhagen to Bergen the day before the cruise - Took the light rail from the airport to the city Centre, where we had booked 'The Hanseatic Hotel' which is located in one of the old houses at Bryggen Warf (UNESCO Heritage Site). Some claim that it always rains in Bergen. It's just almost right. It at least rains slightly in 242 of the year's 365 days,- from September to March it’s raining between 15 and 21 days per month. Our day in Bergen were one of these 'wet days'. Did visit the major sights including Bryggen Wharf. Day 1 - Departure from Bergen We did go to the terminal when check-in started at 4:00 pm - already a very long queue. Did queue for an hour. Cabins were ready at 6:00 pm. Open seating for dinner buffet from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Long queue for the restaurant until 8:30 pm - when we finally got a table the plates at the buffet were empty and staff did start to clan the buffet. Managed to get some smoked salmon, herrings and cheese - not the best start of the cruise. Departure at 10:00 pm - nice views from the upper deck. Day 2 - Ålesund For the day's route we were in open waters twice with quite high sea - we had to secure everything that could overturn. In the morning when we passed Stadthavet Sea from Måløy to Torvik - considered the most dangerous area along the coast of Norway, and again in the evening when we passed Hustadvika between Molde to Kristiansund. At noon we did have a long stop in Ålesund - a small and very picturesque city. Due to the bad weather conditions, dinner time was two hours earlier so dinner could be finished before we got out into the open water after Molde. The rest of the sailing was sheltered by islets and small islands. Each day the expedition team gave interesting lectures and presentations with a main theme each day related to the areas we passed by - presentation were in English and German (separate presentations). Day 3 - Trondheim During the night the sea was very calm. We docked in Trondheim at 6 am in pouring rain. The long stop of today where it was possible to visit the city. At noon we left Trondheim - we followed the Sail Away through the panoramic windows in the panorama lounge in the bow. At 7:00 pm time dinner in the restaurant. The food on Hurtigruten cruises is amazing. Each day has a theme from the areas we are passing - Fish, meat, vegetables and ingredients are fresh and loaded at one of the ports of the day. Breakfasts and lunches are buffet style during pre-scheduled time. with open seating. Hours can shift to accommodate time for excursions. Dinners are sit-down meals with assigned tables. Prior to departure you are assigned for a table for the entire voyage. If you want to move or combine with another people, just ask and you’ll be accommodated. Dinners on your Hurtigruten cruise in Norway are pre-set – no choice, except for the buffet dinners. If you don't like the food or have some food allergies, then just ask for an alternative. Wine are sold by glass (NOK 100 to 130 ), by bottle or wine packages. At 8:45 pm we arrived in Rørvik and sailed again at 9:15 pm. We got a cup of tea while we watched the sail away from Rørvik. Day 4 - Bodø and Lofoten and Arctic Circle Crossing January 13, 2019 at 07:10 am MS Trollfjord crossed the Arctic Circle. The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed; as of 13 January 2019, it runs 66°33′47″ north of the Equator. At 10:15 am the crossing was celebrated on the open deck in snow and cold weather by the captain and Njord (The Nordic version of King Neptune). Njord, Ruler of the sea and winds in Norse mythology blessed all the passengers "May good luck and happiness follow you on the voyage and forever after". This tradition involves the captain of the ship ladles ice water down the back of the passengers. We all got certificates confirming the Arctic Circle crossing. Long stop at 12:30 - 3:00 pm in Bodø. Just after Bodø a very nice sunset and we entered the Polar Night. Northern Lights At 8:40 pm it was announced that there was observed Northern Lights from the bridge. We hurried to put on the warm clothes and went on deck. It lasted about 40 min while we were at the quay in Svolvær and were very nice with high snow-covered mountains as a background. We sailed through the beautiful and narrow strait of Raftsundet. At 11 pm as MS Trollfjord entered the 100m-wide mouth of Trollfjord, while spotlights picked out the 1,000m-high cliffs that soared into the Arctic darkness. A very spectacular view with the snow and the steep rocky walls illuminated by the ship's spotlights. 10 minutes past midnight there was again reported Northern Lights. We stood in the bow in biting cold weather about 45 min and saw the northern lights come undulating and evolve from almost nothing to very, very nice. We finished the day with a cup of tea in the bar lounge to get worm again. Day 5 - Tromsø and Dog Sledding Tired after the nightly experiences with Northern Lights, we decided to drop off breakfast and get up a little later and have lunch already at 11:30 am. We made it in Finnsnes at 11:00 am - sunrise at 11:16 and already sunset again at 12:37 am - a very beautiful sight - then we sailed into the polar night. At 2:15 pm we arrived in Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic Ocean - today's long stop. Dog Sledding Excursion After a short bus ride of 30 minutes we were out in the open landscape where the adventure had to begin. In the past few days, some snow had fallen, it was almost windless and about 8 degrees frost - the best possible conditions for a dog sled ride. We got waterproof warm boots and a windproof suit and were quickly assigned a sledge driver with a 10-dog bucket - Alaskan Huskies. Day 6 - North Cape and Northern Lights Brunch was served from 10:30 am - lunch was cancelled due to early start of the excursions. At 11:15 am we arrived in Honningvåg - a long stop. Just after arrival our excursion to North Cape started. It's polar night - the sun doesn't rise - it wasn't quite dark, but almost twilight at lunchtime. We drove through a very beautiful snow-covered landscape - everything was white - no gravel / salt cars had been "destroying" the impression. The road turned upwards - a total of 330 meters above sea level lies North Cape on a plateau. We walked around in the area about one and a half hours - the snow was fresh and about 40 cm deep. Back at the bus at 01:45 pm it was now much darker. At 3 pm we departed from Honningsvåg. Northern Lights was announced 10 pm. We quickly put on the warm clothes, mounted the camera on the tripod and went up on the open deck 9. The ship was in port at Berlevåg. The Northern Lights were almost in zenith, were very nice and with great activity. When we were to photograph we were a little "bothered" by the moon and the smoke from the ship's chimney. Day 7 - Final destination Kirkenes - the 'Church on the Peninsula'. We checked out of the cabin at 8 am and went for breakfast. Gave us plenty of time, as we had to leave the ship at 9 am. Timely arrival to Kirkenes. Disembarkation was a little slow - we had to wait and at 9:30 am we could leave the ship. The suitcases stood on the quay and we decided instead of the Hotel transfer bus to take a taxi to the Scandic hotel. Here we got our room and then went for a walk in the city - it was quickly overlooked. The day we arrived into Kirkenes, sunrise at 10:39 - the first sunrise after 50 days with Polar night. We stayed for two days in Kirkenes - booked three excursions - 'Aurora Express Bus', 'Snowmobile and King Crab Safari' and 'Visit to the Snow Hotel with Dinner. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
German / Deutsch: Meine zweite Reise mit der MS Trollfjord begann in Deutschland zunächst mit einigen Umständen, da genau am Anreisetag unser Flug nach Amsterdam Streikbedingt gecancelt wurde. Also erfolgte die Anreise mit der Bahn ... Read More
German / Deutsch: Meine zweite Reise mit der MS Trollfjord begann in Deutschland zunächst mit einigen Umständen, da genau am Anreisetag unser Flug nach Amsterdam Streikbedingt gecancelt wurde. Also erfolgte die Anreise mit der Bahn nach Amsterdam und von dort mit dem Flugzeug nach Bergen. Vom Airport in Bergen erfolgte der Transfer direkt zum Hurtigrutenterminal. Das Einschecken verlief reibungslos und man konnte direkt in die Kabine. Nahezu zeitgleich traf auch das Gepäck ein. Exelenter Service ! Die Reise an sich in den Wintermonaten war sehr beeindruckend, da sich das Landschaftsbild oft verändert. Die ausgewählten Ausflüge u.a. Wikingerfest, Tromso Seilbahn, das Nordkap und ein Besuch im Schneehotel in Kirkenes entsprachen vollständig meinen Erwartungen. Leider war manchmal die Liegezeit in den Häfen etwas zu kurz um entspannt eine Erkundungstour zu machen. Viel Mühe hat sich das Expeditions-Team an Bord gemacht, welches durch Vorträge oder eben die Polarkreis-Zeremonien für gute Unterhaltung sorgte. English-Version: My second trip with the MS Trollfjord started in Germany at first with some circumstances, because exactly on the day of arrival our flight to Amsterdam was canceled due to strikes. So the journey was by train to Amsterdam and from there by plane to Bergen. From the airport in Bergen the transfer took place directly to the Hurtigrutenterminal. The check in went smoothly and you could go straight to the cabin. Almost at the same time arrived the luggage. Exelenter service! The trip itself in the winter months was very impressive, as the landscape often changes. The selected excursions u.a. Viking Festival, Tromso Cable Car, the North Cape and a visit to the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes fully met my expectations. Unfortunately, sometimes the laytime in the ports was a bit too short to make an exploratory trip relaxed. Much effort has made the expedition team on board, which provided by lectures or just the polar circle ceremonies for good entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
First time on a long voyage not under sail. From our embarkation at Bergen, the crew were helpful and knowledgeable about their product. The food was superb with a taste of the regions being provided each evening at dinner with the set ... Read More
First time on a long voyage not under sail. From our embarkation at Bergen, the crew were helpful and knowledgeable about their product. The food was superb with a taste of the regions being provided each evening at dinner with the set menu. I am on a restricted diet and was catered for superbly. My attitude to food was revitalised. Service was first class and food always wholesome and appetizing. Eating times catered to early and late risers and the a la carte restaurants offered a taste for people not wishing to enjoy local fare. Cabins were spacious that two tall people were easily housed for 12 days without feel trapped. The strong environmental focus held great appeal, and there were so many free offers that I felt cherished. The range of activities ensured that We leant lots about the natural habitat and wildlife as we went on most hikes with the expedition team. Additional on board lectures and points of interest kept us up to date with each new zone we crossed into. Great range in ages and we have met some truly spectacular people on board. Traditions were shared and enjoyed by crew and guest alike so felt part of a big family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was recommended to us by our travel agent as it was more of a experience especially as we have not done any cruises before. Only about 500 people on board which for us was ideal. No real entertainment, just beautiful ... Read More
This cruise was recommended to us by our travel agent as it was more of a experience especially as we have not done any cruises before. Only about 500 people on board which for us was ideal. No real entertainment, just beautiful scenery and education about the area. Excursions were ok - we like to be active so the bus trips around town hold no appeal. We did enjoy the hikes. They do some fun things like celebrate the crossing of the arctic circle and folk dancing. Stops in each port are short as this cruise line is also a functioning car and goods ferry, which means stops at all times of the night. This was not an issue for us on deck 8 but it may be noisy on the right hand side of the ship on decks 4 and 6. Dinner was only in 2 seatings 6pm and 8pm and unfortunately for us we were 8pm with no option to swap into 6pm for at least some of the nights. One night they changed it to 830pm to fit in with an excursion. Public areas were ok although the front section was taken everyday by the older travellers (about 70% were over 60) who grabbed the seats with jackets like towels on lounges around a pool! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The professional expedition team with Kari, Marie and Julian has given valuable information about Country, People, Culture, Flora, Fauna and much more in Norway and the Arctic. The organized excursions were interesting and for different ... Read More
The professional expedition team with Kari, Marie and Julian has given valuable information about Country, People, Culture, Flora, Fauna and much more in Norway and the Arctic. The organized excursions were interesting and for different themes. We most liked the northern most Tram ride in Tromsö. The announcements for Points of interest, the polar light sighting from the expedition team werde made trough speakers, hearable everywhere on the boat including the cabins (if liked). The only thing we were surprized about was the average age of the travellers. Lot of the passengers were long over 70 and had mobile problems. The food was made from regional produces an was very fresh an special. For breakfast and lunch there was buffet service, for dinner table service. The daily information on board (daily gathering with the expedition team) were exciting and the whole voyage is an unforgettable experience. We will come back again :-). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for the astronomy tour and because we wanted to travel during the fall to have some daylight and pretty colors. We also wanted to rent a car and explore Norway on our own in low season but before the onset ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the astronomy tour and because we wanted to travel during the fall to have some daylight and pretty colors. We also wanted to rent a car and explore Norway on our own in low season but before the onset of winter. Half of our trip was on the ship and the other half was on our own. We would definitely say that the ship part of the voyage was by far the best value and a true vacation but we are glad to have done both because we feel like we really got to know Norway pretty well after spending a month there. We would highly recommend the astronomy package. The tour leaders, John & Inger, made a fabulous team. They provided much more than promised, such as guided walks on shore, entertaining stories, information about Norway and its people, and they spent lots of time with us out on desk answering our questions about the stars and the northern lights. It provided a nice social atmosphere as well. We really enjoyed getting to know the other participants in the astronomy group and looked forward to our gatherings. The boat is lovely, very tastefully decorated, and for us, it had just the right atmosphere with the right blend of activities and down time so we could enjoy simply being there. The crew was so friendly with a great sense of humor. We took several of the excursions and enjoyed all of them. They seemed expensive at the time but compared to what we spent while on our own doing mainly hikes, we appreciated the value of our excursions on board the ship. We used the hot tub several times and also the sauna. It was pleasant to sit outside and enjoy the view, especially when the weather wasn't particularly good and the deck was devoid of other travelers. We spent a lot of time out on deck but the public areas were also very pleasant. They were never crowded, despite the fact that the ship was full. My husband took a lot of transatlantic trips as a child and said this tour was more like that than the glitzy carnival type atmosphere that so many other ships aspire to. Everyone we met on board said it was the perfect size and the perfect atmosphere for them. The food and the choices they offered could not have been better. There were plenty of healthy but tasty options mixed in with lots of very delicious and tempting less healthy options. We really missed that great food when we were travelling around on our own and cooking for ourselves. I enjoy cooking, but surprisingly, we couldn't find any grocery stores during our travels that had a fresh fish section or a butcher, or local organic vegetables, or even dried goods like beans, lentils, etc, plus the prices were astronomical. We really missed the dining room in the ship! The cabins were fine, actually more spacious than I expected after reading the reviews. We had room under our beds for all of our luggage and there was quite a bit of storage. We packed light, knowing that the ship had washing machines and dryers. That was a big plus. We know people who have done this tour multiple times and can perfectly understand how this can be a very addictive trip to take. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because it was the only one I could find that went all the way up the coast of Norway, through the fjords. Highlights: Bergen (Embarkation Port); Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass Excursion; Calm water in the fjords; ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was the only one I could find that went all the way up the coast of Norway, through the fjords. Highlights: Bergen (Embarkation Port); Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass Excursion; Calm water in the fjords; Crossing the Arctic Circle; Visiting the North Cape (one of the northernmost point son the European continent); Great hiking trails in every port. The 5:00pm talks by the expedition team were quite good, but you had to sit through everything delivered in three languages. The cabins were nice, as was the free wi-fi. Disappointments: (1) Cost of the cruise itself. Hurtigruten has HORRIBLE public relations. I originally booked in November at a great rate. I later thought of adding on a few more days, but it didn't work with a flight back to Oslo, so I wanted to return to my original booking. They insisted on charging current rates and wanted $1,300 more per person. We finally settled (three days before we left the States) on us paying an additional $1,000 and Cruise Norway forfeiting their commission. I was so upset with the company that it was hard to even get on one of their ships! Word of warning - once you book an itinerary - stick with it - no matter what. (2) I am a hiker and was so excited that there was an expedition team on our ship. Even though the cost for the first hike was much too much for a hike, I was still game. There were two expedition leaders and only three hikers. They never introduced themselves or has us introduce ourselves, nor did they ask us what we'd like to get out of the experience. You would think with two of them and three of us that they could have customized the experience so everyone would be happy. But, NO, I was chastised in the first 10 minutes to keep my voice down so we could see wildlife and to stay with the group. In my opinion, we didn't go far enough or fast enough. Naturally, I cancelled the next hike I was signed up for and went on my own That was a lot more enjoyable and didn't cost a cent! There are great trails in every port. (3) The food was marginal. Breakfast was not good. The best things were waffles and pancakes, but they only had one griddle for hundreds of people. Their soups and the ice cream were outstanding. The first and last nights offered a buffet dinner - which was good. The set menus the other 4 nights were not so good. Two nights we paid for dinner in the cafeteria and off the ship because we didn't like what was going to be served. (4) Absolutely no activities. The water was so calm, you'd think they'd have a ping-pong table and/or a shuffleboard court. No shows at night. Most of the time, the tiny fitness room was closed. Sometimes there wasn't much to see since the fjords are not always as spectacular as I was expecting them to be and it actually got a bit boring. (5) Coffee and tea were free. My husband and I don't drink either and we had to pay an arm and a leg for coke zero. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were on the MS Trollfjord in July for their seven day cruise north along the coast of Norway. We knew that it was advertised as the world's most beautiful cruise, but it was even better, if that is possible, and really exceeded our ... Read More
We were on the MS Trollfjord in July for their seven day cruise north along the coast of Norway. We knew that it was advertised as the world's most beautiful cruise, but it was even better, if that is possible, and really exceeded our expectations. The coastline of Norway is unbelievable! It is so beautiful! If you look at the ships route on a map you will see that it rarely goes out into the open ocean. It cruises past hundreds of islands, along beautiful fjords, past villages and towns, or just random houses that are so far from anywhere. The water was always calm, so we never felt any bad ship movement. The ship stops many times but it was not even noticeable at night. Our cabin was on the 4th deck, in the middle, and we really liked that. It was never noisy. It had a big picture window, and two twin beds, one being a fold down couch, that were very comfortable. We were glad that we didn't pay more to be on the 6th deck, which is a promenade deck and people would be walking passed your window. Fourth deck is closer to the water which we liked too, having a great view. We would definitely stay on that deck again. The best thing about the ship itself is the huge top deck. This is where we spent most of our time. The views are amazing! The open sky and water, especially above the Arctic circle are so beautiful. There is so much room up there to take it all in. The ship also has the nice Panorama Lounge in the front where you can sit indoors and watch the view. Being outdoors, on the back deck was the best! Also, being able to walk completely around the ship on deck 6 was great. There was something new to see all the time, and being that it stayed light almost all night, it was hard to go to bed because we didn't want to miss seeing anything. We enjoyed the stops and went on two excursions, the Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass and the Birdwatching Safari. Both of these were excellent and we were so glad that we got to experience them. They were worth the cost. At the other stops we were able to walk around the towns and enjoy the sights. We liked the buffet at breakfast and lunch. Sometimes it was crowded and we had to wait a few minutes for a table, but there was a good variety of food and it all tasted good. At dinner, where there was a set menu and we had the later sitting time, we were able to sit by ourselves. It looked like most couples didn't have to share a table which was nice. The fish dinners were the best. If you wanted a snack when it wasn't meal time, you would have to pay for it in the cafe. It would have been nice to have some treats here and there, especially in the evenings, that were included in the fare. It is an expensive trip, but it is totally worth the cost. Being able to be out in such a beautiful part of the world was amazing. Get your camera ready because you will take hundreds of pictures. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose Hurtigruten's Norwegian Fjord Cruise North for our 25th wedding anniversary. We traveled as a family of 4 and researched fjord offerings fairly extensively among various cruise lines. We chose Hurtigruten because we generally ... Read More
We chose Hurtigruten's Norwegian Fjord Cruise North for our 25th wedding anniversary. We traveled as a family of 4 and researched fjord offerings fairly extensively among various cruise lines. We chose Hurtigruten because we generally are not a cruise family and do not prefer the glam and shows of most cruise lines as your are herded from one end of the vessel to the other. Hurtigruten's Expedition team voyages sounded just our speed, small ships, excellent educational sessions and nonstop fantastic views. Most of what I read online was exactly true and most reviewers provide a realistic expectation of the voyage. The "view is the thing", and I agree...it was EVERYTHING. My favorite breathtaking moment was when we entered the Trollfjord for a 180 degree turn. Something about the silence of all the fellow passengers as we absorbed the magnificence of the moment brought me to tears. This was my absolute favorite moment on the ship. That same evening we were served Trollfjordknert (a hot tea with rum) served in souvenir cups. It was the highlight of the trip. Also, don't miss the moment you cross the Polar Circle. At about 7:30 am my husband threw open the blinds and said, "hey...why is there a statue in the middle of the ocean?" I squealed and jumped out of bed knowing what it was. Cool moment. They had a bidding pool to see who could guess what time we would cross it. I was bummed we missed that announcement. THE SHIP: The ship is well planned with ample spaces to relax and enjoy the view. Fellow travelers were generally polite, well-educated outdoor enthusiasts from England, Germany and Norway. We met a few other Americans. Almost everyone we spoke with on the excursions spoke English which was a real treat for us, and the people we chatted with appeared to enjoy the attributes of the voyage as much we as we did. Moving around the ship was easy, with quick elevator waits. My husband walks with a cane and he did well getting around the vessel. One or two wheelchair passengers might have been on board. It is generally a 50 and over, but still outdoor hiking in your late 70's sort of crowd. There were perhaps 6 other teenagers on board with our kids. The only little children I saw were just on for a ferry ride. The attire on board was generally hiking clothes such as Haley Hanson, Arcteryx, Norrona, North Face, Prana etc...with well worn hiking boots. If people changed their attire before dinner it was not noticeably different...simple casual attire. I did my best to research the cruise extensively before departure but found details hard to come by other than the descriptions of the excursions which were accurate and thorough. It was not until our 3rd day on the ship that we discovered there was a program you had to pick up daily at the excursion office and I wondered how many things we had already missed. On the 4th day, I found out there was a button you could press on your phone to hear all the announcements in your room, and again I wondered how many things we had missed once I realized how much they were talking about key sites as we passed them. We chose the Owner's Suite so we could hang out on our own balcony for the view, which was incredible, but we missed quite a few things until we figured all of this out. CABIN: For our "trip of a lifetime" to celebrate our 25th anniversary we chose Hurtigruten for the expansive Owner's Suite on the rear of the vessel. The width is half of the stern of the ship with a full balcony. It had two bathrooms and two flat screen TV's, a dining area a living area, a bar and a sound system you could jack into via auxiliary cord. The space was perfect for a quiet and introverted family voyage and for the most part was exactly what we had imagined, not luxurious, but very large. The bed and linens were fresh and comfortable and the open windows provided a beautiful breeze and ocean and bird sounds. It was heavenly. The kids had an interior room on deck 6 and spent almost all of their time with us all relaxing comfortably on the balcony or in the living room. The images I found online for the Owner's Suite alerted me to the possibility it would be mildly outdated. I was pleasantly surprised by the flat screen televisions which we used mostly to display the bow cam or the ship's voyage location map. The couch was very comfortable and there were two comfortable balcony chairs with nice cushions to enjoy the view. Keep in mind the Trollfjord is due for an update. We chose to overlook the stains on the carpet and furniture. The couch was dirty so we used the bedcover (also dirty) to cover it during our stay. The sink had dark black ink stains in the basin and the bathroom and trashcan in the living room smelled like old ashtrays. Perhaps previous guests had smoked on the balcony but put their ashes and butts in the trashcans. These were tolerable but avoidable issues and I was disappointed that they did not manage such things better. Overall, I think if such things mattered to you, I would choose one of the updated vessels. I hope Hurtigruten reviews their housekeeping policy to check the rooms for stains and odors and provide some mitigation between journeys. Also unavoidable is that people smoke at the nonsmoking end of the ship on Deck 9 and occasionally throw a cigarette butt or ashes onto you as you sit on the balcony, so heads up. Again...this is the other guests doing this...not sure how to help people who make poor choices. It was not a huge problem, the balcony was awesome. The Owner's Suite was a small price above the cost of the Expedition Suites, so it was an easy choice, but given the minimal benefits on board the ship and the lack of balconies in the Expedition Suites, I would either choose a suite on deck 7 with a balcony, or purchase something else and wait until you board the ship to check for an upgrade. FITNESS FACILITIES: The gym had a corner pully system, a dumbbell rack, a treadmill, an elliptical, a broken Concept rower, a fitness bike, some yoga mats and a very basic spin bike with clips. The hours are strange 7am-3pm and 5pm to 7pm. It was difficult to get this to work with the excursions. It was very small but workable. About 6 people can work out at the same time with some shuffling. EXCURSIONS: When booking the cruise we chose the 2B Trollstigen, 4G Highlights of Lofoten and 6A Nordkapp. Once onboard, we added 4D RIB Safari to Saltstraumen at a discount because we had already purchased several. The discount on board is around 10-15% depending on availability and number of excursions you purchase. For us, all of the excursions were worth it. We were limited to no-hiking excursion due to the walking cane, and all were fine for our limitations. The tour buses were new and clean and very comfortable and the views and tour of the countryside were a nice balance to the ocean views of the fjords. Where the excursion included meals or snacks, they are provided in a large dining hall with very basic service and guests are generally seated in large groups by bus number. It is not quaint or cozy, but the food is good and the service was better than on the ship. We enjoyed chatting with the other travelers and hearing their stories. Because we were on the English speaking bus we saw them again and again. It was nice. The tour guide on Trollstigen had a nervous titter the whole journey and giggled after every few words in both English and Norwegian. She was sweet, but by the end of the journey, I was ready for silence. A more experienced speaker would have been preferable. I would put 2B and 4G in the UNMISSABLE category. 4D was my next favorite and 6A was nifty but very crowded. THE EXPEDITION TEAM ON THE SHIP WAS OUTSTANDING. I really enjoyed all of my interactions with them and I was grateful for all of their tips and congeniality. CAFE AND BAR SERVICE: The cafe service and the bar service on Decks 8 and 9 were fantastic. Always a smile and an easy process. I was incredibly grateful for their efficiency. DINING: This was the toughest part of the voyage, so I saved it for last. I am not sure anyone can objectively say this was "awesome". The breakfast and lunch buffets were generally chaotic and difficult. We tried our best to use the buffets during the slow times (which they tell you about), but often this does not work with the excursion time tables. The food was good, but did not vary much day-to-day. It looked essentially the same. Ample food though and the desserts are deadly (in a good way). We usually only had enough patience to have either breakfast or lunch. We had high hopes for the elegance of the evening meal as a cure for the chaos. The evening meals were the perfect size, modest and lovely. I have no complaints on the quality, but they are simple. There was no cure for the chaos however. Our first evening we arrived at our assigned table to be greeted by blistering sunlight and 80 degrees on the open ocean side of the ship with no view. We sat for exactly 30 minutes in the beating sun before the waiter acknowledged us and brought water. I think my entire family was a bit shell shocked. I was trying to wrap my mind around how you purchase the absolutely most expensive lodging on the ship a year in advance (not as a last minute upgrade at a discount on board) and somehow that gets you the worst table in the dining room. I felt like a chump. When I asked, they said the Suites get the window tables, (but somehow the owner's suite gets the worst window table?). It is the worst because each evening they began serving all of the tables further in the dining room and worked their way towards the front, so no matter what, we always waited 30 minutes for water. I was able to get them to switch us to the fjord side of the ship (which are the even numbered tables), but we still were the last to be served every night. Finally we just started coming late for dinner. At least then we were served water within ten minutes. The service is disorganized, inefficient and impersonal (although the staff does not appear to be unfriendly). I won't go into more detail, but suffice it to say keep your expectations low. Other guests we talked to said they were fed up by the first night and just paid to upgrade to the ala carte restaurant for the entire rest of the cruise. Perhaps that is the angle? Perhaps the people with the better tables were their frequent passengers who ought to be treated well? Who knows. This experience was tough. I wish I had explored the ala carte option, but with there being 4 of us paying for every single excursion it just seemed too extravagant. It costs very little to train staff to be efficient and have better management. I did not see anyone who seemed like a manager in the dining room. We enjoyed the cruise overall because this is the best way to visit the fjords of Norway and the view is spectacular the entire journey. The cost was in line with the general cost of traveling in Norway, so really the only disappointment was the level of food and service in the dining room. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Norway with its thousands of islands is fascinating. MS Trollfjord made 5.621 Kilometers from Bergen (visiting Geiranger Fjord) to Kirkenes and back within 11 days. Mostly the sea was calm. Only the last night was stormy. The Captain ... Read More
Norway with its thousands of islands is fascinating. MS Trollfjord made 5.621 Kilometers from Bergen (visiting Geiranger Fjord) to Kirkenes and back within 11 days. Mostly the sea was calm. Only the last night was stormy. The Captain changed the route, so that we could have some sleep. We loved the expedition team. They were very engaged and told us much of Norway, nature and exiting points of interests. Three or four times a day there was an announcement that we could come to deck 5 or 9 and listen to their interesting presentations. For us, it was not necessary to go to all excursions. We selected only the North Pol and midnight songs in the Cathedral in Tromso. So the whole journey was very relaxing to us. And the fantastic scenery of the Norway coast is really worth to come back some day. Booking directly with Hurtigruten is easy. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The excellent service began with our booking by phone from Australia many months ago... plenty of help and advice. Embarkation was easy. Our cabins were small but clean and comfortable, with everything we needed - so happy that we chose ... Read More
The excellent service began with our booking by phone from Australia many months ago... plenty of help and advice. Embarkation was easy. Our cabins were small but clean and comfortable, with everything we needed - so happy that we chose Deck 8, a few steps from the main lounge. All the hard working crew were friendly and helpful, and it was one of the nicest weeks I've ever had. Endless vistas of snow capped peaks and tiny snow covered villages, sometimes almost close enough to touch. An available excursion or a walk around a new town very day. What more could one ask. But the absolute standout was the food - my daughter and my 15 year old granddaughter are coeliac with other allergies, and they were in heaven. They were given beautiful food, nothing was a problem, they felt safe, and for the first time in their lives they were able to "eat out" three times a day without being made to feel different or a nuisance, or the odd ones out. It was a wonderful experience for them. I am not a cruise person - have never been on one, and have no desire to go - but Hurtigruten is small and personal and something very different. They are to be congratulated on doing what they do so very well. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise on MS Trollfjord after seeing an article in a women's magazine the previous year. It was a Northern Lights cruise with Wildlife. Michael Strachan was on the ship for a few days which was an added attraction. We ... Read More
We chose the cruise on MS Trollfjord after seeing an article in a women's magazine the previous year. It was a Northern Lights cruise with Wildlife. Michael Strachan was on the ship for a few days which was an added attraction. We had to book through Iglu Cruises/Planet Cruise and felt that it would have been better to have booked directly with Hurtigruten. Iglu told us that one of the excursions had been cancelled which we discovered was not the case when we chatted to other people on the same trip. The trip to the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes was apparently an accompanied trip with Michaela Strachan but she was kept apart from other guests on the coach by an Iglu rep and took a taxi away from the Snow Hotel site. The Lecture and Q&A answer session with Michaela was in fact a talk about her television career and was not very informative for anyone who has watched her programmes. We found the interior of the ship almost unbearably hot and turned the air conditioning down as low as possible in our cabin particularly at night. The first evening a buffet dinner was served and there was plenty of choice. From the next day dinner was at 6pm or 8pm depending on which time you were allocated and there were three courses with no choice. The staff were very helpful and offered an alternative if you requested it. The dinner was beautifully presented although some guests complained that the portions were very small. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and we would have preferred more choice on the cold dishes at lunch as the same items were served up every day. Many of the guests on board had colds and coughs and handled the food before putting it back which led to many more people picking up their colds. There was an epidemic of coughing on board. We saw the Northern Lights on one evening from Deck 9 and it was an amazing experience. We took various excursions arranged by Hurtigruten and can really recommend the North Cape and Snow Hotel in Kirkenes. We did our own thing in Alesund and Tromso as the ship docked very close to the town centre. We enjoyed our trip. The scenery was totally breathtaking, particularly the Lofoten Islands and we would recommend the trip on that basis. However we would strongly advise to book directly with Hurtigruten rather than through an agent who had little idea or interest in what they were selling. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage theme. I am very satisfied with the lectures and viewings organized by Dr John Mason and Inger Carter and I would highly recommend their program. However, Hurtigruten ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage theme. I am very satisfied with the lectures and viewings organized by Dr John Mason and Inger Carter and I would highly recommend their program. However, Hurtigruten really fell through on there responsibility to provide services during the voyage. The cruise ship was obviously under-staffed as confirmed by personnel that I questioned - word was that the ship was fully booked with passengers, but only 1/3 of necessary staff were hired - shame on Hurtigruten. The dining room was a mess. Many times there were no empty tables and I had to sit at tables with other people's dirty dishes. Many times I was not even acknowledged by waiters or offered water/drinks. Breakfast was boring and redundant by the 3rd day - the eggs were terrible and minimal bacon. The lines at the one coffee machine and the one cook-your-own pancakes/waffles grill were outrageous. My cabin was never vacuumed or cleaned. Dirty dishes were not removed. Water glasses were not replaced. Staff merely folded my blankets and emptied the trash each day - that was it. I would not recommend Hurtigruten to friends without warning them of these deficiencies. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise to fulfill a Bucket List item: to see the Northern Lights! Starting from night 2 of the cruise we were able to view the aurora. An astronomer was on deck 9 at 8PM each evening to point out stars and explain the aurora. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to fulfill a Bucket List item: to see the Northern Lights! Starting from night 2 of the cruise we were able to view the aurora. An astronomer was on deck 9 at 8PM each evening to point out stars and explain the aurora. There were astronomy lectures each afternoon. The cruise provided a relaxing winter fjord cruise during the day and spectacular aurora sights most nights. You can set you cabin phone to hear Northern Lights announcements through the night. We took several ship sponsored tours and had lots of fun. While these tours are pricey, we very much enjoyed them especially dog sledding in Kirkenes. We had the full board package, meaning we had breakfast, lunch and dinner I. The dining room. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Dinner is a 3 course meal with no choices. While fish dishes are popular, you can request a non fish alternative. Wine and beer are expensive but we were offered some nice choices. The crew are friendly and professional and speak perfect English. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We took the Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen round trip coatal voyage on MS Trollfjord. We did the same trip 5 years ago and it was amazing so we had very high expectations and we were not disappointed. The scenery is just stunning, the ship is ... Read More
We took the Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen round trip coatal voyage on MS Trollfjord. We did the same trip 5 years ago and it was amazing so we had very high expectations and we were not disappointed. The scenery is just stunning, the ship is beautifully decorated and the food is just lovely and a true taste of Norway. We particularly enjoy the lack of entertainment on baord which provides a peaceful environment to watch the ever changing views. We saw the Northern lights on several occasions, sailed though sea ice on approach to Kirkenes and enjoyed amazing night time scenery by moonlight. Just magical. We also love being out on deck during visits to all of the little ports and watching goods being unloaded and provisions being brought on board - often crates of local produce and fresh fish for the supper ahead. Our cabin was excellent and the crew on board were friendly and efficient. Norway is an expensive country and drinks on board are not cheap, but they are about the same price as in Norway so can't complain. The excursions are also expensive but well organised and enjoyable, we did the North Cape - not to be missed, a coastal walk around Bodo which was beautiful with lovely views and an excellent guide, and the Midnight concert in Tromo which is a special experience. We can't recomment Hurtigruten highly enough, this is not a typical cruise but that is exactly why we like it and will certainly do it again as soon as we can. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I always wanted to go to the top of the world in the middle of winter, it was a wonderful experience. This is a once in a lifetime trip to see the northern lights, and also experienced complete darkness for more than a week while above ... Read More
I always wanted to go to the top of the world in the middle of winter, it was a wonderful experience. This is a once in a lifetime trip to see the northern lights, and also experienced complete darkness for more than a week while above the Arctic Circle. The restaurant staff and the food were excellent, especially the ice cream, it was to die for. I felt that the excursions were well overpriced, as are most things in Norway, but Norway is an absolutely beautiful country which should be a must on anyone's bucket list. Hurtigruten certainly provide a comprehensive encounter of the country from the ocean side, they provide a wonderful service up and down the coast, not only for tourists, but also for the population by providing a very efficient transport service for the people and freight. I summing up, I would highly recommend this cruise to all those seeking adventure. Read Less
Trollfjord Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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