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Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it advertised exactly what we were looking for and wanted something special to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. It surpassed all of this. Embarkation and disembarkation was a very smooth event. Staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it advertised exactly what we were looking for and wanted something special to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. It surpassed all of this. Embarkation and disembarkation was a very smooth event. Staff were helpful and friendly at all times during the voyage, The expedition team were fabulous, keeping us constantly informed with points of interests and gatherings. Nothing was too much trouble. Food was more than excellent and great to be offered Norwegian food with all the information and history that went with it. The cafe was open for 24 hours so with our package we could have tea and coffee any time of the day. We certainly needed a hot drink after being on deck to see the Northern Lights three nights running. Considering the ship is going in for refurbishment very soon it was still spotlessly clean which was very noticeable. I really hope it doesn't end up like an 'Ikea' ship. We didn't like the decor and furniture on the Kong Harold that we were able to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The ship is less than basic as it is a ferry and working ship, but that is no excuse for sacrificing passenger facilities leaving repairs (our wardrobe door was coming off its hinges, the ladies sauna out of action and much else) ... Read More
The ship is less than basic as it is a ferry and working ship, but that is no excuse for sacrificing passenger facilities leaving repairs (our wardrobe door was coming off its hinges, the ladies sauna out of action and much else) unattended to over a near 2 week trip. They charge for everything including tea and coffee except at lmeal times and it is not cheap even though it is poor quality coffee. No entertainment if any kind save a single scrabble set in Norwegian and a chess set, no cards a very few books. If, as we had due to harsh sea conditions, you have days at sea with no stop long enough to get off the ship there is nothing to do but sit and stare out of a window and stunning but very much the same landscape and sea scenes for the whole trip. Dinner is a set menu, no choices so heaven help a fussy eater. If you want to see the northern lights there are better ways and we would suggest a proper cruise company or fly to a suitable location. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Wanted to see the Northern lights, and Norway in winter. This ship is very badly in need of updating, not enough seating for all guests and a lot of threadbare seats. Food served at dinner was never hot , mostly lukewarm. Food ... Read More
Wanted to see the Northern lights, and Norway in winter. This ship is very badly in need of updating, not enough seating for all guests and a lot of threadbare seats. Food served at dinner was never hot , mostly lukewarm. Food buffet style for breakfast and lunch also never kept hot for the hot dishes. Food items on buffet frequently ran out. Last nights left over desserts served again at lunch. Hygiene very poor as food serving tongs and spoons and forks etc ended up on top of food on the serving trays, passengers were not checked to ensure use of alcohol hand cleansing before entering restaurant. Not enough staff to serve and clear away used plates etc although they were trying hard and were very pleasant. From advertising we were expecting interesting lectures/ talks in the evenings, nothing like this happened. Talks that were given were usually transplanted into two or three languages so we had to wait for each part to be translated to the other guests. Often the talks were just advertising for excursions off the ship. Evenings were very long and boring if you went to first sitting. Passengers had to make their own drinks after evening dinner. Passengers frequently had to carry their mugs of hot drinks up from deck 4 to lounges on deck 7 because the hot water machine on deck 7 was out of use, a dangerous procedure in rough seas,. Very often on deck 7 there was no cold water and glasses, unfortunate as the small fitness room was also on deck7 and water was not provided in there. Not enough staff around ship to aid any disabled passenger in fact staff numbers were so low it was not easy to find anyone. Cabins very much required attention and updating mattress condition on bunks very poor and uncomfortable. Cabin cleaning done by waiters obviously some were not correctly trained ! Warning of severe weather conditions not given till last minute ie “ we are closing the lifts due to the severe weather conditions we are experiencing “ again not a thought for disabled passengers who might not get back to their cabins easily as unable to manage all the steep stairs. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I only had time for the 'half cruise' but enjoyed every minute. Nordlys is showing her age a little with some frayed carpets and furnishings in public areas but is shiny, clean and comfortable. She will be refitted later this ... Read More
I only had time for the 'half cruise' but enjoyed every minute. Nordlys is showing her age a little with some frayed carpets and furnishings in public areas but is shiny, clean and comfortable. She will be refitted later this year. Embarkation in Kirkenes, northern turnaround port, took three minutes as my taxi took me directly to the gangplank. Buses from the airport and local hotels are also available. Kirkenes deserves a day before you embark. Go to the Russian border, see the Snowhotel, fish for King Crabs or try snow activities. My cabin (353) was one of the cheapest with a port hole and fine for one or two, although not luxurious. Cabins on the port side, like mine, are closer to the cargo bay where goods are unloaded and loaded during the many stops day and night. I was fine with this but it meant a little extra noise which may annoy others. Pick starboard and you'll be fine. Whichever you choose, it's stunning scenery from beginning to end. Breakfast and lunch are buffets, always plenty of choice with lots of fish. Evening meals are usually three course sit-down affairs. Excellent food always with local produce in sensible quantities and swiftly-served. It's a Norwegian ship in Norwegian waters so alcohol is expensive but there's a good selection (don't miss beer from the northernmost brewery Mack brewed in Tromso) There were only 360 passengers on my cruise but sometimes it was a challenge to find a seat/table in the public areas. No entertainment as such but fascinating daily talks by the cheerful Expedition team, and a small library. Brilliant staff all round, well-led by Captain Johannes. There's a varied range of excursions and hikes to suit all levels of fitness. Again not cheap but high quality and good value. I enjoyed the bus/ferry tour A Taste of Vesteralen, well-organised with plenty of interesting stops, and a magical midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral, Tromso. I also sampled a short twilight hike in Bronnoysund, crunching through the snow. Disembarkation in Bergen was fine and speedy. Again, there were buses (extra charge) to the airport, rail station and local hotels but I happily towed my little suitcase into the town for an extra night after a very enjoyable short break in Norway. Thanks Hurtigruten! I am now planning to visit Svalbard in 2020 but would be delighted to take this trip again - maybe north-south next time? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose Cruise as norther lights guaranteed viewing at this time of year. Whispy clouds was our view of the lights, a lot of 100% cloud cover nights, obviously nature and not fault of Hurtigruten. The ship it self is outdated and going in ... Read More
Chose Cruise as norther lights guaranteed viewing at this time of year. Whispy clouds was our view of the lights, a lot of 100% cloud cover nights, obviously nature and not fault of Hurtigruten. The ship it self is outdated and going in for a make over, it needs it. But the public areas were clean and plenty of seating. THe coastline of Norway is spectacular at this time of year and somewhat made up for the poor showing of the aurora. Cabin as expected (superior arctic), heated bathroom floor was appreciated. Cabin not vacuumed or sheets changed the entire 11 nights of cruise. EVERYTHING is expensive, "expedition" team were moody and sometimes rude apart from Sven who was a delight and always helfpul and full of information and answered any question. The food was as most people have mentioned, Generally food was cold and boring after 11 days of the same type of menu. No choices for the evening meal, take it or leave it. Excursions were expensive but you pay it because you may not get the opportunity again to experience some things. There are not too many private options either as most port times are very short. We went on bus trips, snowmobiled, sledding and viking visit. All were good fun, expensive but worth the $$ for the unique experience in most cases. Overall we enjoyed the trip, the scenery breathtaking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on ... Read More
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on other larger ships, if you are looking for pure luxury and entertainment then this is definitely not the cruise for you. Also you have to remember that this is a working boat so. Calls into several ports during the night so expected broken sleep on the first few nights. You soon become acclimatised to the noise so wasn’t too much of a nuisance to us. The food served at the buffets is varied and everyone should be able to ind something they like. The set meals are quite small portions which again suited us as we had the 8pm sitting and didn’t want to go to bed after heavy meal. It looked beautiful and we enjoyed all the different Norwegian recipes served but again heard some people complaining about the portion sizes and menu. The answer to this is to speak to the head waitress either earlier in the day to change whatever it is you don’t fancy or speak to the waitress when it is brought to the table and they will change it/ bring you more etc. They couldn’t have been more helpful. Also be warned that an average bottle of wine is £45 +! A glass of wine or beer is £10! The prices are roughly the same in the local alcohol stores so it’s not that Hurtigruten are over charging it is just the price of everything generally in Norway. We took alcohol on board with us to drink in our cabin and it did not cause a problem. If you want a different and reasonably priced experience with good food and beautiful scenery this is definitely the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I choosed it because it is the easiest way from bergen to the lofoten. I heard about hurtigruten in german TV and liked it. But it was much better than i ever expected. I will absolutely do it again and take all the tour north and back ... Read More
I choosed it because it is the easiest way from bergen to the lofoten. I heard about hurtigruten in german TV and liked it. But it was much better than i ever expected. I will absolutely do it again and take all the tour north and back south. I really appreciated the work of the expedition team. They do a great job and i can absolutely recommend vitising every workshop, excusion and presentation we had on board. please check it out. you will never forget it. You can't get this point of view when you are traveling alone in norway like i do. It is expensive, yes. But i am on my own in norway, traveling alone and on the ship it felt like going on a trip with my classmates. At first i was alone, but with every excursion we had and with every meal i met more and more people and when i was leaving the ship some people huged me and stand outside on the ship and waved me. it feld so nice and it was so easy to get in contact with new people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that there is also a 99p app from I-phone which will enable you to take pictures of the Northern Lights when they are weak, as was the case with our cruise. We only found out about this app by chance, on talking to a fellow passenger who had got some spectacular photos with her phone the previous day. So, I would advise anyone who wants to get photos of the Northern Lights to do both, take the equipment advised by Hurtigruten but also get the app! You will also need a good hat, coat, gloves and winterlined trousers if you plan to be on deck at night to get the photos as the windchill factor is high! The My Aurora forecast is also useful, although they do give a Northern Light forecast at the Gatherings. On the plus side, the boat was clean and well equipped, the food was very good - they were happy to provide me with vegetarian and gluten-free food without complaint - a very refreshing change! My favourite was the rice porridge at breakfast and the dessert of rice pudding and berry sauce in the evening. The restaurant staff were helpful, particularly Margarethe and Anna. The cabin we had on the 3rd deck was small but adequate and well equipped - the heated shower floor is a godsend as you go further north. There is a small library with English books accessed through the a-la-carte restaurant, which also provides seating if other areas are busy. We spent most of our time in the panoramic lounge on deck 7, which gives spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. I can also recommend going ashore at Urke on the north-bound voyage - you don't have to pay for this but do need a ticket (something we were not aware of) - if you don't get a ticket, wait until the other tenders have left and they provided another tender for those passengers left who wanted to go. It's a very pretty area in spectacular scenery and worth seeing. The excursion to the North Cape was very good, made better by our guide "Bob" who provided a very funny commentary to our trip there and back. The excursion to Hammerfest was also interesting, if not as funny! Sailing through the Trollfjord area was also a highlight with snow-covered mountains. The main thing we enjoyed was sailing along with a book, looking at all the different landscapes. It's also good to stretch your legs when the boat is in port for an hour or so. We enjoyed the Gatherings held by the Expedition Team in the evenings - very informative and also got to see the photos taken by various passengers during the day. It was worthwhile having the package including free coffee, although the bar and coffee machine on deck 7 was only open from 4 pm - the café on deck 4 was open 24 hours. Tap water is OK to drink from the cabins and also free in the restaurants. There is a list of the days activities available from the Expedition Team area every evening, also next day's menu at the front of the restaurant. We asked for a table for 2 from the restaurant manager for the evening meal and this was provided without any trouble - otherwise you sit on a table with other passengers and keep that table for the whole cruise. On the minus side, the trips are very expensive, as are the beer and wine packages. It was difficult to get a seat when there were no trips and everyone was on the boat. It was also very busy in the restaurant at such times for breakfast and lunch. The big complaint I have is that we waited over an hour to check-in to our Titan Airway flight in Bergen on the way home. This is really unacceptable and should be addressed. Otherwise, check-in and check-out on the boat was very well organised. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on our first cruise with friends and didn’t want a cruise where we had to dress up for dinner. The brochure made this sound perfect and we thought we’d give it a go. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. Ship ... Read More
We went on our first cruise with friends and didn’t want a cruise where we had to dress up for dinner. The brochure made this sound perfect and we thought we’d give it a go. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. Ship marvellous, outstanding and very hard working staff and wonderful excursions. Food excellent and so many choices. We loved every minute even in changing weather, rain and cold climate. The Expedition Team are fabulous - they brought enthusiasm to all they did and were happy to help. We hope to be back to Hurtigruten for a cruise in the future. Would thoroughly recommend. It thoroughly exceeded our high expectations. We saw so many wonderful places and the excursions were amazing - Sami culture, an amazing marble mine, a Lofoten fishing village and so many more choices. Visiting the North Cape was wonderful but cold! I can not recommend highly enough. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to create the maximum amount of space. The embarkation and disembarkation went very, very smoothly. The same was true for the dining room and other facilities. The ship operated very efficiently and effectively. The dinner menu featured fresh fish with an outstanding and creative use of local ingredients. The crew and staff were absolutely topnotch, friendly, courteous, professional, and fluent in a number of languages, especially English and German. Because it is a ferry ship as well as a postal ship, a Hurtigruten ship like MS Nordlys has a number of responsibilities as it makes its way up and down the Norwegian coast. That is not typical for a cruise ship. But for passengers, it means that you get to see how a working ship operates, including a test of the lifeboats. If you are interested in a cruise with pools, organized games, and live entertainment on board, then this is not the cruise for you. If you are interested in seeing the beauty of the natural world every single day, then you should definitely consider it. The Expedition Team added an educational element to the cruise with periodic evening lectures and short talks on "Points of Interest." I attended more of these than most passengers, because I appreciated the additional information about the geology, ecology, and Norwegian culture. Our Hurtigruten cruise was definitely the highlight of our entire time in Norway. I would absolutely book again. It's not entirely clear from their booking website, but you can embark and disembark at different points, not just at the main terminals of Bergen and Kirkenes. This makes is possible to design your own trip. We found, however, that the northbound trip from Bergen to Kirkenes provided a good amount of time. Anything shorter would have felt too rushed. Read Less
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