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14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose the Hurtigruten cruise line as the best way to see the Norwegian fjords. We arrived Bergen where we had 1 1/2 days prior to boarding the Nordkapp. Bergen is a delightful city. The embarkation was the quickest and most simple we ... Read More
We chose the Hurtigruten cruise line as the best way to see the Norwegian fjords. We arrived Bergen where we had 1 1/2 days prior to boarding the Nordkapp. Bergen is a delightful city. The embarkation was the quickest and most simple we have ever experienced. The cabin we had was an "L" class. It was quite small, with two slightly larger than cot size beds. One of which folded up during the day to make a couch. There was a third pull down bed which we didn't use. The bathroom was small but well designed. The meals specialized in serving local products. The menu often included fish of some sort. The buffet always had lots of fish, lots of vegetables, excellent cheese and tasty bread. I was a bit disappointed that desserts didn't feature Norwegian pastries. Finally decided that was because such pastries were for sale at their bakery! The Nordkapp is an Expedition ship. There were 4 ship employees who led different activities and excursions throughout the cruise. All of them were personable and well versed in the area. We were with a tour company, Vantage, so we had our own tour guide...Mat...who was excellent. Therefore, we only interacted with the ships 4 activity leaders during the on board activities. There was usually some lecture or presentation daily by these 4. Some were better than others. Since the Nordkapp is a working ship, the port stops were often quite short. We did have time in several ports for in depth exploring. The Northern Lights appeared several nights. There is definitely a trick to getting good pictures of the lights. Unfortunately, we didn't know what it was so our pictures were disappointing. If you desire photographs of the Northern lights, I suggest you study up on it before the cruise! We had researched the Hurtigruten vs a regular cruise ship for this trip. We knew basically what we were getting into prior to boarding. It was quite an adventure and we enjoyed it greatly. However, it is not a cruise for everyone. The open sea stretches were a bit rough in seas that a large cruise ship wouldn't even notice. There were often times with nothing but beautiful scenery to keep you occupied...which we thoroughly enjoyed but might have bored other folks. It helped to have a good book and to find friendly folks who play bridge. We found the ships employees to be helpful and pleasant. The rooms were lacking tissues and hand lotion...so bring your own. All in all it was a great adventure during which we met fine folks and made many wonderful memories! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as part of a eight-day tour of Norway. We enjoyed every minute of the cruise. The ship was well maintained and had been recently updated. Our cabin on Deck 5 was larger than expected, and the staff was very helpful. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as part of a eight-day tour of Norway. We enjoyed every minute of the cruise. The ship was well maintained and had been recently updated. Our cabin on Deck 5 was larger than expected, and the staff was very helpful. The breakfasts were outstanding -- a large buffet each morning. Several dining options for lunch and dinner. The panoramic view from the upper deck was great for seeing the coastline. Plenty of opportunities to take photos. Enjoyed visiting Alesund along the way. Boarding was made efficient by excellent staff. Although we were told not to expect a typical cruise line since the Nordkapp is a working boat, we found it to be clean, comfortable and better organized that many cruise lines we have used in the past. Enjoyed meeting other couples visiting Norway for the first time. Very relaxing and stress free. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Norway. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The route is very scenic, so well worth the trip. However, much of the interest of the trip is in the places you stop and what you see. The company's "excursions" are all extras and very expensive ones at that, some well ... Read More
The route is very scenic, so well worth the trip. However, much of the interest of the trip is in the places you stop and what you see. The company's "excursions" are all extras and very expensive ones at that, some well over $100 for a few hours. With ingenuity and research you can do much better. You will get no help from the crew. Maps of upcoming destinations were kept locked away until the very day of the stop. If you asked for one ahead of time, a crew member would unlock the drawer and pull one, and only one, out, explaining that if they put them out ahead, people would get confused. That seemed unlikely to me. All of the maps they do put out are available from Norway's tourist Info offices. So I suggest you contact the Norway tourist info offices before your trip and ask for maps of the major ports where you will have time. When we tried ask questions that would help plan how to use our time off the ship, the crew at the reception/excursion/shop, particularly, the short woman with short reddish brown hai,r was not only unhelpful, but sometimes gave misinformation. An example, when asked about hikes at Urke, she said it was in the country so you could just get off and walk anywhere. I discovered that there were several marked hikes, some of which were short enough to do during the stop. But you needed to know which direction to go, depending on whether you wanted to walk up a steep slope for a good view or a more level walk along the river valley. There is an Info office there, but ideally you contact them ahead of time and ask about hikes in the area. Another example, one in our group did some research on line and found that for the North Cape (which is spectacularly beautiful), which you get to from Horingsvag, there is a regular bus that takes you there and back for about 1/3 the cost of the Hurtigruten "excursion." It goes and returns at exactly the time the ship is in the harbor, so you get back with plenty of time to board the ship. Check out bookfinnmark.com, look there for transportation, then North Cape. The bus leaves from the tourist info office, which is right next to the parking lot where Hurtigruten buses leave from. It's a very comfortable bus, very nice driver, beautiful ride, with reindeer along the way, and the spectacular cape at the end. The staff person selling excursions warned us that they would not be responsible if we got back late and that the bus might break down. Actually, it seemed to be as new a bus as those Hurtigruten used. Allesund is another stop where the most interesting thing is simply to go for a walk around the town, using the tourist info map marked routes that show off what is described as the art nouveau buildings. You don't need an expensive excursion that goes to the same area. As for the food, the dinners were often skimpy, although there is plenty of food at the serve yourself breakfasts and lunches. But I found the food incredibly salty. After a day or two, I asked for less salty food, which they accommodated for dinner. For other meals, you can choose to avoid the saltiest things, e.g., soups. Unlike the Hurtigruten cruise I took to Antarctica in 2005, everything is extra. On that earlier trip, they served coffee, lattes, etc. any time the bar was open, which was a good chunk of the day. Shakes, burgers, etc. were also available for no extra charge. Afternoon cookies and other goodies appeared everyday. Not so now, at least with the Nordkapp. They didn't even serve coffee with dinner, much less a cappuccino or latte. You had to go to the coffee shop to get coffee, but that did not include lattes. I wish I had brought some non-fat dried milk and instant coffee along. They did not serve reduced fat or notnfat milk in the lattes you had to buy. For breakfast, there is a self-service machine that makes pseudo lattes and cappuccinos, but they are minimally drinkable, lukewarm. I would have been better off with dried milk and instant espresso. All that said, I would still recommend the trip. The scenery is fantastic. Just come prepared so you can arrange your own excursions and have a passable latte. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, visiting so many different cities and seeing the Northern Lights on the last day. The crew was excellent, very professional and friendly. The food was outstanding, even very thoughtful for the evening meals. This was our first cruise and for that we have enjoyed it very much. Our cruise was one way from Bergen to Kirkenes. This included New Year's Eve on the boat, which again was thought well through to provide entertainment and the right atmosphere on boat. There are plenty of excursions to choose from, which we recommend that you do some of these, they are well planned and give a good insight. The Point of Interest Activities on the outside Deck are definitely worthwhile. The only word of warning is to choose your cabin wisely. We just booked a basic Polar Outside and were on Deck 3. Although it says the MS Nordkapp has been refurbished in 2016, so it's overall in excellent and modern conditions, the same doesn't apply for Deck 3. Our cabin was still old school. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My mom and I very much enjoyed our Norwegian Coastal Voyage on Hurtigruten's MS Nordkapp during the winter months. The experience was relaxing and scenic - given the winter weather - the food was very good, and the staff was friendly. ... Read More
My mom and I very much enjoyed our Norwegian Coastal Voyage on Hurtigruten's MS Nordkapp during the winter months. The experience was relaxing and scenic - given the winter weather - the food was very good, and the staff was friendly. In writing this review, I'm mindful of shaping expectations for anyone interested in Hurtigruten's Norway Coastal Voyages, since I had a hard time finding the kind of reviews I was looking for. In the end, I would recommend it, and would even consider it again, but with some alterations, which I'll mention at the end. (Another disclaimer: this is only the second cruise I've taken. My first was in 1995 on Premier Cruise Lines Big Red Boat. I hated it. The ship wasn't all that nice, and I was bored. The food was amazing however.) We sailed from Bergen, which is a lovely if very rainy city. I would highly recomment a day exploring the Hanseatic Bryggen and the medieval fortress. You cannot board the ship until 4pm anyway, so you have plenty of time. You might also consider the fish market and a ride up the Floibannen (funicular). Unless you are travelling solo, you might be better off taking a taxi to the ship. Bergen is quite small, and you should be able to get a taxi for no more than 200 NOK, maybe less. The Hurtigruten shuttle, if not included in a hotel package, will cost 100 NOK per person, and you'll have to make multiple stops before reaching the terminal. Embarkation was quite easy. You check in your luggage and set up your cruise card with your personal credit card, then head upstairs and board at 4pm. There is a waiting area if you arrive before that time. Hurtigruten says you cannot access the cabins until 6:00pm, but I believe they made an announcement that they were available by 5:15pm or so. Most standard cabins are quite small. Remember: ferry line, not cruise line. They have two twin beds quite close to each other. The beds can be folded up against the wall during the day to provide seating. Superior cabins may have a double bed and a chair, and the mini-suites, which are twice as big as the other cabins, have a double bed plus a convertible sofa. Still, the rooms seem comfortable and functional. Hurtigruten is not a cruise line. It is a ferry line with a robust tourism business. That's an important distinction, because it shapes out Hurtigruten operates these voyages. While many cruise ships are often compared to floating resorts, Hurtigruten's ships are more like floating hotels, so they will lack the amenities and services found on larger cruise ships. Ferries with cruise ship-like amenities are pretty common in Northern Europe, but many people from other parts of the world may not be familiar with this kind of operation. For Hurtigruten, this means that the ships make many stops all along the Norwegian coast between Bergen in the southwest and Kirkenes in the northeast. While most of the passengers are tourists, many are Norwegians travelling from town to town, sometimes with cars and cargo. Some ports-of-call are only 15 minutes, but even the longest ones are only 3-4 hours rather than a full day. On the longer stops, you can choose from available excurisions, or simply walk about on your own (or sometimes visit a sister ship if it's in port with yours). We took several excursions, but on some stops of one hour we just took the chance to step off the ship and walk about the small towns. The Nordkapp is one of Hurtigruten's smaller ships, but most of the 11 ships that make the daily voyage up the coast are basically the same, differing only in size and a couple of amenities. For example, the Nordkapp takes max 590 passengers, while the MS Finnmarken can take 919. The Nordkapp has two jacuzzis, while the Finnmarken has a small pool (not so fun in the arctic winter). Only some ships have tailored activities for children. But generally, the common areas are more or less the same. The Nordkapp was renovated in 2016, and I found it to be quite nice and comfortable. The Nordkapp had a large lounge on the top deck in the forward part of the ship where passengers could sit and watch the scenery or read or chat in small groups. In the evening the bar opened and there was a lounge singer (not sure if every voyage has lounge entertainment). Also on the top deck midship was a cafe, designed in a "Norwegian coastal traditional style" that I really liked. We actually spent most time sitting here, since there was more light and the cafe sold coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and yummy ice cream (I did not try the dried fish ice cream, but the brunost - Norwegian brown cheese - ice cream was delish.) The restaurants are all on the 4th deck. The main dining restaurant was aft. Breakfast and lunch were buffet with a wide variety of foods, both hot and cold, while most dinners were a 3-course set menu. Hurtigruten will accommodate a wide array of dietary restrictions. Their cuisine approach is called Norway Coastal Kitchen, and they try to source local ingredients in the many ports of call as much as possible. The evening menu will always tell you where the local ingredients came from. This was a very nice touch.I thought the food was generally very high quality, even if I didn't personally like everything. Fish certainly appeared often, as did reindeer and lamb once or twice. The first evening is always a buffet, and since our first evening was Christmas Eve, we had a traditional Norwegian julebord, which was wonderful. There were also special 5-course menus for New Year's Eve and for the Hurtigruten 125th anniversary. There is also a fine-dining a la carte restaurant in Deck 4. Since our sailing over the Christmas holidays we had more buffets than most sailings, so we took advantage of this. The food was likewise very good and prepared to order. It is an extra charge over and above the main restaurant if you've purchased full board. Next to the fine dining restaurant is a quick-service restuarant with sandwiches, burgers, and pizza. This is also an additional charge. If you're already researching Norway you will already know this: booze is expensive. Hurtigruen offers a wine package that you must purchase on the first evening. If you and your travelling companion will share a bottle with dinner each evening, this may be a good option. You receive one bottle each evening with dinner, and you'll save some kroner. Since my mom and I drink different kinds of wine, we did not use this option. However, if you buy a bottle and don't finish it, they will keep it for you until the next day. Excursion planning is one area where I think Hurtigruten can improve the experience. It was quite cumbersome to figure out which ports were long enough to leave the ship on which days, and which excursions were offered in those ports. Basically, they count the days starting in Bergen with Day 1, and then they're numbered going north and then south from there. So any excursion on the website that is numbered 6a, 6b, etc. is on the 6th day of the cruise from Bergen. I ended up making my own spreadsheet, which should not have been necessary. The advantage of using the Hurtigruten-arranged excursions is exactly that the ships only stop a few hours at most, so if you are on a bus excursion, the ship will probably not sail without you if there's a delay. However, I do wish I had done better research up front to possiblye do my own activities. There is a great opportunity for an enterprising Norwegian techie to create short, self-guided walking tours on an app for Hurtigruten passengers! (I did find some Trondheim walking tours in an app call GPSmycity.) There are also some other shore activities that we did not know about until we were on the ship. Unfortunately, we had already pre-booked excursions and there were no refunds. Here is my suggestion regarding the excurions for winter voyages: pre-book the most popular excursions like dog-sledding and snowmobiling. Other excursions, wait and see, and book either the first night or the next day. Only a couple of excursions other than the dog-sledding filled up. Our hands-down favorite experience was the dog-sledding in Kirkenes on the frozen fjord. It included a visit to the Snowhotel. If you want to do this, pre-book! Two walking excursions were a mixed bag, and it was all to do with the guide. My walking tour in Trondheim definitely gave me a good, close look at the center part of the city, but the tour guide was not knowledgable at all. Our polar history walking tour in Tromso was excellent, largely due to a terrific and well-humoured guide. The Viking Dinner was very rushed, and since it was dark the scenery was impossible to see. Likewise the Marble Mine was an ok experience, but the drive along the famous Atlantic Road was completely hidden in the darkness. If you're in Bodo and you like beer and you, like me, notice that the Hundholmen Bryggeri only opens at 3pm which is when your ship sails, then you might, like me, take the chance of sending them an email and asking if they'll open early for you. It was one of the highlights of my trip! You should plan to be self-entertained on your Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Voyage. There was a lounge singer in the evenings on my voyage, and every day there was a short presentation called Get to Know Norway. We went to almost all of these and found them quite good. (Did you know Norway is shaped like a guitar?) Beyond that, given the short port time, you will have a lot of time on the ship. Bring a coupe of good books, or download some movies. Or, just enjoy the scenery and get to know your fellow passengers. Passengers come largely from Germany and the U.K., but there are also quite a few Americans, and a few South Africans and Australians. We enjoyed striking up conversations with people we met. A brief note: this may seem obvious, but Hurtigruten can't control the weather, and there were several excursions cancelled at various times because of weather. If you sail in rough weather, as we did (I have a great video us us sailing in a gale!), the ship might not even be able to stop in some ports. (Which was terribly inconvenient for those passengers who were using the ferry and not just on a longer voyage.) Also, while we had taken this trip in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights, the weather worked against us. There's not much you can do about that, so just understand that everything depends on good weather. (I suspect our experience was more exceptional in this.) Disembarkation in Bergen was smooth, if prolonged. You must leave your cabin by 10am, althoug the ship does not dock until 2:30pm. The ship disembarks by deck, so if your cabin is on Deck 6 you can disembark first. There was a very short wait for luggage, and a short wait for a taxi. It was late afternoon by the time we reached our hotel, so there was not much time for sightseeing at the end of the voyage. So, would I recommend it? Yes! Would I do it again? Yes, but with some changes. First of all, I would recommend only taking the 7-day northbound voyage. While the southbound voyage mostly stopped in different ports, they were not, for me, as interesting and compelling as the northbound ports. (The drive to the Marble Mine on the Atlantic Road - this is a southbound excursion - may have been spectacular in summer, but not in winter.) Also, while it was nice to unpack our bags just once, I would take advantage of the ferry schedule, and disembark in a few places for a couple of nights. I would stop in Trondheim, the Lofoten, and Tromso, at least, and stay in Kirkenes another day or two. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I choose this cruise as it was apart of a bigger tour that I was on, the boat itself is pretty much as I expected from what I read and all the information I had received prior. I am not actually a cruise person I do not enjoy the big ... Read More
I choose this cruise as it was apart of a bigger tour that I was on, the boat itself is pretty much as I expected from what I read and all the information I had received prior. I am not actually a cruise person I do not enjoy the big boats as I feel you never have enough time on land to experience the country you are in. This cruise however was more for the scenery hence why I decided to give it a go. I went in the winter which means it is dark a lot of the time, I still really enjoyed the scenery and after the sun went down it was nice to sit in your room with all the lights of and enjoy the views. I booked a Artic superior room and for the difference in money between the rooms with out and window I would say it was the best thing I have done! It’s well worth the extra money and the window was bigger than what I expected and level 6 was a perfect spot. If you are on level 5 then people are able to see in your room while walking around the balcony so if you would like more privacy I would try requesting level 6. The food is amazing I am actually a vegan and they had plenty of food options for myself and if you eat everything you will be in heaven! The wait staff and general staff on the ship all seemed very nice and polite. I would 100% recommend a cruise ship with an expedition team, they made my trip 10x better then what it would have been with out them. You do have some down time on the ship with not much to do I would advise bringing a book or some card games or something that you enjoy doing to relax. If your ship has a spa GET IN IT when it’s snowing or just in down time it was the BEST. I pre booked some tours as I thought that would be cheaper all so to guarantee spots on the tour but booking on the ship the prices where much the same if not $10 AUD cheaper which you would loose with the exchange rate anyway. We seen the northern lights! Not as much as I expected but I only went North bound and the ship where very informative of when they where out HOWEVER... if you want to guarantee your time of not missing out I would seriously advise having your room temperature set a little cooler and sleeping in most of your clothing meaning all layers you need on except for your outer layers eg. big water proof jacket, pants and shoes! You waste to much time getting dressed and undressed and you miss them possibly so just sleep in everything without the blanket! There is NO entertainment on this ship which was completely fine for me as I’m not into all that but if you cruise a lot this cruise is different and a working ship, I don’t know how many times I was told/read this before getting on the ship and STILL I heard people complaining! This is not a bad thing the cruise was still AMAZING but please don’t expect and circus show or cabaret with 10 martini’s and never actually learning anything about the country you are visiting! The Expedition team did have a few things on each day inregards to information and learning about Norway I would recommend going to all of there sessions because they are fun and happy people with some great stories. Read Less
Nordkapp Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation N/A 2.8
Family 3.0 2.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.4

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